It’s a known fact that cats are clean creatures. They also try to keep their surroundings as tidy as possible. Their penchant for cleanliness is instinctual. Covering their poop comes as a natural instinct to them to safeguard themselves from dangerous predators and to mark their territory.
Cats bury their poop to ‘keep the peace’
Big wild cats belonging to the group of tigers, lions, jaguars and leopards will not bury their poop while they are competing to claim a particular territory. This will let other cats know that they are staking claim of that particular area. They will only bury their poop when they do not want to get any attention from predators. They will also want to protect the location of their young cubs or kittens, which is why they will want to bury their tracks.
Small wild cats, if they share their territory with big cats will bury their faeces to avoid getting attention from them. The small cats bury their poop to let the big cats know that they are not staking claim to their territory. They basically want to keep the peace and try to avoid any conflict.
Housecats also have the instinct of protecting themselves from harmful predators, which is why they will also cover their tracks. Your feline friend might view you as a dominant cat at home and will cover their poop to tell you that they are not trying to stake a claim to your place.
When do cats stop burying poop?
If your cat used to cover their poop and are no longer doing so, it could mean that they are feeling more safe and secure at home or they could be having difficulty pooping usually caused by a urinary tract infection or other diseases.
If your cat has had a bad experience with a litter box, then will not want to get back to it again and will soil outside the litterbox.
So, to solve this issue first you need to find out if they have any health problems. You must take them to the vet and have them professionally checked. If they are given the clean bill of health then you might want to experiment with different types of litter.
Cats have their own preference of shape, material and scent. If either one of the criteria is not fulfilled they will poop and run away without covering it or they might decide to soil anywhere else at home.
Kittens who leave their mother very early will not have observed her cover her poop so they will not cover after eliminating. Training with reward will slowly help your cat learn to cover their poop.
This lack of covering the poop is not really a cause for concern unless they have a health problem or are eliminating faeces outside their box. Training them to use the litter box appropriately and rewarding them with a treat when they cover their poop will help to solve the issue.
You can always contact your vet for further professional guidance.