Cat Digging In Litter Box: 10 Reasons Why & What To Do!

Why do Cats Dig in Litter Box? Generally, Cats Dig in the Litter Box to hide their waste and mask their scent. However, other causes of Digging in the Litter Box include marking their territory, dirty litter, health conditions, stress, or inadequate Litter Box size.

Cat Digging In Litter Box too often? If yes, you’re likely anxious about your fur baby’s health. Felines typically Dig the litter to cover their urine or feces and mask their scents. However, there are times when such behavior can be a cause for concern. 

For instance, a Cat Scratching Litter Box Excessively can point to health problems, such as diarrhea and cystitis. But, before you reach for the phone to call the vet, take a moment to go through our feline-centric guide. 

This article breaks down why Cats go Digging in their Litter and how to tell if a health concern is involved. We’ve also added a few FAQs at the end for the more curious readers. So, let’s get to it without wasting any more time.

Why do Cats Dig in their Litter Box?

Why do Cats Dig in the Litter Box
Why is my Cat Digging In the Litter Box?

Cats are renowned for their cleanliness. One of the ways felines maintain hygiene is by using the Litter Box. When your Cat enters its Litter Box, it instinctively Digs through the debris with its paws. This behavior isn’t just a random act; it serves a purpose.

The main reason why Cats Dig in their Litter Box is to bury their waste. In the wild, Cats are solitary animals that avoid predators through their extraordinary stealth. 

So, when they bury their urine or feces, they’re trying to mask their scent and conceal their location. This behavior is deeply ingrained in their instincts; even domesticated Cats will exhibit it. 

However, when a Cat keeps Digging in Litter without relieving itself, this can indicate an infection and requires medical attention.

Another red flag for when a cat digs excessively in Litter Box is mewling or whining when urinating. This means your fur baby is experiencing pain when it urinates and should be looked over by your vet as soon as possible. 

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So, do Cats Dig?

Have you been wondering why do Cats Dig? Cats have an instinct to Dig, and it’s an essential part of their behavior. Wild Cats Dig to bury their waste, create a comfortable bed, or hide their food.

Digging is also a way for Cats to mark their territory by leaving a scent trail. 

However, not all Cats Dig the same way or for the same reasons. Some felines may Dig excessively, while others may not Dig at all, depending on their breed, age, and personality.

For example, it’s not uncommon for some house Cats to not cover their waste. Some fur babies don’t cover their feces because they don’t know how, while others aren’t very good at hiding their waste. 

Cat parents with a single pet can encounter such behavior because there are no other animals to threaten their felines, so their pets don’t try to hide their presence.

In short, Cats digging through the litter or not covering their waste can both qualify as normal feline behavior, depending on the Cat. 

Do Cats Dig holes?

Cats are playful and curious by nature. They love exploring their surroundings and taking up activities that pique their interest. That’s where Cat Digging comes in. 

Digging holes is standard behavior in felines, be they wild or domesticated. However, the reasons behind their Digging habits may vary.

In the wild, Cats Dig holes for different purposes, such as hiding their prey, creating shelter for themselves, or burying their waste. 

Domestic Cats don’t need to hunt to survive, but they still possess the instincts of their wild ancestors. Thus, they can Dig holes for the same reasons as feral Cats or for fun and exercise. 

Why do Cats Dig?

If you’re trying to figure out why your Cat is Digging, it’s best to take in the circumstantial evidence. For instance, if you see your Cat Dig in the Litter Box after having a meal, it’s likely relieving itself. 

Overall, felines can take up Digging for various reasons. These include covering their waste, marking territory, health problems, stress, excess energy, etc. 

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Why is my Cat Digging In Her Litter Box?

Why does my Cat Dig in the Litter Box
Why does my Cat keep Digging in her Litter Box?

The term ‘my Cat keeps Digging in the Litter Box’ is pretty popular on the world wide web. If you’re one of the many who want to know why your fur baby keeps delving through litter, this is the section for you. 

We’ve compiled ten reasons behind the ‘Cat Digging Litter Box’ phenomena, and all you need to do is find a comfy seat and go through them one by one. 

1. Covering Poop and Pee

If your Google search history contains the words ‘Cat Digs a lot in Litter Box’ you should know the central reason for such behavior is covering pee and poop.

That’s right. Cats are not only very hygiene-oriented but also uncomfortable about leaving their waste out for the world to see. 

This instinct of domestic felines to Dig and cover their waste comes from their feral ancestors. Cats in the wild Dig holes and hide their poop and pee to keep predators away. It also helps stop their prey from running off due to their scent. 

While house Cats don’t have to worry about predators or prey, they still have an instinct to keep their calls to nature private, which may be why your Cat digs to bottom of Litter Box.

2. Marking Territory

If your Cat Digs in Litter Box constantly, it may be trying to mark its territory. Your kitty Cat has sweat glands in its paws that help release pheromones when your pet wants to brand its space. 

This type of behavior is even more common in homes with multiple felines. So, if your Cat like a particular litter tray better than the others, you can expect to Dig furiously through the litter and even scratch the sides of the tray to leave its definitive scent. 

3. Stress

Why does my Cat Dig in her Litter Box
Why does my Cat keep Digging in the Litter Box?

A Cat obsessively Digging in Litter Box or trays can also signify stress. We’ve already mentioned felines utilize Digging to mark what they think belongs to them.

So, if you’ve recently added another pet to the household or moved homes, your fur baby may try to relieve anxiety by Digging. 

Since scratching and Digging help Cats leave their scent on things, it’s what felines fall back on when threatened or faced with something new. You can help your pet feel better by giving it extra attention or showing love through treats. 

4. Health Issues

Do you Catch your cat constantly Digging in Litter Box trying to relieve itself? If so, there may be an underlying health condition involved. 

Issues like urinary tract infections, blockages, or even diarrhea can cause kittens to make repeated trips to the litter tray.

Such problems will also result in symptoms like mewling while trying to urinate, going (pooping) outside the box, lethargy, and of course, constant and furious Digging through the litter. 

If your Cat keeps Digging in Litter Box(es) and displays one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, take it to the vet for an immediate checkup. 

5. Playtime

You don’t have to take to the internet with the query ‘why my Cat Digs in her Litter Box’ every time you see your pet flinging litter debris. That’s because sometimes Digging is harmless and a way for your pet to pass the time. 

Remember when we said felines love activities that ‘pique’ their interest?

Well, Digging also qualifies as a fun activity that keeps Cats busy during a slow-moving day. If your fur baby doesn’t show any worrying symptoms and is eating and drinking fine, there’s generally nothing to worry about. 

6. Excess Energy

Why is my Cat just Digging in the Litter Box
Why does my Cat Dig in his Litter Box?

If a Cat Digs in Litter Box for a long time, especially at night, along with a noisy attack of the zoomies, your pet may be trying to expend pent-up energy. 

Felines can sleep anywhere from twelve to sixteen hours per day! Now, if you miss playtime with your fur baby, it’s full of energy at nighttime. 

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Add to that the fact that most of the busy areas of the house are free at night; it gives Cats the perfect opportunity to do whatever they want, including Digging in the litter tray for extended periods of time. 

7. Scratchy Skin

If your Cat has outdoor access, the answer to ‘why my cat keeps Digging in his Litter Box?’ in your case may be scratchy skin. You see, house Cats that like roaming outdoors often develop callouses or dry skin on their paws. 

So, when your fur baby wants to scratch its itchy paw, it can take to the litter for help. When a Cat rubs its paws against the gravel-like structure of litter, the abrasion helps fend off the itch and brings relief. 

8. Dirty Litter

Cats are the ‘neat freaks’ of the pet community. They like keeping themselves free of gunk and debris and will often protest if their bathroom (read Litter Box) is less than clean. 

One of the reasons why some felines Dig excessively in the litter tray is that the litter is dirty. When this happens, you can expect your kitty Cat to keep Digging until it finds a clean spot to go potty or pee-pee. 

9. Inadequate Litter Size

If the litter tray or box is too small for your Cat, it’ll struggle to use the tray. When this happens, you can expect lots of Digging and tunneling from your pet as it tries to get comfortable. 

Felines are renowned for finding a way to fit into tight spaces, so you can expect your kitten to Dig for a fair amount of time before using the litter in any way it can. 

If you’re unsure whether the litter size is the culprit, you can always keep two trays and invest in a larger, more luxurious box to see if the excessive Digging behavior disappears. 

10. Not Enough Litter in the Tray

One reason many Cat parents overlook concerning excessive Digging by Cats is not enough litter in the tray. That’s right. You can expect your fur baby to try and Dig all the way to China to discover why its tray doesn’t have enough litter substance. 

Try increasing the depth of litter in the tray and see if your feline settles down. If your kitten goes back to using the litter normally, you can be sure you’ve fixed the problem. 

Why is my Cat Digging in Litter Box not peeing?

As weird as ‘Cat Digging in Litter Box not peeing?’ sounds, it’s still a legitimate FAQ on Google’s search engine. If your Cat Digs in Litter Box but doesn’t use it, it may be coming down with something. Here are some red flags Cat parents should be on guard about. 

One of the common reasons why Cats Dig in the litter but don’t pee is the presence of urinary tract infections (UTIs). This condition can make urination painful, and your Cat can start associating the Litter Box with discomfort and pain. That’s often why Cats with UTIs can pee outside the litter tray. 

If your feline also shows signs of lethargy, loss of appetite, and frequent licking of the genital area, consult a veterinarian immediately to rule out urinary infections. 

Another explanation for why your Cat may be Digging in the Litter Box but not peeing is Litter Box aversion. Several factors, such as a dirty Litter Box, a change in litter brand, or the Litter Box’s location, can cause this. Cats are sensitive animals, and any change in their environment can cause stress and anxiety, leading to Litter Box avoidance.

Why is my kitten Digging in Litter Box but not pooping?

If you have a kitten Digging in Litter Box but not pooping, it can be a sign of several issues. The first possibility is that the kitten is not ready to defecate. Kittens, especially the very young, may not have fully developed their Digestive system and thus not have the urge to poop as frequently as adult Cats. 

Another possibility is that your kitten may be experiencing some discomfort or pain when trying to defecate. Constipation, urinary tract infections, or an obstruction in the Digestive tract can cause this. 

If your kitten struggles to go to the bathroom or seems in pain, it is vital to go to the vet immediately to rule out any serious health issues. Additionally, if your concern is an adult Cat Digging in Litter Box not pooping, consider changing the type of litter you’re buying, as some felines may be sensitive to certain textures or fragrances.

So why is my Cat Digging in Litter Box for no reason?

Cat won't stop Digging in Litter Box
Why is my Cat Digging in the Litter Box so much?

Cat Digging in Litter Box for no reason? Things may not be as simple as that. There’s generally a reason Cats Dig in the litter tray or elsewhere. However, Digging in the litter may not always be a cause for concern. 

For instance, Cats like Digging when bored, feeling playful, or are full of excess energy. So, if you think your Cat Digs in Litter Box for no reason, think again!

Why does my Cat Dig in Litter before pooping?

A Cat digs in the litter before pooping to create a small hole where it can urinate or poop. This makes covering up the waste much easier. Although, you should note that your Cat may not always Dig before answering the call of nature. This is generally because your fur baby is in a hurry and needs to relieve itself immediately. 

Why is my Cat Digging in Litter Box at night?

Is your Cat Digging in Litter Box at night?

If yes, there may be several explanations for such behavior. The most obvious reason your Cat is Digging in the Litter Box in the wee hours of the night is to relieve itself. After all, you can’t schedule when your pet needs to use the bathroom, can you?

Another likely cause is the zoomies. That’s right. Felines that love napping during the day are typically balls of energy at night. And one way your pet chooses to work off all that energy is via Digging. 

However, if your concern is ‘Cat Excessive Digging in Litter Box,’ it’s best to ensure your fur baby isn’t suffering from a UTI, constipation, or diarrhea. 

Why does my kitten meows when Digging in Litter Box?

If a kitten meows when Digging in Litter Box, it’s generally a sign of discomfort or pain. It can mean your pet struggles to urinate or defecate and needs help. In such situations, observing your pet in the litter and when it exits, the box is best. 

For example, if you observe your Cat meowing and Digging in Litter Box but leaving without urinating or pooping, kitten constipation or a UTI may be the problem. Similarly, if you notice watery stool, your pet may suffer from diarrhea. 

However, even if you can’t figure out why your fur baby is in pain, it’s best to book an appointment with the vet as soon as possible. Being unable to urinate or defecate can also be caused by potentially life-threatening blockages and obstruction

Why is my Cat Digging Litter out of Box?

Cat Digging Litter out of Box? Your feline can spill litter all over the floor due to various reasons. The most probable culprit is overfilling the litter tray. If you’ve added too much litter to the box, your feline may find using the facility without spilling the gravel or chips difficult. 

On the flip side, another reason why a Cat Digs Litter out of Box is that the litter may be too small for your pet to use. And, finally, Cats will also end up spilling litter when the tray hasn’t been cleaned in some time. This action isn’t intentional; it’s just your pet trying to find a clean spot to urinate or defecate. 

How to prevent Cat Litter from getting everywhere?

As a Cat parent, you know exactly how annoying it can be to see litter scattered all over your house. Here are five ways to prevent Cat litter from getting everywhere:

Use a litter mat

A litter mat placed outside the Litter Box can help catch any stray litter your Cat may track out of the box.

Choose the right type of litter

Some litter types are more prone to getting scattered than others. Consider using a heavier litter or one with larger particles.

Invest in a covered Litter Box for Cats that Dig

A covered Litter Box can help contain litter and prevent it from being kicked or tracked out of the box.

Sweep or vacuum regularly

Regularly sweeping or vacuuming the area around the Litter Box can help prevent litter from spreading throughout your home.

Train your Cat

Training your Cat to wipe his paws on a mat or to step into a litter-Catching device before leaving the Litter Box can also help prevent litter from getting everywhere.

Why does my Cat Dig Outside the Litter Box? 

Seeing a Cat Digging Outside Litter Box isn’t uncommon. Some felines are extra careful about covering their waste and not leaving any trace of their presence in a home. This action is instinctive and is passed down to modern-day kitties from their wild ancestors. 

Your kitten can Dig outside the Litter Box if it has spilled the clay gravel or chips on the floor and is trying to clean up. 

Why does my Cat Dig at everything?

If your Cat is one of the multiple pets in your home, it’s Digging at everything to leave its scent trail. This is your feline’s way of warning the others to steer clear of its territory. Cats are also known to Dig or rub against their favorite humans for the same reason. 

How to stop Cat from Digging In Litter Box?   

If your Cat won’t stop Digging In Litter Box without any rhyme or reason, you can try some of the tips listed below to gain back some control. 

Change the litter

Your kitten may be Digging excessively in the litter tray because it doesn’t like the texture or fragrance of the litter. You can put an end to the excessive Digging by buying a litter type your Cat is comfortable using. 

Invest in a bigger box

If your pet loves to Dig in the litter tray all the time, the size of the litter tray may be too small for your feline. The easiest way to fix this problem is to buy a litter tray large enough that allows your pet to move around easily. 

Visiting the vet

If you notice your Cat not Digging in Litter Box without meowing or if your pet avoids going to the bathroom altogether, it’s time to go to the vet. Cats don’t avoid going to the litter entirely, even if it’s dirty unless there’s an underlying health concern. 

Place the litter in a quiet corner

Cats Dig more when they’re anxious. It may be that your Cat doesn’t feel comfortable using the litter because it’s placed in a busy section of the house. Cats, like humans, prefer peace and quiet when they go to the bathroom. 

Get multiple Litter Boxes

Felines will often scratch a Litter Box to mark it as their territory. However, if two or more Cats use the same litter tray, you can expect a lot of Digging. You can tackle the situation by investing in at least two or three new litter trays so your pets don’t have to fight over bathroom rights. 

How do I stop my Cat from Digging at the bottom of the Litter Box?

If your Cat is Digging at the bottom of the litter tray, here are a few pro tips to get your feline to stop. First, make sure the litter tray is clean and has enough litter. Cats may Dig at the bottom if they can’t find a comfortable spot to do their business. 

You can also opt for a different brand of litter. Some Cats prefer a particular texture or scent, so experiment with other options until you find one your Cat likes. Another option is to get your kitty Cat a scratching post or pad to redirect their Digging behavior. 

Finally, consider providing your Cat with more playtime and exercise to help alleviate any stress or boredom contributing to the Digging behavior.

Final thoughts

Digging comes naturally to Cats, so observing your pet Digging through the litter tray isn’t always bad. However, if you notice your pet Digging excessively with symptoms like meowing in the Litter Box, lethargy, and inappetence, it’s best to contact the vet immediately. 

Related Questions

Why is my Cat suddenly Digging?

Cats have a natural instinct to Dig and scratch, which helps them to mark their territory, stretch their muscles and keep their claws sharp. Nonetheless, sudden or excessive Digging behavior may indicate an underlying issue such as stress, anxiety, boredom, or a medical condition. If your Cat is suddenly Digging more than usual, observing their behavior and trying to identify any possible triggers is essential. Providing your Cat with appropriate scratching posts, toys, and environmental enrichment and addressing any underlying medical or behavioral issues may help reduce their Digging behavior.

Why does my Cat keep Digging the floor?

Cats can take to Digging the floor for various reasons. For example, Cats like scratching and Digging things when marking their territory. Your Cat may also be Digging the floor due to boredom or anxiety.

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