Making a mess of the litterbox...how do we stop?

Eli is constantly in his litterbox, knocking litter all over and even trying to eat it. He knows when he is not supposed to be there - all I do is look at him and he zoomies off into another room. We'd really like to stop this behavior...is there anything we can do?

We've tried spraying him with water bottles and it has done nothing. He has plenty of toys, and has been to the vet within the last two weeks (he's perfectly healthy for a 4 month old kitten, and will be neutered next month). Any suggestions would be helpful!!

Asked by Eli on Dec 8th 2009 in Litter Box Training
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Please do not scold him or spray him with water when he is in the litterbox no matter what he is doing wrong. The LAST thing you want to do is discourage him in any way from going in the litterbox or you will have a bigger problem if he decides to potty elsewhere instead. Pick him up and give him a toy or redirect his attention. When he is bigger, I would suggest a larger box with a cover, higher sides, or even a top entry box like the Clevercat. For now, try a smaller grain cat litter like Fresh Step that is more like sand and won't scatter as easily. But if he is eating it, I would even suggest trying a natural product made of corn or wheat until he stops trying to eat it.

Allie answered on 12/8/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Our new kitten, Linus, is very messy with his litter as well (and so was our older cat Belle when she was a kitten). If I were you, I would just try to redirect his attention with a toy. Spraying him with a water bottle might have the wrong effect - it might make him scared to even use the litterbox, and then he will poop all around your house!

He's a kitten, and kittens are messy...it's just kind of a fact of life. Trust me, he'll probably grow out of it when he gets older, but like the poster above me said, teaching him to use a covered litterbox will definitely help.

Also it helps if the litterbox is on a tile/linoleum/wood floor, where litter on the floor can be easily swept up.

Belle answered on 12/8/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Minuit AKA Miss Meany

I would have to agree to Allie and Belle, spraying him with water may make him STOP using the litterbox all together. Then we'll be answering your question...My cat is peeing all over my house????
I would try getting him a covered box or using a larger litter box. Minuit has a covered box that is on a small area rug and whenever she uses is she brings litter out of the box from her paws. I simply sweep it up and move on.
He's just a kitten and will probably outgrow playing in the litter. For now keep your broom handy and simply enjoy your kitten. My thinking, don't sweat the small things. Litter can be cleaned up easily.
Have a good one.

Minuit AKA Miss Meany answered on 12/8/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

The others are right. Eli probably napped thru mama cat's Litter Box Lessons 101. Absolutely don't punish him when he plays Happy New Year with the litter. That would be like someone coming into the restroom and smacking you for doing something they don't like. Make sure YOU are playing with Eli a LOT. He's a baby and he needs you to be his "group leader" and teach him his kitty manners which includes what to play with and what is not acceptable. (Play with him with toys. Don't just give them to him and expect Phantom to teach him.) You can easily distract a kitten by play, but you need to be involved on a daily and constant basis. There is no medical reason for this--he's just having FUN!

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 12/9/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I did this when I was very young. But I quickly grew out of it and realised what a litter box is really for, haha. :)

Good luck.

Lottie answered on 12/9/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer