Cats can be very playful creatures. They love playing with each other and can self-entertain just as well. They can turn almost anything into a plaything like a toilet roll, paper clip…
And even their own poop.
You heard me, some cats are known to have a poop playing habit.
But why would some cats with their own poop?
Some cats play with poop because they see it as a toy. If the poop is firm and hard, cats might like pawing it around. Some cats also play with their own poop because they are currently having litter box issues.
Let’s take a closer look at the reasons that can cause your cat to start playing with its poop and what you can do about it.
Your Cat Needs More Toys
Although cats are known to be sleeping most of the time, they have periods during the day when they are most active.
Cats are naturally crepuscular creatures. This means that they are most active during the early mornings and evenings.
Their body clock coincides with the feeding times of small animals that they feed on.
Even though our domesticated indoor cats don’t have to hunt for their food, they do still enjoy doing things that allow them to flex their hunting instincts.
This can be like jumping up on high platforms, stalking and chasing ‘prey’ or just engaging in zoomies.
Get interactive toys that can mentally and physically stimulate your cat.
Cats like toys that can move, catnip filled balls or even the good old trusted laser pointer.
Getting your cat to move is also a good way for them to get some exercise. Some cats tend to get lazy when they know they have human butlers.
Kittens and certain cat breeds like the Bengal and Siamese need lots of playtime and interaction with their owners. So make sure to spend time playing with your cat.
You Have A Kitten
Kittens are like little furballs on steroids. They seldom get tired and can spend a large portion of the day playing. In fact, a kitten has almost three times the energy level of an adult cat.
If your cat is currently still a kitten, it might be playing with its own poop out of fun. There are naturally more inquisitive and curious hence everything and anything can be a toy to them.
Even their tails.
I once had a friend who asked me if cats pee and poop out of the same hole? I was rather taken aback at the question as I thought the answer was very obvious.
Although it isn’t harmful to your kitten to be playing with its own poop, it is not one behavior that you want to encourage.
You certainly don’t want to have cat poo lying all about the house which can also be a health hazard to pregnant women.
Thankfully most kittens grow out of this phase and have more dignity as they get older.
Litter Box Location
Cats are naturally private and solitary creatures. They enjoy peace, quietness and some privacy when using their litter box.
Where is your cat’s litter box location currently in the house?
If it is placed at a location where there is a lot of human traffic and noise, your cat might start playing with its own poop as a sign of rebellion.
You wouldn’t like it either if you had to do a ‘number 2’ in a crowded and busy public toilet.
Move your cat’s litter box to a spot where your cat can have more privacy. This can be in a separate room or the basement.
Your cat will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Wrong Litter Box Type
The litter box type that your cat uses can also determine its litter box habits. If you find your cat playing with poop after changing its litter box to a different one, it is your cat’s way of telling you that it doesn’t like it.
Your cant might also be meowing while digging in its litter box as a sign of its disapproval.
Choosing the right litter box type for your cat can be hit or miss for many cat owners. Some cats prefer open lid litter boxes while some prefer closed top litter boxes.
There are also automated cleaning litter boxes that your cat may or may not get used to.
My advice is to start with an open top and take it from there. I find that litter box type also goes hand in hand with a cat’s personality.
Cats that are more cautious and on the edge prefer closed litter boxes. While cats that are more outgoing in nature prefer an open lid litter box.
Wrong Litter Type
If you thought buying a litter box for your cat is challenging enough, you have yet to decide on the type of cat litter to use.
There are more than five different types of cat litter to choose from.
- Silica gel
- Coconut husk
And some of these types of cat litter also come in scented and non-scented or clumping and non-clumping variants.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing the right litter type for your cat since it boils down to the cat’s preferences.
But there are a few safe choices to consider when it comes to litter type. Some cat owners think that soil or sand can be used as cat litter but that’s false. Soil and sand don’t help to reduce odor and get very heavy when wet.
Cat litters that are softer on your cat’s paws like clay and corn are accepted by most cats. And stay away from scented cat litter as they tend to irritate the noses of cats.
If you find your cat playing with his poop, it could be due to the wrong type of cat litter.
Insufficient Cat Litter
The amount of cat litter that your pour into your cat’s litter tray is also an important factor. In the wild, cats will often poop or pee in places that allow them to bury their waste.
This hides their scent trails that can attract other cats or predators. Indoor cats will also bury their waste before stepping out of the litter box.
It takes some experimenting to get the correct amount of litter for your cat. Too much and you can have soiled cat litter all over your carpet or floor. Too little and your cat will start dragging its poop out of the litter box to bury it elsewhere.
Usually, 2-3 inches of litter in the litter box would suffice for most cats.
Filthy Litter Box
Make it a point to scoop out the cat poop and urine at least once a day. You might have to do it more often depending on the litter box habits of your cat and the number of cats that share the litter box.
Cats do not like a litter box that is dirty. It can cause them to start playing with its poop or find somewhere else to defecate.
If you can’t keep to a regular cleaning schedule, it might be a good idea to invest in an automated cleaning cat litter box.
It is nowhere as good as manual scooping but it does a decent job of keeping your cat’s litter box clean.
Your Cat Has A Medical Condition
There are certain medical conditions that can cause a cat to be attracted to poop.
The first condition is called Pica. Your cat will feel a strong urge to chew and ingest inedible objects like plastic, fabric, rock and even poop. This can be dangerous to your cat as these items can cause harm to its digestive system.
The second condition is called Coprophagia which is the eating and ingesting of feces.
These two conditions aren’t due to an underlying disease but are more likely from a dietary deficiency or genetic disorder.
If you notice that your cat plays with its own poop and starts to eat it, you will need to bring your cat to the vet for an examination and learn how to manage the condition.
My Cat Is Dragging Poop Out Of The Litter Box
This can be a problem for a cat owner with more than one cat. Most of the time, a cat prefers to have its own private litter box without having to share. This stems from the territorial nature of cats.
When a cat is forced to share its litter box with other cats, it might try to drag the poop of the other cats out of the litter box to claim it as its own.
How To Stop My Cat From Playing With Poop?
This is one behavior that you definitely want to put a stop to once you catch your cat doing it.
The best way to go about correcting your cat’s behavior is to ascertain what is triggering your cat.
If it is a litter box issue, you’ll be able to resolve it by following the above tips that I have provided above.
If it is due to your cat being bored and not having enough attention, you can help keep your cat busy by getting more toys for your cat to play with.
If it is just due to your cat being curious or naughty, make it a point to redirect its focus away from the poop and onto something more interesting like a top or scratching post.
Don’t freak out or be too alarmed when you come home one day and find your cat playing with poop.
Even though it is kinda gross, in most cases it is just your cat being curious or playful.
The one thing that you need to be aware of is when your cat not only plays with poop but starts ingesting it.
Your cat needs veterinary advice right away to prevent any potential harm.