My kitten keeps stepping on his poop.

by Susan
(Dallas, Texas)



My 6-month-old kitten keeps stepping on his poop while he's burying it. Sometimes I see him doing it, and I can't figure out if it's because his litter box is too small, or maybe he's still learning. He'll start to bury it, then he turns around the other way to bury from the other side, and that's when one of his back feet accidentally steps in it. I don't think he realizes when it happens, because it doesn't seem to bother him. I can easily change to a larger litter box, but I absolutely love using this automatic (self cleaning) box, that seems to only come in a certain size. So I'm hoping it's the latter- that he'll eventually learn to be neater? I hear that all breeds are different, and that some actually don't learn. Is that true? (Mine is a tuxedo-style tabby). Thanks!!

Answer by Kate
I don't think it has anything to do with his breed but is more to do with his age.

I think he is just learning how to do this properly and yes he will get better over time. Cats are also very clean animals and so as he gets older if he does accidentally step in his poo he will clean himself up.

My two are very fastidious about keeping clean and yes at first when they were very young they too had some mishaps, but they are absolutely fine now. I wouldn't worry, I suspect this is just a short lived problem.

best wishes Kate

Comments for My kitten keeps stepping on his poop.

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My 10 week old kittens have poop everywhere
by: Christina

I'm not sure why my 2 kittens that are 10 weeks old, we adopted from the shelter, are constantly tracking poop through the house and I've noticed when I clean their litter boxes they have poop smeared all over the walls on the inside of their box! It's like they are trying to wipe it off on the sides or the walls of their box but they sometimes just track it through the bathroom, they even had poop smeared on the sides of my bathtub! Their paws constantly smell like poop! I'm not sure how to get them to stop stepping in it and smearing it all over?

New habit
by: Bri

I’ve had my 7 year old kitty since she was weeks old. She has never had a single litter box issue. Then, about a month ago, I found poop with bits of litter stuck to the back of the door like it was flung. I’ve never seen that before. Later on I find a weird brown smear on our bathroom floor. Upon closer inspection, I see a skid mark with in the smear. That’s when I realized it’s poop! She must have stepped in it and slipped on the bathroom floor not knowing it was stuck on her paw. I knew If it was smear on the floor, more has to be elsewhere. I found bits of poopy paw prints in the dining room and was scared to find any on the couch. I got lucky. A few days later she comes in to use the litter box as I’m doing my business. I knew she was about to number-two and I prepared myself to witness this in action. Low and behold, the turns around the "bury" it and her back paw went right over the top of in and down into the turd. She didn’t even seem phased. I wasn’t even sure if she knew. I panicked knowing she’d hop out of the litter box, and smear it on the floor before realizing what she’d done, then flick her back leg and get poop everywhere. So I grabbed her before she could hop out and tried to clean her paw. She hated me for it but it helped.
Why after all these years of perfect litter box going, is she having a hard time? I found poo stuck to the back of the door again just this afternoon!

Poop everywhere
by: Nancy

My senior cat keeps stepping in her poo and tracking it on the couch or the bed. I have to put her paw in the sink to clean out all the poo. I am so tired of doing laundry.
She has a flat box which helped some in the beginning. Sort of like one for rabbits. I did that because of her arthritis. One with higher sides would probably make the poop stepping worse. I am at a loss and so frustrated. 2 x in 3 days this week! So much laundry to do not to mention I feel like I need another shower after I have cleaned her up!
Those mats won’t help because this is poo, lots of stuck in her paw.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Oh please.

by: Anonymous

My 7 month old kitten has all of a sudden started doing it and I don’t know why so I’ve been researching what I can’t do but I can’t find anything and it’s Ben worse as my cat is a sphynx so he has no fur

Cat steps in poop
by: Anonymous

New rescue 7 months old. Her poop seems to land against the back of her feet and she steps on it too. How on earth do people manage with cats when this happens meaning poop will be tracked around the house? I'm having to spend time watching her and cleaning her up with wipes which she hates.

My new kitten does this too!
by: Toni

I have a 14 week old kitten who is very enthusiastic about covering her poop, so she gets on at least one back foot. Her stool is not completely hard due to her getting into her sisters food, but I'm hoping this passes. Glad to read she's not the only one. LOL. Poopy feet!

Handicapped kitten
by: Sana

My kitten, unfortunately has a handicapped back foot. A clumsy vet hit a nerve when he was giving him an injection and now he lost all sense in that foot. Im so depressed and I cant be ok with him living the rest of his life like this. So whenever he goes to the litter box, he digs a hole and poops in it and covers it, but because of his condition, he steps in it without even noticing. I have to clean his foot every time he goes (he goes a LOT) I'm going mad with this poop business but it also breaks my heart seeing him struggle. I tried to make him wear socks but his foot is so tiny (hes 2 and a half months old) so it comes off. I don't know what to do anymore...

Use a lot more litter
by: Anonymous


My 10 month old orange male, Bob Dylan, regularly steps in his doo-doo and tracks it around our cottage. He does it when he has diarrhea and he also does it when he is pooping firm logs. I thought it was a litter box size issue, so I made a huge litter box for 4x4 feet huge...nah, that didn't solve the problem.

As a result of this mayhem, for several weeks I adopted a strange hobby: cat poop watching. Like bird watching, but much weirder.

What I learned is that my cat gets poop on his hind paw(s) when he's burying the poop, and the more paw strokes he uses to accomplish the burial, the more likely it is that he'll make contact with the nastiness.

I've noticed that the more litter in his box, the fewer paw strokes he needs to complete the burial. I think this is because the deeper the litter, the more litter he can move/excavate in a single stroke.

So, more litter -> fewer paw strokes -> reduced probability of contact -> fewer instances of you losing your mind. 5 inches of litter in his box seems to work.

Good luck everybody.

Mine steps on it too!!!
by: Jam

Mine steps on her poop too,. I had to watch her do her business so that she wouldn't step on it. There are time she successfully does it but most of the time no. She tries to burry it right after she poop and if she was successful she would go on and dig on the other side and accidentally steps on it. And sometimes, when she is trying to burry her poop, she would cover it a little bit and shortly a speed second, she would rub her paws on the sides of the litter box and steps back, thus accidentally stepping on her poop. By the way, she is turning 5 months in a week.

I was thinking rather, changing her box into a big one because she's becoming bigger and see the difference..

Other things I wonder why she does that.. 😅😅

Reverse hole use
by: Anonymous

Like Cathy, my 15 week old kitten digs a hole when she needs to poop, but then stands in the hole so that she winds up pooping on the mound of litter. When she goes to bury it, she struggles (obviously because the poop is now higher than all the surrounding litter), and then she inadvertently steps in it numerous times while trying to cover it. It’s so frustrating! I’ve tried turning her around just before she starts pooping so that her poop goes in the hole - but she hates this and hasn’t seemed to learn. Cathy have you had any luck fixing the issue? Any advice from anybody else?
Thanks so much!

- Zoe

Kitty rolls in his poop
by: Anonymous

I have no idea why my kitty while in the liter box, I wash him after he goes in his box, I just thought of rubbing him with aloe vera and leaving shampoo on his tail and feet, he is acting alot better, he stopped rolling in his liter box and stopped peeing everywhere but I was wonderring if it is ok to leave shampoo on him.

no it is not ok to leave shampoo on him. he will ingest it and make him sick. it will also not do hi fur or skin any good either.

Stepped on poop
by: Masy

My cat never stepped on her pee before, she was very clean but now she stepped on her pee and I have to clean it every time which is really annoying and frustrating. She is ten months old, I don't know what to do

My Cat steps in his poop too!
by: Cathy

My kitten steps in his poop and it's making me crazy as well! I've been watching him (he's 6 months old)and he isn't using his litter properly. He digs a hole, then he poops on the mound behind him and not in the hole he dug, so the poop pushes right up against him and gets all in his fur! Then he doesn't burry it, he steps in it and then freaks out and shakes the poop all over! So, now I have a cat with poop on his butt, all in his tail, stuck in his feet and all over my laundry room! How do I teach him to poop in the hole he dug?!?! Seems too late now! Luckily he lets me bathe him but I'm worried he will track poop all over my house one day while I'm at work. Luckily he's been pooping in the evenings lately. Help! Should I toilet train him???

my 14wk old treads in his poop too
by: jay

He doesn't seem to notice he steps in it, I too have had to wash n shampoo his paw as his poop is runny at the moment, he is getting antibiotics for it but I wondered if its him stressed or just inexperienced at navigating in the litter tray while trying to cover..noo

Stepping in poo
by: Bethany

My 7 week old kitten is driving me crazy! Every time he poos, he steps in it while trying to bury it. He is very meticulous about completely covering his poo or pee. When he steps in it, it is repeatedly, and makes such a bad mess I have to keep cleaning his paws. It is so bad a wet towel wont work, I have to use running water and cat shampoo. This is stressful for both of us:( I am assuming this will get better with age, but is there anything I can do to help? Sometimes I will wait while he poos, and move him so he can't step in it, but this seems to bother him as he NEEDS to cover it. Any ideas would be very helpful!

yes he is still learning and should grow out of it as he gets better at covering it.

I don't think there is much you can do in the mean time.



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