Why does my cat go poop outside of the litter box?

  • Why does my cat go poop outside of the litter box?

  • Hi Donna,

    Just know, cats will never perform this behaviour out of spite. And there is always a reason for this to occur. Determining the cause can be a daunting task, but not impossible.

    The most common reasons for this to happen are:

    - a sudden change to the litter type or litter box.

    - the location of the litter box has been moved.

    - some cats in a multi-cat home, who share a litter box, may decide they would prefer to have a litter box for themselves. 

    - the litter box is not cleaned often enough to the cat's preferences. Some cats can go a few days without a cleaning, and others need it scooped/cleaned with each elimination. This behaviour can change for a cat any age, but typically during their elderly years. 

    - an underlying medical condition. At any age - but also common for elderly cats who may suffer from chronic diseases or illnesses such as: diabetes or arthritis. 

  • @Nicole Van Andel my young cat is about 2 years old and will only poop in her litter box if I have washed it out and has fresh litter in it. She also poops iny sunroom because a sick cat I had kept peeing in there. 

  • @Ann Wiggins Many cats prefer their litter boxes to be fresh and clean with every elimination. And they make this known by eliminating elsewhere if the box is not to their liking. Other cats will tolerate a box that they have used several times (or shared with another cat, that they know). I often describe this - by suggesting; how one may feel using a porta potty at an outside music festival or on airplane lavatory during a 15 hour flight. We tolerate these conditions, because we have no other choice. 

    And If I understand correctly, your cat is also pooping in the sunroom that once had a sick cat who peed in there? Your cat can sense (by smell) that there was another cat in the room and is pooping in there to show her displeasure of this, and to mark her territory. 

  • I read that if you had 2 cats, you need 3 litter boxes, so I bought another. There are 2 in bathrooms and a 3rd on a screened porch. I thought it might make things easier. But Chloe,(12, half Maine Coon, 16lbs) still follows Smokey (13,an affectionate rescue and Chloes Mom, 7lbs) around so she can poop and pee on top of Smokeys. I was hoping they'd each have their own. We adopted Smokey at age 8. Chloe we got at 9weeks. Smokey remembers Chloe, but Chloe doesn't remember Smokey and she is very jealous . I'm so careful to give equally, but nothing works. If Smokey gets in my lap. CHLOE POUNCES ON HER AND NOW THE BOX WARS! HELP. 

  • @Sheryl Merville Yes, this is correct. A general rule of thumb is; the number of litterboxes should be equal to the number of cats in a household plus one. 
    (N + 1 = # of litterboxes). 
    Yes, it appears that Chloe is abit jealous of Smokey - which is why she eliminates on top of Smokey's waste. This is a way for her to demonstrate dominance. She also doesn't like the attention that Smokey will receive from you when on your lap - therefore, she pounces to show her displeasure of this. 
    A good way to calm this behaviour is with the use of Feliway. This is a synthetic copy of a feline facial pheromone that can induce the state of familiarity and security within the environment-and can provide Chloe some comfort. 
    Also, a daily playtime session (at least 15 mins) alone with Chloe can help keep her satisfied. Use an interactive wand toy (perhaps during a time that Smokey is napping?) and allow for her to expel that energy into the playtime rather then towards Smokey. 

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