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Pooping outside litter box--single incident. Cause for worry?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Two cats--one with a history of litter box problems; so, two possible culprits. Neither cat has ever missed the litter box before. Even the unneutered male (well, unneutered for two more weeks) doesn't spray (yet). They do have a lot of tension between them, and I've caught one or the other cat staring at the other while it's using the box--bad sign, since my assumption is that Baby's litter box problems at her previous house were due to litter-box guarding of the single box by the two other resident cats.

So I found a kitty bowel movement in the middle of the living room today--pretty normal poo. It was easily cleaned up and I wasn't all that annoyed, but if it becomes a habit, then these kitties won't be very adoptable. The accident happened in the room furthest away from the litter boxes.

I have two litter boxes, both in private spots. I'm adding a third, just in case, near the spot where whichever cat used the carpet did so. Both cats have been introduced to the box and seem to accept it.

Anybody have experience with single-incident litter box trouble? I know peeing outside the box can be a sign of illness, but poop? And both cats are young and healthy.

Does one incident usually turn into a trend, or do most cats miss the box once or twice in their lifetimes?

If it does tend to turn into a trend, how can I nip it in the bud?
post #2 of 5
Is it possible the "culprit" was trapped in the room by another cat (i.e. only one exit the aggressor could have been staking out)?
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yes. That room does have only one exit. If that was what happened, the extra litter box will solve it...
post #4 of 5
How many litter boxes do you have at the moment?
It's only ever happened at my place b/c I have long haired cats & very occassionally the poo gets stuck in their fur & I have to comb it out. It looks like your cats have short hair.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Used to have two boxes and two cats. I've gotten a third box now.

Both my cats have short hair... and anyway, this was a pile of poo, way more than could get stuck on the fluffiest Persian's butt! :P

Another modification: My... er... inexpensive apartment has no doors everywhere except on the bathroom, so I use curtains to separate rooms. I just shortened the longer curtain (which is near one of the boxes and separates the half of the apartment with the original two boxes from the other half, which now has the third box in it) so that there's a two-foot opening at the bottom.

Now it's no longer possible for one cat to hide behind a curtain to pounce on the other... though they can still wait around corners.

I feel like the UN... trying to make peace between two warring countries!
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