Why Your Cat is Pooping Outside the Litter Box
If you’ve been trying to figure out why your cat keeps urinating and pooping outside the litter box, you’ve come to the right place. Many of the reasons that cats do this are stress-related or due to conflict between the cats in the household. Stress-related bowel disease is a very common symptom, but you can treat it without using medications. Here are some tips for treating this problem.
Your cat may be pooping or peeing outside the litter box when it is stressed out. Your cat may be shy or afraid of the new litter or detergent, or a new robot cleaning the litter box. Stress may also cause your cat to avoid the litter box altogether, especially if you move. Fortunately, there are several ways to deal with this issue. Here are three of the most common causes of stress in cats.
Your cat may be avoiding the litter box altogether because it has become too stressful. To prevent your cat from pooping outside the litter box, remove the sources of stress in your home. Try to keep the routine consistent, close doors and windows, and keep your dog away from your cat. Also, you can use synthetic pheromone sprays or diffusers. These scents are known to reduce stress in cats.
Conflict between cats in a household
When cats are battling for dominance, they may urinate or defecate outside the litter box. While cats rarely mark their territory with feces, they may do so on objects they don’t know. These objects may be other cats, people, or even the scent of another animal. This can be quite distressing for the afflicted cat. If the problem isn’t getting any better, you can try preventing the conflict by limiting access to the litter box and restricting access to windows.
If one cat in a household is preventing another from using the litter box, it is likely that one or more of them has an infection. Visiting a veterinarian is a good idea to rule out a urinary tract infection or other medical condition. If the urine smells like vomit, then your cat might be suffering from a urinary tract infection. If you’re concerned, you can also try changing your cat’s diet.
Stress-related health issues
Several health problems and conditions can cause your cat to poop outside of its litter box, including stress-related health issues. Among these are urinary tract infections, thyroid issues, inflammatory bowel disease, and pain from a GI infection. Even a small change in a cat’s routine can cause stress. If your cat has been pooping outside of its litter box for a while, it may be time to get it checked out.
Many cats have aversions to the smell and appearance of the litter box. The stress may be enough to cause your cat to stop using its litter box altogether. Otherwise, your cat may develop a new elimination site or continue using the litter box inconsistently. In some cases, a cat may develop a preference for a different spot, such as a small, enclosed area near the door.
Stress-related bowel disease
If you notice your cat is eliminating outside of the litter box, you may have a health condition that may cause it to poo outside the litter box. The pain of elimination can affect your cat’s bowel movements, and it may cause the cat to associate using the litter box with discomfort. Stress can also cause the cat to poo outside the box, and can be caused by various indirect events like introducing new family members or animals to the home or changing the daily routine.
Your cat may suddenly have an overwhelming urge to poop outside the litter box. This urge could be temporary or a result of a more serious underlying condition. In any case, if the problem persists, you should take your cat to the vet immediately to rule out a medical condition. Your veterinarian will run tests and give you a formal diagnosis and treatment. For your peace of mind, you should consider the following options: