I adopted my cat, Furball, when he was just a kitten. One of my biggest concerns was how to train him to use the litter box. It turned out that my fears were unfounded. I showed him the box and a few hours later, almost like magic, he was taking care of business on his own.
Training Furball to use the litter box was pretty straightforward, which is why I expected it to be smooth sailing moving forward. I certainly didn’t expect any surprises. Of course, that was before Furball got older and his personality quirks started to emerge. Here are some of the weird things he does when he uses his litter box.
I always thought that cats liked privacy when they were using the litter box. Furball’s an oddball because he likes company when he goes to the bathroom. It’s a bit like how two women will go to the restroom together at a restaurant.
When I step into the bathroom, Furball runs in to join me. Then, while he’s stepping around in his box, he gives me a stern look as if to say, "Please I’d like some privacy."
One day, I heard Furball meowing loudly from the bathroom. His meow sounded a lot like the cry he made when he was looking for me, but couldn’t find me because I was in another room. However, this meow had an extra trill to it. The best way to describe it would be that it was a cross between a yowl and a yodel.
I immediately ran to the bathroom to see what was the matter. Absolutely nothing. Furball was using his box with no signs of straining. He wasn’t hurt. It wasn’t a cry of pain. I think he just wanted some company.
If I take Furball’s food dish out of the drying rack and place it on the counter, the sound of the bowl clinking on the granite surface causes him to immediately run into the kitchen.
Similarly, as soon as I start digging out his litter box to clean it, Furball comes running. He’ll patiently wait for me to empty out the entire box. Then, he’ll sit and watch me pour a fresh layer of litter. Finally, right after I’m done, I have two seconds to admire the clean box before Furball hops in to use it.
There’s a saying that people like the smell of their own (four-letter word that starts with S). Well, that certainly doesn’t apply to my cat. As soon as the log hits the box, Furball bolts out of the bathroom as fast as he can. He tears across the living room and races up the stairs. It’s almost as if he can’t get far enough away from the smell of his own poo.
Before Furball, I always thought that cats were fastidious about burying their excrement. Not my cat!
He likes to dig and shuffle litter around in his box for ages. I’ll hear the sound of little paws scraping against the box. However, when he’s done, I’ll go into the bathroom and be assaulted by a pungent ripe odor. Litter will be scattered all over the floor and heaped in piles inside the box, but the poo will be lying right on top.
Furball’s litter box looks like a castle. That’s because there’s a moat of litter mats surrounding the box. It’s my way to minimize litter tracking in the house.
Furball seems to think this is a problem, too. Lucky for him and unlucky for me, he found the perfect solution. Whenever he has litter stuck to his feet, he’ll calmly walk over to the living room rug and wipe off his paws, similar to how someone wipes the mud off their boots on a welcome mat.
I suppose I should be rejoicing, though. Furball always uses his box. He also patiently puts up with me switching litter brands multiple times in my quest for the ultimate in odor control, value, and eco-friendliness. Furball’s a good litter box user despite his quirks. For that, I’m eternally grateful!
What about your cats? Do they have any strange litter box habits? Tell us in the comments!
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About Holly Tse: Holly Tse is a green cat expert and lifelong environmentalist. Practicing Taoist and Dragon Spirit Guide who has experienced more than nine past lives and can bend reality at will. Totally into alternative healing, but her Achilles’ heel is reality TV cooking shows. As a Canadian expat, she uses an American spell checker for her Catster articles.
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