Is your cat scratching the litter box excessively, leaving you via an unhygienic mess to clean up? Is this a normal cat actions, phase, or health problem?

If you find yourself in this case and also are on the search for some answers, you’ve arrived at the best spot. This guide will administer you with a couple of beneficial tips that are sure to minimize your worries and also hopecompletely, get rid of that unsightly litter box mess. 

Before providing a few solutions, let’s dive right into the potential causes of this odd cat behavior. 


Why is my cat scratching the litter box excessively?

Image Credit: Anna Luopa, Shutterstock

1. Behavior Problems

Tright here are 2 probable behavior difficulties linked with too much litter box digging and also scratching.

You are watching: Why does my cat scratch the side of the litter box


This could just be a viable alternative if your cat is still fairly young, as it’s rare in mature cats. Kittens are curious and regularly look for the fun in whatever that they carry out. Unfortunately, utilizing the litter box might be among them. Once they are finished doing their business, kit10s may obtain recorded up in the excitement of burying (or unburying!) their waste or find the flow of the litter mesmerizing.

Stress or Anxiety

If tright here has been an external cause for stress or anxiety, it is widespread for cats to express their distress and anxiety with miscellaneous odd actions, excessive litter scratching being one of them. If you sense that your cat may be feeling any type of of these emotions, it is vital to note any alters that might have motivated these feelings so you deserve to take the essential measures to aid them.

2. Marking their Territory

Cats are a territorial species that are completely aware of their space. If they feel they have to defend their belongings, they will certainly usage the pheromones on their paws as a method to mark their area. When it involves food, for instance, they will certainly dig roughly to lay claim on what is theirs. However, to prevent confrontation, they will sometimes bury their wastes to hide the scents as a signal of not difficult the biggest cats.

3. Keeping Paws Healthy

Paw pads have the right to flourish to be callprovided which can be a source of discomfort for your cat. Continual scratching deserve to aid exfoliate the turbulent skin away and also new skin renewal. If you find this to be an problem for your cat, attempt incorporating even more scratching posts throughout the house as a way for devastating scratching avoidance.Also, clumping litters deserve to obtain stuck to your cat’s paws, which deserve to be uncomfortable and painful, especially for long-haired cats that have actually lengthy hair between their nails and pads. A quick inspection after your cat provides the litter box will certainly determine whether this is an worry for your cat.Declawing your cat will certainly not eliminate this problem and also have the right to reason even more damage to your cat in the lengthy run. You have the right to select to switch to a fine-grained or pellet litter to protect against this worry.

4. Communication through Fellow Housemates

If your house hosts more than one cat, excessive scratching may be a source of interaction in between fellow housemates. As we listed over, tbelow are scent glands located in cat paws which allows them to leave their scent to let other felines understand around their visibility.

Credit: Tung Cheung at Shutterstock

5. Litter Box-Related Problems

If tright here are no remarkable distinctions with your cat’s actions, then scratching the litter box excessively may be pertained to the litter box itself.

Dirty Litter Box

The litter box might be also dirty for your cat to feel at ease while finding the appropriate place to execute their duty. It might offer off some unpleasant smells and also be too full causing a longer search for a perfect bathroom spot. To protect against this, encertain you rearea the litter eexceptionally couple of weeks and are scooping the waste as regularly as possible. A useful note to think about as soon as replacing the entire box contents is to thoapproximately wash it with heat water and vinegar to aid remove any type of lingering smells.

Litter Box is not massive enough

The litter box might be as well little if you discover that your cat is attempting to dig beyond the litter and also box itself. This will bring about a mess bordering the litter box and spcheck out unpleasant odors. This can be avoided by ssuggest upgrading to a nice and also spacious litter box.

Not Enough Litter

If your cat has ample room in their litter box, and you are diligent in maintaining it waste-complimentary, it can be that tbelow is not enough litter for them to appropriately dig and bury excrement. It is their instinct to cover their waste to mask their scent.

To counteract each of these litter box-related difficulties, you can pick up an extra-huge litter box and fill it through no much less than a 3-inch layer of clean litter.

Litter box not in a calm and exclusive location

Cats like privacy, as do a lot of world when trying to usage the bathroom, so a high-website traffic location prefer the living room is not good an option. Do not place the litter box in the same location as their food and also water dishes.

Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions

How to soptimal cats from playing in the litter box?

You may discover that some cats gain playing in their litter box, particularly kittens. But is it normal for kit10s to play in the litter box? Yes, it is. Kittens are simply ‘practicing’ and also they love the feeling once digging.

If a mature cat continues to be in the litter box for much longer than their bathroom break, this can be for comfort, as their litter box is full of theirs and also other familiar scents which might administer a sense of safety.

We advise that you take your cat to the vet for consultation if this shows up to be an continuous problem for them. As for kit10s, a toy is commonly all it takes to distract your kitten from playing in the litter box.

Why execute cats stare at the litter box?

This is concerned their claim of territory. If you view your cat staring at the litter box, it can be that another cat has actually used it, or tright here is also a opportunity that package is not clean enough. Sindicate cleaning the box on a regular basis will assist assist with maintaining your cat content via their litter box.

Why does my cat scratch the floor about the litter box?

A cat scratching the floor bordering a litter box can intend they are making a complaint about the litter box itself. Maybe it is dirty or as well tiny or there is not sufficient litter in package. This is another reason owners must inspect and clean the litter box routinely, specifically as soon as the cats want to usage it.


First and also foremost, a quick examine of the litter box deserve to aid recognize what the root of your cat’s too much scratching might be caused by. More frequently than not, thounstable cleaning of package will certainly mediate this cat behavior. You must additionally consider taking your cat to the vet to ensure tright here are no underlying health issues, stresses, or anxieties.

See more: You Are Magnetic In Your Bearing Meaning, You Are Magnetic In Your Bearing

Hopetotally, you were able to uncover the clarity you essential, that you understand also more around your cat and also the actions that reason too much litter box scratching.