My cat poops outside its litter box: 6 possible reasons

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My cat poops outside its litter box: 6 possible reasons

No matter how hard you look, you don’t understand why your cat urinates in its litter box but defecates elsewhere. However, he seems to have understood what use he had to make of it! In reality, several reasons can explain such behavior. Here are which ones!

  1. A medical problem

Too often, cat owners automatically dismiss any medical problem and favor a behavioral lead instead. In fact, many diseases can cause your cat to refuse to poop in the litter box. For example, intestinal problems can cause your feline to relieve itself where it is, especially because of abdominal cramps  which prevent it from moving.

Likewise, if your cat is constipated, he may associate his litter box with a sore feeling. And if he has arthritis , it can be particularly difficult for him to find the right position to eliminate his stool in his litter box, especially if the latter is closed or too narrow. In any case, before considering a behavior problem, it is better to check your cat’s state of health with a veterinarian.

  1. Instinct

Some cats hate urinating and defecating in the same place . In question ? An instinct that comes to them from their wild ancestors and which is still difficult to understand today. However, it is believed to be a way for our feline friends to expand their territories .

If this is the case for your cat, the only solution is to buy him another litter , especially for his stools. Do not place it right next to the original litter box but preferably in another room, or at least where your furry ball has now become accustomed to Cat Pooping on the floor. In any case, don’t forget that it is necessary to have at least one litter box per cat.

  1. The shape or location of the litter box

As you know, in nature, cats are predators but also prey . It is for this reason that they are always alert and need to control the slightest movement in their environment. So, if your cat’s litter box is closed , it’s entirely possible that she won’t feel safe enough to take the time to poop in it. Indeed, he could not see a possible enemy or another cat approaching and therefore would not have time to flee! The same applies if his litter box is open but it is placed in a corner of the room , hidden in a closet  or in a passageway .

  1. The cleanliness of the litter box

In order to keep a litter box always clean and to make your cat want to go there, it is recommended to remove the excrement with a shovel every day and to change it completely once or twice a week .

But if, despite your best efforts, your cat decides that his litter box is too dirty for his poop break, he is totally free to defecate elsewhere. In this case, it may be wise to  add a second litter  in the house. The goal? Allow your cat maniac to always have access to a clean litter box.

  1. The type of litter

Yes, some cats prefer a particular type of litter when it comes to urinating and another when it comes to defecating. Go understand! Given that they spend more time pooping, maybe that can explain this weird requirement

So all you have to do is offer your cat a second litter box . But with a different substrate from the first. And if that still doesn’t work, opt for an empty litter box . If your cat poops in it, it’s just that he can’t stand the litter box when it comes to pooping. And in that case, we’re really sorry for you… FYI, most cats prefer soft, sandy, unscented litter.

  1. Stress

Just like urinating, defecating can be a way for your cat to mark its territory . And especially in times of stress. Thus, if he suddenly starts pooping on the ground following a change in his environment (moving house, arrival of a new animal, etc.), it is likely that it is only temporary , while he adapt to this new situation.

Also, if your cat had a frightening experience , such as a loud noise, while she was pooping in her litter box , she may have associated that time and place with something stressful. Thus, he will tend to avoid making the big errand in his litter box.

My cat defecates outside of its litter box, what should I do?

Expert’s response

Toilet problems in cats are often caused by a lack of litter box hygiene. First, make sure you offer your cat a litter box that is not too old (so not impregnated with odors), large enough, without a lid, and contains a good amount of litter. Removing needs and urine every day is not enough, you must change the entire substrate at least once a week (and more often if you put little litter or have more than one cat). Besides, in theory, you should have one litter more than your number of cats (for example, 4 litters if you have 3 cats).

Sometimes it only takes a few things to scare a kitty and prevent him from going to his litter box: a nearby heat pump or freezer that suddenly starts making noise, a place that is too busy, another cat that prevents him from going to his litter to intimidate him, etc. The principle is to find the reason or reasons that prevent your cat from perceiving its litter box as the most comfortable and the best place in the world to do its business! Give him the perfect conditions, restrict access to places he’s gotten into the bad habit of going for a few weeks, and you should be able to get him back on track.