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March 24th 07, 06:06 PM
Hi, we got a one year old male cat about a month and a half ago. He's
very sweet and good, but he has a very strange and annoying habit--he
scratches non-stop. It's not the couch or chair or normal things,
though.
When he gets out of the litter box, he'll stay and scratch and cover
his business for five to ten minutes or until we disrupt him. This
cuases a lot of litter to fly out of his box and all over the floor.
It seems his motive is to get all the litter out of the box and onto
the floor.
He does the same with his food. He'll eat without problem but then go
to his food and just begin to scratch at the mat. There's no food on
the mat but he acts as if he's trying to move something from one place
to the next. If he were a human, we'd call this OCD behavior. That
kind of obsessive cleaning of hands.
My question, then, is does this behavior indicate a health problem, a
psychological problem, or is it just a bad habit that we need to train
him out of?
Any help would be well appreciated.

me
March 25th 07, 07:56 AM
On Mar 24, 12:06 pm, wrote:
> Hi, we got a one year old male cat about a month and a half ago. He's
> very sweet and good, but he has a very strange and annoying habit--he
> scratches non-stop. It's not the couch or chair or normal things,
> though.
> When he gets out of the litter box, he'll stay and scratch and cover
> his business for five to ten minutes or until we disrupt him. This
> cuases a lot of litter to fly out of his box and all over the floor.
> It seems his motive is to get all the litter out of the box and onto
> the floor.
> He does the same with his food. He'll eat without problem but then go
> to his food and just begin to scratch at the mat. There's no food on
> the mat but he acts as if he's trying to move something from one place
> to the next. If he were a human, we'd call this OCD behavior. That
> kind of obsessive cleaning of hands.
> My question, then, is does this behavior indicate a health problem, a
> psychological problem, or is it just a bad habit that we need to train
> him out of?
> Any help would be well appreciated.

Hello Aaron.

Maybe you can give the cat an alternative. Get him a good scratching
post. One that is fairly tall but does not tip over - with Sisal Rope
scratching material. Then - rub some good catnip on the Sisal. Once
he discovers what fun that is - he'll be too tired to scratch
anything else.

To reduce kicking litter out of the litter box - If you have the
room - you could get one of those kiddie wading pools - a small one,
and keep the litter box in there. Also - it might help to get a larger
litter box.

I use one that is not really a litter box. It is a plastic box
intended for construction work. It's bigger than pet store boxes and
has higher vertical walls - no sloping - and the cats love it.

Patty
March 25th 07, 01:42 PM
On 24 Mar 2007 23:56:17 -0700, me wrote:

> On Mar 24, 12:06 pm, wrote:
>> Hi, we got a one year old male cat about a month and a half ago. He's
>> very sweet and good, but he has a very strange and annoying habit--he
>> scratches non-stop. It's not the couch or chair or normal things,
>> though.
>> When he gets out of the litter box, he'll stay and scratch and cover
>> his business for five to ten minutes or until we disrupt him. This
>> cuases a lot of litter to fly out of his box and all over the floor.
>> It seems his motive is to get all the litter out of the box and onto
>> the floor.
>> He does the same with his food. He'll eat without problem but then go
>> to his food and just begin to scratch at the mat. There's no food on
>> the mat but he acts as if he's trying to move something from one place
>> to the next. If he were a human, we'd call this OCD behavior. That
>> kind of obsessive cleaning of hands.
>> My question, then, is does this behavior indicate a health problem, a
>> psychological problem, or is it just a bad habit that we need to train
>> him out of?
>> Any help would be well appreciated.
>
> Hello Aaron.
>
> Maybe you can give the cat an alternative. Get him a good scratching
> post. One that is fairly tall but does not tip over - with Sisal Rope
> scratching material. Then - rub some good catnip on the Sisal. Once
> he discovers what fun that is - he'll be too tired to scratch
> anything else.
>
> To reduce kicking litter out of the litter box - If you have the
> room - you could get one of those kiddie wading pools - a small one,
> and keep the litter box in there. Also - it might help to get a larger
> litter box.
>
> I use one that is not really a litter box. It is a plastic box
> intended for construction work. It's bigger than pet store boxes and
> has higher vertical walls - no sloping - and the cats love it.

I use one of those too. They're called "mud pans" and you can get one at
any of the home improvement stores. They make wonderful litter boxes and
my cats have always appreciated the extra space.

My one cat, Grady, always scratched the floor around his water bowl before
he drank. He started doing this as a kitten and I never knew why he did
it. It didn't cause any problems so I just ignored the behavior. He had a
great scratching post and was allowed outside, so it wasn't lack of a place
to scratch that caused him to do that. I thought maybe he thought he had
to dig for the water or something.

Patty