Kitten Steps In Poop When Trying To Bury It: Potential Reasons And Solutions!




kitten steps in poop when trying to bury it


As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

If you are a new kitten owner, you might be having trouble when it comes to your pet’s litter box habits. One of the most common problems inexperienced kitten owners face is the sight of their little ones stepping on their waste instead of burying it.

So, why do kittens step in poop when trying to bury it? Kittens instinctively try to cover their waste to keep predators from finding them, but they may not have fully developed their coordination or sense of smell. This can cause them to accidentally step in their poop while attempting to bury it.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why your kitten might step into their poop and provide some practical tips to help avoid this situation. So, keep reading for more information!

Common Reasons Why Kittens Step in Their Poop When Trying To Bury It

As an owner of a Mixed Persian breed cat named Muezza, I have had my share of experiences in litter box training. When Muezza was just a young kitten, she had a habit of stepping on her own poop before burying it. This was both unpleasant and unsanitary for her and me.

However, after observing her behavior, I have identified some of the reasons why kittens might step on their poop instead of burying it. These reasons are listed below:

Type of Litter Box

According to a research paper, the typical process of a cat using the litter box involves digging before, during and after elimination. Large, open litter boxes like plastic containers provide enough space for these essential steps.

While self-cleaning litter boxes help keep the litter box clean, some kittens may avoid them due to the sound and movement they make. This can make it difficult for kittens to use the box correctly and can cause them to step on their waste.

Lack of Litter Box Training

Kittens may not know how to use the litter box appropriately. When they are exploring or don’t fully understand the litter box, they might tend to step in their own waste accidentally.

Medical Problems

There are certain medical conditions that can negatively impact a kitten’s ability to control their bowel movement, causing them to step on their feces unpredictably.

Diseases such as spinal injuries, neurological disorders, or weak muscles can make it difficult for them to maintain their coordination and properly move inside the litter box.

Digestive Disorders

Kittens with digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation may find it tough to manage their bowel movements, leading to stepping on their feces while attempting to do so.

If your kitten is facing recurring digestive problems, you must talk to a vet and provide your pet with the right treatment.

Emotional State

Kittens feel anxious and stressed when they encounter new settings or significant changes in their regular routine. Such vulnerability can affect their litter box habits, resulting in them stepping in their poop while being careless or less attentive.

Unclean Litter Box

Generally, kittens prefer to live in a clean area, so if the litter box is not clean or has a strong smell, they may choose to avoid it and accidentally step in their poop.

The Size of the Litter Box

Research shows that cats tend to spend more time in litter boxes that are at least 1.5 times the length of their body. If the litter box is too small for the kitten, they might face difficulty while using it. This added strain may result in accidents, including stepping in their waste.

Location of the Litter Box

If you place the litter box far away or in a blocked area, it might not be easily accessible for your kittens. In this situation, they may miss reaching in time and accidentally step in their waste.

Why Kittens May Avoid Using The Litter Box: Causes And Fixes

Why Kittens May Avoid Using The Litter Box
Muezza avoiding the litterbox due to privacy issues

If your kitten resists using the litter box and is reluctant to learn, there could be some significant reasons. To help with this, we have compiled a table outlining the possible causes why a kitten may avoid using the litter box and their solutions.

Privacy issuesProvide a covered litter box or place the litter box in a secluded area to offer more privacy
Ensure the kitten feels secure and undisturbed while using the litter box
Unable to reach the litter boxAdjust the height of the litter box to make it easily accessible for the kitten
You should provide multiple litter boxes in different locations
Use a shallow litter box or provide a step stool
Unpleasant smells in the surroundingsKeep the area around the litter box clean and well-ventilated to prevent unpleasant smells.
Loud noises near the litter boxYou should relocate the litter box to a quieter area of the house
You can play soothing music to mask external sounds
Territorial behaviorIf you have multiple cats, you should provide them with separate litter boxes
Lack of positive reinforcementAvoid scolding or punishing the kitten for stepping on its waste
You should reward your pet with treats and toys for effectively using the litter box

Tips To Prevent Kittens From Stepping In Their Poop When Trying To Bury It

If you are unsure how to stop your kitten from stepping on its waste when burying it, look at the tips we have provided below.

  • Keep the litter level below the rim of the box to prevent it from spilling over and spreading around.
  • As per research, offering your kitten unscented and finely-grained litter material is best as most cats prefer it.
  • You should use a litter mat under the box to catch litter and debris that sticks to their paws.
  • Regularly clean the litter box at least once a day to reduce the risk of stepping on waste.
  • You should change the litter entirely on a weekly basis to keep the box clean and fresh.
  • Choose the right litter type that is soft, odorless, and without sharp edges to avoid hurting your pet’s paws when they are digging.
  • Place the litter box in a quiet area with little traffic to reduce distractions that might make them forget to bury the waste.
  • Place additional litter boxes around the house to increase accessibility and avoid long walks to the litter box.
  • Gently guide your pets to the litter box and show them how to bury it with their paws.
  • You should regularly trim the nails of your kitten. This reduces the chance of their nails getting stuck in litter and prevents them from stepping on their waste.

What Should You Do If Your Kitten Steps In Poop When Trying To Bury It?

If your kitten steps in poop while trying to bury it, you shouldn’t get angry or frustrated since accidents can happen.

  1. Instead, gently wipe off the soiled paws with a damp cloth or paper towel.
  2. Remember, you should not use any harsh chemicals that could be harmful to your kitten’s skin.
  3. If necessary, give your kitten a bath using gentle pet shampoo and warm water.
  4. Afterward, take a clean towel and dry your kitten.
  5. Also, clean the litter box immediately to avoid any further accidents.


If you are interested in knowing why kittens tend to step in their poop while burying it, you can check out the FAQs also.

Q: Is a kitten stepping in their waste a common issue?

Yes, it is a common issue among young cats as they are still growing and learning how to use the litter box.

Q: Are there any natural remedies to stop kittens from stepping in their poop?

Yes, there are natural remedies to prevent this issue, such as placing a citrus scent or vinegar around the litter box area to deter your kitten from stepping onto the floor.

Q: Can kittens learn to bury their waste properly with time?

Yes, kittens will usually learn to bury their waste properly as they grow and develop their senses and coordination. It is important to be patient and consistent with your training.

Final Words

In conclusion, stepping in their own poop is a common issue that many kittens face during potty training. As responsible pet owners, it is our duty to provide a clean and comfortable litter box environment for our kittens.

Understanding the reasons behind this behavior and taking the necessary steps to prevent accidents can help your kittens develop good waste-eliminating habits and avoid messy cleanups. Always be patient and consistent in your training, and monitor your kitten’s health and well-being.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

  • Vet Didn’t Give Cone After Neutering Cat! What Should I Do?

    Vet Didn’t Give Cone After Neutering Cat! What Should I Do?

    Vets usually wrap a plastic cone around the cat’s neck following a neuter. It is done to prevent the cat from licking or biting the wound. But in Muezza’s case, the vet didn’t provide that cone after neutering. So, what should you do if your vet didn’t give cone after neutering cat? You can buy…

    Read more

  • Cerenia Killed My Cat! You Better Be Aware!

    Cerenia Killed My Cat! You Better Be Aware!

    Before bringing Muezza home, I lost the first pet cat of my life. Once I was traveling with her, she had a bit of motion sickness and started vomiting a little. As soon as I got back, I gave her Cerenia tablets. Though she stopped vomiting, her condition got worse within a few days. I…

    Read more

  • How To Help Kitten Sneeze Out Formula: Why It’s Necessary?

    How To Help Kitten Sneeze Out Formula: Why It’s Necessary?

    Kittens’ sneezing while feeding them is a common event for most kitten owners. It is a natural reflex that helps them to expel the formula that may have entered their respiratory tract. Yet, sometimes, your kitten may feel difficulty in doing so and will need your help. So, how to help a kitten sneeze out…

    Read more