The star of My Cat From Hell, Jackson Galaxy, has agreed to talk with us about some of the questions Happy Litter Box readers have sent in.
Lots of you have been sending questions about your cats scratching around the litter box – some cats have been scratching the walls, some the air and one reader in particular wrote this:
My Simone scratch, scratch, scratch, scratches to high heaven after using the litterbox…scratching the litter, the side of the box, the wall, the privacy screen. Not sure if she’s trying to clean out her claws, or what. It’s a real trial at 5 a.m. to be patient and hope she finishes soon. I definitely don’t want to get on her case about it, lest she associate the box with “getting in trouble.” Any ideas about why, and/or how to alleviate this?
We talked with Jackson about the scratching issue. He says you need to act like a super sleuth detective to try and pinpoint the cause of the scratching.
Jackson reinforced that we need to act as cat detectives and answer some questions to determine the causes of the excessive scratching. Is it a behavior issue or a product issue?
Here are some questions to ask yourself: Did Simone always do this? Did you do something new (remember, it could seem insignificant to you but could be very significant to Simone) When did it get bad? Did you change anything – location of the box, the litter, the box itself?
Start thinking through any and all causes and combinations of causes and begin ruling things out.
Also, Jackson said there is a false understanding that cats know what to do with litter; that it’s not necessarily instinct. Some cats don’t even like litter. Keep that in mind, too, as you are trying to suss out a possible reason for your cat’s odd litter box behavior.
We often catch one of our cats pawing at the air after he pees and asked Jackson about this. He said there is really no unifying reason for “air scratching” and again, paying close attention to the box, products and surroundings might help pinpoint the issue at hand. The air scratching doesn’t bother us; we just thought it was a little odd.
The theme with Jackson, as you can see, is that every situation is different. We hope these posts help you think through possibilities and narrow down the causes of your cat’s baffling behavior!