What to Do When Your Cat Poops Outside the Box

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By Sophia Yin, DVM

What do you do when your kitty is leaving little landmines around the house—a.k.a. pooping outside the box?  Unlike urine, which cats often use to spray-paint invisible but pungent messages such as “I was here” or “This is MINE!” on your walls, misplaced poop as well as large puddles of pee usually has a whole different meaning. Basically, when cats poop (or pee large puddles) out of place, it’s for one of two reasons. They don’t like their litter box or they like their new taboo toilet better.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Why wouldn’t a cat love a little plastic box piled deep with cat litter and filled with the scent of past visits? My dogs love it. They visit it every day and sometimes help with the cleanup.” (Note to reader: do not let such dogs lick you.)

Well, it could be a lot of things. Maybe the litter’s not deep enough or the lining is a pain to negotiate, or the box is too small – it should be 1.5x the length of the cat. Or it’s so dirty and stinky that your feline has to hold his breath while watching his step.

Your cat’s behavior could lend a clue. If he stands on the litter box edge and drops his duty along the sides or is in and out faster than your kids on the way to soccer practice and leaves his mess uncovered, he may have an issue with the litter. Cats tend to like the feel of finer litters and most of them regularly cover their feces or urine. In fact, cats generally spend over 20 seconds pawing around in the litter. Also, some cats prefer unscented litters.

While “spring” might smell nice to us, to the cat’s keener schnozzle, the blend of deodorizer with fumes of excrement may be an olfactory no-no. Even a whiff of pure “perfumey fresh” without the poop might hit a cat like a punch in the nose, sending him in search of a better bathroom site.

To see whether litter type or cleanliness have a hand in your cat’s pooping (or peeing) problems, clean the litter boxes twice a day and set up a litter-box lineup for a week or two. In this choice test for litter lavatories, place three or more temporary boxes side by side with only one thing varying between boxes. For instance you may be comparing scented vs unscented, Brand A vs Brand B, large box vs small box, and so on.

Even try covered versus uncovered boxes, and if he’s going on rugs, try one with bits of carpet to see if it’s the surface type that he likes. Generally if the cat has a preference you’ll know in just several days.

If you’re already compulsive about cleaning your cat’s litter box and the box is unscented, unlined, and filled with litter that the litter box choice test shows that he loves, then you should look more closely at the litter box location.

Is his box right next to his breakfast room? If so, try moving his food bowl farther away. Is the box in the right location? Just like some people (usually men) who decide that using the bushes is more convenient than using the designated bathroom, cats may choose more convenient sites too. So provide plenty of boxes (one for each cat in the household plus one extra) in different, easily accessible places in the house. For those of you who live in multi-level houses, be sure to place a box on each floor.

And make sure that boxes can’t be blocked by bully cats or other bothersome animals in the household. Also, for older cats with arthritis, try a box with lower sides so they can easily enter. For ideas on how to make the multitude of litter boxes looking nice in your home as well as having multiple entry points, go to www.ikeahackers.net.

For some cats there’s nothing wrong with the box or location. These cats may have just had a painful incident, such as diarrhea or constipation, or fearful experience, such as a sudden loud noise piercing their peaceful pooping episode, which they now associate with the box. That’s one reason why it’s best to keep the litter boxes away from loud areas or appliances, such as a laundry room or furnace. A sudden loud, Bang! or the thud of a detergent box landing on your head is enough to keep even easy going cats away from that dangerous litter box location. Still, others cats just happened to discover a new location or special surface that they like much better.

In any case, in addition to making the litter boxes extremely appealing, make the off-limit toilet sites inconvenient or unattractive.

First use an enzymatic cleaner such as Petastic or Anti-icky poo (MisterMax.com) on these sites so that the faint whiff of past deeds no longer entices your cat to perform the undesirable act.

Then deny access by closing the room off, placing tin foil, upside-down carpet runner, or other blockades over the area, or by spraying with an over-the-counter cat repellent.

Alternatively, place the cat’s food, bed, or even his litter box over the location.

If he’s been using sites for a while, you may have to break the habit, retraining him to his box for weeks to a month or two. Confine him to one room with several lovely cat lavatories. Even train him to go in and then reward him when you catch him pottying in the box. Once he has a habit of pottying only in the box for 30 days, let him roam additional rooms but only when supervised at first.

Follow these tips to a T and your cat will once again poop in his litter box regularly.

 

For information on urine spraying in cats, go to Urine- Spraying Cats: How To Deal With Kitty ‘Graffiti’.

Also watch for my next blog on medical causes for pooping outside the litter box at drsophiayin.com.

Too see a video of how to target train your cat, watch Target Training Kittens. Once he’s target trained, you can use the target to get him into his litter box.

Further Reading:

 

Adapted from an article originally appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2003.

Blog post updated: January 5, 2017

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209 responses to “What to Do When Your Cat Poops Outside the Box

  1. I made the mistake of putting the litter box by the main door we used to enter the house. When we entered, our cat went running from the box and after a few times, he wouldn’t use that box.
    Also, it’s always a struggle to place the litter box with easy access for the cats but not easy access for the dogs. We have gotten creative in our design of our cats room. Yes our cats have their own room with wall climbing and plenty of sleeping places but the box (in that room) is large, covered and in a closet behind a shelf with the enterence turned so that the cats can enter but the dogs can’t. It’s not so convenent for the cats but for now they are fine with it.

    1. He was going in the box in the beginning and now since he’s been fixed the last 2 weeks he poops right In front of the door to go out which the liter box is 6 inches away from that and I just found him peeing on my floor I am stumped don’t know what to do

      1. Lisa did you find out what was going on with your cat? My cat is doing something very similar. I thought it might be litter so I changed his litter and he will pee in his box but continues to poop outside the box. Had him fixed a few weeks ago. Hope your cat is well. Thanks

        1. Any insight into this yet? I have the same problem with my once litterbox trained kitty of 4 mo. Had her spayed 3 weeks ago and now she poops behind our toilet instead of in the box which she used just fine before. I also changed litter with no results. Just curious if you had found an answer.

          1. My cat use to do that, after 3 weeks, it stopped,just pick up the poop.
            It is normal is they do that is they just get fixed. Good luck, hope you do well.

      2. I don’t know how to post a question so I have yo make a reply. Anyway I have a kitty who to me isn’t just a kitty she IS my daughter! I moved into this one neighborhood about 4 years ago and this beautiful kitty that actually belonged to the people down the street (who didn’t take good care of her at all and never cared that she never came back!) started hanging around my house, well we took her in, she was an inside and outside kitty, when she had to go potty she would stand by the door and we would let her out, she would do her business and then come back in. A few times she went in the house so we got her a box and sometimes she would go in it but she had a lot of accidents. Well about 7 months ago we moved to a new town and went from a house with a yard and a neighborhood she was familiar with to a condo in an area she didn’t know so we can’t let her out. For the first maybe month she was not keen on going in the box but I had read online about getting her a second box and BAM! That did the trick! She started using the box all the time for both poop and pee! I was sooooo proud of her! Well about a month ago she started where she would only pee in the box but poop all over the house and now she sometimes pees in the box but sometimes she will pee on the stove or in the dish drain! I don’t know why this all of the sudden is happening! My husband is soooo angry! He is talking about dropping her back off in our old neighborhood (I don’t think he would really do that he loves her)! What can I do I love ny baby but I need help!!!!

        1. It sounds like it may be a behavioral reaction to new environmental conditions or limitations (unable to go outside / new home). Stress can lead to many ailments in cats especially, as they are so sensitive to changes in environment, routine, etc. Cats are BIG on stability and routine, in my experience – (shared life with multiple cats for 25+ years.)

          Is kitty straining to pee, (inside or outside the box); or able to pee only in small amounts? If so, act fast!
          She may have a UTI – Urinary Tract Infection.
          Research online for FLUTD, or FCI, too.
          try here –
          Feline Interstitial Cystitis: What Cat Owners Need to Know
          http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/feline-interstitial-cystitis-what-cat-owners-should-know-about-urinary-tract-issues

          If you haven’t already seen the info on this page right here at this site – maybe that will help?
          Litter Box Problems Could Be Due to Physical Ailment
          https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/physical-ailment-could-explain-why-your-cat-poops-outside-the-box/

          Hope this helps.

          Understandable that your husband is angry. (I’m a guy, too; and between my wife & I, I’m the one seeing to our cats’ potty care); figuring out our feline buddies can require diligence and LOTS of patience, and of course lots of love. Hope your husband will continue to find patience while you find a solution. And hope your kitty is on good heath!

        2. It sounds like you may need to take her to the vet for an examination. A change of bathroom habits may indicate a physical problem. If all else fails, perhaps your vet will recommend medication for stress related issues. I’m having a similar problem with my female gray tuxedo….she gets stressed by her brother, Jack Sparrow, and eliminates outside the box. I’m to the point of putting her in the guest bedroom by herself until she learns to use the litter box again. Good luck.

    2. Hi my cat is 12 years old now she is pooping from time to time i have a grandchild who comes daily after his day care and he hates her try to
      Much to let them friends but no way can any one tell me what to do and thank you

      1. My cat has no problem using the box for peeing but when it comes to pooping he absolutly refuses to use it weather its clean or dirty, smellly or not, by food or not, we even had him fixed and he still does it. any sort of help would be nice

        1. My cat is about 8 year old and has the same issue as Sabrina. She just doesn’t use the litter box to poop. She does thankfully use it for peeing. I have tried everything. At one time she had 4 litter boxes, each with a different cat litter. I am not sure what to do next.

        2. That’s my issue as well. She was pooping in the little box daily until one day she decided not to go there anymore. Similarly, she’ll pee in the box but that’s it. I’m going to buy super fine litter as my next test. She hates scented so I’ve always used unscented litter so I know that’s not it. Best of luck to you!!

        3. I would like the answer to this as well. I literally picked my cat up, put him in the box, he went, but came upstairs and finished his poop under my curtains.

    3. I can’t figure out how to leave my own comment on this page, doesn’t give me a place to do it, so I have to
      ‘reply’ to this comment.

      I just got a new cat, thinking my other cat wanted a playmate, we were going to get a second one anyway. Well Jinx is none to friendly, although Spiffy did hiss at their first meet n greet. Now Jinx follows her in a predatory fashion and as soon as they are out of eye shot, scuffles ensue. Now I have them in seperate rooms and Jinx is camped in front of that door . I tried to encourage her to give the new kitty some toys under the door, but I come back later to find she has taken all the toys and has reached under the door and pulled Spiffy rug out . I put it back to find she reached in and took it again along with her bowl. I am giving her wet food because she has UTI and I am putting the meds in there. The meds also causing Rinna poop. One day she insisted on coming out & Jinx started following her and the second I looked away, I heard screaming n fighting. This time I put Jinx in the room since she is being mean. The next day I find a poop (still solid) by my back door to the garage. I showed her the litter box and she pitched a fit, did not want to be put in that box. So I put Spiffy back in the back room and let Jinx out. Spiffy was using the box ok, now her poops are getting runny and today I have found two outside the box. I had a vet tell me once while my cat was on antibiotics to give a 1/4 tab of I’m imodium, for the runny poops. I just did that . Crossing my fingers it works, those two poops were close to the box, maybe it is because of the runs. Any suggestions ? I have been using a big tote because we used to have a cat that was fastidious with the covering diddle so that may be a problem…but I just cleaned boxes and she has used both the high n low sided boxes. As I was cleaning the diddle off the floor, I moved a box in the bathroom and she came in and peed on the floor right next to it, WTF? Prior to this I set the carrier I used to bring her home in that area, to find she had been peeing on it. I was told when I picked her up that she peed when they did the Felv test so she was wet with pee when I brought her home. She also pooped on the way home but it was solid. So I took that away and washed everything with bleach, but I think she has been continuing to pee cuz the smell will not go away.
      WHAT DO I DO? I cannot take on this kind of problem, we are putting in new floors (cuz of plumbing flood) and I don’t want her peeing all over my new hardwood floors. I was told she was good with cats, dogs & kids but maybe not? I just got her so maybe I should just take her back. I also scrubbed both her boxes with bleach could that be the problem? Maybe I should have used amonia.

      Signed at my wits end and my house smells like a litter box.

      1. It looks like she is very stressed out. Maybe the bleach smell bothers her and she doesn’t want to use it anymore. I clean my carpet with soap and water when my cat pee on it. Anyways you have to let them get use to each other. Mines took like a month to stop the fighting, now they don’t like each other but they don’t fight. Don’t get mad at any of them, give them a lot of love and let them deal wth each other. It takes time but it works. Remember they are wild animals and they are trying to mark their territory. Good luck

      2. We recently lost our Max. He was 23 y/o and such a bully. At one point we had five cats and Max had to be separated from 1-3 of the others. We wound up having to buy a small animal play pen and locking him in there over night while 1-3 of the others cats had food and water, as well as a box and were in our bedroom during the day.

        It can be done, but I’ll tell you, it wasn’t easy. Good luck!

        P.S. We are now down to only one cat and she will be 17 y/o in September 2017. She has suddenly decided to poop everywhere! I have had her checked and there is nothing wrong. I am going to look into the unscented litter. Hopefully that’s all the problem is.

        Again, good luck!

        1. Oh my I have the same issue. We had 3 cats – down to 1 – he’s 16 – ever since our first cat, his sister died, he sporadically used the little box. Now, that it’s just him, he doesn’t use it at all… He’s learned somehow to pee in the drain of the bathtub, so that’s ok, but he poops all over the house, every room – and now this week, hes started pooping on the counter top in the bathroom and on our bed.. I so do not want to put him to sleep, but I don’t know what to do. He has been going down hill since we had to put our other cat to sleep last year. He almost died, then one day just snapped out of it, started eating and drinking again, but won’t use the litter at all.

          1. cats are very loving, loyal friends—- they grieve ,if anyone in their family passes away.They are also very smart— talk to them, they fully understand you.Tell them when you are leaving for work or just shopping,reassure them that you love them and you will return in a few hours.our cat recognizes the sound of our pickup and our footsteps and will wait by the door, if our daughter( his mom — so- to speak 0,is not with us coming in— I have to reassure him— mom will be home soon,he will then go sit on her couch until she returns.They do not like any strong smells— after I disinfect his litterbox, I rinse it with warm water, so it does not smell like strong cleaners. Hope this helps ? Cat lover.

      3. I do not know how true it is, but I was told that to our cats, bleach and chlorine tends to smell like another cat to them. If that is correct, the use of bleach could be upsetting the cat more. You may need to look more along the lines of a neutralizing product.

        My cat has a habit of peeing on my gym/pool bag and goes crazy rubbing on my feet when I come home from aqua classes. This could tie in with the bleach/chlorine smelling like cat, so I need to make sure I put my bag away, where she can’t get to it, as soon as I get home.

        I am also having a issue with her pooping in front of her littler box. She had done it twice in 4 days, which is unlike her. Both the litter boxes have lids, so I am going to remove the lid on one and see if that helps.

    4. I need help my cat has not health issues and my older cat is not bothering her while she did use the litter box. She was using it fine when we first got her back in Oct 2016. Now from some reason she has been peeing and pooping on our kitchen floor. But she still uses the litter box sometimes. It has been random when she goes outside the litter box.

      1. Looking for some suggestions. Cat is 10 years old. Over the past two years she began randomly pooping outside the box. At first it was in places that seemed to be done to get attention – i.e., in an area where she would know certain household members would see it. No rhyme or reason to this. The best that I can tell is that she does not like her litter box cleaned out whether that means just completely dumping the contents OR actually washing it. Either way she is not happy and so begins to poop again. Then a couple days later she will poop in the box and things will be normal for about 2 days. This happens even on days where I scoop out the dirty deeds (clumping litter) daily. We cannot figure her out. This is disgusting. She is now relegated to the basement but she poops on the rug down there and I even tried doing something really gross to offend her to hopefully trick her into realizing she has to go in the box. That gross thing is when I pick up the poop from the carpet (with a baggie of course) and put it on top of her cat tree. It seemed to offend her but not enough where she stopped. At this point I feel that I’m going to have to buy a dog crate and keep her in there permanently. I don’t want to do that of course, but I’m out of options. Can someone recommend ANYTHING? i have not changed her litter in 5 years. She does not have an enclosed litter box. She has two litter boxes now because I thought that would help – one for pee one for poop but she just uses both when she feels like it, otherwise she uses the floor. I’ve tried herb mixtures specifically for this purpose to attract her to the litter. Doesn’t help.

        1. I’m having the same problem with my cat. She does use the litter box regularly for both urine as well as feces, but she continues to poop in another room several times a week. I’ve tried moving her litter box to that spot, but then she decides to poop in another. I’ve tried using a second little box, but that didn’t help. I use blue Buffalo cat litter for a few years. Should I try switching the type of litter? She has dry food and I thought I should increase her fiber so she also gets some canned food for breakfast. I told her vet about this, but he hasn’t given me any suggestions. Hat should I do? I keep her litter box in the vacant area under my bathroom sink.

    5. Have any of you tried DR ELSEY’S Cat Attract Litter. It can be very effective for attracting a cat to use the litter box.It’s worth a shot. Good luck

    6. Can someone please help me. I have a 10 1/2 year old female cat. No other animals in the home. I clean her box every afternoon. I have two different boxes with two different style litters. One is the attractant. She was using the attractant daily for about a week for pee and poop. Now she is pooping outside of the box again. I add more of the attractant litter after scooping 2-3 times of what was in there. She used the other litter one time for pee, but did not bother covering it. She is pooping under dirty laundry (small pile at bottom of stairs in basement) or pooping on carpeting in basement. I need this to stop as I am renting a room. She has peed 2 times outside of the box on a towel that was on top of a dresser in the basement. Any suggestions?

      1. I have been told cats are very sensitive to change. any sorts of changes, I’m having troubles with my 7 yr old. She has pooped outside the box a few times while I was cat-sitting for my parents. I’d like to think she is telling me she misses me and why do come home smelling like another cat! Is the renting a room a new thing?

        1. I’ve also tried using music for some backround noise, I know my friends family did everyday when they left for work.. Also I have used calming Aromatherapy Comfort Zone spraying her favorite spots, there is a diffuser too just like a plug in.

    7. Im baffled that my cat is popping on the floor too. It did it once so I moved the litter box to that spot. Then a few days later it popped beside the box and not in it. I have a sensitive nose and gag easily so I can’t take it. I wanted a cat. I like snuggling. I like watching her play. And her going here but I can’t take the smell of the pop so I may have to make her a outside cat

      1. I had a annerisom 1and half year ago, and ever since my one cats attitude has totally changed towards me n so has behavior. She pees n poops on my bed n in one corner. She also will no longer come near me.

  2. Really fantastic concept about cat poops outside the box. I like to read this concept. Cats are inclined to like the sense of better litters and most of them frequently cover their feces or urine. In fact, cats usually spend over 20 seconds pawing approximately in the waste. Thanks!

  3. I had more of a question to ask regarding this matter. I am having issues with my cat pooping outside the box some of the time ( I do have 2 cats). For example tonight when I came home from work she had pooped in one of the liiter boxes and also on the floor. Their 2nd litter box had urine and the 3rd had nothing in it. I had caught her scooting on the carpet about a month ago, so we went to the vet. They had to release the anal glands and then they started her on a high fiber diet due to chronic diarrhea. That helped the pooping on the carpet for a while but last week I had to take her back to the vet assuming it was the glands again. They got a small amount out. That was 4 days ago. Now it has started again. I don’t know what to do with her. I’m getting so frustrated and I am ready to give her to somebody else. Please help!!

      1. Ask your vet about giving her a little canned pumpkin with each meal. I had the same problem with my dog’s anal glands – a nightmare, taking her into the vet every few weeks to have glands cleaned, etc., Then one vet suggested a Tbsp of pumpkin at each meal. I have never had to take her in one single time since then – over 8 years! So it worked like magic. Perhaps it would work the same for a cat.

        1. Mm I’d say we are a little off topic. My cat was neutered shortly after I got a 2nd cat. Now mind you my guy was completely human raised. We found him abandoned with his eyes still closed. We trained him to use a litterbox no problem. With the change in household and the neutering I wasn’t surprised he poops under my couch. I have trained tons of cats, but he’s giving me a run for my money. Unfortunately I live in an apt. When the neighbors complain and the landlord says cat goes or you go what are you to do?

    1. ugh, i hope you didn’t give her up.
      Cats, like humans, come with their problems. Kids have episodes too, we don’t give them up. Cats just don’t speak out language so they can’t tell us what’s wrong.

      You need to incorporate more fiber in your cats diet.

  4. I have a cat name Faisey. She use to pee outside the litter box now it’s poop. It was first o. Any rugs in the house especially bathroom rugs, now it’s on tile. She is about 8 yrs old and she started doing this about 6-7 years ago. It use to be once in a while now it’s daily. I would not regime her because this is not fair to anyone else. My next step is to put her down. I love animals and have 2 dogs and 2 other cats. She will not go outside, she just crys at the door. We have tried everything, new litter, new box, new locations, she has ruined more rugs and carpets more then I can count. Now she just goes on my tile, but the odor is so bad. What do I do???

    1. To even think of ending an animals life because of habits you may not understand or have the ability to control is cruel and inhumane. You shouldn’t have the privilege to have any by animals in your home if that’s your ‘next step’. Get multiple veterinary opinions, take her in and have her checked, see an animal behaviorist who specialize in cats. Maybe you’re feeding her low grade food that’s upsetting her or maybe she has an improper bowel system that needs attention.. Or maybe it’s her reaction to the household. But you better get empathy otherwise hand her in the hands of people who truly care and don’t put animals down.. Professionals and animal rescues.

      1. Juliana, maybe you need some empathy. Your comment was unkind and inhumane. There is a limit to how much money, time, and energy some people have no matter how much love they hold for their pets. Making suggestions without insult is the best way to help people. Anything else is just self righteous people bashing. No wonder you do better with animals. (There how did that feel? Not too nice huh? Try to be a little more gentle with people. Most people do their best and it certainly seems like Catherine is.)

        1. Your statement wouldn’t bother me at all. People are hard to deal with even when “gentle and kind”. Many find that approach a weakness. It’s so much more complicated when it come to people. I agree with Juiliana. If you’re too cheap and impatient to deal with an imperfect animal, let someone who really loves and understand them deal with them. To put an animal down because of your inefficiencies is inhumane.
          Deanna, your self righteous people bashing was a good example of someone who must feel guilty about harboring the same sentiments. Nothing she said was out of order or in the least bashing. The truth hurts sometimes. Bashing is when you throw out all kinds of accusations and names that have no bases in the situation. Wrong is wrong and calling it what it that is the right thing to do.

          1. i will need your home (or office) address, because this cat will need a place to go if he does not stop pooping and peeing outside of the box. i can not risk one of the children becoming sick by this new habit of his. he has been a member of the family for at least four years now, but he is on the bottom of the food chain when priorities need to be given.

            have a nice day and again…i’d love to know he is in a good home and thank you for volunteering yours.

        2. I agree with empathy I took in a cat from a deceased person and all was well until a couple of months ago he started peeing on the rug and now he jumps out of the box before he finishes pooping. I love animals as I already had two cats and a dog but there is a limit to what we can do and take. Be kind no one needs negativity when they are already distressed about the situation they are doing everything they can.

          1. So agree with you Shirley!! Those of us with pets are stressed out when we have tried all that we are told to try. We are just seeking help on what else we can do before the end.

        3. I agree, Deanna. I had a cat once that viciously attacked my great niece with provocation. That cat had to go……my great niece came first.

          1. Wait, didn’t you say the cat “attacked with provocation? Why punish the cat for trying to protect its self from the niece that was harassing or harming it?

        4. That was an empathetic response to Juliana! I had the same thoughts, but my response was not going to be so kind.

          As for me, I adopted a cat who was dumped in a cardboard box with a litter of kittens. I believe she was feral then, based on her behavior now. I’ve had her three years, and she goes insane if she sees another cat, is practically banned from the vet, and hates everyone but me. She developed a habit of pooping on the bed (OMG) but we cured her of that by leaving foil on the bed everyday. We’ve tried everything.

        5. Deanna I totally agree. I have a cat that poops outside the box multiple times a day. I have taken her to several vets, each with a different solution. I have tried 4 different litter boxes each with a different litter. I have given her pills and potions and everything the vets has suggest to no avail. I too don’t want to pawn off this pet, but cleaning up cat poop 3 times a day is pushing my limits.

          1. It might need it’s anal glands expressed. Sometimes the cat has to move around more or use a position they can’t quite do inside a litterbox. A paint pan can help sometimes too. I’ve used it for cats that are old or troublesome when it comes to pooping in their box. I always use it for training kittens.

      2. Yea… don’t be so judgemental. My cat is pooping on then couch… on the floor, in the tub, she has taken to drinking out of the toilet…all this despite a clean litter box in the same place and with the same litter as she’s used for years. She yowls at night…she has IBS and I take her for B12 shots every two weeks, she has vomiting issues, so I crush up a special pill for her every day to settle her stomach…this new behaviour seems to me to be less “mood” or “Fussiness” and may be connected to deeper health issues. I would rather get a final diagnosis and put her down that watch her fall apart before my eyes because I’m too PC or squeamish to do the right thing.

        I had to put down a cat a few years ago after she began pooping on the floor, stumbling around, almost falling over…she was 19 and was clearly at the end of her life. So, we do the best we can with the animals we love…but sometimes you have to make tough choices.

      3. I have an old cat who does this. If I put her in a shelter and someone adopted her she would be abused. She is that annoying. I have done everything I can including the seeking the advice of the veterinarian. However I cannot afford to replace carpet. And rather than put her in a shelter it would be more Humane to put her to sleep. I haven’t done that but it is something I have considered. Still looking for another solution.

        1. Most people who take the time to adopt aren’t going to abuse the cat. That doesn’t make sense. To have a cat for 11 years and get rid of it cuz it’s having issues is something. I couldn’t do. You are all the cats ever known. If you aren’t up for the issues of a cat as it ages you shouldn’t get another. It will get old and have issues. Animals can’t help what they are. Idk what all you’ve tried. Arthritis will sometimes cause a cat to not use the litterbox. Try a paint pan or something that it can walk in and out of instead of having to step up or jump in. It might help keep your sanity Ann’s your cat home.

      4. Truth is, I would have probably said the same thing as you Juliana. But unless you’ve been dealing with it for YEARS, you have no idea how much stress it truly is. When you KNOW for a fact that it’s something that HAS NO CURE, and the only thing you can do is either live with cleaning poop off the floor EVERY DAY (when small kids might be in the house too!), or put her down… you come to a crossroad where what you thought you could never do starts to become possible. On top of the pooping, you are shelling out HUNDREDS each month for medications and all you get in return is cat poop on your ground? Trust me. It’s conceivable.

      5. My cat peed n pooped outside the box just died in my arms on Thursday she was 11 suspected tumor get yours to vet ASAP to get checked out not to put to sleep could be something as easy as a uti or tumor kidney stones.. Rip my Lil fancy

      6. Great advice there…. I mean imagine even thinking of putting the cat down because he poops on her tiles omg. Really omfg

      7. My cat poops 2-3 times daily on the carpet.
        I have tried everything. The vet says she may be stressed, gave her meds and she’s had 1 pill. She won’t eat it even in a pill pocket.
        We don’t know what else to do.
        Who wants to pick up poop every day when there are 2 litter boxes in different places?

        1. I have stumbled across this site looking for solutions as my 4 yr old cat has just started pooping outside the box. I have 2 cats, 3 boxes, covered, and uncovered, same litter we’ve always used and new litter recommended by the vet. Finally tried medication called Buspar which is for anxiety. It’s been 2 weeks and no change. Can’t use the better drugs for this like Prozac or Paxil since they can cause seizures and she’s already had 3 in the last year. Vet recommended moving the litter boxes to new locations. Im thankful that its only hard poop and not urine, but until your in the situation, you can’t know how stressful it is. So I do sympathize with certain decisions that people may make. My parents had a cat that was constantly pooping on the carpets everywhere.. And the easy to pick up poop either. Prozac wasn’t working so their only option was to put her down (they are both in their 70’s). To rehome the cat would only cause more stress and your just putting your problem in someone elses hands and myself, I would never trust anyone to take care of my cat the way I do, so if this problem doesn’t resolve itself or does get worse, my only option is to humanely put her to sleep.

      8. Juliana. …I don’t think u should be so judgemental of a person with a chronic problem with a cat.
        Some people are at the end of their tether..having tried numerous ways and remedies to counteract the problem.
        U have no right to call them inhumane….or accuse them of buying cheaper cat food.

        I just thought wat a horrible reply to someone who is struggling…with a big problem..cranky u are no expert on cats nor people

    2. Catherine Walker: Maybe you should send her to a rescue that will be patient and understanding and maybe more experienced in taking care of these types of issues. Putting her down is an unfair and selfish idea. She is a living creature. We don’t just kill elderly people who have to wear adult diapers because they can’t use the restroom anymore.

      1. yah except most rescue centers would put her down exactly for that reason. No one will buy a cat that doesn’t poop or pee in a litter box I’m sorry to say but if you are not a patient owner your cat is kinda screwed either way. Unless you did what my parents did and find someone that lives in the country that will take her. because in the country cats tend to go to the bathroom wherever they want and if they are not declawed that is a good solution.

        1. This response is absurd. If you are having issues unable to provide the right accommodations for your cat, or your cat is no longer the pet you hoped for and is making your living situation more stressful than it’s worth, there are MANY alternatives that do not involve murdering the cat. I’m not going to put it lightly by saying “put it down”. To kill an animal because they are having digestive problems in your view, which the animal likely does not understand are problematic at all, and which may be natural to the animal, is reprehensible.

          Take the cat to a “no kill” shelter, for starters, and they will care for the cat until someone adopts it. They won’t kill the cat for having bathroom issues. Secondly, do a little bit of searching online for animal rescues and animal foster homes in your area. There are many individuals who are happy to keep animals at their home and care for them until they find the right home. Most of these individuals volunteer to do this especially when there are no “no kill” shelters in the area, because they don’t agree with that practice, or when local shelters are constantly at full capacity and can’t take in more animals. If you do go this route, please do some research on where you are sending the cat, as not all privately run foster homes for pets or shelters are legitimate and some could put your pet into a rather cruel and torturous situation.

          Even a website like Craigslist may help you find a new caregiver for your cat. Post an ad describing the situation and see if anyone in your area is looking for a pet who has the right home and the patience to care for this one. Some people take an extra liking to older pets and are willing to put up with these “flaws” out of compassion because they know not many people will.

          If you aren’t willing to put in at least some effort to find a better home for this animal, you should promptly reconsider your ability to ever have a pet again. They aren’t novelties or trinkets that live clean and entertaining lives to please humans. They are living beings that evolved in the outside world and their natural environment is not inside a human dwelling. Please give this animal the respect and care it deserves.

          1. Lion, I am in a similar situation. I have had two cats, brothers, for over nine years. One of the cats starting peeing on the floor starting about two years ago and now is both defecating and peeing in the same spot. There is nothing in my house that has overtly changed that I can see that would cause this change in behavior. My carpets are ruined. I have taken the problem cat to several vets who have seen nothing physically wrong with him. I have followed general suggestions with adding litter boxes and other advice, nothing works. The no-kill shelter that I have contacted will not take him because of his history. So what are my options?

          2. “No kill” shelters are merely shelters that refuse to accept pets whenever they feel like it. I’ve also tried contacting rescues to rehome a cat and have been turned down, so the only remaining option is the local county “kill” shelter. No “no kill” shelter is going to accept a cat that refuses to use the litter box, because nobody is going want to foster that cat indefinitely and the organizations do not want to indefinitely house and feed a problem cat for the rest of its life. It’s easy for people to say “oh you should have more patience” but I made the huge mistake of taking in a cat for someone who could no longer care for it, and this cat is so awful that if I don’t find a new home for her, I’m dead-seriously going to need the services of a mental health professional. I am no longer comfortable in my own home. It’s funny how everybody says “suck it up” but none of them ever volunteer to take in a cat that pees and poops everywhere.

      2. I read all this negative accusations..When what I believe was someone who is frustrated understandable so and asking”Help me what can I do to stop this”! That’s what I read.. And am also on this site asking the same question…

        1. I, too, am experiencing an ongoing issue with a cat that is progressively getting worse. Here is my story on 6/11/17. This cat is about 13 years old. His habits have become very bad in the last year. I have tried new boxes, new litter, food in separate area, new food for better digestion, etc. This morning I awoke to SIX areas of my house where he defecated, three of which were in the path to the coffee maker. I was lucky enough to see those before stepping on them, but did not see the nice spot of puke on the floor in front of the coffee pot. After 30 minutes of picking up all the crap littered throughout my house, I rested on my favorite spot on the couch with my freshly made coffee, only to experience wetness on my rear end. He had urinated on my couch! Enough is enough. This fellow will be introduced to the wonderful world of the backyard. I have had pets all my life and am very compassionate to all in the animal kingdom (to include rats and insects). But, you reach a point where considerations and your pocketbook have limits. Until you have experienced the stress associated with an animal that creates financial hardships with health ailments, or creates a disgusting, unsanitary living atmosphere for you and your family, do not be so quick to judge other people. For all those judges, until you have walked in someone else’s shoes…..take him to the vet you ask? Not a good time, as I just spent $1000.00 on an aging dog that passed away one month after the vet visit, probably due to natural causes of an old dog. My income level does not support such expenditures. I regret the day I rescued this cat from the elements. I absolutely will never take another animal into my home after this one. It is nice that some people do understand the frustrations of those experiencing such issues. It’s not easy. Thanks.

          1. This is the solution I am currently using for my cat who has recently decided to pee everywhere but the box. We just finished another round of vet visits and more expensive antibiotics, the cat has been given a clean bill of health- BUT she continues to pee everywhere and the smell is…well, you know! I am on a fixed income. Can’t afford anymore expense over this! She is now an outdoor cat in my beautiful, secure and safe back yard! My husband is uneasy with this, BUT he does not help clean the mess! We have fought hard over this cat and my relationship cannot take the stress either. She is an older cat (16.) She also yowls at night, fights with my other animals and pukes everywhere. I am at my wits end! Had considered putting her down due to her advanced age, but we find that option extremely difficult. It’s a complicated issue to deal with!

    3. Have you taken her to the vet to rule out a medical issue? Most websites will tell you that is the first step. She could have irritable bowel. Cats are very good at masking discomfort.

    4. Hi.. Try to spray any spot that ur cat always poop with vinegar.. I hv tried it and it works for my cat.. Hope this help..

    5. She might have some form of urinary tract infection. My mothers cat started to pee on the throw blanket because it was soft fleece and I guess it felt nice for him. I’d take to get to check out her kidneys before you just off her

      1. Catherine, you are not a horrible person for stating what you are thinking, but not doing. If you were going to put her down, you would have.
        My male 8 yr old cat was doing the SAME thing. Turned out he has Irritable bowel disease.
        Needs special food, AND the upside is the food keeps the odor WAY down on the poop, and urine.
        Have your kitty checked. Otherwise, confine the cat, or find home.
        This is difficult to deal with to say the least. You are not alone.

        1. Emalie, I have a cat with IBD as well. After seven months and three different vets at one “conventional” clinic, I’m now taking her to a holistic vet. There seems to be progress and on that front I’m willing to be patient, but the seven months of pooping on the floor has taken its toll. She goes on the floor 2-3 feet from her litter boxes (I have two of them in the same room, several feet apart). One of the first vets suggested they associated the discomfort with the litter box, so try a litter box “that doesn’t look like a litter box”. I’ve been through probably 10 boxes so far, and even though the latest one was brought in after her poop started improving, she’s only pooped in it 10% of the time. Current vet suggested confining when we’re not home, but we really only have one room we can confine her in (laundry room where her boxes and misplaced poop are now, bathroom is too small for box & food/water) and that doesn’t seem to be working. I’m of course frustrated with all the cleanup but my boyfriend (who is not a cat person) is at the end of his rope. I’m waiting for the day when he tells me flat out that I have to get rid of her (rather than just hinting at it). Any other suggestions on how to retrain her?

          1. This is a lik off topic but you really should re-evaluate your relationship with your BF. I say this out of caring & as someone much older & a long lifetime of relationship experience. In otherwords i’m old LOL. If you are a cat lover..you need someone who understands this and even in bad times( cat behavior issues) will lend you support( this may just be emotional support & not actually clean-up support ( which is ok if he dosen’t as long as he supports you emotionally as you deal with finding a solution to kitties issues.Howeve It may take some time to find the answer to why your kitty is doing this. Trust me kids are the same( i have 4grown children & I have also been a proffesional nanny for over 20+ yrs.). Kids don’t always potty train easily. Sometimes do to health issues other times they are stuborn LOL).my oldest took to age 8 with bowel issues. My point is ..do you want to be in a long- term relationship..or even say marriage to someone who would ask you to choose your cat( who are our animal fur babies)or them.That is emotional blackmail & controlling Which has no place in a strong,healthy relationship.Think of it in this way. Would you be okay with your significant other saying that about..say your child …or maybe your niece or nephew? If you say NO then you can see this is a unhealthy relationship. No relationship is healthy when a partner uses black mail( basically strong arming..bully tactics) that is a form of emotional controlling ..abusive behavior.No matter how much you love this person…if they truely felt the same..they would never ask you to make that kind of a choice. I know this is not an easy thing to hear..& i am truly not meaning to sound judgmental.Just really concerned. Trust me what i am saying,is exactly what any relationship counselor would tell you. They would then sit & talk with you both about finding a mutual compromise in handling this situation. If your significant other is reasonable & willing to work on compromise( srry kitty leaving would not be a ok compromise)..then you have the possibility of making this relatioship happy..healthy & long- term.

            I know, kitty potty issues are stressful but you seem to be trying to find a solution( which again may take time). Small living quarters can make things a tad harder( been there when my husband was in military). If you don’t have a room to block off you could try a kennel. Making sure it is big enough for movement plus fit small litter box..food/water.Similar to what many dog owners do when they are away at work. They even have large ones that fold up.So kitty would have plenty of moving space while you can save space when home folding it up& out of the way. If it’s not a cat medical issue with his bowls or urinary track..then it sounds like it’s probably behavioral. It could be from mental trauma( a kind of kitty PTSD) from a loud noise hppening one time..when your cat was going potty. Or from a past experience when he/she was feeling sick i.e. had a painful poop or pee( cats hide pain well). Kitties can tend to associate that bad experience to the litter box. Their are holistic ways ( calming sprays & even kitty room plug-in’s w/calming aroma thearapy(have used those & they wrked) to even veterinarian medicine(kitty prozac LOL) to help your fur-baby overcome kitty PTSD. You can try some of those types of therapy in conjunction with other behavioral training. Other things that can trigger bad potty issues..
            Moving,new addition to family(like a new pet,baby,partner or roommate). Cats are not big on change & since they can’t voice their issue.They do it by their potty behavior. Also keeping food/water near box can trigger issues( no one wants to eat by their toilet).Even if they have always been fine before with this…that can change. Different litters can do it( for some it’s the box)..or maybe one time you were sick or super busy & you skipped a few litter box cleaning( we hae all done this once or twice over the yrs.)..that could have been the trigger(again even if this has never been a issue before).Just as with little kids..finding the cause of the issue or the solution..can be a long guessing game. Since they are unable to communicate the why.Hang in there you are not alone with dealing with kitty potty issues.over the many yrs. i have dealt with these types issues not only with my fur-babies but rescue kitties i fostered till they were placed in permanent homes.I wish you the best of luck & a solution to your kitties potty issue.

    6. 5 years ago I rescued a purebred Manx. Someone had declawed all four feet. They failed to tell me she had been surrendered because she wasn’t using the litter box. She only went on my living room carpet. I put the litter box over the spot, but she would go just outside the box. So, I took up all the carpet and replaced it with bamboo flooring. I purchased a tray that is used in dog cages. I placed the tray next to the litter box and put a throw rug in it. I had to keep litter boxes for my other 2 cats. The Manx now pees and poops on just that throw rug. I have several and just throw them in the washing machine. If you try this, get rugs without rubber backing. Cat pee and the rubber backing makes for a nasty smell. I had this cat for a year before I ever heard her purr. Now she purrs all the time. Happy I found a solution both of us are happy with.

      1. Awe God bless you! And thank God for such a miraculous caring animal owner in the world. It makes me sick and disgusted that somebody would kill their beloved pet of many years bc of going outside the box and continue to own other animals. I can only imagine how that poor helpless being is treated. Humanity scares me to death and sadly every day Im seeing how truly selfish and ignorant the society is. Narssasism at its finest! But really it’s amazing how well you can help an animals life with a little thoughtful DIY and love. I’m ecstatic you both are happy and she’s a Lil purring ball of joy!

        1. I too am experiencing this I have a 6 year old cat that has never used the box! She pees and poops where ever she pleases. I have tried absolutely everything to get to stop from ever sort of cat box, litter, anxiety meds, food, multiple vets trips, locking her in a bathroom for 2 weeks, even allowing her access to go outside… and she still proceeds to go where ever. What does one do? I can’t send her to a rescue they all have told me no one will adopt a cat that does not use the box. Now I have kept her which has been awesome I love my home smelling of cat piss… or better yet going to work smelling of cat piss to realize oh nice she got in the closet and peed on my shirt sweet! You really have no options… I can have her live in a barn and hope nature doesn’t get to her or put her down. I will not risk sending her to a home where she will be abused for her actions. She has had a very fair chance in my family. I have spend thousands of dollars to try and fix a cat that has nothing wrong with her according to a vet. So until late you experience he’ll and a cat piss reeking home everyone can leave their judgements to their selves. I love my cat personal so I feel for these people who are having the same. Issues… we all go online seeking help because we love and care about our cats but honestly I think it comes a point that there simply nothing we can do. Mine loves to be outside and come in at night but she still goes in my home so unfortunately she will be moved to a barn and I just have to hope everything turns out ok cause her other option is to be put down. I have had to come to terms with this it’s a hard thing but I have no other choice.

          1. Thank you, Kenna, for your comments. People are in all kinds of different situations, so until you walk in their shoes, they should just keep their judgements to themselves. I have had 2 dogs and 4 cats, 2 cats are still living. 3 years ago, when we rescued these last 2 cats from the Humane Society, we were “living well”. Now, I am permanently disabled and my husband has not been able to find a job for 2 years. We cancel our OWN doctor and dentist appointments because we can’t afford them anymore, and I still owe thousands of dollars to the hospital for heart surgery. These cats are our LIFE and we love them dearly, but it’s so easy to just say “bring them to the vet.” We are on here looking for solutions to keep our precious pets alive, but not all of us can afford a vet. I am NOT irresponsible, but if I try these methods and they do not work, I would rather see my old cat in peace rather than send her back to the Humane Society where she came from and risk having her placed into an abusive home. She already came from an abusive home when we adopted her – I will not do that to her again.

          2. hey, at least you tried.You have nothing to be ashamed of. She will hopefully have a more fulfilling life at a barn.

      2. I love it!!! I have 2 cats and one will poop only once in the box and if his poop is still there next time he poops outside of it sometimes on clothes if left on the floor or blankets hanging off the couch, never upstairs always downstairs where the litter boxes are, sometimes next to them sometimes across the room, I have found the use of baking soda works well, so I am guessing it is the smell among a few other things. I clean the boxes twice a day sometimes more if I see poop in either box. I have tried everything except this idea… going shopping!!! Thanks for a new idea!!!

    7. Cats that have urinary infections urinate on cold surfaces. Bring her to a vet. Look for blood in the urine you see on the tile. Also you can board her somewhere. Let her learn in a cage where to pee and poo. That works. Put her cat feeding dishes everywhere she poos and pees, she will immediately understand not to go there. Take all carpets away from locations she pees. You just can’t have a carpenter there.

  5. Catherine walker you’ll want to get your cat checked by vet. Cat may have cystitis and try to get cat on wet food

    1. I have the same problem as Catherine with one of my cats and had her to the vet several times, have her on wet and dry food, have 4 different litter boxes including one that washes itself after the cat goes and her preference is to still poop on the floor right next to the litter box. I am at my wits end also – I am not thinking of putting her down but can understand.

  6. Help…..my bf has 3 cats we have 3 cats boxes. The one one upstairs in the hallway is the one that they (don’t know which one) does not use its pees and poops all over the hall way floor. Now the they use the cat boxes downstairs all the time I don’t know how to fix the problem!!!!!

    1. is the cat is in the hallway covered? If so, try uncovering it. It may be that the traffic in the hallway make them feel insecure using the box.

  7. My cat has been crying at night, and has pooped outside the box(just outside it) several times. I have had her checked out by the vet and everything came back negative. I had changed the type of litter it’s true, trying to find litter that tracks less. I will try going back to the old litter, but what about the crying? (our other cat died about 9 months ago, but that’s been a really long time…)

    1. constipation..she had pain while trying to poo in the box..the litter box mean pain for her. Dont buy cheap food..it does make a difference. Try *science diet dental care*.

    2. Your kitty may have G.I. Issues ( or urinarry trvk infection or even a form of crystalline cystitis) that may not show up the first vet visit. Also, agree with a food change though i would go with something for sensitive digestion issues & possible fiber help. Be aware that you need to slowly adjust to new food..adding new food slowly with old brand moving up to larger amounts till you can switch fully. Whih is usully when you are up to mixing a little over half & half of new to older food. Helps prevent more G.I. I
      issues like diarrhea . The crying is usually a sign of pain or their upset. Once they have had a painful potty expierence they tend to not want to use a litterbox again.Think of it as a form of PTSD for your kitty.The expierence thye had effected them so much emotionally they are avoiding the area or box.

  8. Please give me some advice. My cat is very finicky about being dirty. If his litter box is gross he’ll go elsewhere. Yet, if he’s mad at me or stressed out (even if the litter box is clean) he’ll poop on my bed or somewhere else inappropriate. Recently my family has gone through some major changes and he’s obviously extremely stressed and upset. He’s pooped on my bed several times and despite punishment and due-diligent box cleaning he’s still doing it every few days. It’s getting extremely frustrating and we can’t stand it anymore. What should I do?

    1. Try giving him some more attention.He could just be lonely and try to spend as much time with him as possible. Have you ever had another cat while you had him?

    2. My cat did the same thing – tin foil covering the bed has worked for me. Unfortunately, the cat is still pooping outside the box. Extremely frustrated at this point. And for those that have do not understand the feeling of having a cat not using the box – maybe you would like to adopt the cat?

    3. sandyer people have done instead of complaining about it otherwise try to find another home for the cat. You are wrong says:

      Never punish a cat. They don’t understand it like a child or dog does and that makes things worse. His litter box should never be gross. Clean it at least 2 times a day . Try Rescue Remedy flower esscense for stress. Had the same pro cat once. Cat was stressed out gave her 2 litter boxes, unscented litter problem once, cleaned it each time it was used and used flower stuff for stress. It worked. Sounds like your cat no longer can trust you because of punishment or yelling. Animals (including people) don’t jrespond to that so love cat more use soft voice and hope kitty will trust you again and be less stressed in time. In case you are wondering, yues I do know what I am talking about have a degree in abnormal psychologyj and almost a year working with an animal psychologist. Good luck.

    4. cats don’t respond to punishment, you’re wasting your time and stressing him more on that front. stop with the punishment.
      confine him to one room with a litter box and give him a lot of attention so hes more relaxed.

      Also, have you visited a vet? You might want to rule out any medical issues.

  9. My cat was found as a stray, we have tried several different litters and he has two different boxes. He would use the clay litter once each time then poop and pee outside the box, the same with the newspaper litter too. He seems to like the pee pads better but still won’t poop on them. And he’s definitely not accidentally missing the boxes. He also tries to cover the poop but he never tried to when he had the clay litter. Getting seriously mixed signals and need help.

    1. I know this sounds insane, but if you’re still having this problem have you tried putting actual dirt in the litterbox?

  10. I have two litter boxes for my cat ( I only have one cat ) I’ve been using the same litter that he likes, I always keep his litter boxes clean. But once in a while he poops next to his litter box. I don’t understand why.

  11. Our cat has been with us for over 18 years. Always an inside cat, “Molly” has been a great companion. We are seniors and live a quite life with no recent changes that could effect the cat’s behaviour. Her litter is changed once a day. Her box is larger than normal (has been for the past 6 years) to accommodate her sometimes sloppy bathroom habits. She has a tendancy to not get fully in the box and urine would dribble down the outside of the box. My customized box seems to work but lately she occasionally defecates elsewhere in the house for no apparent reason. She has never urinated anywhere else than in her box but the recent inconsistant bowel movement habits have us worried. She is playful for her age, eats well and generally seems to be enjoying her life although she has slowed down a lot and sleeps almost all the time. She appears to be in good health so what would have made her less diligent in using the litter box?

    1. Hi, you’re Molly may be just a bit senile. I had a cat that lived to be eighteen, she would forget what room she was in. Your cat might just forget where the litter box is now and then. Just a suggestion, but maybe treat her like a kitten again. Put treats near her litter box on the floor (not too close, but close enough that the scent gets associated). Pet her and put her in the catbox, praise her, then give her a treat. Maybe close off spare rooms that she might be getting disoriented in. Keep up a routine of setting her in the box, praise, treat daily to help her re-make that mental connection.

  12. We had two cats. When our oldest cat got sick our other cat started pooping and urinating outside the litter box. On the rugs in the kitchen or in the livingroom on the floor. My sick cat past away last week but our other cat still wont go in the litter box. What can I do???

    1. sandyer people have done instead of complaining about it otherwise try to find another home for the cat. You are wrong says:

      jUST LIKE PEOPLE, CATS MISS JAND GREAVE FOR THEIR LOST FRIENDS. One of my cats did it for almost a year. I got him another friend, but also put things that hte other cat slept on or had his scent. He was allowed to have any clothing or toys with the other cat’s scent. Eventually she stopped mourning and got to know her new friend and all was happy but this can take some time. Talk to and love yotr cat, believe it or not, they know if you are sad about their friend give them extra love and all will be ok.

  13. We went camping for a long weekend and now our cat is peeing and pooping in our living room. Any advice as to why or what we can do to fix this issue.

  14. help!! my cat was given to me as a kitten, she is totally declawed and spayed. She poops on my tile floors instead of her box. I live alone with her so her stress lever should be low. She loves me, I can tell and I love her. I cant give her up. She also peed on bath room rugs last week and P U ! Please help us, Sincerely Kitty and Me

    1. Take her to the vet to rule out any medical issues she may have. Also sometimes declawing results in behavioural issues later on.

    2. If you’re still having trouble, first exclude health problems at the vets, and then run through as many litters as you can to find one that doesn’t hurt her paws (declawed cats can find ‘rough’ litter painful to their paws, encouraging them not to poop in the litter). Jackson Galaxy once consulted on a case like this where the declawed cat wouldn’t go in the litter box because of how much the litter hurt the cat’s paws but the cat still used pee pads.

      If you can use those bathroom rugs as a starting point just to get them to go in the box by actually cutting the rugs until they fit in the litter box, you can try filling the second box with different kinds of litter. I’m sure there are also websites and forums where owners of declawed cats could give you more advice about litter brands that worked for their cats so you could save a little money on all the experimentation.

  15. I have a ten year old cat who has been pooping outside the box on occasion for YEARS. I finally got to a place where I have multiple litter boxes, use a litter he likes, and even started giving him a pre- and pro-biotic to help him with any constipation issues he may be having. He will STILL poop outside the box every few weeks or so. Many times he will start pooping in the box and then finish outside the box. Sometimes he will squat right in front of me as he’s trying to pass fecal matter. I’ve noticed he prefers to poop on the carpet as well which is VERY frustrating. I’ve gotten him checked out at the vet many times and they’ve ruled this issue out as a behavioral problem. I don’t know what else to do besides put him on medication, which I don’t really want to do. Any help or tips would be appreciated. And I’d like to note that I’ve tried EVERY tip advice websites give on litter levels, litter types, box sizes, hooded boxes, non-hooded boxes, location changes, etc. I’ve tried it ALL and nothing seems to work. I am desperate as I know he knows better and seems to do this on purpose with no regard.

    1. I have the exact same problem as you, I got my cat as a kitten and she used the litter box, but now as a five year old she will not use the litter box to poop in. She will literally run around when she has to poop and it’ll just fly out of her and sometimes she’ll just squat right in front of me and poop. I have no idea why she’s doing this, it’s very frustrating for me and my family, as they almost made me give her up because of this.

  16. I have three cats. The youngest of the three who is 8 has just started pooping and now peeing outside the litter box. We have two litter boxes that are cleaned of waste every day and totally changed out and cleaned eveyr two weeks. We moved two months ago and for the first month and a half all was fine. The litter box locations have not changed, their diet has not changed, the litter itself has not changed not has her outward everyday behavior. she is eating and drinking the same amount, playing and cuddling the same amount and the poop looks normal.

    At first she was pooping on the carpet in my daughter’s hang out room I the basement around a chair that is down there (the chair was with us at the old place) then we blocked that room off and now she is going between the washer and dryer, or behind the furnace or in a storage space. she has not started peeing or pooping on other floors yet which I hope she doesn’t. We talked to our vet about this and they recommended a synthetic pheremone spray for the areas she was going to the bathroom in but that has not helped. Any suggestions? I don’t think it is the noise of the washer and dryer or the furnace as she was fine with them the first month and a half.

    1. You might want to add two more litter boxes; my vet told me when you have a lot of cats you should probably have a litter box for each cat plus one extra, so in this case four litter boxes. And I know this is a recent change, but if it’s not medical, it might be that the social dynamic between your cats has changed somehow without you knowing or suspecting it and that she might be avoiding the litter boxes because of that. If anything, it’s another thing to rule out.

  17. when i told my sister she started laughing i was not supriesd how and why would a cat poo just because its his or her space or room is this text a lie i need a real answer
    answer me i need a answer
    #help me

  18. Hi Dr Yin,
    I am quite frustrated at the behaviour of our cute pussycat who poo’s outside the litter box. He is one year old and when we got him as a kitten, he was toilet trained. Unfortunately he watched our other cat who was pooing outside the box (grrr) and picked up his bad habit! The older one now poo’s in the box (Yay!) after much patience and perseverence; we were able to predict when he needed to go and used to place him on the litter box and when he did his business, rewarded him with a small amount of dry food. Unfortunately the young one still poo’s, much harder to predict when he needs to go. We have tried placing him on the toilet when we think he needs to go, usually after a meal, but ends up sitting in the litter box and staring at us with a very confused look on his face. Please, please help! This is really getting so frustrating and embarrassing when we have people over and they stumble upon the poo and the smell!!!! Antonella

  19. Hi not sure if you’ve got any advice? i am feeling a bit desperate about my cats toilet habits! We have a British blue kitten. He came from a breeder fully litter trained at 10 weeks old. We introduced him to one room at a time round the house and emptied his litter tray regularly. He used it no problem. Then after about 5 months we started to let him out side ( he was neuted) We noticed he was now still going in his tray but would often ‘miss’ and poop on the floor next to his tray. This happened on and off for a few weeks, then he stared to randomly wee and poo on the floor right in front of the washing machine which is by the back door of the house, where he comes in from outside. We moved a litter tray into that area as well and it worked! He now used the litter tray in the laundry room and hardly ever went in his room in the office (a large carpeted room, which is where he is kept at night.)
    After another few months, (he was nearly a year old now) he started to ‘miss’ the litter trays again. He poops just by the side of the box and never in the box its self! I have bought every detergent under the sun to make sure he can’t smell any old poop. He still pee’s in the litter box but always poops just at the side of it. I always empty the box after every wee and poo! I don’t know what to do to encourage him to poop in the tray. He has two different trays in the laundry room as someone said he might not like to wee and poo in the same box? We have tried three different types of litter and it just randomly varies which one he pee’s in but he now never poops in any! We have a hard tiled floor and he diggs at it poops and then runs off! He always looks quite stressed when he’s pooping, i don’t know why? He doesn’t ever go to the toilet outside he always comes in to go… Any advice on things to try work be much appreciated!

    1. Why not try moving the poop from beside the box into the box. He may then go into the box, sniff it and cover his poop, and then start using the box for poop. I believe a cat likes to smell its own business, and may be attracted to using the box by this method. What have you got to lose? Try it.

  20. Our kitten (he’s 4 months old) is peeing (mostly) and sometimes pooping outside his litter box. I am at my wits end with knowing what to do. We did get a puppy also about 1 month ago, and they do wrestle a lot. At times the cat instigates it and sometimes the dog. We’re not getting rid of the dog, but I really need advice about what to do!!! I cannot have him peeing like this in my house. I’m definitely going to try this!

  21. Your article, even though absolutely true and clearly useful, had me in absolute stitches!

    I was is tears that flowed more freely than the cat piss that is so vilified! Very good advice indeed – but you should also consider yourself for the role of comedian. I think you would be p-u-r-r-r-f-e-c-t for it! hahaha

  22. I have just seen that Dr Yin passed away in September 2014. I am very sorry to hear about that, and did not know about it until after I had sent my submission. Clearly my previous comic submission was out of place in the circumstances, so please could you ignore it? I did think Dr Yin got right to the point in her writing, and had a very lighthearted and humorous way of giving advice, which was all good.

    1. Dr. Yin would be very happy at your lighthearted comment, because she loved jokes and fun. Please, don’t feel bad at all. It was a very cute comment.

  23. I am very confused. My cat is about 7 years old. She Always went in the box till recently. She has started going poo on the landing to the attic. Nothing has changed. I don’t know what would cause this. She also started vomiting a few months ago for no apparent reason. Both the vomiting and pooing continue to happen.

    1. Thank you for contacting us at CattleDog Publishing. Unfortunately, we cannot diagnose medical or behavior problems online. For medical issues, we do recommend seeing your veterinarian as soon as possible.

    2. You need to take your cat to the vet. If nothing has changed in the home or with your life style and so on, then something is wrong with the cats health.

  24. Thanks Andy, but some of us our not in the position or disposition to abandon our animals if they misbehave. Why would you even read this article?

  25. Can you please help with my case? I have 3 cats at the moment, 2 who have been together since day 1, and share a room at night together in the laundry room for about 8 years with no trouble. One day, out of nowhere, one of them decided to poop on the floor. We thought it was weird, but passed it off. We took in another family member’s cat, and he is a big trouble maker. He bullies the other cats, and i sense this may be the source of his problems, but not sure. Our cat almost daily will either pee, poop, or both right outside his litter box, and we see it every morning, almost never throughout the day. No matter what we do, he will not stop and i feel awful because my family is getting so upset with him. We have tried new litters, new locations, new box, everything. He has been trained for years to like the same things, so i dont know why he would randomly change his opinion now. We even took him to the vet and he said that he was fine, and we should just crate him at night, but he’s such a big cat and its wrong. I dont know what to do but now my parents are just keeping him locked in a room every day, and i feel horrible, so could someone please help?

    1. We recommend searching through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, https://iaabc.org/consultants or the AVSAB, American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior http://avsabonline.org/resources/find-consult. You may want to also check with Karen Price certified trainers https://www.karenpryoracademy.com/find-a-trainer?source=kpctnavbar as well as Victoria Stilwell Positively certified trainers https://positively.com/dog-training/find-a-trainer/find-a-vspdt-trainer/

  26. Ok so i have a strange cat hes about 4months maybe 5 months old… he poops on my carpet…. in one or two places. When hes outside he poops on my rug outside he only pees in the box. What can i do about this. Should i put carpet in his litter box because it sounds like he only likes carpet rather inside or outside…… i cant stand it. I love the lilguy which is his name but i do not like waking up to poop everyday …. another question i have is he suckles our clothes all the time. You push him away and he comes back to do it more its like hes a lil mental case

    1. Hi, this sounds similar to mine little Apollo.. we figured out he had not been weaned properly. So had to hand bottle feed and teach how to use a litter tray..The whole process felt like it went on for ever but only 2 weeks.

      Good luck

  27. Hi
    My husband and I have 5 cats plus we just adopted a baby cat which all our cats loves her so now we have 6 cats. My problem is one our cat (female adult) was pooping everywhere in the house because she had diarrhea so I took her to the vet and they give her some medicine and help her to stop pooping around house but I was wrong she still popping everywhere in the house. My husband and I decided to go buy a new litter box and change the litter to other brand and still doing her business outside the litter box. We change their litter boxs everyday.
    I don’t understand why she doing this, she play with everyone, eat with everyone and drinks a lot of water. I even try to change her food
    Nothing works so I don’t know what to do anymore
    Please help us

  28. We just adopted a 6 month old “Tween” kitten. Not so much a kitten anymore, but not an adult either. We had to take her to the vet two days after we adopted her, she wasn’t peeing, and she was pooping outside the litter box. The vet said she has had a UTI for awhile. So she was given meds to treat the UTI. So, she is now using the litter box to pee, which is great. I have two litter boxes, placed in places for easy escape and noise free. However, she still is not using the litter box to poop. I’m giving it sometime, however, I live in an apartment and I’m concerned about the carpet. I bought cleaner to take out the ammonia smell with enzymes. But she still goes to the same corner. How do I get her to poop in the litter box too?!?!? I have had many cats, and have never had this be an issue. Please help!

  29. Hi Melissa my George. Is 16 and I have a cat window. One day a stray got in the cat window and came in the apartment and got in a fight with George. This started my cat in a daily vomiting and once every 2-3 days poop outside the litter box. Oh is base of the tail has a few flea bites from that hot summer in Toronto. So got an appointment with the vet doing a fecal exam deworming maybe blood work.. I have a long car mat so he just poops on that. He does pee in the litter box. I use a scented lavender President choice fine clay clump litter with zeolite very sanitary. I clean the enclosed litter box yesterday but poop outside again tonight. I give you the results Monday or Tuesday to see about my George.

  30. Hi I have a cat that is about a year old litter boxes trained now all of a sudden out of nowhere she is peeing on my bed and pooping outside of the litter box she has never done this before she was giving a flea bath and a little while after that is when her odd behavior started please any suggestions would be appreciated thank you

    1. Hi Shirley. There are several things that can cause this but most common thing that has happened with cats I have had is urinary stones/crystals. It causes pain and they associate that pain with the litter box and begin to go elsewhere. Take your girl to a vet and have her tested for urinary tract issues. It can be a simple fix, such as a change to a special food. Good luck!

  31. I have a cat that just recently started to randomly poop outside the litter box. For instance, last night, the litter box was cleaned and she pooped and peed in the litter box but also randomly on the carpet in the other room. She has only done this a few times. But has recently done so more often. Never had any problems up until a few weeks ago. Litter is same brand, same food, same place box has always been. But he is still using box just randomly poops on floor. Any help would be great.

  32. Does anyone scold their cats for pooping outside the litter? I have tried this, even sticking her nose into it and that isn’t working. Do they understand that you are unhappy with them? We are trying hard to be kind and loving and that don’t seem to make any difference,

    1. Scolding your cat for pooping is one of the worst things you could do. The cat doesn’t understand that you are scolding her for pooping outside the litter box. She will assume that she is in trouble for pooping. This could make things worse because she’ll be afraid to poop at all… anywhere.

  33. I found an abandoned cat and brought het in the house. She pee’s in the box and poops in it sometimes. I’m going to try to move the food farther away. I have a feeling that the cat was abandoned for this reason. She sure did not deserve that. Thank you for the article.

  34. Grrr. We got 2 cats this year, 1 in February and 1 in July. We adopted both of them from the shelter. Once we brought Eclipse home (second kitty) there have been little presents on the floor in the laundry room. That is where their potty is. I’ve caught her a few times not covering her poo when she goes in the box, but then she (we think it’s her!) goes behind the furnace and washer. What is the best thing to use to clean and deodorize the area? I sprayed the whole floor with bleach water, then washed the floor and sprayed 409’s pet odor neutralizer on the floor, and am hoping that it helps. She had a litter of kittens before she was adopted, and is a little lover, as is Nebs (kitty#1). Any help would be great!!! I’m sure my 4 year old stresses her out to no end, but she’s learning!

  35. One of my cats just started peeing and pooping on the bath mat next to the litter box. Daughter was on the toilet when she peed there. I then realized that although the litter box looked clean at the top, it really wasn’t. I cleaned it out well.

    Then a few days later, I found poop on the mat. Litter box wasn’t entirely clean but not bad. Cleaned it out.

    Then today, not long after I cleaned it, I found poop again. Tiny ones and cat appears to be constipated based on what I saw.

    Although I know which one peed, I am not sure of the pooper. I do think it might be the same cat because she looked very guilty when she saw me going into the laundry room with the mat.

    Both cats had just been to the vet mere days prior to the first incident. Both were fine but the culprit needs to lose a pound and the other one who is older has a little dry skin. Vet told me to feed them less and add fish oil to their diet for the dry skin. Dry skin cat is slightly overweight but not enough to worry about.

    Not sure if the fish oil could be causing this or if perhaps she is objecting to getting less food.

  36. I have a huge problem and I am seriulosy considering putting my cats down since it is impossible to rehome a cat. I put the litter boxes in our basement. They are cleaned regularly and this has gone on unevenful for years…until the last few months. One , or all of the three are now crapping in the box , out of the box, at the base of the stairs , under the fuel tank , pretty much anywhere one walks , except where they eat. They do not pee…only crap. My basement basically has turned into a huge litter box ! Again this is new , and as my husband always says , ” Animlas have more time to invent ways to cause you more work and spend more money than you have time to make. ” I am beginning to believe that now and rest assured when these cats are gone , there will be no more cats in my house EVER AGAIN!

    I have scrubbed and scrubbed that floor, K.O.E.’d it , bleached it…….after it dries they start up again. It it getting too much to handle and to be honest gross as hell!

    1. This first step you might want to consider, unless you have already completed this part, is to have your cats checked out by your veterinarian to make sure that there isn’t anything medically wrong with them. If there happens to be nothing wrong with them medically, a great second step would be to discuss the behaviors with a local animal behavior specialist to see what else can be done. Putting your cats down should always be a last step after all other possibilities have been exhausted.

  37. I do not know what to do! This is an unusual situation,i just had a cat dumped on me out of the blue 4 days ago.I am an animal lover,of all animals and have had dogs before.I would only ever take an animal for its lifetime,no matter what.My last dog died 5 years ago and have not got around to getting another pet since.A month ago I split up with my partner of 6 years,with whom I had discussed perhaps adopting a kitten some day.A couple of weeks ago,same said twit called me about a kitten he knew of and would I like it?I said no thanks,as was not ready to do it yet,and that when I did I would go with the cat protection re homing in the new year.Anyway twit ignored all that,and Thursday night turned up at mine with said cat in a wicker basket and petrified.I did ask him to take it back but refused,and didn’t trust what may happen to the cat if I didn’t keep him,so I did,and have tried everything to try and bond with him,but he keeps pooping on my carpet,and after only 4 days my house stinks like a pets toilet.I havnt given out to him for it,im kind and gentle to him but he hisses at me,and this pooping.He was apparently litter trained and hasn’t urinated out the box,just poop.Turns out hes 6 months old.Do we stand a chance of ever being friends?thanks

  38. PS Its going to be a very long unhappy smelly 16+years for both puss and I by the looks of it,and I didn’t even ask for him,but here he is.I feel responsible for him,whether I wanted him or not as not his fault my ex is a stupid idiot and doesn’t know anything about pets.Id rather have poopy louie any day.but he just doesn’t seem to like me.

  39. Our 4 month old kitten is so sweet and is a really good cat, except, he has recently started pooping outside of his litter box. He poops behind our tv, on the carpet and other soft surfaces. He pooped on one of our cloth kitchen chairs just the other day and I almost threw up. He hasn’t always done this though. We’ve tried changing his cat food. We’ve tried switching brands of cat litter. We’ve tried moving the cat box to a different location. The list goes on. I understand that when you decide to get a pet, you have to deal with whatever comes along with owning an animal, whether it be good or bad, and I love the little guy, but I don’t know how much longer I can put up with this. The smell, oh my God the SMELL!!!! It is horrific. Question: I’ve heard that citrusy things are a deterrent for cats. Is that true? I just want to help him stop dropping deuces all over the house dangit!

  40. Our cat who we rescued two years ago started at first by using his litter box somewhat as halfway. He would go in, poop a little bit, and get out and do the rest beside the litter box. As time went on it has just gotten worse. As of now Knox won’t even go in his box by himself. We have resulted in having to physically put him in his box to go. We’ve tried different litter, other locations for his box, and nothing is coming of it. He is pooping not only in one spot but several different spots within a few minutes. He also pees in certain corners of the house (just downstairs) My fiance and I are now expecting a child and she cannot keep breathing this stuff in and it would absolutely break my heart to see him go elsewhere. We have tried everything and we are simply lost for solutions. He’s the sweetest boy but the bathroom situation is getting to be too much for us. Please help!

  41. So my cat poops right outside his litterbox. I rescued him after he was returned for this same reason. We thought it was the fact that their other cats were bullying him but him and my other cat get along famously. He was fine using the litterbox until I moved it next to my other cats litterbox. He pooped right outside the opening. Any suggestions?

  42. Does anyone have experience with trouble-shooting a toilet trained cat who suddenly starts peeing and pooping away from the toilet? Please, no judgments on the issue of using the toilet vs litter box.

    1. I’m having the same issue, I hope someone replies! My cat is a really good boy and he’s still peeing in the toilet, but out of nowhere (after two years) he’s started pooping on the bathroom rug (and pulling the rug over on top of it)! I know he must be doing it for some reason, b/c he doesn’t really act out. Help, someone!

  43. I have a older male he has this habit of pooping sometime in his box then other times on the rugs at the front door or the rug that goes out to the garage . We have tried everything does anyone have any suggestion to what we can do to hopefully in deterring this habit it has been going for 5 to 6 years. He has done this at older house built a new house and he has stated doing the same thing here. Any help or suggestion will greatly appreciated.

  44. I just my cat a few days ago and she keeps pooping under my daughters crib…..ive put her in the the litter box multiple times so she knows where it is…..ive even gotten some toilet paper to get it up and i stead of flushing it i put in the litter box so that her scent is in it but it still doesnt seem to work…….how can i fix this?

  45. I live in a VERY small apartment, so the only logical place to put Lula’s box was in the bathroom. She often goes when I do. Lol. She definitely prefers unscented litter—and it has to be a certain kind. I believe the feel of the other I tried didn’t feel good to her paws. Even though she’s a tiny thing, she likes a LARGE box. The only time she’s ever pooped right outside the box, was when I was using scented litter. She also won’t use her box it if I haven’t scooped at least after using it twice. I’m home bound, so that’s not a problem for me…obviously not everyone can do this. I also use a cheap, deep-pile, bathroom rug right outside the box, which works great to trap a lot of the litter from tracking into the apartment. I hope this helps.

  46. Hi I have two cats. One of them we rescued from our neighbourhood back in August and she is a very loving cat but recently (the last three weeks) she was been pooping outside the litter box… BUT she happens to do it on the couch right where my husband sits… EVERYTIME (thank goodness it’s a leather couch). We are both so tired of coming home after work to logs on his seat. She is peeping in the litter box just fine. We have two boxes that are clean and we haven’t changed the litter. We don’t know what to do anymore … any suggestions?

  47. I have a one year old cat that has popped on the floor since I got her (6 months) and I’m not sure what it is i change one thing she likes it for a while then poops on the floor. I used to think it was her being a neat freak but I’m not sure she did have a lot of digestive issue when she was young but now she is better but never grew out of this pooping on the floor thing

  48. This might sound weird but my kitten is peeing in the box but not pooping. He poops in different places so I don’t know what to do with him. Can anyone please guide me what to do about this.

  49. My cats have been using the same box and litter brand for about 4 years and recently they have started pooping right outside the litter box like right outside it. not sure what to do its scooped regularly and changed regularly same spot as its been for years same brand litter as well. any suggestions what might be wrong.

    1. I suggest buying a brand new litter box. There are some as inexpensive as $3 out there. Four years is a long time to use the same box. Even with enzymatic cleaners, cats can smell things humans cannot. This is possibly a cause.

      1. I am having almost the same issue. One of my cats does all her business in the box and the other just pees. She poops literally at the entrance of the box. I’ve even moved the box and she poops in the same place on relation to the box. Just to the left of the opening? But enough in the way that the other cat has step over it. She is also a very grumpy cat and always has been she 4 years old. Any thoughts?

  50. So many thoughtful replies. Here’s one more:

    After consulting several vets, found out this is called “middening”. It’s primal behavior, similar to fight or flight. Cats do this for a variety of reasons. One is that they smell another cat which may be outside a window, in the garden, etc. The feces is left unburied to ward off other cats and set territorial boundaries.

    My 10 year old male cat began pooping outside his box when an obvious threat from neighboring cats occurred as I moved to an apartment that had adjoining balconies with two other male cats who wandered over to our balcony and hissed at my cat thru the window. In ten years he never exhibited this behavior. Once he began, it was a difficult habit to break. I confined him in a large closet for a couple of weeks. Tried different litters, etc. My neighbor told me her cats were doing the same thing so we both agreed to keep the cats off the balconies. Even after she moved it was not easy to get the cat to use the box, but eventually he began to do it. Now I’e moved to another state. He has been fine for a year…and suddenly started pooping outside the box again. Why? I have no idea, but I believe he smells another cat that is outdoors. Good luck to all. It’s a frustrating problem.

  51. Hello
    I have a whole different problem. We had a ferrule cat give birth to kittens on our porch 7 years ago, the kittens litter trained great. We still have 2 of the 7 . We took mama kitty and all kittiens had them fixed. Mama instantly became a love able indoor outdoor cat she has never used a litter box she always went out even would howl and scratch our bed at night to go out. Long story short we moved to a brand new house in a different location. And now she will not go out to potty she will go out explore and come in and potty where ever. HELP WE ARE AT OUR WITS END WE CANT BE KICKED OUT WE HAVE A HOUSE THROUGH SECTION 8. PLEASE ANY SUGGESTIONS?

  52. hello.i recently got my son a kitty.bout 8weeks old when we got it home it would use the litter box but would never cover its poop or pee and now it poops outside the litter box. some nights it will poop right by my bed and then get in the bed and lay on my hair. or the other day at the foot of the bed on the floor stepped in it and climbed on my lap. Is this normal cause its starting to really irritate me that im cleaning up cat poop, carpet cleaning and cleaning my clothes and bedding on a daily basis. i know the clothes cleaning is a obvious but i would atleast like to wear them the whole day first. hes really is a lovable cat, loves cuddles and exploring but i when it sleep in my hair and still had some poop on its butt cause its little and still has soft poop i was annoyed. Has anyone else dealt with this?

  53. We adopted two older brother cats from shelter…one peed and pooped in corners from day one…completely ruined our carpeting and hardwood floors…we tried everything…we had twin grandsons and HAD to replace carpet and treat the floors…it cost a fortune…the cat immediately started ruining this…broke our hearts but had to put cat down…the vet even said it seemed the only solution…the other cat never had a problem until lately he is about 20 years old so know age is part of the problem we are doing our best to keep him but it is a struggle when nothing seems to work…not heartless!!!

  54. My dad’s cat poops under the bed and on cloths and under dressers her litter box is clean they’ve tried moving it in versus spots of the house but that didn’t work she not even a year yet.

  55. M.
    I have a 7 year old cat who stopped using the litter box to defecate, and within another month, started urinating out of the box, as well. Going in very strange places – ex. on my butcher block cutting board, on the counters, on the carpet, sometimes close to the box, but rarely in it. I tried everything – changing diets, took him to the vet for blood work and xray to rule out disease or infection. Moved the litter box, changed the litter to natural, non-fragrance. I tried everything I could think of and read online. Finally, the vet prescribed Prozac 5mg a day – thought his problem was behavioral. It takes about a month to kick in, but after a month, he was still missing the box. I was at my wits end! I went to a Petco store, where I met a clerk who suggested the following – She said it worked for her cat. This was the end of the road for my cat, Jules, so we had nothing to lose:
    PLEASE TRY THIS – IT COULD SAVE YOUR CAT’S LIFE!!!
    I continued with the Prozac 5 mg a day (Vet prescribed).
    I bought a 3’ long x 2’ high x 2’wide wire dog kennel for $65 at Walmart.
    Put the litter box at the back of the kennel, and made a bed for him in the front of the kennel by the door.
    I placed a small bowl of food between the bedding and the litter box in one corner, and a small bowl of water in the other corner – sandwiched between the rug/blanket and the litter box to avoid spills.
    I covered most of the kennel on the outside with a couple of towels, so he would remain calm and sleep comfortably undistracted – leaving the front door area uncovered by the towel so he could look out and get fresh air.
    I placed the kennel with the cat in a quiet room and closed the door. Consider where you put the kennel, because this will be where you leave the litter box from now on, even after your cat is re-programmed. I checked on him often. This is not punishment – it’s reprogramming your cat to use the litterbox.
    My cat stayed in the kennel, night and day for 4- 5 days. I cleaned the litter box every time he went in it – change it about once a week. I use non-fragrance Little Kitty clumping litter, sold at Walmart. Changed the water twice a day and made sure he had enough food twice a day. He started using the litter box every time – So far so good.
    After 4-5 days, I allowed him to leave the kennel, to roam freely in the same small room where the kennel remained – but that’s all. Keep the room door shut, but check to make sure he’s using the litter box left in the open kennel with the food and bedding. After a couple days of that, I decided to let him upstairs into the gated kitchen where I could supervise him when I was in the room with him. That went well, too. – When I could no longer supervise him, I put him back downstairs in his kennel room for the night. This went on for another few days or so, to make sure he used the litter box in the kennel at all times.
    It’s been well over a month that he’s been roaming freely around the house unsupervised, but he continues to go back to the kennel litterbox in the room where he was re-trained. HE HASN’T HAD AN ACCIDENT IN OVER A MONTH!!!! I still give him the Prozac, and leave the kennel up – I’m afraid to change that – I don’t want him getting confused again. But, my cat actually loved sleeping in the kennel – he felt very secure in there – even when the door was open. The litter box is still in the kennel with his bedding. I have another cat, and another litter box in the same room, but Jules doesn’t use the one outside the kennel.
    I hope you are willing to try this – it was the only thing that worked for Jules! He’s now a very happy, well-adjusted cat again. I thank God every day.

  56. My 6 year old male cat poops out side the box ,thankfully I have the box in the spare bathroom tub. Never had any issues until I was gone for two weeks and came home to this issue . I have used the same brand for years , I clean it daily . I then took the liner out nope still did it ,then removed the lid and he stopped . I went on another two week trip fearing when I got back he would be pooping out of the box again but he was fine . And yes I had someone checking on him daily but he is a fraidy cat if there is another person in the house he always hides sometimes he doesn’t come out until they leave other times he comes out in an hour or so . The other day he started pooping out of the box again right after changing the box out and refilling it with clean he pees in the box but doesn’t cover it any more and poops in the tub . I will try a few different litters first to see if this helps. He had a check up 4 mths ago all well . Could it be possible this is more of an emotional reaction to my stress level since he started doing this when I had a stressful situation I was going through internally? Or an act of defiance? I’m much better now will try new litter . I give my boy lots of love. He does meow vey loudly a lot but just as he is walking through the house has been doing this for years I think it’s his way of saying heyyyyy I’m here . So bottom line is my cat doing this for possible emotional issues ?

  57. Wow, after reading these responses not sure there is an answer to our problem. We have a Siberian named Harley She is mine cat as she is very attached to me. Great lap kitty.. She is 8 years old. We got her as a kitten. We have multiple cats that have been together for over 5 years. 7 litter boxes through out the house, different litter in different boxes. Cleaned daily. The other 2 cats poop and pee in the boxes. Harley used the litter box to pee and sometimes poop. She never covers her poops. Lately she has taken to pooping on my side of the bed when I am not there. We have to keep a cover on it. Have had her to the vet and nothing physical wrong with her. It appears just temperament. We have tried everything except meds and that is next. Are there any meds that work?

  58. To Juliana, Taylor & Lion,
    Sadly, you’re either ignorant or malicious. Do you suppose people seek these sites with the intent to euthanize? In your ignorance or malice-you fail to see people desperate for solutions that allow a beloved pet to remain in the home. As cat lovers-most desire to keep their beloved Kitty hopefully till the day they peacefully pass in their sleep or in their arms.
    Do you expect me to fly across country to take a relative’s cat? A declawed cat that was left in a box on her doorstep over a decade ago. In the last few years she’s spent thousands of dollars on litter boxes/cat litter, with vets and “cat whisperers” but to no avail. No kill shelters are few/far between. She can’t have company because her hardwood floors and he couch are ruined. Maybe I’ll start a GoFund page and you three can cough up the dough instead of vile fur-ball. What would you have her do with a 16 year-old cat.

  59. I have to say, I am speechless. I came here for advice because my cat started peeing and pooping outside the litter box. I’m cleaning the floors twice a day and trying to find solution. It has NEVER crossed my mind to kill her because of this. And I have to say, I took her from shelter (she was adopted twice and then brought back, and stayed for 2 years until I took her, possibly because of issues like these). She’s been with me for 6 years now and the beginning was really rough as she probably suffered a lot of abuse by human hand. But I am shocked how little people value their animals. Really?! I will keep on trying till I find a solution and if there is none to be found, I will be cleaning the freaking floors three times a day if needed. Shame on all of you who are so willing to sacrifice your pets. You shouldn’t have any pets in your care at all. It’s as simple as that. And I guess that my parents have to be happy so I will not put them down once they start wearing adult diapers.

  60. Marie Zurie,

    I had to fly two cats over the ocean when relocating from United States. And yes, it was expensive and no, I couldn’t afford it but I found a way anyway. Yes, my couches are ruined and no, I can’t have a company because my cat started peeing and pooping outside the litter box. Let me know when you set up GoFundMe Page, I will gladly support your cause even though I’m by no means wealthy. Disclaimer: not to bu used to kill the cat.

  61. we have to cats in our house. First girl is 1 year old. and the second girl is 3 months old now. we adopted the second one when she was 2 months old. she pees in the litter box but poops corners of hidden sides of the house.
    for the first 2 weeks she was peeing and pooping in the litterbox. (we have two seperate litter box. before the problem started girls were using one box for pee one box for poop.) as she grow and get bigger and stronger she started pooping anywhere she likes. we could not understand why. anyone have any idea why and how can we stop that behaviour (NOTE: vet says her health is OK.)

  62. I have a male cat that is 2 years old i found him behind a generator at work and he only has 3 feet he was probably 5 weeks old… He is very skittish and afraid of everything. He likes to climb under my covers of the bed and stay there all day but about 2 months ago we came home from a trip and he had pooped and peed on my bed.. then during the night he would run across my bed leaving a trail of nuggets. H He uses the cat box which I have 2 in different rooms of the house he continues to go on my bed, on my husbands recliner or the couch. UgH any ideas. My husband wants to throw him outside I don’t think he will survive. He is fixed

  63. Hi I moved in april and for about a month(june 2017) now one of my cats been pooping on the floor. I recently bleach/ clean the floor and I have two cat boxes for two cats. I’m not sure whats up. 1. I’m taking a sample in the vet because of liquid poops but thats just starting up. I’m just not sure what to do about the pooping thanks!

  64. I have a 5-month-old girl that has been pooping in the middle of my kitchen the last month, I clean it up and the next day it is there again. I just got her set up in my bathroom now with her own box but I feel bad cause my other cat that is just over a year old is allowed to roam free. I am going to clean the whole floor with a smell that she hates and put her food and water in the hall to see if that helps and put her another kitty litter tray in the bathroom again as that is where she had it before and I had no issues.

    I feel so bad cause tonight I had enough I screamed at her and put her in the bathroom with no lights and now she is so fearful of me. I need to start retraining her as this is an issue I can’t deal with otherwise she is getting fix and let out side

  65. I just got my cat about 2 weeks ago, she is 11 years old. She keeps pooping outside of her box but she poops in the box too. For the first couple days, I thought it was just a stress/nervous thing but it’s been happening almost every day since she got here (it also usually happens while we’re home). She had a vet check-up right before I got her so it shouldn’t be a health problem and I clean her litter box every day and it’s set up the same way her previous owners had it. She never had this problem before she got here, is it normal for her to still be stress pooping or should I be worried?

  66. I’ve had my cat, she’s 1 of 4 kitties, for 5 years. She pees and poops mostly on the kitchen floor, but she’s started peeing ON the counter by the sink, and ON TOP OF THE STOVE! Thank goodness it’s a glass top….without coils. When she does use the litter box, she won’t bury either job. I don’t know what to do with her. She’ll be fine, and use the box, then, all of a sudden she’ll start being naughty again. All of my cats are inside cats. We live in a rural area, but we have people in the neighborhood that let their dogs run loose at night. Several years ago these dogs came in my yard and killed all my chickens and Jack Russell dog…so, needless to say, I won’t put the cats outside…what can I do? HELP!

  67. I have a cat that is about 4-5 years old and a cat that is about 2 years old. We recently rescued a kitten that was feral, he is about 14 weeks old now, not neutered yet. The other two males cats that we have are neutered, they both recently quit using the litter box and have chose to go on my dining room table and kitchen floor. We have scrubbed litter boxes out, use same litter we always have, and have placed 4 litter boxes in the dining room now. The kitten is going in the litter boxes because the pee and poops are little. I think I know the one that is going outside the litter box but not sure how to make him go in the litter boxes again. We bought Comfort Zone Feliway for Multicat households about a week ago, not sure if it is working or not yet. Also bought a new kitty tower for them. Someone please help, we have bleached the kitchen floor, wiped the areas where they are going with vinegar and nothing is stopping them from going.

  68. We cant really use any of the advice for deterring the cat from where he is now regularly leaving excrement because its only about a foot away from the box. He never pees outside of the box either, just poop. The box is kept very clean and like i said he’ll stand in the box to pee with no issue. advice?

      1. I am having the same issue, she pees the box but will sometimes poop next to it, on the carpet. I know its not because, it needs cleaned and she just saw her vet. I bought a high sided litter box carpet runner that I put upside down around all sides. I just have to wait and see, but at least with the carpet runner its an easy clean-up.

  69. hi,

    my cat poops anywhere in the house , specially in an new laundy clothes, or below the coach, poops anywhere he likes, adds to our household chores, it become a serious problem.. we have a litter box but , still no use, the baddest experience poops in the dining table.. the cat becomes a burden in the house… we plan to give it to other people, or to government facilities for cats… its sad but it causes a serious probleM.. i mean daily problem.

    any solution ?? pls. help..

    pablo

  70. I feel for everyone here. I am struggling with a cat who has started at 4 years old to pee and poop outside of her litter box. I’m going to try different options, we have tried many already. I just wanted to throw a couple strong opinions out there.
    1) I grew up on a farm. Please Please Please DON’T DROP YOUR CAT OFF AT A FARM without arranging it/ discussing it with the farmer. Only consider it if your cat has been around many other cats in that kind of environment before. Any of the “drop offs” I had the chance to glance were starving and scared. They get beaten up by other cats in the barn and more so when they try to get to the food. They don’t get acquainted with the people on the farm, they are too scared or timid to try. They are traumatized. I have rescued more cats over the years than you can imagine, but I have never been able to get near enough to a “drop off” to be able to help.
    “There are worse things than death” to quote my grandfather.
    2) Don’t be dissuaded by “Animal loving trolls”. Do the best you can. Give them all the love you can. That’s all you can do. If you have ever seen “Old Yeller”, you will understand. It’s better than leaving your pet to die alone, confused and scared.

  71. I adopted my cat Lyla (age 6) just under a year ago and I recently moved from Michigan to Arizona. I know she’s under a lot of stress not only from the move but moving in with three other cats and a dog, but she won’t quit pooping in the dining room under the windows. I’m at a loss of what to do because I’ve tried most of the things listed and it doesn’t seem to be helping. I’ve taken her to the vet for diarrhea and he’s put her on some medications and probiotics to see if that will help her. I don’t want to give her away or take her to the shelter but I don’t know what else to do…

  72. I have tried everything other than putting my cat on a room with several different cat litters.
    She will urinate in the cat litter but dedicated in the kitchen or living room. I have tried different types of litter. unfortunately our bedrooms are very small and can not fit even one cat box.
    PLEASE help me make her stop! she meows a lot before she is going to poop. but ends up doing it in the floor

  73. My cat is 2 years old and always been good about going #2 in her liter box but this past week she has pooped outside her box 3x ; her behavior is the same and her poop is normal. i haven’t changed her liter and her box contains a liner with same amount of liter since she was a kitten.

    not sure why she is starting this behavior? should i give her time or should i take her to vet?

  74. I have a kitten, I weaned her from wet to dry food, she got the runs for a few days but that cleared up since then she has stopped using the litter tray for “Number 2s” her poos are normal her eating and sleeping is normal. She will poo every where from right next boxes we have in the house or right in the middle of the floor. She uses the litter tray to pee. I have tried everything i have changed the type of cat litter, I scoop the tray twice a day and do a full empty and clean once a week, I’ve tried giving her treats when she does use the litter tray, I’ve tried putting more then one litter tray in the kitchen where she sleeps at night and stays during the day while i am at work (its easier to clean up from the lino rather then the carpet) I literally don’t know what to do someone please help me and my little one.

  75. My family has two cats, an orange DSH and a gray Maine Coon. My family took in the Maine Coon after we found out he had been abandoned by his previous owners and was dumped at a park where a family friend (who lives in that area) found him. Our orange kitty has no problems using his box but the Maine Coon is a different story. He was clearly box trained and would pee and poop in the box just fine. However, as he started warming up we found that he had been pooping in places he should not be going in. He has pooped in the shower a total of five times now. We’ve found cat poop on the mat used to catch litter and even on the bath mats. We clean out the boxes regularly but it still happens even if the boxes are clean. I don’t know why he’s been doing this. We have two litter boxes, one in the bathroom, and due to the apartment being small the other one is my bedroom. They have easy access to the one in the bathroom but the one in the bedroom is only if I’m in there (due to our three year old Pug going through another marking problem).

  76. Really people?! I came here to read about cats not pooping in litter boxes, not to read about all of you bashing each other! Good Lord! Get over it and move on. This isn’t the forum to be chastising others. SMH.

  77. A few months ago, a Mama cat showed up on our porch with three kittens. It was storming the day we found her, so we brought her in with her kittens and set her up in our master bedroom as it has a bathroom in it. We set up a brand new litter box, toys, beds and cat tree. The Mama had horrible diarrhea, so we took her to the vet and she, and the kittens, were put on panacur and metronidazole.
    We adopted Mama and two of the kittens out, but kept the male. Here’s the problem (and it’s really causing some issues that I’d like to resolve). Unlike his Mama and sisters, Ad-Rock has NEVER pooped in the litter box. He’s pooped everywhere BUT the little box. I have tried several litters, even the kitten attract litter by Dr. Elsey’s. I have spent more money on cat litter than is even fathomable. I feed my cats very high quality food – and the kitten has had very high quality kitten food. The diarrhea cleared up, but he still poops – now he’s taken to pooping in our bathtub.
    At first I thought maybe the box was too big, but if this guy can climb in and out of our tub, then there’s no way the litter box size could pose an issue, right?
    He is healthy, according to his veterinarian. What he’s doing now is behavioral and I am at my wits end. I have had cats forever. I have even raised several litters over my years of working as a veterinary technician. I have given so much advice to others about such issues, and have exhausted all possible options at this point. I just don’t know what to do.
    I am now considering putting a litter box in the tub, but I am not fond of the idea because well… this is where we shower. I don’t want to rehome him because he really is a very sweet cat but what else can I do? How can you “re-train” a cat that was never trained to begin with?
    Any ideas are appreciated and I will remain diligent and patient but I would LOVE to hear that there’s some hope here.

  78. I need advice. I’ve got a cat that i’ve had for 4 to 5 years. She was only a few months old when i got her. She has always used the litter box but now she will in a basket of clothes if I don’t get them put away fast enough and poop on them or goes to the empty spot in my tv entertainment center and poops. Any ideas as to why she won’t use the litter box anymore?

  79. Hi everyone,

    My older cat Akira was having the same problem described by many, but I think we have solved it. We blocked off the area of the floor that she was using to pee and poo but she either climbed over to it anyways or went on the floor next to the barrier. We also took the lid off of the enclosed litter box so that she could feel less boxed-in. But the final piece of the puzzle for us came from behavioural science: differential reinforcement. Akira loves Temptations kitty treats, which we usually avoid because it is not healthy and it’s like crack for her, but every time she went in the litter box, we gave her tons of treats and loving attention. We gave zero treats for any other behaviour. She started going pee in the litter box instead of the floor, and now she is doing number 2 in there as well! Hopefully this keeps up as we slowly fade back the treats. Wanted to mention this as an additional strategy (assuming medical issues have been ruled out) because I am a behavioural scientist and did not find this suggestion in these forums.

  80. I have two cats and have had them for 5 years with no issues. After leaving for a vacation about 2 months ago for a week I have started to have problems with one of them pooping right outside of his litter box. The cats were watched by a family member who chose not to empty their litter boxes the whole week we were gone (I was very upset, to say the least) Since this incident one of our cats have decided to poop right outside of his litterbox often, but does pee inside of the litter box. He has also developed diarrhea. I have taken him to the vet and he is healthy. We have three litter boxes that are cleaned daily. I just don’t know what else to do. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  81. I have a 9 year old cat and an 11 year old cat. Both female and spayed. The younger was bottle fed by my mother. The other would have ended up at a kill shelter. I had figured a few months ago that maybe the second cat would help ease my younger cat’s bathrooming issues. It did for about a month, then I started going in and out of the hospital. Now, after having had surgery almost a month ago, my younger cat is extremely aggressive toward the older cat – and only if I’m in the room. The younger cat also will only use the litter box if I’m in the room and/or she can see me from the litter box. The younger cat was attacked on the litter box a few years ago by a family member’s dog. I had to put my foot down and threaten the dog (empty threats but still) because the owner would do nothing – she insisted the attack were “Cute.” The cat was approximately 6. Health problems were eliminated early on. I have tried different litters, have moved the location of the litter box, changed to a new litter box, tried automatic litter boxes, moved the box to a different room, moved twice to new apartments, tried everything I can think of. She pees in the boxes pretty much exclusively, but will not poop in them, and when she does poop in them (I have to be home and in the room), since the accident, has taken off running to the other side of the apartment. When I’m not home, she eliminates in areas that are “Hidden” from view. I have tried putting her in a room with litter boxes as recommended. I have tried comparing litters. I have tried other materials. I have tried almost everything in every article I have read, including cat attract. I have even tried squirting her with water when I catch her in the act of eliminating outside the box. I have tried repellants… I don’t know what to do.

  82. Hello! I am also looking for help with my cat. We are at a total loss! I have no idea what to do next and my vet doesn’t have any more suggestions! I have an 11 year old female cat who has been wonderfully behaved and well cared for her whole life. A few years ago she started losing weight and using the basement concrete floor for defecating. She regularly urinates in the box. She has been pooping on the floor for almost two years. She has been seen by a vet very regularly and has been diagnosed with IBS. She has had steroid and antibiotic treatment to help alleviate the symptoms of IBS. I have four plug in feliway pheromone distributors in the house. Even when her systems are improved, she refuses to use the box for poop. I have four boxes, various types of litter, have tried “cat attract” litter, tin foil, enzyme cleaning spray. I feel we have tried everything. How can I re-train her to use her box for stools? ANY advice would be welcome.

  83. Question: my cats ( I have 2) poop in the box and pee in the box but all the sudden one of them started to poop in the house and puke im the house! Need help I don’t know what to do!

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