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Help, Cat not pooping in litter box

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
We took in a stray cat about 1 year ago, and he rarely poops in his
litter box. He poops every day, and we give him a good cat food
(science diet md). We got a cat cage/kitty condo and we put the cat
and his litter box and food and water in there when we are not at home
or going to bed. He is finally using the litter box to poop in.
HOwever, we left him out last night (after about 3 days of using the
cage) and he pooped outside the litter box again. He is usually
pooping near the litter box, about 5-6 feet away. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 3
First of all, welcome to TCS! Glad you found us, and hope we can help.

1) Many cats do not like to pee and poop in the same litter box. Have you considered getting a second litter box? This may be all you need to do.

2) Are you sure there's not a medical problem? It seems this problem has been going on for some time - but has the kitty had a vet visit? The only way cats have to tell us there's a medical problem is by pooping or peeing outside of the litter box - or changes in behavior (sometimes even just subtle ones). If your kitty hasn't seen a vet, make an appointment, get a sample of the poop, put it in the fridge, and bring it with you when you take kitty to the vet.

3) He may have worms. Again - this is something a vet should tell you. De-worming meds you can get at a pet store DO NOT WORK.

4) How long have you been putting him in the cat cage and how long has he been pooping in the litter box in there? "Retraining" is often a step taken to work with kitties that poop outside the litter box - and that involves doing just what you are - only not letting them out of the confined area until they're consistently using the litterbox to poop in. Then the idea is to allow kitty access to an entire room - and when kitty continues to poop in the litter box, access to the rest of the house.

Again - I think a second litter box may be all that's needed here.

Also, I don't know how frequently you scoop the litterbox, but some kittes are really fussy about clean litter boxes. Scooping both morning and evening, and totally emptying and bleaching the box once a month and filling it with entirely new litter may help. Do this for both boxes.

Ummm... let's see. I don't know what you've been using to clean up his poop, but you MUST use an enzyme cleaner. Regular cleaners or carpet cleaner will NOT do the trick. Nature's Miracle is one that is available at most pet stores or supermarkets. We've found that this product works even better: http://www.nokout.com

The area must be free of any smell to kitty (and they have FAR more sensitive noses than we do!). The only way to do this is with an enzyme cleaner - or kitty will keep going in the same place (or near it). If it smells like a bathroom to kitty, it is one.

You can purchase Oil of Olbas at a health food store. When you have soaked the area with the enzyme cleaner and blotted it after the 10 minutes soak, lie aluminum foil over the area. Kitty will not want to poop on aluminum foil. The soak a tea bag, put a few drops of Oil of Olbas on it, and set it on a small plate on the aluminum foil. Kitties do not like Oil of Olbas, and will avoid the smell - so don't do it if it's near the litter box. Just put the aluminum foil down until the area (if carpeted) you soaked is completely dry. And it may not say it on the directions - but with the enzyme cleaner if the area is carpet - you must soak it down to the floorboards, so it may take a day or two to dry completely.

You may want to read this thread: Inappropriate Poop Problems Answered

Please feel free to post with any more questions!

....and thank you for rescuing this kitty!


post #3 of 3
I have the same problem with my Vinny...I think it's slowly becoming fixed, however...not completely, but well on its way.

Since July (about 3 weeks after we got our second cat, Sherman), Vinny has inconsistently been using his litter boxes. He preferred the carpet squares in front of the litter box for a while, until we removed them and then he "graduated" to the bathroom rugs. Here's the things I did for him, and maybe one of them will work for you:

1) Trips to the vet. The first time (in July) he had an check-up and a fecal exam, and nothing was found. When things were still going on months later, I took him at the end of January and they still found nothing health-related. I'd rule out anything of that effect first.

2) Thinking that it was a stress-related, the vet suggested we try Feliway. Since we began spraying it on the bathroom rugs, Vinny has only (and I say "only" really rather loosely, haha) pooped on them 10 - 12 times total since the end of January, as opposed to 2 - 4 times a week before.

3) I've upped the amount of litter box cleanings (we have two boxes) from once a day to 2 - 3 times a day.

4) Due to various circumstances (some by our own accord, others by vet suggestion), we have had to change Vinny's food WAY more often in the 13 months that we've had him than we really should have. So...thinking it was a digestive problem (most of the time his poop REALLY stunk! and sometimes it was a lighter brown, etc.), I became more consistent with his food and am feeding them both Science Diet Indoor Formula.

5) The only "reprieve" we had from July until now was for about 6 weeks around Christmas when I discovered Cat Attract litter. It's only sold at PetSmart in a 14lb bag, but it's designed to help kittens learn to use their litter box and to get problem cats "back to the litter box." I put this litter in one of the boxes, and for about 6 weeks, he used the box consistently. It's really rather expensive for a cat litter, and dummy me thought that I had "fixed" him and didn't buy another bag. Needless to say, about a week before he went to the vet, he started going on the bathroom rugs again.

Sooo....after a vet visit, Feliway, and maybe Cat Attract, maybe something will help you...I hope!
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