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What to Do About a Cat Pooping Outside Litter Box ?

Is your kitty pooping outside the litter box? Maybe on the rug?

When a person spends some time on litter training for their cats, and the cat poops outside, it is referred to as inappropriate elimination. It’s quite irritating and can even be difficult for owners to manage.
However, you can only solve this problem if you’re able to figure out why your cat is pooping outside the litter box in inappropriate places like a rug or other places in your home.

cat pooping outside litter box

Common Causes

1. Medical Reasons: It’s possible that this can be a medical issue. If you find out that your cat often poops outside the litter box, there can be a possibility that it’s a medical condition. It can be anything, pain while pooping is one such example. You need to take your feline friend to the vet.

2. Furry Butt Syndrome: More than often, cats with long hair don’t like when remnants stick to their fur. So, as a method to resolve it, they poop somewhere else. Over the time, they associate the box with a problem and thereby avoid it. A simple solution to this problem is trimming fur around your kitty’s bottom with small pet grooming scissors to ensure it’s clean and nice.

3. Small Box: If your litter box is too small, your kitty will be uncomfortable using it which will eventually result in your cat avoiding it all together. If you have a covered litter box, try removing the cover or using one without a cover. Also, ensure that your litter box is big so that your cat is comfortable while using it.

Here is a list of best cat litter boxes.

4. Litter: You must have noticed that the position in which cats poop is different in which they pee. Thereby, you should experiment with different litter in different boxes to see which one works best for you. There are tons and tons of litter on the market, I recommend this one. It changes color if your cat is ill and the company delivers it free of cost every month. You can get it here. You should also experiment by trying varying depths with litter as well.

5. Location: To poop, your cat needs a bit more time than peeing. It’s possible that your kitty is feeling uneasy about being “vulnerable” for that long. If you have more than one cat in your home, it’s possible that other cats intimidate her during litter box visits. Make sure that your box is placed somewhere where your cat can easily “escape”. You can also try using several litter boxes around the home in different locations.

I wrote a complete article on litter box placement which you can find here.

How to Stop Your Cat From Pooping Outside the Litter Box

If your cat has started pooping outside the litter box, it can be tricky to stop. Below mentioned are steps that you can take to solve it.

Clean the litter: Your first step should be completely cleaning areas where your cat has pooped. If your cat has pooped on an inexpensive rug or a bathmat, you need to throw it away, and if the item is washable, put it into the washing machine. If you fail to clean that area, your cat will be attracted to that spot and will poop again.

Litter box: Cats prefer to only use litter boxes that are ultra clean. They want their boxes to be roomy and open as well. If you have a single litter box, consider purchasing and adding one more in a different area (keep it in the area where your cat has been pooping inappropriately). You can also use one of those jumbo litter boxes that come without covers. Here is a list of best litter boxes.

Change cat litter: If you use a scented litter, immediately change to unscented one. You might like the scent of the litter because it can cover up odor, but cats often find artificial scents repulsive and overwhelming. Keep in mind that cats have a much more sensitive nose than humans. Your cat might also not like the texture of your litter. Purchase a new litter box and use different litter in it to see if your cat likes it. Here is the cat litter that I recommend.

Keep your cat away from inappropriate areas: If there are a bunch of places where your kitty is going to poop, make these areas as unpleasant as possible. You can use a cat repellent to prevent her from entering these areas. Always make the litter box the easiest and sensible option.

Reduce Stress: If you recently purchased a new cat for your house, ensure that you introduce the cats properly. If there is another animal, maybe a dog or even a human, you need to desensitize your cat over time from the source of stress. Also, make sure your cat feels safe to approach the litter box. It should be away from food all the time.

Environment: Play daily with your cat. Leave some interactive toys around when you aren’t in the home. Don’t keep your cat bored and frustrated.

Patience: Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Nor a change will happen overnight. Don’t stress out. Clean the areas where she pooped inappropriately, ensure your litter box is attractive and clean, and also keep your cat’s surrounding environment fun and happy.

Conclusion: If you have done everything, but things aren’t improving, don’t give up. Consider getting some help. Ask a vet for veterinary behaviorist/animal behaviorist. It might cost a bit, but will be worth the amount you put in it.

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