Why Cats Scratch Walls After Using the Litter Box

scratched walls of the litter box

If you are a cat owner, sometimes you may be puzzled by some of your feline friend’s behaviors.

One such behavior that let us scratching our heads was when our cat started scratching the wall after using the litter box. While tis may seem strange at first, this behavior is not uncommon and cat be attributed to serveral reasons

quick answer
If you cat scratches the wall after using the litter box, it’s due to it’s instinctive behavior related to their desire to cover their waste and eliminate any traces of it’s presence.

Understanding Cat Scratching Behavior

scratching the walls of the litter box
Immediately after he used the litter box he starts scratching the side walls

Cats have a natural instinct to scratch. It’s a behavior that serves several purposes: it helps them scratch their body, shed their claws, and mark their territory.

When your cat scratches the wall, it’s not only just about the physical action – it’s also about leaving a visual mark and a scent from their paws to claim their territory.

If you catch your cat scratching walls you might be interested in the reasons. It could be because for them it feels good and may help them stretch their muscles. Sometimes, they can scratch the walls when they’re happy, like after a good meal or a satisfying litter box visit.

It can also happen out of boredom, especially if they lack any cat scratchers or cat trees

The Connection Between Litter Box Use and Wall Scratching

trying to scratch walls
He used to scratch everything in the house

When a cat uses the litter box, they often scratch the sides of the litter box or the surrounding walls around the box.

This is linked to their instinct to cover the waste from the litter box.

In the wild, cats bury their waste to avoid attracting predators or to make their presence unknown. While she doesn’t have to worry about these things anymore, the instinct will remain there.

If she starts scratching the wall after using the litter box, it’s likely an extension of this natural burying behavior that she has.

How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching the Walls

Now that we understand that wall scratching after using the litter box is a natural behavior for cats, it can become a problem if it leads to wall damage. Here are some strategies that you can implement to stop your cat from scratching the walls:

scratching box to use instead of walls
We bought him this scratching box that seems to do the tricks. He’s not scratching walls anymore
  • Buy a Cat Scratching Post: Providing your cat with a purposely built scratching post can attract them to it, and give them a scratching alternative.
  • Get a Cat Tree: Cat trees often come with a built-in scratching post and can also offer them a place to climb, play and scratch
  • Introduce New Toys: Toys can provide the mental and physical stimulation that they need, which can take out the boredom-induced scratching.
  • Trim Your Cat’s Nails: If you trim your cat’s nail regularly, you can minimize the damage caused by scratching

How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching the Litter Box Sides

Cat’s scratch the litter box walls as part of their natural behavior. They do it so they cover their waste, and while trying to reach for the litter the sides of the litter box come in their way.

If the scratching is causing damage or is excessively loud, you may want to try these tips:

  • Change the Type of Litter: Your furry friend might prefer a different type of litter. If your cat is digging too much or scratching too much the litter box, she might not like the current litter. Try switching to a different brand or type of litter and observe the changes.
  • Increase the Amount of Litter: Some cats dig deep into the litter. If there isn’t enough litter provided for them, they might end up scratching the box. Try to add more litter to the box and observe how your cat is reacting. We recommend to have around 3-5 inches of litter in the box
  • Larger Litter Box: If your cat is a large breed, and the litter box is too small, they might not have enough room to move around, leading them to scratch the walls. A larger litter box might be able to help you to mitigate this issue
  • Frequent cleaning: As they are very clean animals, if the litter box is too dirty they might start to scratch or dig excessively. Clean the litter box more frequent to try and reduce this behavior


Understanding why your cat is scratching the wall after using the litter box is a good point to start before taking any actions. It’s a natural behaviour that can be managed with the right strategies and a little patience

We would like to hear your tips on how you handle the wall-scratching issues after your furry friends visit the litter box!

Indre K Williams

Indre K Williams

Indre K Williams (DVM) graduated from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015, she brings a wealth of knowledge and a genuine passion for animals to their writing. With years of experience working closely with pets and their owners, she has developed a deep understanding of their needs and behaviour.

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