I have a two year old Bengal who, since she was a kitten:

  • Doesn't cover her pee or poop in the litter box after she is done. Meaning, if she comes back to a littler box with uncovered pee/poop, she'll maybe cover it then if she needs to use the box.
  • Doesn't clean her butt - obvious signs of fecal matter.
  • Occasionally pee's on the carpet, usually on the stairs or upstairs in areas of the house where she may often be unsupervised and where family doesn't hangout. She sleeps in my room on the first floor.
  • Pees in corners or against the wall

What I've done to try and correct the matter:

  • Regarding butt cleaning, take a damp paper towel and spot her butt softly with it to induce cleaning.
  • Had multiple litter boxes
  • Changed multiple litter types
  • Change litter box positions
  • Change type of litter box
  • Change depth of litter
  • Frequently test for UTI
  • Clap my hands loudly or raise my voice when I catch her squatting. This is increasingly difficult to catch as she picks times when people aren't upstairs. I usually know when she's peed by her slinking downstairs and scurrying to nest in her cat box in my/her room. I'll go upstairs and sure enough get hit with the smell of pee. She's not a skittish cat, even around strangers, unless she's just peed on the carpet. So I suspect she knows better.
  • Buy enzyme cleaners to remove the original smell

I'm at a moment in my life where I'm about to move out of the house and into an apartment. I am very hesitant to accommodate for her situation (looking for apartments with hard flooring) and find out that this will never stop while also having the stench of urine throughout an apartment; it's bad enough as it is in this large house.

Any last tricks or recommendations?


1 Answer 1


Since you have already ruled out health problems, and your cat has had this issue from when she was a kitten, and most likely ever since you got her, it sounds like she simply may never have learned proper litterbox habits in the first place. Cats are naturally drawn to the litterbox, but they still need help to figure out to use the box exclusively.

From https://www.petfinder.com/cats/cat-behavior-and-training/cat-litterbox-training/ the advice for "He Uses the Box… Sometimes!"

"Use close supervision or confinement to train the cat to use the box and ONLY THE BOX. All previously soiled areas must be cleaned and treated with an appropriate odor neutralizing product. Whenever possible, visually change the areas most frequently soiled. Add a chair, an end table, a garbage can or umbrella stand! If it doesn’t smell or look like the ‘old bathroom’, he will be less likely to return. If you see the cat sniffing or scratching around a forbidden area, gently but firmly direct him towards the litter box. If your cat has infrequent or predictable (‘he always does it when I come back from vacation’) accidents, this may be stress related behavior."

The recommendation for confinement training is to use a very small room with no absorbent surfaces, like a bathroom, where you confine your cat with its box for a while until it becomes used to using its box.

Make sure while the cat is confined that the space is still comfortable for the cat and that you still make sure to visit and interact with it so it does not become lonely.

Once the cat has been consistently using only the box for two weeks, then start allowing access to other rooms one at a time, and make sure to keep an eye out for it regressing into bad habits, and then if it does, stop the cat (no shouting, but clapping to get its attention is probably fine) and put it back in its box. Do not let your cat roam freely when you're not at home during this period. Put it back into its room with the box when you need to go somewhere. Once you're fairly confident it's using its box you can gradually decrease the level of supervision.

Additional tips:

  • Try not to leave food out all day, as that could increase its need to use the box, though I know with some cats that can't be helped.
  • Make sure the box is kept clean. Many cats will not use the box if they think it's too gross.
  • In the interest of keeping the box clean, I recommend clumping or crystal litter. Both these types help deal with the waste, so the box will be easier to be kept clean. The crystal litter especially is a desiccant, so it reduces the smell quite significantly.
  • Since your cat does not even bother burying its waste, a common technique with kittens is to actually take them to the box and gently move their paws in a scratching motion through the litter. This could help encourage your cat's natural instinct to dig in the litter.

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