Litter Box Annoyance

by Craig
(British Columbia, Canada)

My cat will not stop kicking litter on the floor, no matter how much or how little we put in the box. We have a lid for it, and it doesn't stop her, she directs the sand out of the opening. We have tried disciplining her, we have tried using less than 1 inch of litter, it doesn't matter. She refuses to listen. This cat is a problem in all aspects, she refuses to listen to any disciplinary action be it a squirt with water, a tap on the butt or putting her outside, although the last option seems to be the only one that subdues her for a short time. I really don't want to get rid of the cat, neither does my wife, and we don't want to not have a cat, but this animal is putting me into a position where I am on the edge of even giving her to a shelter.

Answer by Kate
Hmmm I'm not sure what to say here as your idea of bad behaviour is misplaced when it comes to a cat. A cat is a cat and not a human and so does not have the same thought patterns or behaviours as us. So what we think of bad behaviour is not for a cat. Cats don't do bad behaviour they simple do what their instincts tell them.

In the case of the litter problem, I really do not think she is doing this deliberately. It is more likely that she is simply a very thorough cat when it comes to covering her waste. Unfortunately this means that the litter gets kicked out. There are covered litter trays that have a little swing door on them, this may help contain the litter.

As for discipling a cat, again our idea of discipline and what a cat will understand is completely different. Skirting water, shouting, tapping them on the nose etc will simply make the cat afraid of you and not prevent the behaviour in the future. I have written a page about what a cat understands as discipline, you may find it of further interest. Here is the page

I hope you can find a solution for both you and your cat. I really do think that if you can see her behaviour as not being bad but just annoying to us then it may help you not to become so annoyed by it. All cats do things from time to time which annoy us, but its how we react to them which allows us to live happily with our pets.

best wishes Kate

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