or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Help!! My kitty is eliminating bowel movement all over the carpet!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help!! My kitty is eliminating bowel movement all over the carpet!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
One of my two 8-months old in-door kittens(sisters, both adopted at around 4 months) has been pooping all over my living room for the past 3 days. For the past 3 nights, she's been running around my apartment, freaked out after she starts to go to the litter box, then all of a sudden she'll act crazy by dashing out with poop hanging on her rear end. She is a long hair tabby mix and it seems that she's forgotten how to use her litter box. Her sister is still using the litter box as usual, but she (Milukhu) has been pooping on the carpet and tonight I've finally looked closely at her poop and there are lots of hair (her own hair) in it. I am desperate and don't know what to do to change this terrible ordeal, since I have to scrub the carpet, windows, counters, etc... every night after she goes (she runs all over after she poops on the carpet). Can anyone please tell me how to change her diet so that she won't do this anymore? I've given her "hair ball" treats and grass every so often to let the ingested hair pass through. Do you think I shouldn't give her so much? I would think they need to let the hair pass through every so often. I've also been brushing her almost every day. Currently, I feed her Purina kitten chow (dry food) and can food. Please let me know if anyone can give me any advise or solution - I am really desperate in resolving this situation. Thank you so much
post #2 of 18
Well, I don't think she has forgotten how to use the litter box. It sounds like when she goes, it is aggrivating her and it makes for a bad experience. Were both of them deowormed as lil' ones? It is also possible she has roundworms and we usually don't see them.
Also how much hairball remedy are you giving them? It does not need to be given all the time. If she is a real groomer then I would suggest brushing her every day to help get the dead hair off of her. This way she is not ingesting most of it.
As for the food. I have found that wet food makes for softer stool, which can be messy. I have also found that the higher quality foods tend to be more digestable and the poop does not stick to the hairs as much. If the poop is sticking to the hairs, you can also trim the long hairs around her toosh.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sandie, thanks for the quick response. Yes, both of them were dewormed when they were younger (the vet suggested to do this for both since I took them in when their mother abandoned them from the outdoors.) Is it possible that roundworms come back naturally? (I hope they don't since they've become indoor kitties and I keep them super clean.) After they were given their kitten shots, cured their ear infections, and dewormed, they've been indoor ever since. You are definitely right that going to the bathroom is a bad experience for her. I've always had more trouble with Milukhu (the troubled one, that has a bit more hair than her sister). Shouldn't she learn and acquire similar behavior from watching her sister, (Bumpy, who uses the litter box fine)? I just found more poop on the carpet this morning- and I bet it's from Milukhu. But, it seems that the poop is less messy, less hair than before since I've given them more dry food these past few days. I checked her rear end and there's no mess hanging but it really seems that she decided not to go back to defecate in the litter box. How can I retrain her? I tried playing with her near the litter box by throwing a shiney string in it for her to retrieve hoping to get her familar with the box again (this is how I trained them to use the box when I adopted them)... but she's a little bit hesitant to go in but yet seems like she wants to go in. I am still very troubled by her behavior... why isn't she learning from her sister?? Hopefully, she'll begin to be less afraid of the litter box. Another thing is, if the hair in the poop is stuck half way when she goes, what can I do? Currently, I give them 3-4 pieces of the hair ball remedy once/twice a week, as suggested by the product info and some grass. Is that too much? I haven't seem them coughing up too much hair in the past, so I suppose the hair's coming out from the poop. I am so worried that she may have other health problems, but she looks healthy and is still playfull and eats well, though she wants a lot of attention (always scratching and crying at my bedroom door when I go inside my room).
post #4 of 18
Is she only pooping outside the box? If she is still using it for pee, then it's an issue with constipation,anal glads or something else. If she is doing both, then you would need to try and re train her. The directions on the hairball remedys are pretty accurate. I would keep following the directions with that one. You could also buy the hairball formula food and mix half and half. Also, not to sound strange, but are you sure it's poop. Hairball logs look pretty close as well.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am sure it is poop because it smells and she's eliminating lots of it. She is still using the litter box to pee but I am wondering if she is just freaked out by her experience of the poop hanging on her rear (if not constipation), and she remembers it, is that a possibility? How would I know if it's contipation that she's experiencing? The times that she made the mess on the carpet, walls, windows, and counters... she had both soft and hard poop. I will change her diet as you suggested and hope it will resolve this problem. I love her to death, but hate to clean up after her night after night. I should probably call my vet too. Thanks much for your advise.
post #6 of 18
I think asking the vet may be a good idea. He may find something in a general exam.

Please let us know what the vet says.
post #7 of 18
I would recommend trimming the fur around her butt. It's not fun, but it might help. My Alex is long-haired (he was at least, until I got him his summer haircut) and sometimes he has had poop stuck to his tail. It really is an awful feeling for them.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
My vet suggests to feed Milukhu Proplan hairball formula dry cat food, which I started to feed both of my kitties with mixing kitten chow so they can get used to the new stuff. Hopefully, this will help. As far as pooping outside of the litter box, the vet says it could be a behavior problem, he's not sure if it's constipation (even after I decribed in detailed of what happened the past week, I may need to look for a new vet... I didn't get any real answers. He didn't even ask me to bring her in for a check up, instead he said come in to the clinic to buy the hairball formula cat food and some laxative.) Milukhu is still not pooping in the litter box (continues to pee in it though), instead yesterday she pooped in my newspaper basket sitting next to my kitchen counter. This morning, she pooped on my leather couch and outside my bedroom door. This happened shortly after I returned to my room with the door shut, then she started to meow and scratch. She's constantly scratching at the carpet underneath the door, but even more so now. I don't know why? It seems that she wanted me to come out to clean up after her. Her poop looks fine now. By the way, does anyone know how to stop them from scratching? I've tried "no scratch" spray, tape, plastic runners w/ the nubs turned up, and water bottle, etc... none of it works! This is also very frustrating. It's almost impossible to spend more time and attention with Milukhu since I already spend so much time with her- to the point that I worry what will her sister (Bumpy) do out of jealousy. I don't need another kitty with behavior problems. I am a slave to my two babies and don't know what to do! Please help me... I am so worried!
post #9 of 18
Originally posted by nhlee529
...I may need to look for a new vet... I didn't get any real answers. He didn't even ask me to bring her in for a check up, instead he said come in to the clinic to buy the hairball formula cat food and some laxative.)
Not to get up on a soapbox here, but like any other professional service we purchase, we tend to blindly accept what our vets suggest, then go away frustrated and angry because they haven't helped. It is up to us to ask questions, and *GASP* even disagree with them when we feel their advice or suggestions do not fit our problems. You know your cat better than anyone else, your vet included. In my opinion, your vet sounds like he isn't highly concerned about much else besides selling product, and that would make me very angry.

...Milukhu is still not pooping in the litter box (continues to pee in it though), instead yesterday she pooped in my newspaper basket sitting next to my kitchen counter...)
Have you tried a different type of litter? Sometimes, cats don't like the texture/smell/whatever of a particular litter and won't use it appropriately. If she is using a newspaper basket, maybe you should try shredding up some and placing it in the litter box to see if she likes that better. Also, I have heard it suggested that there should be one litter box for each cat in the house - maybe a box all her own would help.

The ideas others gave you regarding trimming are also good ones. Long-hair cats do have problems with matting, and trimming the fur around her bottom would help with that.

...She's constantly scratching at the carpet underneath the door, but even more so now...By the way, does anyone know how to stop them from scratching? I've tried "no scratch" spray, tape, plastic runners w/ the nubs turned up, and water bottle, etc... none of it works...)
Scratching is a normal behavior associated with cats, and you won't be able to ever "stop" it from happening. Even declawed cats still perform the action, even if they cannot do damage without their claws. The best we can do is to redirect the behavior to an area where we don't mind it happening, such as a scratching post, or other area where the cats can stretch and flex as they need to. Provide her with a couple of choices, and when she scratches on an inappropriate place, gently but firmly say NO, and physically place her where you want her to scratch. If she is resistant at first, gently take her paws into your hands and simulate the scratching motion with them so she gets the idea. Once you've done this for about 10 days to two weeks, you can stop physically taking her to the scratching place, and implement another deterrent, such as a soda drink can filled with pebbles or coins. Shake this when she scratches inappropriately. The sound will make her stop immediately.

Now - also remember to employ a reward system when she DOES use the appropriate area! Some treat she particularly likes (mine love yogurt) is a good idea for this.

...This is also very frustrating. It's almost impossible to spend more time and attention with Milukhu since I already spend so much time with her- to the point that I worry what will her sister (Bumpy) do out of jealousy. I don't need another kitty with behavior problems. I am a slave to my two babies and don't know what to do! Please help me... I am so worried!
Remember to breathe, my dear...you will get through this. Our cats do pick up on our emotions, and when you are stressed out, they know it. Calm down, take a deep breath, and approach this from a practical, not emotional, attitude. Of course you love your cats, and want to do everything you can for them, so let's see if we can figure this out together...it might help you to keep a daily journal to log specific events and what was happening immediately before/after they occurred. If this is indeed a behavioral issue, then it will help greatly to be able to accurately report the symptoms to your vet if necessary.

We are here to help if we can, and so, please...try some of the ideas mentioned here, and let us know how things go. Redirecting behavior does take some time, it won't be an overnight success story, and you will have setbacks. But, don't look at them as setbacks - instead, think of them as signs that something needs to change because it isn't working. Keep a positive attitude.

Hoping for the best (and sorry this was so long!!),

post #10 of 18

I have been reading the issues you are having with your babies. As too the scratching, there is a product that you can buy at pet stores (petsmart, petco) called Bitter Apple. It does not stain your furniture and the cats hate it. My Lily was tearing my bed skirt apart. Somebody here suggested it to me and I went out and bought it. It worked for me and a friend who has cats that won't stay out of his plants. I would give it a try. It seems to be a pretty good deterant.
post #11 of 18
My cat also is afraid to go in the box. She does the same thing.. freaks out and runs like hell and drags it all over the house!

Changing litter/new boxes/new locations didn't help because when it came right down to it, she didn't find the box objectionable, she was just plain scared to go.

She'd try to do her thing but then she'd run to a "safe" place and end up leaving poops in all her favorite play spots... I think that if you're finding them in her favorite places thats a good indication she's running away because she's terrified when she tries to go.

The vet prescribed valium for her and within a day she'd relaxed enough that she stays in the box while shes going.

I've found it best to keep her on mostly dry food and not vary her diet or give her milk or table scraps so as to keep her stools consistent and solid and easy to pass, and to praise her when I manage to catch her doing her thing in the box, and to clean up the spots with an enzymatic cleaner to remove any trace smells in the carpet that might indicate thats a good place to go.

The doctor told me to keep her on the valium till she has no accidents for 30 days and then we can wean her off them (they're addictive afterall). So far she's only missed the box a few times and all of them were when I've forgotten to give her her pill.

If you don't want to medicate your cat you could just try other ways of making her calmer. Maybe just being quieter and gentler around the cat might make her relax.

The more upset you get with her, or over the mess, the more anxious she'll get when she has to go next time.

I do use a hairball control formula food. I use the Purina one. The cat really seems to like it a lot and her stools seem to come out right more consistently on that food than any other.

My other cat uses the box fine but has Irritable Bowel Syndrome and has sudden bouts of diarrhea for no reason in particular. The hairball control formula helps her condition immensely. I don't even have to give her behind a trim anymore since I bought them this food!

I think cats sometimes just don't get over a scary experience as fast as you think they would.

If your cat is just upset because she had a traumatic poo episode you may not be able to do anything other than make each next poo as non-traumatic as possible until your kitty isn't scared anymore.

I hope i've helped you a little bit!
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Much thanks to all who responded to my cry for help. I am thankful for finding this great site.

Dawn- Did your kitty use the litter box fine before she started pooping outside of it? My Milukhu has been using the box fine ever since I got her, until now. The box has been in the same place, I use the same kind of litter, and change it at least twice a day. Are there any side effect to the valium? I rather not use any medication on her, but as a last resort I may have to... if the situation doesn't improve.

I just realized that maybe I spoiled her too much from day one and perhaps she's behaving this way to get my more of my attention because I've been staying out later than usual in the past week? But, then again... I've left them alone (with my sister coming over to babysit) for 2-3 days quite a few times when I took weekend trips, and they had no behavior problems then. So, I am quite confused.

Meanwhile, I have changed her and her sister's diet to only hair ball control dry food, trimmed the hair around her rear end a bit, put out a new litter box (which she went in to pee immediately, but no poop yet), and spent pretty much all day today keeping them company. Milukhu seemed happier by my staying home- she snuggled up with me for a long time, when I took a nap on the couch. She continues to eat well, sleep well, and be playful... so I really don't think she's got any health problems. My only concern with the hairball control formula dry food is that it is for cats 1 year or older. My babies are still under 1 year old. Is it alright for them to be put on this diet? The manager from the petstore said it should be okay. Somthing funny and mind boggling... I found Milukhu taking a nap in my newspaper basket today, the same basket she pooped in yesterday! (But of couse it's clean now)... I thought cats don't sleep where they poop?? I wonder why she's doing this now.

We'll see what happens in the morning... hopefully I'll find clumps in the new litter box.

Thanks Gaye for all your advise... I will try to deal with all this calmly. I will definitely look for a new vet, one who loves cats instead of treating them in a form of an asembly line. I paid my curent vet a good amount of money within a short period of time (for spaying, all the kitten shots sets, deworming, ear infections, check up, etc...) and he doesn't even remember my two babies. The least he can do is go pull up the file... but didn't. I am pretty upset with him too.

As far as the scratching... I know they will always scratch, but the carpet underneath my door is all shredded! (they are very aware that they are not supposed to do that there, since if I am not inside my room, they don't do it.) The have a scratching pad, a big pillow, kitty bed and a 3 story carpeted kitty condo which they scratch on in my presence, but once I go inside, they start moving to my door... it's almost as if they want me to come out to play with them 24/7, (I need my sleep too, which I haven't got much lately). Milukhu is especially naughty (she's the one who initiates this and her sister will just sit behind her and watch most of the time,but helps at times). Her sister, Bumpy behaves much better comparing to her. I just wish Milukhu can learn from her. I have tightly taped down the plastic runner outside my door and flipped another piece on top of it with the nubs facing up to discourage her, but I found her sitting on top of the pointed nubs when I opened the door!! I will get the Bitter Apple spray hoping it will finally deter her from doing this. Will also try the soda can and paw scratching simulation techniques.

Also, starting a log of what's happened in the past week to try to figure out what started all this.

Will keep everyone posted. Please pray for me that she will not poop elsewhere anymore! Thanks everyone!
post #13 of 18
My cat (oreo) actually always used the box just fine until her "mom and dad" got a divorce and she started getting moved back and forth from home to home and yelled at because she wasn't going in the box.

Her owners were about to put her to sleep when I offered to take her in hoping maybe there was something more for her I could do.

Its all been trial and error of course because I'm not an expert on anyones cats but my own, but after a month of trying new litter/different litter/new boxes/different locations it really did seem obvious the box itself wasn't her problem.

I was at my wits end cleaning the carpet and upholstery daily and thinking maybe she did have to be put down afterall when I took her to the vet who prescribed the valium.

From my experience I'll say if shes pooped in her fave sleeping place she probably is experiencing something similar to what oreo goes through.

She starts off in the box, starts to poop but it scares her, so she runs away from it to her most favorite safest places in the house and then I find poop in her best spots.

Bear in mind in her mind shes only running away from it... shes probably just as upset and miserable as you that its ended up in her favorite sleeping place!!!!

It may seem contradictory but don't drag her off to the box or try to put her into it, or yell at her or get upset when she doesnt make the box because it only makes it worse. Just let her do her thing trauma free when the need arises.

Of course I'll say once more that I'm no expert on anyones cat but mine, but from what I've been told this is actually very common.

Its one of the cats amazing survival skills. They do something once that causes them pain and unlike humans they never forget about it!

I've heard changing the box can be beneficial in a case because it fools the cat into thinking maybe this is another new not scary place to go.

Didn't fool Oreo though

Good Luck to you!
post #14 of 18
and as far as the valium goes it hasn't turned her
into a zombie at all and my vet says other than its addictive qualities there is no long term health effects on the cats body.

I don't know if its appropriate for a kitten, and I don't know if its appropriate for YOUR kitten of course but really was a "magic pill" for Oreo and she was pooping in the box the first day!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well... after over 2 months of "retraining" Milukhu to poop in the litter boxes, it seems that she's gotten the hang of it again. Keeping my fingers crossed.

I finally took Milukhu to a new vet for a check-up (he was thorough compared to the previous one I've been going to), but he couldn't find anything physically wrong with her. He concluded that it was definitely a behavior problem. He said in his 34 years of experience, this is the first time he's encountered a behavior problem like Milukhu's (that she only poops outside of the litter box, and pees inside). It was obvious that Milukhu was trying to tell me something. The vet referred me to a behavior specialist (whom I have not yet gone to). The funny thing is, the day after returning from the new vet, Milukhu pooped in the litter box!! I could not understand why she was behaving as such... but I rewarded her with treats everytime she'd attempt to go in the box or go near it. I was convinced that she definitely was not afraid of the litter box (since she continues to pee in it)..., from then on, each week, she'd have fewer accidents. Sometimes I'd try to talk to her, (I could swear that sometimes she does understand me!) asking and begging her to please not poop on my carpet anymore, etc... To my amazement, she listened and improved day by day. Until about 2 weeks ago, she started to poop on my couch, and this time she peed on it too! She did this for about 2 days and went back to the litter box days that follwed. I figured if I took her to the behavior specialist, it will probably be another traumatic experience for her (since the specialist is far away and Milukhu hates to be in her carrier and riding in the care- she gets really spooked), and what if she's already learning and improving... it will only set her back again... So, in the meantime... I am really trying to be there for her... to watch and monitor her behavior and see what happens. It seems that she's been a good girl lately and found her restrooms again. I am keeping my fingers crossed that she will keep it up...
post #16 of 18
I'm so glad to hear that you've found some more patience and the kittys at least physically healthy.

If you've not experimented with new types of litter/boxes/locations maybe you can find the one that works for both of you. I find that living with cats, often you will have to find comprimises on certain issues!

As for my valium kitty, well the valium did her a world of good and in a few months I was able to take her off the pills and all went well and we lived happily ever after mostly. She still has occasional accidents but she tries to go in the box now every time and I can live with that.

I understand totally what you said about not wanting to take her for the long car ride even if its to the behaviorist! My cat is so easily upset something as simple as me dropping the tin foil on the floor by accident set her back another week.

Maybe you can find a behaviorist that'll make house calls? Or might have some ideas over the phone? I can't imagine taking a cat TO a behaviorist would do any good. They always act differently when you take them out of their house don't they?

Anyway I think what you've been doing is probably right, and the valium from what I'm told may calm them down and aid in re-training but doesn't solve the problem. Even if you put your cat on drugs you have to try to solve the mystery of why they won't go in the box anymore and what you can do to make the box more attractive for them.

I read a book called "Is My Cat Crazy?" written by an animal behaviorist that brought up a lot of good points and gave me a lot of things to look for and some great suggestions.

You said your cat has a sister... Maybe she's worried about getting ambushed in the box and would prefer to have one in a spot where she can see all around her. Oreo prefers to go in open areas with a clear view of everything.

Or maybe its the opposite and she wants more privacy and would do better with a box with a hood on it. This book suggested getting kitty-safe potted plants and setting them in front of the box for the kitty that wants more privacy.

If you notice where she's been doing her thing maybe you can spot a trend in what kind of locations and materials she likes to go on and give her a bathroom more suited to her tastes.

I'm glad to hear that shes improved and I hope she continues to do so!

Good Luck! I know how frustrating this problem is first hand. I do "poo checks" of the whole house every morning when I wake up and every night when I come home. But I swear its worth all the trouble because when it comes right down to it, she's a living thing and the carpet isn't.

Take Care of that kitty and yourself!
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Glad to know that someone else out there understands what I am going through! Especially doing the "poo checks" everyday!

My kitties seem to be fine with the litter that I've been buying, but I think it's more or less about how sensitive they are to the condition of the litter boxes. I constantly scoop out the clumps, often immediately right after them going, if I notice it... and with 3 different types(large enclosed, small enclosed, and open) of superclean boxes and locations, you'd think Milukhu would be satisfied...Milukhu likes a perfectly clean box each time- trouble isn't she? Sometimes I think they are just spoiled... (but, that's probably my fault since I pampered them too much since they were kittens, as told by many).

I think Milukhu probably has a slight "attention defecit disorder" (only my diagnosis...just seems that way). She becomes extremely naughty and does strange things if she doesn't see me for a while. So, often I wonder if she poops outside the litter box just to get my attention... that way I will have to come out to clean after her. Other than her pooing problem, she is so sweet... So far, she's doing fine, no more accidents.

I agree with Dawn about seeing a behavior specialist... I don't think a stranger could help or know my kitty more than I. I just believe if I continue to love her, she will eventually be good and get better. Actually, I've learned to be quite patient with all the kitty problems I've been experiencing. Well, they are my children... what else can I do, but to love them.

Dawn, thanks for sharing your experiences with Oreo and your suggestions. Really appreciate it.

post #18 of 18
I'm glad I could help!

Oreo is a real handful... and some days are easier than other days. We just had a messy week here and I was feeling a bit discouraged so your post on the board helped give me hope again too!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Help!! My kitty is eliminating bowel movement all over the carpet!