Cat enjoys rolling in litter boxes - have tried everything - long post

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crouton

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Yes. my cats all look happy when they are rolling too. I think it's comforting to them. The danger has passed and now they smell very strongly of themselves. Do you get regular wildlife visitors to your yard?

I was going to suggest that too.

Another good idea. How about using either pee pads or shredding newspaper as cat litter? And another box of clean litter with catnip sprinkled in it?

That would give you an idea about whether it's the rolling in dust or the actual smell of the used litter box that she is interested in.
Thanks! I tried the newspaper bits once before, they just want to eat them. 😁 I have also tried putting attracting stuff or catnip in the boxes but that just makes them all curious to the box and then they use it, so it doesn’t stay clean long.

We don’t get any wildlife in the winter, cold climate, except for the occasional squirrel which she likes to watch out the window from her perch or sometimes a few birds. In the spring and summer sometimes a bunny or two in the garden but nothing else larger, no cats have been seen on my cameras, we have no obviously roaming outdoor neighborhood cats here, so just usually squirrels and chipmunks.

do people mind if I update this thread as I go along or is it not warranted? If you want an update here is today’s overnight update

I didn’t wipe her off at all yesterday or last night despite her asking for it. One of her kittens cleaned her off pretty thoroughly which was surprising as she usually doesn’t groom with that cat. But she seemed happy. I can still see litter stuck in her fur but I have been petting her. I’m trying to tell myself it’s the same as if they sit down in the box to pee (which both thekittens do) just more uh...coverage. In short I’m trying to work on my germophobe tendencies and anxiety relating to her dirty love for boxes.

In general she will mostly avoid the boxes for rolling if there is poo in them. So overnight everyone pooped in a box or peed in another box so that in the morning when she tried to find a box to roll in I saw her sniffing all the boxes and then just peeing and pooping in a box and walking off as normal. No distress. No rolling as of yet.
 

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Usually people who follow a thread like to see updates, so feel free! There seems to be more concern here about the people who never post an update or let others know how things worked out.

So she won't roll in a dirty litter box?

Now that Norachan Norachan as explained this, I can see that my avatar cat Lily will run over to a litter box and lay in it if a feral she does not like or a raccoon/possum/skunk comes up to the back window. Fortunately, it does not continue more than a quick, and yes happy roll.
 
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crouton

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Usually people who follow a thread like to see updates, so feel free! There seems to be more concern here about the people who never post an update or let others know how things worked out.

So she won't roll in a dirty litter box?

Now that Norachan Norachan as explained this, I can see that my avatar cat Lily will run over to a litter box and lay in it if a feral she does not like or a raccoon/possum/skunk comes up to the back window. Fortunately, it does not continue more than a quick, and yes happy roll.
Noooo she absolutely rolls in the dirty litter, which is part of the problem. Just not all the time. Sometimes she contorts herself into an arc shape to fit around the mess and roll. But poo in the box is sometimes a deterrent especially if it’s fresh 🧐 other times she rolls without regard for the mess beneath her. She’s a strange one.
 
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crouton

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Instead of hiring the animal communicator I decided try to put myself in her mindset and analyze everything she seems to do and why. Particularly when she likes to (I thought) be wiped off often because she would wait for me to do this in the bathroom nightly, or in the kitchen if someone has washed their hands.

Putting my thinking cap on lead to me diagraming what these behaviors have in common and the answer was water. She doesn’t steal water from cups or get in the sink herself. But she has been waiting until I wipe her off to go to town licking my wet/damp hands and arms. I thought this was her wanting to groom me while I groom her. But what if she’s thirsty? I know she drinks from the fountains, I see her there at a normal rate. Her urine output has always been regular and normal. Just what if she wanted more or different water?

So tonight I decided to experiment and when she followed me upstairs to be wiped off I instead gave her a small bowl of water in private. She seemed very pleased and drank it all up. Is this the answer or a fluke? Time will tell. Maybe not the answer but an answer nonetheless if it makes her happy. She drank her water and then rolled around on the bathroom rugs, which is what she does after getting wiped off too

unfortunately we can’t leave still water bowls around because no matter the weight or size our smallest cat knocks them over, he floods those dammed edged trays as well. We compromise with fountains he doesn’t knock over but he insists on keeping one foot submerged while he drinks. 😕 so maybe she just doesn’t like foot water. Can’t imagine why 🥳 seriously though we clean them out regularly so we are aware. Everyone drinks normal (foot) water

If nothing else maybe the extra water input will make her urine less concentrated and help her other problem of constantly smelling like pee from getting tinkle sprinkle on her fur.
 

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That sounds like a good idea. Mine will always drink more if I put a bowl of water in a different place than it usually is. If I put the bowl that's always on the kitchen floor out on the deck for the afternoon they're all "Hey, look! Water! let's drink some of this."

Another thing I thought of: If she's rolling in the litter to comfort herself maybe try getting some of the Feliway spray, squirting a bit on a hand towel and petting her with that? I used that trick on some of the feral kittens I was socializing and it helped them feel secure. Maybe she would like it too.

By the way, what's her name? Can we see a picture of her?
 
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crouton

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Another thing I thought of: If she's rolling in the litter to comfort herself maybe try getting some of the Feliway spray, squirting a bit on a hand towel and petting her with that? I used that trick on some of the feral kittens I was socializing and it helped them feel secure. Maybe she would like it too.

By the way, what's her name? Can we see a picture of her?
I’ve tried the feliway with her in the past it doesn’t seem to affect her love of dirty rolling. Which spray did you use? I know the box said to never spray it on a cat, I’m leery of using things on her fur

Sadly it didn’t work stopping wiping her again yesterday and the water bowl. Vigorous rolling in the box overnight. I’m skeeved but will continue to not wipe her.
 
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crouton

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What about putting the bowl in the shower or tub? That way if the little one knocks it over no mess.
Yeah we have tried that in the past, the problem is we only have one working bathroom with a tub/shower right now.
 

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So she also really enjoys rolling on the bathmat. Do you have anything textured you could lay on the floor for her? Something like an upside down no slip mat for carpet but not as sharp. I tried t find a lick mat large enough for a cat to roll on to link here, but I don't think they make them that large. Most of the self scratching arches I've seen in store look too short for an adult. This one sounds taller.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0751BSRR2/?tag=thecatsite

If she is after the water, how about a motion sensor faucet so she can drink fresh water anytime without having to leave water running?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077PCPKKW/?tag=thecatsite
 
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crouton

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So she also really enjoys rolling on the bathmat. Do you have anything textured you could lay on the floor for her? Something like an upside down no slip mat for carpet but not as sharp. I tried t find a lick mat large enough for a cat to roll on to link here, but I don't think they make them that large. Most of the self scratching arches I've seen in store look too short for an adult. This one sounds taller.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0751BSRR2/?tag=thecatsite

If she is after the water, how about a motion sensor faucet so she can drink fresh water anytime without having to leave water running?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077PCPKKW/?tag=thecatsite
she won’t go into the sinks on her own, we’ve tried in the past. She’s not interested.

I tried making her mats and buying all kinds of nubby mats, other bath mats, pressure point mats, and I even tried the non slip mat for carpet when I found a duller rounded point one. She’s not interested. I built her a box the same size as the one she rolls in the most, and tried these mats in the box and out of them, in safe spaces for her. She doesn’t use them at all. I tried a mat that looked like a lick mat too with wavy raised bits, no dice. She doesn’t like the arches either or any of the corner stick on self grooming brushes, we tried all of those. I’ve also tried the textured cardboard loungers in all sizes and shapes she has one thats the same size as the box she prefers and she doesn’t roll in it, she sleeps in it.

im not exaggerating here, I’ve bought all of this stuff and tried everything I feel like. Nothing stops her. I have spent so much money on all this stuff trying to find an answer. Yesterday she didn’t do it at all and nothing changed in her routine, last night she did it well this morning at like 3am. Sometimes when she does it I wake up upstairs from hearing her trilling gleeful chirps from one floor up. She’s that loud.
 

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She's a tough one. You're a great cat parent! The only other thing I can think of is to give her a rolling box using an under bed type container you can keep a lid on between rolling sessions so no one can use it for potty. She sounds smart enough to learn to tell you when she wants to roll and she clearly prefers to be clean so it might work. I'm also not sure she'd be able to keep from peeing in pristine litter.
 
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crouton

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Unfortunately my beds do not have enough clearance for those types of boxes to hide under. I’ve tried offering her a lidded container but she doesn’t want to use it when someone says so, she likes the opportunity to roll when she pleases.

Yeah she usually makes happy noises before and during the roll but she doesn’t let us stop her even if we catch her in the act, which is rare. We’ve tried removing her from the box then, clapping, making noise through the security camera if she can’t see us, etc. she always look around before doing her roll like she’s trying make sure she’s in the clear 😞

And yeah having two other cats in the house one of which likes to pee frequently in all boxes, especially after they are cleaned, means that unless I’m actively policing her box 24/7 someone will pee in it. Thankfully they don’t go outside the box but really this behavior of hers plus their lack of grooming makes me very unhappy as a parent of pets. Unfortunately I have a really keen sense of smell and I can smell on her before she gets near me if she’s rolled, because she reeks of litter. My partner can’t smell it. But watching back the videos I am always right when I can smell it she’s done it. This is of course if I don’t catch her immediately after because as I said she coats herself in it. She looks like a nonpareil

19E205C6-AAA6-4780-BCC4-F393BFBBE062.jpeg 72B65C32-7568-4CB6-B5E5-034EE8FC182F.jpeg
 
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crouton

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Here’s the rolling in another box and the look she gives the cameras right before she does it

2692D45C-53A8-4F87-9859-B3FD91C3493C.jpeg 9C4B460C-0A06-4801-8AEE-509262DD1663.jpeg
 

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I feel your pain! I have a cat who does this too. She’s done it the whole time I’ve had her (4 years) and like yours, she looks blissfully happy when she does it. She seems to do it when she is excited and happy. I HATE it. I used to go clap and make her stop but then I realized it was just making her nervous of me and didn’t stop the behavior. I would love to know how to stop this.
 
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Update: perpetrator was following me around last night rolling on the floor in front of me and trilling happily. She then proceeded to walk directly to a box and try to roll in it in front of me, which is rare. I’m not proud to say I gave her a stern NO STOP and she seemed very sad. I caught her with the verbal warning before she could fully roll in the box but she still came out coated in eau de Dr Elsey. She then kept whining and begging in the bathroom so I gave in and combed the litter out of her fur and wiped her off. Then she happily rolled all over the floor.

Overnight all the cats had a poop and pee party with lots of box action and she didn’t roll in any boxes. I did hear her loud trilling at 3 am which is usually her warning before rolling but she didn’t do it.
 

fionasmom

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A stern NO STOP is not exactly animal abuse and it did get a reaction. So what we know is that she wants a clean litter box to roll in, then to be wiped off or cleaned, then a rug to roll on. A dirty box deters her but litter generally makes her blissfully happy. This is a real conundrum.
 
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crouton

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A stern NO STOP is not exactly animal abuse and it did get a reaction. So what we know is that she wants a clean litter box to roll in, then to be wiped off or cleaned, then a rug to roll on. A dirty box deters her but litter generally makes her blissfully happy. This is a real conundrum.
Haha I know it’s not abusive. I was trying to lighten the mood. She doesn’t always want a clean box to roll in and will not be deterred by pee or poop visible in the box at times. Either her own or the kittens. So yeah.

I’m stuck! Right now she’s snoozing with me on the couch.
 
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Update: last night I had to clean her back end due to the other problem she has and so gave her a nice wipe off after, she was pleased and purring and rolling around on the rugs. Then proceeded to go and roll in the boxes multiple times 😞

She also did it this morning early in the morning
 
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crouton

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Overnight update: last night i lurked near her preferred evening box until she went near it. As she approached I told her rolling was unacceptable and to please just use the box as intended. Well she chirped incessantly at me in a sad tone, then proceeded to just pee as normal, no rolling.

Nothing else has changed. I did comb, brush and pet her last night and made sure to give her attention and affection. She enjoys watching The Muppet Show. Her other favorite show is the Canadian drama Hudson and Rex about a police detective and his canine partner. She comes running if she hears the music or I ask if she wants to watch Rex. I’ve been saving up episodes so we will watch some Rex later.

8B1BE4EB-E0EA-429A-8B55-0A583288C5B7.jpeg

I’ve ordered a new style of storage box and inserts that I think may mimic the litter, unsure yet. Trying thick sisal and jute. Found some in the litter gray color. Will report back after we’ve tested it. I may have to cut an entrance to the box because she likes the boxes with low entrances so she can sort of use the box entrance to slink doen.

Because of this I’m wondering if something with a side entrance like the never miss box may put her off rolling. But I doubt it since she’s also enjoyed rolling in circle and triangular boxes.

Tonight’s the dreaded dump boxes and wash and refill night, I’ve waited a long time this time to see if that helped again. It did not. She usually rolls immediately after the boxes are cleaned out.
 
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