The Litterbox Cover-Up

When a cat doesn't cover her feces in the box, it might indicate that she is ill.

By J. Veronika Kiklevich, DVM | Posted: Fri May 27 00:00:00 PDT 2005

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Q. My cat is about 18 months old and whenever she uses the litterbox she doesn't cover up what she leaves behind, which can be smelly at times. I'm not sure if she's doing this on purpose or if she doesn't know. What can I do to get her back in the habit of covering things up?

A. Often this behavior is a sign of illness. The malodorous feces may be the result of the carbohydrate type in your kitty's diet, so trying a different diet, particularly a diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein might help. I'm thinking that because she doesn't cover her stool it could be an indication that she has some sort of colonic problem. Please take her to your veterinarian for an examination.

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Reader Comments

Lisa    Bonners Ferry, ID

8/5/2012 4:01:28 PM

My main comment is, "Huh?" I have two cats who don't cover up, and both are perfectly healthy, and I feed a high quality, low-carb, high protein diet, with both dry and canned food. Of course, it doesn't really bother me that they don't cover. I just scoop it out and get on with other things.

janet    bethlehem, PA

3/21/2008 8:47:13 AM

fortunately i have never had this problem

Nuria    Miami, FL

1/4/2008 11:29:03 AM

I just read this question and answer. I recently took in a stray. She's been a stray for several years. She also has a problem covering her feces. I had her checked by a vet before I brought her home and she was fine and healthy. I feed her high quality food with plenty of protein. Could her issue be that she's just been a stray for a while and doesn't know what to make of the litter?

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