Why Is My Cat Playing With His Poop?

Why Is My Cat Playing With His Poop?

Your cat is playing with his poop because he thinks of it as one of his toys. It is common to see kittens play with their droppings although adult cats are also prone to doing that. They become curious about their poop especially when it is hard and round-shaped and they get intrigued when it moves when they swat it, thus, the beginning of swat and chase kind of play. Being the opportunistic players that they are, cats tend to see poop as a ball because it is solid, light and rolls around, representing all the characteristics of a toy. 

Needless to say, play relieves boredom among cats and provides an outlet for a cat’s predatory instinct. It also hinders behavior problems and allows for good exercise which reduces weight gain and other health problems especially among indoor cats. However, this does not mean it is okay for your cat to play with poop! Read on for tips on how to stop your cat’s kinky habit. 

How to prevent your cat from playing with his poop?

Here are the ways how to prevent your cat from playing with his poop:

1. Move her litter box to another location. 

Your cat could be playing with his poop because he is not comfortable with the location of his litter box. He could be doing it on purpose or as a way to distract himself.  To correct this, move his litter box to a different area. 

Opt for a secluded spot such as under the stairs or a vacant room and let your cat know of the new site of her litter box. Most likely, your cat will start to use the box properly and forget about her poop-playing habit. 

2. Add more litter or change the litter type. 

Another tip to deter your cat from playing poop is to add more litter to the litter box. Cats can bury their poop easier when there is adequate litter and tend to forget about playing with it. Also, try to experiment with various litter types. 

Cats tend to be fickle when it comes to the smell and texture of litter so be keen in observing what your cat prefers. 

3. Clean the litter box well. 

Your cat may be playing with his poop and swatting it all over the place since his litter box smells so bad. Cats are finicky about scents and a smelly litter box can make them do queer things like playing with their poop.  They also tend to poop or pee elsewhere if the litter box is dirty and smelly. Clean it thoroughly to remove any trace of foul odor and your cat will likely use it again and stop playing with his poop. 

Check out our earlier articles on litter box hacks and how to clean a litter box with vinegar for helpful tips on cleaning the litter box. 

4. Switch to another litter box type. 

Your cat could also be playing with his poop as a sort of silent protest since he dislikes his litter box. Just as cats can be finicky with the litter type, the same also applies to their litter box. Some prefer the open-top type while other cats are okay with the closed type that has a flap. Try to experiment with various types to ascertain what your cat prefers the most. 

5. Give your cat small catnip-filled balls to play with. 

Your cat could be playing with his poop after using the litter box because there is not much to do especially if he is a single cat and left alone at home most of the day. Give him small catnip-filled balls to play with and place some of these balls outside of the litter box. These balls replicate the size of his poop but smell good, give him a natural high and will make him forget all about his poop-playing days.

6. Spend time with your cat and give her more attention. 

Cats that are often left to their own devices could come up with all kinds of silly things to do such as playing with their poop. Give your cat more attention and quality time by spending at least 20 minutes twice each day just playing and interacting with him. Provide interactive toys and set up a cat tree or catio to keep your cat entertained although you are away from home. 


Cats can do the most unpredictable things when they are bored including playing with their poop which they may see as toys. You can prevent your cat from pursuing this habit by giving him more attention, spending time to play with him and giving him catnip-filled balls to play with.  Being vigilant of what your cat’s preferences are when it comes to litter box type, litter type and location of the litter box can also help. 

Image: istockphoto.com / HandeYelke