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Voiding outside his box

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My Zeke is voiding (pooping) outside his box. It started on my bathroom rugs, then it moved to the bathtub. He has done it in the middle of my guest bed, on the floor outside his box and now on the pantry floor across the house. I have tried changing litters, I have tried moving his box and changing his food. I have to keep every door in the house shut or he voids in them. Its to the point that he's not even using the box for his movements anymore. I'm going to have to rehome him if he continues. My fiance is ready to kill him.
Zeke is about 5 months old. He is a Bengal mix. Very sweet. Very affectionate. Especially all night when he kisses on our noses. Other than the voiding, he is very well behaved and smart. He's not aggressive, he plays well with our puppy and our rabbit. He does cry and get upset when we are gone. At first I thought that was why he was voiding outside his box because every time we left I'd come home to numerous piles, but now he does it when we're at home and whenever he feels like it. His feces is soft, not diarrhea, but softer than it should be if that means anything. Please help me. I don't know where else to turn.
post #2 of 6
Whenever a cat that was using a litter box stops using a litter box, the first thing you need to do is get the cat to a vet. This is the only way they have to let us know there is something wrong. I am not surprised his poop is softer than it should be. It just confirms you really need to get him to a vet.

If he associates pooping with feeling sick or hurting, he comes to associate the litter box with feeling sick or hurting.

He may have colitis or any number of things. And cats do have very sensitive stomachs, so if you've been changing his food without a gradual introduction of the new food, this may be exacerbating the problem.

Pooping outside the box, if not a health problem, is usually a "territory marking" issue. BUt given that he is pooping all over the place, it seems to me that it is in some way painful or otherwise uncomfortable, thus he keeps changing the places he poops. Also pooping on cold hard surfaces (such as the bathtub) is another sign of a physical problem.

Here's what I suggest you do:

1) Get him to a vet ASAP for a thorough check-up, blood work, and perhaps an X-ray. The vet will let you know what is appropriate. BRING A POOP SAMPLE WITH YOU.

2) He has one litter box. Replace it. Buy a totally different type, and buy several more - put them in the rooms he would poop in most frequently. (You need to change the box so it has "new" smell and is not the same box he may associate with pain or problems). Any time he poops, scoop it up, put it in a box, and put him in there. He may just leave, but that may help.

3) Clean up any place he has pooped with an enzyme cleaner. Smelling his poop smell outside of his box encourages him to continue going outside the box. Anything else may clean up the scent to our human noses, but it does not get rid of the scent to a cat's nose. Enzyme cleaners are not all created equal. The best ones are expensive. They are: http://www.catfaeries.com/cleanup.html or http://www.nokout.com/odorelim/pets/. We use Nok Out.

Cats rarely poop outside the box due to stress. They usually pee outside the box due to stress. But if the vet determines there is nothing physically wrong with him, we've got suggestions on how to deal with that.
post #3 of 6
Oh, you have my sympathy - I know it's not fun to come home to any accidents, and then you get stressed and then the cat picks up on your stress and it goes round and round. I've been there. Does he pee in the box?

First off, have you been to the vet. If not, I'd take some time to make up a written diary, so to speak, of the progress of what's been happening, where, any other things that might have changed, and especially what he's been eating (taking a bag in to the vet with you if need be to show the ingredients). That soft poo may be an indicator that not all is right, and that's the only way Zeke has to show you.

There are threads on this site about soft poo - a lot of people have had luck with probiotics, such as Benebac, but I'd definitely check things out with the vet first. If it's not an intestinal parasite (and ask the vet to check for everything!), it mght be the food just isn't quite right for his tummy, even if it works for other cats.

I'm going to assume you've cleaned everything with an enzyme cleaner, such as Nature's Miracle, or Oxyfresh from the grocery store? If not, you probably have to, as cats will return to the 'scene of the crime', and their noses are a lot better than ours.

How many litter boxes do you have, and how often do you clean them A lot of kitties (like my Dante) really do want more than one box available, and are very picky about cleanliness. I have three boxes for two cats, and clean at least twice a day (and toss out all the litter and start over monthly, at least. Also, since Zeke is still a kitten, he may get so excited in play, etc., that he might not be able to get to the single box every time. And, of course, since now he's gone outside the box, that's an option for him.

Again, after the vet visit, you may want to retrain him to the box by keeping him in a smallish room or large cat crate with the box until he's consistent in use. But, if you haven't been to the vet, I cannot stress enough how important I think the vet visit is before you start any retraining. If it's a physical issue, or a food tolerance issue, it's not Zeke 'fault' that he's pooping outside the box and you want to fix that first.

Have you tried Cat Attract litter. I swear by it for getting kitties back in the box - it's worked for a lot of people, and I really do think it's worth a shot after you've seen the vet.

Good luck and best wishes - truly, I was in tears over my Dante sometimes, but with patience, and telling him he's a good boy when he uses the box, and that I understand he's trying to tell me something on the very rare, now, occasions when he doesn't use the box, we're 99% of the time home free now.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
These are wonderful explanations. Thank you so much. I was planning on taking him to a vet asap, but I need to find a good one. Unfortunately, I'm 600 miles away from the one I've used all my adult life. I hadn't even thought about retraining him. I've been so baffled with his behavior, and it's so frustrating because we love him so much. He really is a wonderful kitten. I will definitely do all that you have suggested. Where is a good place to get the kitty litter that attracts them. I have never heard of it before. Right now I clean his box at least once a day and change his litter twice a week. At first I thought his behavior was due to where I got him from. My sister-in-law kept the kittens locked in a bathroom and I'm sure she didn't clean their box often enough. So I thought it may have been a habitual thing with him. But, now I'm not so sure. Thank you for all your expertise.
post #5 of 6
Maybe you could ask your old vet for a local recommendation? And, by me, both Petsmart and Pet Supplies Plus carry Cat Attract Litter (by Dr. Elsey - he also does the Precious Cat litter line). There's also a Cat Attract additive you can buy, over the internet - which would cost a lot less in shipping than the litter itself.

I never heard of Cat Attract litter until my newly adopted boy started having issues - both my vet and the local Pet Smart manager independently suggested it.

I hope you find a good vet you trust very soon, and that Zeke starts feeling better soon. I know it's a stressful situation - so lots of hugs to you, and your fiance, for your patience in trying to sort this out. Honestly, Zeke isn't doing this to be 'bad' - he's in some sort of discomfort and just can't tell us what's wrong. Heck, on the up side, you and your fiance are both getting a good look at each other in handling a 'messy' situation - which is only a good thing in the long run. But prayers for you all.
post #6 of 6
The other posters had great advice.....

Take him to the vet immediately before you do anything drastic. It could be his anal glands are infected, etc.

What type of diet do you feed your cat?
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