Cat is defecating outside litter box

  • My cat, Miss Piggy, has been defecating in random places for over a month. Sometimes near her litter box but not always. She is still using her box for urine.  She is 15 years old. I don't want to lose her

  • I'm sorry you've been dealing with this issue with Miss Piggy, I know it can be incredibly frustrating.

    As it has been going on for a month now, I can imagine this is becoming tiresome.


    A good rule of thumb is that there should be one tray per cat and one extra. So there should be 2 right now. 


    Trays need to be in areas of the home with low foot traffic, where she has privacy. They must not be near her food or water source.

    Cats are often incredibly fussy and won't use a tray because it is dirty. so keeping the trays as clean as possible will help.

    Some cats have a litter preference, so the answer can be as simple as changing the type of litter you use.


    Do ensure Miss Piggy has all of the resources she needs; like a scratching post, hiding places in the home, a cat tree, interactive toys etc.


    This may seem unrelated, but for so many cats if we can keep them content and calm, toileting issues disappear.

    All 'accidents' should be promptly cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner, to eliminate the odour and prevent re-soiling.


    If she is always soiling the same spot, I'd block access to it for now.

    Similarly, if she likes to go on a certain rug or mat, we should remove it.

    For further reading, this resource is very good:



    At her age, we do need to consider that for some cats the issue is medical.


    If Miss Piggy does have loose stool, this needs to be considered.

    This could be indicative of a hormonal disorder like an overactive thyroid, or an inflammation of the intestines.

    So, i f there is loose stool. a vet check is wise so we can determine why and how we can treat this.

    At her age, we also have to wonder about stiff joints/arthritis making it harder for her to use her tray.

    It is sensbile to invest in a large tray with low lips so it is easy to use.

    I'd also discuss with her vet if arthritis might be present and if she may benefit from some anti inflammatories and pain relief.

  • My cat is 17 yr. old, has hyperthyroidism and advanced kidney disease, and about 2 months ago began urinating/defecating on my bed instead of her litter box.  I have now restricted her access to the bedroom and moved the box into the living room and she's begun using it but also the sofa.  Is this a territorial thing or is this the kidney disease resulting in confusion?

  • Hi there Judith.

    I would not think this is behavioural at his age, no.


    I'd be considering e.g. a urinary infection, difficulty holding his urine, trouble using his tray (if, for example, he has sore joints) etc.


    The first step would be a urine analysis to check for e.g. any bacteria or crystals.


    I'd also ensure he has access to 2 clean litter trays which have a low lip and are very large; menaning they are easier for a senior cat to use.

    We would not want a tray with e.g. a roof or high walls.


    Anything he has urinated on would need to be hot washed and we should use an enzymatic cleaner to remove the odour and prevent re-soiling.

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