This 1 Cat Poo Habit May Show They're Not Happy

<span class="copyright">by vesi_127 via Getty Images</span>
by vesi_127 via Getty Images

You may already know that cats headbutt you when they’re trying to show love, or that they produce a special “trilling” sound around people they’re fond of.

But what about when they’re not so pleased? Is it all arched backs, bared fangs, and hissing?

While those can certainly be signs of unhappiness, it turns out your feline friend could be trying to send you a message through their poop, too.


Cats often cover their poop. But when they don’t, it can be a sign of aggression, territorialism, illness, or unhappiness.

“The introduction of a new cat in the house, a change in your cat’s health or a change in the daily routine may cause her to stop covering her messes,” cat food company Purina writes.

The Spruce Pets agrees, saying your cat could be mimicking the behaviour of their wild ancestors who often leave their dung uncovered as a way of saying “This is my spot.”

Alternatively, their litter tray could be too small, not giving them enough space to complete the ritual. Or “perhaps your cat doesn’t like the feel of the cat litter, or the box is too dirty, and they would rather not spend any extra time in there.”

Meanwhile, writes, “Declawing, discomfort from being constipated or pain during defecation can intensify the necessity to leap out of the tray when a cat is experiencing gastrointestinal disorders or maybe Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).”

It could also be due to social tensions in the home, feeling unsafe, or having too many humans pass by their litter box while they’re trying to peacefully do their business.

“An owner touching or trying to catch a cat to offer medication while it’s within the tray can cause a nasty association and take off,“ adds.

So what can I do about it?

If it’s a litterbox issue, you can “give a new brand of litter a try, or upgrade to a larger litter box,” The Spruce Pets advises.

And if you suspect a medical issue, a trip to the vet is on the cards.

Some kittens don’t instinctively cover their poop, meanwhile, so you may have to train them or get another cat to model the behaviour.

Keeping your cat’s litter tray in a quiet, peaceful spot, ensuring where possible their relationship with the other animals around them is as harmonious as it can be, and “Ensure all felines can obtain immediate and free access to numerous boxes on different floors without the danger of encountering another kitty or getting blocked.”

But if your cat’s done it all their life, “don’t stress about it unless your cat eliminates outside the latrine, is straining to formulate bowel movement, or there’s blood in their dropping which necessitates a vet visit,” suggests.