How to Get a Cat to Quit Throwing Litter Everywhere

"Let me have some fun with this litter."

"Let me have some fun with this litter."

After doing his business in the litter box, your kitty will bury his waste by throwing some of the litter over the feces or urine. If your feline friend is quite enthusiastic about this burying process, half of the litter might end up on the floor instead.

Switch your kitty's box to a covered one. Choose one appropriate for his size so he has plenty of room to dig and turn around inside the box. Or make your own litter box with a top opening in a covered tote box to keep the litter inside.

Place a litter mat under the litter box to catch the litter thrown out of the box. While you can't exactly explain that you want your stubborn feline to be neater in the bathroom, you can prevent that excess litter from going all over the place. Obtain a mat that is several inches wider and longer than the box. The mat has grooves in it that will catch the litter and allow you to simply empty it back into the box or into a trash can, making cleanup a breeze.

Create a double litter box by placing a litter box placed inside of a larger box, such as a plastic storage container, with a hole cut into the side. Your kitty enters the larger box to get to his litter box, where he can throw all of the litter around that he wants. The excess litter will wind up in the larger box instead of on your floor.

Switch to a heavier litter, such as pellet litter made from silica, wood or paper, or use a non-clumping clay litter. These types of litter have larger pieces that weigh more than the fine pieces of clumping litter, making it more difficult for your cat to throw the litter pieces out of the box.

Fill the box with litter to a lower level so that when your kitty kicks the litter around it won't be as apt to go over the edge of the litter box. Keep the level at only about 1 1/2 inches high, the online cat behavior site Perfect Paws recommends.

Bring your kitty to the vet for a checkup. Male kitties are prone to blockage of their urethra caused by urinary stones because their urethras are so small. Your kitty might be kicking up a storm in the litter box because he doesn't feel well or is unable to urinate, which is a medical emergency.

Items you will need

  • Covered litter box
  • Litter mat
  • Storage box
  • Pellet or clay litter


  • Reward your kitty with a treat if he goes to the box and doesn't begin to kick up a storm. Positive reinforcement of the behavior you desire can help encourage your kitty to be a bit neater in his bathroom habits, effectively communicating to him what you would like him to do. Pretty soon he'll learn that no excessive burying results in a treat, which is something good.
  • Interrupt his excessive burying with a loud sound, such as clapping your hands once or twice, to discourage the behavior without punishing him.
  • Neuter or spay your feline to prevent him from spraying urine along the sides of the litter box and even over it. He may be throwing litter out of the box to cover his sprayed urine. Neutering also prevents out-of-the-box accidents.


  • Don't punish your kitty for kicking up litter while she's in the box; this could result in your her eliminating outside of the box.
  • Some kitties don't like covered litter boxes and might start eliminating outside of the box. If this happens, simply switch back to an open litter box with taller sides and a mat under it or another, larger box around it to control stray litter pieces.

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About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

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