Pets are like a child to their pet parents. This is why every little change in their behavior becomes concerning. Male cats stopping covering their poop is a common concern.
So, your male cat suddenly stopped doing so? Then what could be the reason? Initially, this is normal. Several reasons can make them not cover their waste. They may have some behavior issues or any changes with their litter box.
However, if this behavior continues, it could be a sign of a medical issue too. Or it may seem gross to you.
Today let’s find out all possible reasons why your male cat does not cover his poop with a solution.
9 Reasons Why Does Your Male Cat Not Cover His Poop
Cats from their wildlife do not cover their poop normally unless there is a threat of predators. But house cats, through training, learn to do that. Early-age training can best teach them how to socialize.
When your male cats are not continuing this behavior, you should not ignore this fact. Here are some reasons you can check out. Then, try to find out which your male cat is facing.
1. Hygienic Living Creature
We know that cats are cleaner animals than dogs. Maintaining hygiene is very important for them. They understand the importance of cleanliness in their living space. They have an instinctual need for a fresh and clean litter box.
By leaving the litter box uncovered, they express their need for cleanliness. They want a fresh and odor-free litter box. They need this for their overall well-being. Because with a dirty litter box, they may get sick.
So, if your male cat is not covering his poop, it can be possible you do not clean his litter box regularly. Now, he is not liking it. His urge for cleanliness is telling him to maintain a pristine environment.
Another reason can be related to seeking attention. Like he hopes, you will praise him for his good hygiene habits.
2. Territory Marking
Cats inherit many genes from their wildlife. However, they have evolved a lot. Still, some genetic factors show in their behavior. Marking territory by uncovering their feces is one of them.
Big dominant wild cats uncover their poop. They declare by doing so that the area is his. This is a communication mechanism for them to let other animals know about their presence. Or we can say it can be a protective mechanism.
Domestic cats sometimes want to let other pets know about their territory. Particularly, unneutered male cats are more prone to do so. The odor is a sign for them to show their territorial behavior.
Male cats may like to show their dominance over others. So they may stop uncovering their feces.
3. Social Hierarchy
Hierarchy in a multi-cat house can be one factor in why your male cat does not cover his poop intentionally.
Just like humans, cats establish hierarchies within their groups. Social hierarchy in cat society means one cat becomes dominant over other cats. For the animals, not covering their waste shows their power over others. The dominant cat sends a message to the other cats by intentionally leaving its feces exposed. He shows his authority and marks his territory. He may bully other pets.
But this hierarchy behavior is not the same for all cats. Other cats in the hierarchy may respond to this behavior in different ways.
Some cats may choose to avoid the litter box altogether. They may seek alternative locations. This varies on individual cats.
4. Human Influence
Cats are intelligent and observant creatures. They always notice their owner’s behavior and preferences. So, your cat may observe that you clean the litter box right after they finish. He wants to please you. Thus, they intentionally leave their feces uncovered. He hopes he will catch your attention.
This can be more like a form of communication between you and your cat. These animals are independent. They crave the love and attention of their owner every time. So, by leaving the poop, he cleverly engages in interaction with you. He knows you will come and clean the litter box. So he can be with you.
5. Litter Box Factors
A litter box is very sensitive for cats. Anything changing with your cat’s litter box can make them conscious. Some common litter box issues can be,
- Litter box size.
- Placement of the litter box.
- Changing the litter box.
Cats can get very picky about their litter box size. They need to be comfortable with the size for disposal. So, if your male cat is not burying their poop, it might be for the litter box size. The size might not be comfortable for your cat as some cats prefer bigger boxes where they can dig the waste with more space. But you should make sure that everything is perfect in the letter box; otherwise, your cat will stop using the litter box.
Also, your cat has strict requirements about the placement of litter boxes. You may have been unaware of this fact. You may have recently changed the placement of the box. Or may have placed it somewhere the cat is not comfortable to defecate.
The last is changing the litter box. The box you have been using for years has become the comfort zone for your cat. It is an old one for you, and you bring a new box. But your male cat might not like it. Thus, they express their feelings by not burying the feces.
6. Signs Of Discomfort Or Pain
One of the main reasons can be a sign that your male cat is experiencing discomfort while defecating. They may feel pain. Thus, they seem stressed while using the litter box. They want to leave the place as soon as possible. So, they forget to cover their disposal.
This can be a digestive issue or constipation. So, observe your cat’s behavior and how it meows while defecating. Is it meowing loudly or more? If he is doing so, then there must be some pain he is facing.
In such a case, consult with a veteran. You do not want your little feline to feel pain. You may not have even noticed if he does not start not covering his poop.
7. For Medical Issues
Medical issues can make your male cat not to bury their poop. You may not notice your cat’s health problems. He may start doing some weird or unusual stuff to make you understand.
Cats experiencing arthritis or paw injuries can not cover their poop as they feel pain. Arthritis causes joint pain and stiffness. So, the situation becomes uncomfortable for cats to dig and cover. If they have any cuts or wounds, it is painful for them to dig or even walk.
Other health issues include urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal problems, and kidney disease.
UTIs cause discomfort and pain when urinating. Kidney disease for cats often causes increased thirst and urination. Even diabetes can also affect a cat’s litter box habits. Diabetic cats need to pee more often. Cats with other problems like constipation or diarrhea may have frequent loose bowel movements. So, in these situations, covering the disposal is challenging for them.
8. Stress Or Anxiety
A stressed or anxious male cat may show behavioral changes like not covering their waste. The kind of stress may or may not be related to the litter box. Some cats may even start urinating or defecating outside of the litter box. Whatever the reason, it will showcase their weird litter box behavior most of the time.
Check out what changes you made to your cat’s surroundings. You may bring a new pet. Now, your cat does not like it. Or it can happen that your new dog has become a threat to your male. He feels danger and behaves weirdly.
Sometimes, cats or pets get excited or threatened by the unknown person visiting your home. A delivery man rings the bell of your home. Or some particular smell like a new air freshener, perfume, food, or any smell your cat hates.
Most cat parents ignore another crucial point. If there is some issue with your family members. Or they are quarreling, yelling at each other. Pets tend to get stressed, especially when their owners are under some tension.
All of this can bring many changes in your male cat’s behavior. Uncovering their disposal in one of them.
9. Early Experiences
If you brought an adult cat into your home. It is possible that he did not get enough training. Or, with improper training of kittens, they might develop behavioral problems. Litter box issues are among them.
Cats that didn’t receive proper training as kittens may not understand the concept of using a litter box. This is often the case for orphaned kittens or outdoor cats. They might grow without their mother’s guidance. A mother cat teaches their kitten socialization. Without a mother, these kittens may never learn the instinctual behavior of burying their waste.
In other cases, cats with negative litter box experiences tend to behave weirdly. They may experience some pain or discomfort. Now, they thought it was regarding the litter box. They possess fear. This can make them seek alternatives. These alternative options include carpets, beds, some house corners, or under a blanket.
How To Get Your Cat To Cover Their Poop?
You have discovered your cat is not covering his poop. He is not being mean to you. There can be several reasons. We have discussed the possible reasons earlier.
Now, it is time to see some ways to get rid of this problem. But before that, you need to observe your cat’s problem. Then, you can take the appropriate action.
1. Proper Training
Pet animals do not understand our language. But we train them and teach them social behavior. Cats, among them, are good learners. This is why early-age training is very important. At this age, they can learn quickly.
It is easier to train a kitten than an adult cat. So, start at the very beginning, right after you bring your kittens. Introduce the litter box to your cat. When he is defecating, show him the litter box.
Firstly, it will take some time to make him understand the situation. But gradually, he will get it. Give some simple commands. Tell all other family members to use the same words.
Also, give priority to his choice. If he does not like the box, then try a new one. See which he is comfortable with. Do not say harsh words or punish them for their failure. Stay consistent and have patience.
Fill the box with the proper amount of litter. By this, he can cover his poop.
Also, since these animals are very hygienic, do not forget to clean the pot several times daily. Do not leave the pot unclean. This can cause your cat not to use the box.
2. Offer Rewards To Your Cat When They Cover Their Poop
While training, giving rewards is the best way to make your cat understand what you want him to do. When he would start using the pot, give him a reward. It can be some praising word. Or his favorite treat. Offer cat food also.
Once he gets the treat, he will be encouraged to repeat the behavior the next time.
3. Provide Adequate Litter Box Space
Often, it can happen to cats who can not cover wastage because there is insufficient space in the litter pot. Bring a size that is perfect for your cat. Give him enough space. If you have multiple cats, then the size should be bigger.
Try this big litter box. Then see if your male continues uncovering poop or not.
4. Reduce Stress
Another important way you can adapt is to try to reduce your cat’s stress. Your cat is a child to you. You know exactly when he is excited or sad. Try to play with him and give him enough love. Your furry cat loves you. Keep him mentally and physically stimulated. This is very important for keeping pets healthy and happy to entertain him.
Try to avoid any rift among family members in front of your furry friend. He definitely does not like this.
Give him his personal space. Create a cat-friendly environment for him. Bring some interactive cat toys. Most importantly, love and care for him. After a while, he may get normal and start acting normally.
5. Go To The Veterinarian
After applying the above three ways, see if there is any improvement. Still, your cat continues doing so? Then go to the veterinarian.
It can happen that your cat is suffering from some medical problem. You are not aware of it. Or you may not be able to figure out the exact reasons.
So, it is better to consult a vet. They are well-trained in cats. They can find out the reasons. Then give you some advice.
Why don’t your male cats cover their poop? The reasons can be not getting enough early-age training or orphaned cats. They have hygienic issues. They are suffering from anxiety or issues regarding the litter box.
This can be frustrating both for your cat and you. So, try to find the reason first. Then, you can take the necessary steps.