One of the major perks to owning a cat over, say, a dog or a horse, is that all cats instinctively drop their waste into neat little litter boxes, eliminating the need for frequent “walkies” and the palpable awkwardness that comes with the public use of pooper-scoopers and plastic baggies. Cats instinctively seek to bury their droppings, so it works out for everybody.
Contrary to popular assumptions though, this behavior doesn’t come from Snowball’s obsessive compulsive cleanliness, but rather an evolutionary holdover from before felines were domesticated and had more dangerous predators than the vacuum cleaner to worry about.
Burying the poop prevents detection by their enemies, but there’s another layer to it, which is that they do it to avoid challenging the dominant cat of the group. It kind of makes sense, if burying the poop is a sign that they fear another, larger animal, then leaving it uncovered would be a pretty aggressive act. “No one here is bad enough to fuck with me. Enjoy my shit.”
So… what do you suppose it means when your cat doesn’t bother to cover his poop?
Yep, some cats intentionally leave their crap uncovered or in conspicuous locations (such as on a doormat or in your sister’s bed) in order to communicate to us that they are the dominant member of the household, and that this territory is theirs.
In the wacky world of feline politics, feces act as little, smelly flags that clearly dictate the boundaries of each cat’s domain. In the wild, these flags are intended to be seen, and smelled, by other cats, a sign that this is the stomping grounds of a badass kitty.
I claim this bed in the name of Admiral Bootiekins!
When it comes to the shared domain with humans that domesticated cats enjoy, the same territorial rules still apply, so a housecat who leaves his waste out in the open is sending the message to us that he is El Presidente, and that we should be covering up our shit, so as not to offend him.
And guess what? We do. We helpfully flush away our poop and your cat probably thinks it’s done entirely to avoid offending him. Yes, if you want to take back your house, it’s time to poop in kitty’s bed.