or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Pooping outside litter box
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Pooping outside litter box

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine has a 1-year old cat and recently acquired a new kitten. The older cat has started pooping outside the litter box, and she has asked me for suggestions.

It seems to me that this is a behavioral issue connected to the new kitten. I told her to set up a 2nd litter box, as some cats don't like to share. Any other suggestions?
post #2 of 11
Always the first thing is a vet check on the older cat. If the kitten was not isloated until it got an all-clear from a vet, it is feasible the kitty brought something into the house that the older one caught. It is also feasible that the older cat is bent out of shape because of the newer competition, but a vet check is still a good idea, even if the kitten was isolated for awhile. Also for every cat you have, you should have a litter box for that cat. The box needs to be in a private area, big enough for the cats to use. Generally it is one box that they pee in and one they poop in. Also some perfumed litter is a deterrent to some cats to use, so if your friend changed litter to a stronger smelling one, that could also be the problem.
post #3 of 11
A few years ago when we adopted a new cat one of our "old" cats would not poop in the litter boxes. I called my vet and he suggested putting all three cats in one room and leaving them all together for five days to a week. I felt bad doing that but it worked. I was lucky
there was no big cat fights and no one got hurt. But I'm not sure if this would work with a cat and kitten. The kitten could get hurt. Hissy what do you think about doing this? I'm not sure this was good advice, but I don't have the same vet anymore either.
post #4 of 11

I think that vet did not know much about cats. Terrible, terrible advice. You are VERY lucky there were no big fights. That likely could have backfired very badly. Many vets do not know about animal behavior- just animal diseases and how to treat diseases. Some vets never even owned cats.


As Hissy said, many cats do not like to urinate and defecate in the same litter box. There should be one more box than the number of cats. Also, new cats need to be introduced *slowly*, as in the newcomer is totally isolated for several days. The new cat must get his/her bearings and feel like he/she does now have a new home. The resident cat must have some time to adjust to the change. Even if the cats can't see each other, make no mistake- they know another cat is on the other side of that door. After about two days, the door should be firmly wedged open about two inches, so that no cat can get to the other side, but they can smell the scents better and perhaps see one another. Then, the cats should have places switched for a period of time each day to smell one another's scents up close, but with no stress of running into the other cat. Then, there needs to be short, carefully supervised visits.

It is very stressful on the resident cat to have some new cat plopped into his/her territory. The person's older cat might be pooping outside the box due to stress. Cats are territorial. Some cats will mark their territory by eliminating outside the box. Slow, careful introductions can help avoid that from happening. Or, it could be a medical problem, cooincidental to the kitten. A vet check is certainly in order, but don't follow behavior advise that doesn't sound right.
post #5 of 11
At that time my "vet" more or less said the cats would work things out on their own. Then the idea of putting them all in a room together. I should have known better, I'm old enough, that's for sure!
You'er right my vet didn't own a cat. I just recently got a PC and am finding out how much info is out there! And how many people will help
you with questions or problems. Glad I'm here!
post #6 of 11
take galensgranny advise !! I cannot but agree to what she says !
Take it easy , and give your cats enough time to accept each other ; it will be okay !!
Success !!!
post #7 of 11
I agree with Sydney, give your kitties time. My Nippie kitty was mad at me and he pooped on my floor continioulsy for a month. Thinks are better now, but it will just take time.
post #8 of 11
Cats don't poop on the floor continuously because they are "mad" at a person. It's either a medical reason, the box is not kept clean enough, it is in a bad location (busy traffic area), another animal is intimidating the cat from using the box, there are not enough boxes for the number of cats, or another cat is causing a cat stress to make him mark his territory (usually done with urine, though). Medical reasons would be my first guess if it is continual.

Cat's prefer to use a litter box, or dirt outside, to poop in. If a cat is defecating outside the box, the first thing to do is to totally clean the litter box. Dump out all the litter and WASH the box, with something that does not leave a scent. Diluted bleach, rinsed very, very well is an excellent choice. Lysol is toxic to cats, so don't use that ever. The boxes need to be washed every week or so, and thrown away when the plastic has absorbed too much urine scent to ever get really cleaned anymore.

If the cat still goes outside the box, take it to the vet for a health check. There are many medical reasons that could cause a cat to go outside the box. People often conclude the cat is just "mad", but then sadly find out weeks later that their cat is suffering from something such as Irritable Bowel Disorder, worms (which can be microscopic so you don't know), etc.

Be sure that there is never any solid waste in the box, as best as is humanly possible. Scoop, scoop, scoop. Change out the litter totally every few days. Urine scented litter will make a cat stop using the box. Cats also have individual preferences for litter. If you suddenly change to a new type of litter (eg clay to pellets) the cat might stop using the box. New types of litters have to be mixed in a little at a time. "Deoderant" scented litters repel many cats. So do air fresheners placed near the box, especially citrus scents.
post #9 of 11
You know it is interesting to me. But with all the cats I have had in all the years I have had them, I have never had litterbox issues except for when hand-rearing kittens and if the cat or kitten has an illness. I always have allowed one box per cat, never used the heavy perfumed odor type litter and can change litter midweek and never have a problem. For the ferals that do come here that won't use the litterbox, simply giving them a box of potting soil works, and then eventually I just mix it with regular clay litter until they finally are just using the litter. I just thank my lucky stars that I don't have to deal with litterbox problems. I wash my boxes out twice a week and scoop them sometimes 4 times daily. Yes it is a pain to do it so much, but it seems to keep everyone happy. I also use those wonderful lidded buckets I line them with a garbage bag and put the waste inside and seal it up. Once the bag is full, off it goes to the landfill.
post #10 of 11
You are very fortunate Hissy that you have never had a problem. I didn't have any problems with Nippie until this summer and he is almost 4 years old. How would you know Galensgranny? I spent $200 on vet bills and new a litter box for Nippie and he continued to poop on my floor, even pooped on my bed one weekend while I was gone. He was angry that I left him for the weekend and that I was working more hours. My kitty throws a fit when I don't walk him outside. Yes it is important that you take your cat IMMEDIATELY to the vet and MAKE SURE that it is not a medical problem. I did the right thing, the money was worth it but I got no results from it. Nippie is very important to me so I just changed my schedule and call him on the phone and talk to him. I also started to reward him for pooping in his new box. He did have to spend a night in his bathroom with the door closed. Nippie is an only child and has his own real bathroom. It is my fault that he is so spoiled but I love him and I'm a good Mommy.
post #11 of 11
Nippie, you are a good mommy. No one can really understand in the short space of a post what is actually going on in any of our lives. We as responsible readers, have to take the issues presented in the post and make our best educated guess. Sometimes, it is just the matter of giving the kitty who is acting out extra attention in playtime etc. one on one, ten minutes a day that kind of stuff. But it is up to the person who is dealing with the problem to find the best solution they can. What works for some, might not work with others. I am sure some of the ways I deal with the problems I encounter with my brood, would turn some heads around. But I know what works with my crew and I go from there. No one knows the situation, until they are the ones in the middle of it. And I respectfully disagree that cats don't get mad. If I pill one of my ferals he can pout for days, and if I dare take a break from my crew and leave for a few days on a much-needed vacation, there is hell to pay when I return. They are all MAD at me! LOL
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Pooping outside litter box