Cat Rolls in Litter Box

Have any of you seen a cat who rolls in his litter box? When I caught him doing this the cat box was fairly clean with almost new litter except in the bottom corner where he wasn't rolling. He had used this box to go in 2 times so it wasn't brand new litter. He's a strange cat that hardly ever cleans himself. In fact we call him Pig Pen because he loves to lay and roll in the soft dirt outside to "powder" himself in the summer time.

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He has no fleas and doesn't seem to scratch so that's not the problem. Have you guys ever seen a cat roll in it's own cat box or in the dirt for that matter? I'm wondering if I buy a cat box with a lid if that will stop him. Gosh, now that I've caught him rolling in his litter I don't want to even pet him, let alone let him sleep on my bed! How do I stop him?

Cyinda from near Seattle

December 11, 20080 found this helpful

He must have been a dog in his other life. LOL

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December 11, 20080 found this helpful

Cyinda, as a cat owner for many years I wish I had an answer for you. I now have three of the little troublemakers myself and they do enjoy rolling around in the dirt out side, but I have never had your particular problem. I did however laugh outloud while reading your post and although I dont have a solution for you I want to thank you for brightening my day!! Good Luck with "pig Pen"

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December 11, 20080 found this helpful

I don't have any answer either but I have a cat that does the same thing but only when the litter is clean. One of us has to hold him back while the other pours the litter in the box. Then he dives in and rolls. He stays on my enclosed porch with his brothers so he doesn't go outside but I have had many outside cats to roll in the dirt. HIs brothers do not roll in it so it is just something this one particular cat likes to do.

Maybe if you gave him a bathe every time he gets dirty that would discourage him....that is if you can bathe him.

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December 11, 20080 found this helpful

Try to research his behavior on the internet and/or ask your vet.

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December 11, 20080 found this helpful

Rolling in dirt or a dirt like substance like litter is a throw back to their wilder nature. it helped to clean their fur and remove pests. a cover to the litter box will help and keeping box clean after enclosing it is a must! we clean ours at least twice a day. no cat likes to go in a toilet that isn't flushed, just like us. I would also brush him more often.

I keep cat brushes around the house and when mine are in my lap I give them a brush. some like soft brushes and a soft grooming, others like it ruff with a stiffer brush. I have one cat that likes to chew on one brush while I brush her with another. also you can buy cat grooming wipes at the pet store, I haven't tried them. Don't keep your cat away from you or your bed. Find a solution and keep on loving that furry friend of yours! Good luck

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December 12, 20080 found this helpful

I had a cat once who occasionally would curl up and sleep in her litter box (it was actually a large, low height storage bin) but it was in the portion where she didn't poddy. Who knows why but she wasn't a weirdo otherwise so I just didn't worry about it and didn't go running to the vet worried about behavior problems and I am a clean freak! Every creature has their own quirks including humans. Think about the things you might do that might creep other people out and would hurt you emotionally if they wouldn't touch you or allow you to sit on their sofa if they thought it was icky.

As for not wanting to pet your baby or allowing him to sleep with you, well, that would definitely cause emotional problems for him and I'll venture to bet he's a lot more clean than you give him credit for. If he's like my current cat he probably bathes in privacy and even if he is a pig pen because he likes to roll in dirt or litter he still has less feces or urine germs on him than shopping carts, public restroom doors or television remote controls. I guess I am trying to say not to worry about the germs.

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December 12, 20080 found this helpful

Cats are clean animals and like to be clean. I've had several cats over my mature lifetime. I've never known one that did that. I'd be sure to mention it to my vet. I'm not a clean freak, but I think feces can spread illness and would certainly not let this cat around children or in my bed.

I love animals and especially cats. I hope you can work this out. BTW, I finally broke down and got another litter box for my cat. They like to use one for pee and the other for poop. EAch cat needs to have two of their own litter boxes.

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December 12, 20080 found this helpful

I wanted to thank you guys for all your wonderful advice! I really appreciate it! Since I've posted this question I've talked with my daughter (who has 2 cats) & found out that her cats will sometimes actually SLEEP in their (clean) litter box. Her male cat started hiding & sleeping in the box last 4th of July because apparently it was the only place he felt safe when the noisy fireworks went off & her female cat sleeps in there to hide from the male cat. So If her neat & tidy & fantastically clean cats will lay in their litter, then I suppose Smokey isn't that strange after all.

As far as me not letting him on my bed, not to worry, he still jumps up there dirt & all. (The thinks we do for our pets!) And, as far as brushing him, He absolutely HATES it. I can brush him only while he's sidetracked eating. I try to brush him when I can.

To remedy the situation, I've recently bought 2 new litterboxes. I'm trying to decide on which one to keep & then return the other one unused. I've bought a box with a covered lid & one of the new "BREEZE" letterbox.

The Breeze litterbox has a totally different litter that's got larger pellets & the cat's pee drains over it & down on to a pad that's in a drawer & you take the pad out & change it about once a week. He's not very picky when it comes to litter, so hopefully I can change him over to a less "dirt-like" type that he'll be less likely to roll in OR use the box with the lid to discourage him. I'll keep you posted on the results.

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January 12, 20090 found this helpful

I have 2 male Tonkinese brothers, 6 years old. My 1 boy rolls & has rolled his whole life. One of his nick names is DB, Dirty Boy. He knows I hate it, cause he sneaks around me afterward (DIRTY litter on his back...).

He also gets a lot of baths. PURRS the whole time. At times I think he does it to get bathed. He's (they) never been sick a day in his (their) life. I still hate it, oh well!

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January 25, 20090 found this helpful

You may think cats are clean but they are most certainly NOT! I know that cats typically roll around in the dirt because it's in their nature but it's gross. She has one cat that sleeps in a litter box filled with crap. The more poo the better. The cat pees on the walls and even pulls it's poo out of the litter box and plays with it.

We have 2 litter boxes that my wife keeps very clean and the cat still craps on the floor. After the cat is done playing with the poo, the dog usually finds it and eats it. The dog is more clean that both of her cats. I didn't mind cats before she brought these two into the house but now I despise them. At least you can train dogs. Cats are just stubborn, stupid, and dirty.

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Anonymous Flag
March 3, 20160 found this helpful

So you trained your dog to eat cat poop then? Your comment is absolutely absurd! Not all cats are like the ones you have, and maybe there are problems in the house hold making the cats act this way. You can't generalize a group of animals anymore than you can a group of humans...get a grip!

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February 9, 20090 found this helpful

LOL! My male cat rolls in the box once in a while but mainly when its a new box with new litter not when it is dirty. I would talk with either your vet or a local rescue group who might have experience with this.

A suggestion might be to sprinkle baking soda on top to rid of odor and 'maybe' it might discourage him from rolling.

As for the poster who said the cat poops outside the box: some cats prefer a separate box for pee and another for poop. He might be expressing dislike for the litter itself. My cats hate the fragranced litter. Please note that when cats do not use the litter box for any reason they are trying to tell you something. Cats in general are obsessively clean creatures. It could be an infection, tummy ache or an act for attention.

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February 9, 20090 found this helpful

I don't know if this will help, but if it's a male, that has not been neutered, that might have something to do with it. Spaying & neutering helps with a lot of adult cat issues. That guy who said he hated that cats cause they were dirty & disgusting, just hasn't a clue. I've had many cats in my time.

I had a cat when I was young, who would come in from outside rolling in the dirt, (they do this to kill off fleas & such) & she would climb up in my lap or on my bed. I would touch her & it felt really nasty. I would pull my hands away, make a face & tell her to go clean herself & then i would pet her, and most cats love to be petted & scratched. She would go someplace else & spend a great deal of time cleaning all the dirt off & then come back to be loved.

She was one of those calico with big patches of white, so when she got dirty, you could really see it. If you make a big deal out of it & pet them when they are clean & you tell them how nice & pretty they are. They will get the idea. They are not stupid.

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December 22, 20090 found this helpful

Hmm...My guess is that the cat rolls in the litter box for two reasons: 1. The litter feels cool. 2. It scratches his itches.

If so, the solution may be to duplicate the pleasure he gets from the litter with something cleaner. Try a plastic car floor mat, the kind with rubber nubs on the underside. Put the mat in a box (cats feel secure in enclosed spaces) with the nub side up. The mat will feel cool to touch (cats feel with their toe pads) and the nubs will scratch his itches.

Just hope he doesn't potty on the mat. Good luck! And thanks for caring about cats. (;^)

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