Cat smart enough to make his own litter tray when access to his was barred

This is a cute little story which really could be told in one sentence and one photo but I have expanded on it as this form of cat behaviour is interesting.

Cat makes his own litter tray
Cat makes his own litter tray. Photo: Reddit user (no name).
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The cat’s owner (guardian) accidentally closed the doorway which provided access to her cat’s litter tray. Just outside the closed door was a bag of cat litter. The cat wanted to go to the toilet during the night.

Unable to get to his litter tray, he ‘split the litter bag himself and pooped on it’. The photo tells the story very nicely.

For me it says quite a lot about the mentality of the domestic cat. They look for a suitable ‘substrate’ on which to defecate or urinate. There is clearly a strong motivation to poop on a proper material. Perhaps it comes down to the need in this instance to cover the poop. He needed the litter to achieve that.

Not all domestic cats bury their poop. It may be to do with subservience. Burying poop allows the cat to be subservient. Leaving poop unburied indicates a confidence to dominant and declare a presence.

However, the reason for burying poop may be explained in the research referred to below.

Research indicates that, ‘faeces deposited within the core areas of male ranges were always covered, but outside of those areas they were frequently left uncovered. Similarly, female farm cats were more likely to cover faces within their core ranges’.

This indicates to me that domestic cats don’t need to leave olfactory markers (to highlight their presence) within the core of their range but need to leave a notification of their presence when near the boundaries of their range. This is to ward off intruders. I’d appreciate the views of others.

The reason why the cat in the story tried to bury his poop (it seems that way) is because inside the home is the core of his home range.

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2 thoughts on “Cat smart enough to make his own litter tray when access to his was barred”

  1. Wow! Truly an admirable, intelligent and conscientious kitty. I find this story completely fascinating. It also reinforces my belief that felines are definitely capable of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Here is an amazing decision which seems to encompass more than just range and territory. This cat clearly wanted to do, “the right thing” and keep himself and his owner happy. πŸ˜‡πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸΎ

    • Me too again. Cats can think rationally sometimes. It does give the impression of rational thought as opposed to pure instinct. And pretty sharp to figure out where the litter was, open the bag, lay it out and go to the toilet. Determined to not have his routines disrupted.


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