Help getting kitten to use litter box

  • Why does my cat insist on pooping outside the litter boxes. She is our only baby and she has two boxes. We have tried d is different litters. Moving them. She always uses them to pee in only poops outside them.


  • Hi Cheryl, my name is Linda and I'm a small animal vet.

    I'm sorry you've had this issue with your cat; I know it is a really frustrating and unpleasant issue to deal with.


    Firstly, I'd want to know if the stool has ever been soft. Often having diarrhoea or an 'urgent' need to go will result in toileting ourside of the tray, and it can then become a habit.

    We'd want to ensure the stool is solid and not being passed too frequently (more than 1-3 times a day).


    What age is she? If she is getting older, it can be a sign of joint disease and trouble posturing in the box. Signs can be very subtle. It can help to have a very large and wide litter tray, with a shallow lip that is easy to step over.


    Has anything changed in the home or routine recently? A source of stress like construction work, a new person in the home or a change in our work life can affect our cats, and can lead to toileting issues.


    I'd consider changing litter type, as som cats can have a preference.

    I'd also ensure the litter trays are not near food or water bowls and are in areas of the home with low foot traffic.


    A vet check is wise to rule out any underlying medical issues here. For example, if she has arthritis, she may benefit from some anti inflammatories and pain relief.


    When she does poop outside of the box, be sure to never tell her off, as this can increase anxiety and worsen the behaviour.

    Rather, quickly clean any evidence of stool away with an enzymatic cleaner, to prevent re-soiling.


    Hopefully we can get on top of this soon.

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