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We've had Tiny for four years. She is a pretty typical cat, except possibly for her pouch that swings from her belly when she walks. Pretty sure that's not related to this problem.

Ever since we got her, she has insisted on dragging whatever she can find to her food and litter box. Whether it's a sock, a plastic bag, sometimes as big as a shirt. She will go all around the house to do this too. I have found shirts that were two or three rooms away and up on a cat food bowl.

We try to keep the house clean, but we have two young daughters who tend to give Tiny plenty of targets for this. (And yes, we're sure it's Tiny. Diesel is 10, and none of this behavior occured before we got Tiny, and the behavior predates the children.)

When it's in the food, it isn't so bad. Just toss it in the laundry. But when she drags it to the litter box, it's kind of gross. I have to wear those socks and shirts. Her litter box is relatively close to the laundry room (there's really no other good place for it, and it's pretty out of the way) and when combined with the kids, there's no way to reliably cut off her supply of targets to drag.

So, what can I do to stop her? Is this caused by something I can control? Or do I just have a weird cat and have to deal with it?

  • Just double-checking some things: Diesel is 10? Male or female? How long have you had him/her? And how old is Tiny? How do the two of them interact? Do they have separate spaces that they consider "theirs"? Finally, have you actually seen Tiny do this? – ClickRick Jun 26 '14 at 1:32
  • Diesel is 10-F, Tiny is 4, had them both their whole life. They are fine together - they play, share food, bathe each other, play outside together. They don't lay down together much, but they're both willing to share any spot. Neither has a place that's "theirs". Tiny won't go to my wife for pets, though. I don't know if that's a factor. She will jump down from the couch, walk around everyone, and jump up to me. Diesel (who my wife had before we met) doesn't do that to me. My wife has seen Tiny do it. I haven't personally, but I don't think my wife would make it up. =) – corsiKa Jun 26 '14 at 2:45
  • My kitty does this too, but only to her cat box. Bilbo, my kitty, will keep scratching like she's still covering up her "business", but outside the box until she gets whatever is around it into her box. Would this br the same behavior? – user5449 Jul 21 '15 at 7:12
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You have a cat that seems to want to drag its "kills" or "kittens" to its den for safety. Natural enough. So it seems that the food bowl and litter box are the main places the cat is feeling safe enough to bring its stuff.

Not a huge problem in itself. The easiest way to reduce the targets dragged to the litterbox might be to try and make a new 'den' elsewhere and encourage this to be the primary safe spot, so she will drag stuff there instead of the box.

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  • This sounds like the answer to me, do you have any ideas on how to encourage kittens to accept a new 'den'? – Spidercat Jun 25 '14 at 21:56
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    I'd start with the places she sleeps or hangs out. Perhaps make her a sheltered box or "cave". Take here there and give her treats at the box. Keep other traffic (or the other cat) away if you can. Think of ways based on this cat to make a new happy spot. – Oldcat Jun 25 '14 at 22:17
  • Cardboard boxes, especially in closets or somewhere confined might be attractive. Hopefully she could go into there with her precious items.... and then you just need to retrieve them. – Dan S Jun 25 '14 at 22:28
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    So my cat thinks she either kills my socks, or thinks my socks are her offspring? – corsiKa Jun 25 '14 at 22:51
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    @corsiKa: instincts get confused sometimes, just as rational thought does. I'm sure we've all done things that "seemed to make sense at the time". Cats are as vulnerable to that as we are. Second the idea of suggesting other nests. My cats sometimes leave toys in my bed, which is probably part of the same pattern. "This belongs here. Don't ask why, it just does." – keshlam Jul 21 '15 at 14:15

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