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Why do cats poop outside the litter box, then go back?
Cat poop and urine outside of a litter box and your cat not just trying to do his business and then be done with it – that seems like a silly thing to do, doesn’t it? Why? What’s the purpose?
It’s because they’re not quite sure what to do with that precious gift that they just used to make the bed of the only place in the world they can comfortably and completely do their business. Cats make beds as soon as they are big enough to start to have an awareness of where their limbs are. If they’ve gotten inside, they need somewhere to lie down. If they’re outdoors, they’re trying to make sure their bed isn’t on the ground, and that the poop and urine are all over a nice big, clean place.
This is why. I’ll expln it in a bit more detl below.
What makes cats have to make their bed in the first place?
Well, a kitten will get into the bedding of its mother in the nest, or will eat the bedding of the queen/king. And if they’re in the middle of being born, their umbilical cord will get caught on the first soft material they can find and then, well, they’ll be in there.
Most kittens eventually do get away from their mother or from the queen and will go looking for their own space in the colony. But a big part of a kitten’s life is living in a nest or on a warm, soft, cosy surface. A really big part of the cat’s life is living in its litter box. And cats are very, very, very, very dependent on their litter boxes to make all their lives a lot more comfortable.
The reason for a litter box is simple. A big part of a kitten’s life is eating. The part of the day where they spend the most time is right after the lights come on. Before that, they spend a lot of time sleeping. And, if you’ve ever watched a kitten or a baby, you’ll have noticed that they keep their litter box in the same place all the time. This is because the litter box is like a warm, soft, cosy surface that keeps their little belly nice and comfy. And, if there’s no place to put their litter box, then there’s no place for them to be warm and cosy, and there’s also nowhere to sleep. It’s like they’ve got two huge disadvantages to living. And it means they have to use a litter box.
I mentioned above how important it is that the litter box is always avlable for a kitten. If it can’t be always avlable, it will stop the kitten from eating, sleeping and having some comfort. If the kitten can’t eat and sleep and stay cosy, it will make them very, very, very, very stressed. And stressed cats make for the most dangerous cats you can find, because they’re very, very, very, very, nervous. And, the whole point of cats being such peaceful, gentle and friendly animals is that they are very, very, very, very quiet. That’s why they’re often so hard to understand when you have to get them to be quiet.
The best way of making a kitten understand that the litter box is the only place for them to eat, sleep and have comfort is to use a timer. It will mean that they’ll go to sleep and eat before the lights go on, and then, when the lights come on, they’ll be awake and ready for bed. If you leave a timer on the cat box, it means that the only thing that happens is that the cat gets an opportunity to eat, get cosy and have a nap. Because they know that the only thing that happens when they get up is that the lights come on.
Cats and humans tend to get into a bit of a disagreement on a lot of levels. For instance, cats and humans don’t always get on in the same way. They don’t understand each other. And they don’t always want to understand each other. So, if you use a litter box timer, they’ll all know that the only reason you have to get up is because the lights come on. And, if you use a timer, they’ll all know that you want them to sleep and eat before the lights come on. And, because they’re smart, they’ll want to work out why you’ve got to get up. And, the only answer to that question that they can come up with is that the lights come on.
Most cats will be happy with this arrangement. Some might prefer it because, being cats, they want to keep the lights on all the time. And, some cats will be a little perturbed because they won’t have the opportunity to sneak in an occasional nap under the covers when they get up. But, with the timer on, there’s no way they can have any opportunity to get away with it.
So, if you’ve got a cat who wants to have a little nip before the lights come on, use a timer and you won’t need to worry that he’ll want to come out of the box when you go to bed and go to sleep.