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Not using litter box

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Popsie had a problem with pooing out of his litter box. Well, when I lost my job and was home all the time he quit doing it so I figured he did it because of seperation anxiety. I'm still home all the time but he's pooing out of the box again. I know that he knows it's naughty because he does it in a corner or behind something like he's hiding it. I keep his box clean so what could be the problem?
post #2 of 10
It could be medical (I sure hope not, but maybe a vet visit would be good) or psychological (he is stressed or anxious about something -- any changes in his environment or routine lately?) or it could just be that he is incontinent. My Nicolas is; I use Nature's Miracle Just For Cats for those "accidents", followed by my Bissell SpotBot Pet robotic carpet cleaner. Works like a charm!
post #3 of 10
I'm not sure he knows it is a problem. It is likely he is pooing in the corner or behind things because it is the closest thing to a box without being the box.

Cats usually go outside the box because they associate the box with something negative. It could be that it hurts him to poo or he had a bad fright while in the box. Or he doesn't like the type of litter you are using. Some cats hate scented litter, for example, and some hate if the litter box is in a room where there is a lot of perfume or air freshener to get rid of the poo smell.

Or if you have another cat or pet, that pet could be bothering him while in the box. Or the box could be located near a loud noise or area that has too much traffic and he feels unsafe. Or he used to have an infection but he doesn't anymore, but he still associates the box with the pain.

So think about the litter box and its location and all these variables, and try to watch him when he has to go to the bathroom. He will probably have to go after sleeping, just like people do, so you might want to get him first thing in the morning or after a long nap, and just observe what is happening. If he does go to the box, does he cry while he is in there? Are his poos soft? Does he run out of the box after using it?

You might try moving the box just to see if it changes his mind about using it.

Also, what is he doing about urination? Do you see him pee in the box, but not poo?

In the area of litter, a great litter is Cat Attract and it is widely endorsed on this site by people who have used it for their kitties who have elimination problems, so you might try that.

It would be good for you to take him to the vet first and rule out anything medical.

Let us know if there is anything you can think of, on or off this list, that might apply, or if there have been any other changes that could be stressing him out.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
He still pees and poos in his litter box but also poos outside it as well. His box is in a private, quiet location. I've used the same little for a long time and I've seen him go in his box and he doesn't cry or anything. I get the feeling it's a behavioral issue but I don't know what it would be. Nothing in the house has changed except that DH has brought some stuff from the garage in boxes and set them in the living room. That where Popsie is pooing too.
post #5 of 10
I am bumping this in case others have some thoughts on what to do.

The other thing is that in your last post you said he is going both inside and outside of his box.

He could be returning to spots from the past in which case you really need to do everything possible to cover those spots and make them inaccessible to him so he does not use them. Use loose tin foil which most cats hate, scrub the spots with an enzymatic cleaner such as Simple Solutions or Nature's Miracle, put sticky tape in those places, or move pieces of furniture to cover the spots completely.

Switch your litter to Cat Attract which cats really love and it may encourage him to go back to the box.

You might want to take him to the vet too since most cats prefer to use the litter box and they don't go outside of it unless something is wrong (or unless they are returning to a prior poo area).
post #6 of 10
As far as the boxes from the garage, they could have a scent or something in them where they picked up a smell from the garage of another animal from the past, and he is marking that territory. Cats will do that when they leave their poo uncovered in the box.

Outside the box sometimes cats mark with their poo, but I'm not sure in this case why it would happen unless he sees or smells cats outside, or possibly past pets that used to be in your place?
post #7 of 10
I would be looking at those boxes.... Maybe take them out for a couple days and see if it stops? Like Barb said they could be carrying a scent. I once had a bath rug that was getting old. As the rubber deteriorates it begins to smell like cat urine... It was close enough to the actual smell that my cats starting using it for a litter box.
Whatever you do to clean it... DON'T USE AMONIA It smells so much like cat urine they will actually go behind you and "remark" their territory
post #8 of 10
Are you getting ready to move? The boxes may give your cat a 'their going to move' signal.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I was thinking about getting another litter box and putting it where he likes to go in the living room. That way hopefully he'll go in the box and not the floor.
post #10 of 10
That's a good idea... when I first brought Bails home he wasn't really used to the place. I had a litter box on each end of the house, but he insisted on going in a corner behind the bathroom door. I put the box there thinking it must be where he feels comfortable and have never had another problem
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