missmadys asked in PetsCats · 1 decade ago

I have a cat that keeps going outside his litter box (poop)? What could be the cause/s of this?

He has two litter boxes because I work long hours and away for two days sometimes. Also he is not neutered. It was suggested the behavior could be because he is not fixed, but a friend who has multiple cats who are fixed do the same thing out of their litter box sometimes. My cat does it more than twice a week.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Here are a few suggestions to your litter box problems:

    -Provide a box for each cat

    -Change litter daily

    -Provide constant access to a box

    -Go back to previously used brand of litter and/or

    -Discontinue new disinfectant

    -Move box to where it was previously used

    -Eliminate new or frightening noise near litter box

    -Move food and water away from litter box

    -If cat is only going in one spot, put the litter box at the exact location and gradually move it back to where you want it at the rate of one foot per day

    -If there are several places, try putting dishes of cat food in those areas to discourage further elimination there

    -Experiment with different textures of litter (cats prefer sandy litter)

    -Use a covered litter box for cats that stand in box but eliminate outside of it

    Anyone who has ever had the displeasure of litter box lapses in their home has probably asked the question "WHY!". "Why would my cat do such a disgusting thing in my home!" For the beginnings of an answer to this question, let's go back to how we train our cats to use the litter box.

    Think about it, how did you train your cat to use a litter box? If you are like most people, you probably put the cat in or near the litter box a few times and then counted on the cat's good sense to use the box later. Amazingly enough this method often works (try THAT with a dog), and the reason it works is because what we are counting on is not the cat's good sense but rather the cat's preference for a particular litter box material. Problems arise when your cat doesn't like or develops an aversion to the litter box that you have provided. Let's be fair here. There is absolutely no reason to expect every cat to like the same material, or even for one cat to prefer the same material over an entire life span.

    Ok, first lesson learned: You did not train your cat to use a litter box. At best, you offered the cat something recognizable as litter material. If your cat is having litter box problems then you will need to figure out how to make the litter box appealing to the cat. Here are a few options:

    1) Pain or illness can cause a cat to stop using the litter box. Cats are very adept at hiding illness, so if your cat is having litter box problems then the first thing you need to do is take the cat to a vet for a medical exam.

    2) If you aren't scooping the waste out of the litter every day then you need to start and start now.

    3) Perfumes or other odors can drive your cat away from the litter box. Scented litters are unacceptable to many cats, and the leftover scent from a cleaning product could also be a problem. Get rid of the perfumes, and scrub those cleaners away before giving the box back to the cat. Remember that cats have an acute sense of smell.

    4) Your cat may feel vulnerable when in the litter box. Is it in a noisy location (such as next to the washing machine)? Is it secure from little marauders like dogs and children, or even other cats? If the box is not semi-private, move it to a better location.

    5) Remember those preferences that we talked about earlier. You may need to offer several different types of litter before finding the right one. Strange but true, some cats will not use the same box for urine and feces, in which case you'll have to provide two boxes. The type of box could also be a problem. If the box has a cover, try removing it.

    6) Anxiety can lead to litter box lapses. Did some event scare your cat? This could be anything from a new couch to a new cat or even a new person in the house. If you suspect anxiety, confine the cat to a safe and secure place (maybe a bed room) until the anxiety has passed. Cats seem to hang on to their emotions, so the anxiety could last much longer than the actual event. No need to rush, leave that safe haven available to the cat for as long as possible.

    7) If you have multiple cats, chances are you'll need multiple boxes, maybe even with different materials in them.

    There is one more important distinction that you'll need to make. Is the cat refusing to use the litter box, or is the cat spraying? Spraying is a territorial behavior and has nothing to do with disliking the box. For more information on litter box problems or spraying, consult with a trained behaviorist.

    Correcting the Problem

    The key to solving elimination problems is to make the litter box more attractive, and the area where the cat is soiling instead, unattractive.

    Sometimes, just cleaning the litter box more frequently or changing its location will correct the problem. Other times, you may need to experiment with different combinations of location and kitty litter to find a solution. You may even want to offer your cat the choice of several different boxes, each with different kinds of litter, to see which he or she prefers.

    At the same time, you must break the cat's habit of soiling in the new location. Be sure to clean the soiled area thoroughly with a pet odor remover to get rid of any urine scent -- or your cat may be attracted back to the same spot.

    It's important to keep the cat away from the area. Try covering the spot with carpet runner, prickly side up, or use a device that delivers a harmless static shock or that produces a loud noise when the cat comes near, to help redirect kitty to his litter box. Adding a room deodorizer with a scent the cat finds offensive - such as a strong citrus or floral - can also keep the cat away from the area.

    When to See the Vet

    If your cat continues to eliminate outside of the litter box, a trip to the vet is in order to check for health problems. No behavior techniques will help a cat with a problem that requires the attention of a veterinarian.

    Urinary tract infections are a common cause of litter box problems, which your pet's doctor can diagnose and treat. A urinalysis can also rule out diabetes. Other conditions that may affect elimination behavior include arthritis - which makes is painful to climb in and out of the box - and constipation.

  • Vpot
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Does he do it near the box? It's possible his boxes are too small for him.

    My youngest cat had a problem using the litter box, and we had him fixed when he was about 7 months old, now that he's a year, he's gotten much better, as long as the litter is clean. My other cat would sometimes sits too close to the edge of the box, and would kinda miss and poop outside.

    My suggestion is to fix your cat, get a larger enclosed cat pat and keep the litter clean. If this doesn't help, then I would talk to your vet, maybe he has some sort of parasite that isn't always letting him make it to the box.

    Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    Once they start going outside the box and get the scent on the floor they will go back to that spot.

    Going outside the box may mean he doesn't like the litter, the box smells back (to him, not you), he may have a bladder infection or illness.

    If the box is old, think about replacing it (and throw out the old litter, start fresh). I don't get litter boxes but go to a department store and get a large plastic 'box' container (like the kind that slide under the bed). They are larger and usually better.

    Clean the area where he's been going really well and you probably need to buy some professional cat urine cleaner (your vet or a pet store will have it). Cat's can smell scent that we can't.

    Finally, I've heard that Feliway (a cat hormone diffuser) can help.

    Good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi

    you need to get a larger sided litter box, i use a plastic storage box with sides that are about seven inches high. both cats have no problem jumping in and out and theres not litter and poops all around it anymore from where one of them has a good old rake over. you also need to clean it out daily until he gets used to going in it again. if its smelly and dirty he's not going to want to use it.

    please consider getting him neutered, he will soon start to spray everywhere and mark his territory. he will also be a much happier cat.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Um...my cat used to have the same issue. We found that her litter box was much too small. Try getting her a bigger or inclosed litter box.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    try a different litter! My cat did that when she was younger we used Tidy Cats but now we use Fine Feline!! Just try a different brand of cat litter!

  • 1 decade ago

    Cat wants more attention.

    Cat is expressing displeasure

    Litter boxes are too dirty

    Litter boxes are otherwise unpleasant for kitty to use

  • 1 decade ago

    My friend's cat did the same thing - he took the cat (Mia) to the vet and found out there was an infection.

    Gave her some meds and the poop situation normalized!

  • 1 decade ago

    Is the litter box enclosed, if not I suggest you either purchase an enclosed one or place the boxes in very private areas.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    put the cat doo in the box when he does this, then put him in it. Take his paw and literelly show him how to scratch the mix. Do this everytime you find it. If he is a smart cat, he will "get it"

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