Why my cats not covering their poop?

dirty cat litter box
Cats naturally cover their urine and poop, but one day while scooping the litter box, you notice your cat has stopped covering their poop, making the litter box smell even worse. You'll start to wonder why, and you'll start looking up if there's anything wrong with your cat. Don't worry, we'll explain why cats not covering their poop isn't necessarily a bad thing and tips to fix if necessary.

Territory Marking

This is especially likely if you have more than one cat. Even solitary cats may feel compelled to begin marking their territory in response to changes in the household or even the appearance of neighbourhood cats.

Litter Preference

Choosing the best cat litter is a difficult task for all cat owners. If you've recently switched litter brands or types and your cat suddenly stops covering their poop, it could be because they're not used to it.

Using unscented cat litter and a two-week transition period in which you mix old and new litter for your cat may help. 

Small Litter Box

Cats require a litter box that is large enough for them to turn comfortably. Otherwise, they may fail to cover their poop because they do not believe they have enough space. Larger cats over 6KG, as well as breeds such as Maine Coons, may require special consideration when it comes to litter box size.

A good-sized litter box is one and a half times the size of your cat.

Dirty Litter Box

Cats are extremely clean creatures with a keen sense of smell. Wet, dirty litter is difficult and unpleasant for the cat to dig in, especially when there are too many cats sharing one litter box. Cats also don't like being in a dirty box, so they may just exit and leave their poop exposed after doing their 'business'. 

Scoop once or twice per day. Wash your litter box with soap once a month to kill bacteria left over from urine and poop.


Outdoor cats cover their poop to stay out of trouble and predators. If you adopt an outdoor cat who previously covered their poop, they may reverse course due to house changes, which is more likely if you only have one cat. It could also happen if you introduce a new cat to assert dominance over the newcomer.


If it is not related to medical issues, there should be no cause for concern. As responsible cat parents, let us do our part to keep your cat happy and healthy by using the proper litter box, cat litter, and a good cleaning routine.

 cat covering urine and poop in litter box 

Photos by Yvonne.T (Pottycats customer)

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