Cats Pooping Outside of the Litter Box (Causes & Solutions)

If you are a cat owner, then you’ve probably had cats pooping outside of the litter box at least once.

This problem is frustrating and rather smelly and most cat owners aren’t proud of this feline behavior.

So, why are your cats pooping outside of the litter box all of a sudden?

The answer could be anything from a simple temper tantrum to life-threatening illnesses.If you are wondering what you can do to make your cats stop acting this way, look no further!

We have prepared an article to help you figure out what the problem is and how to end it.

Why Are Cats Pooping Outside of the Litter Box?

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In most cases, the reason why your cat is pooping outside of the litter box is simple. You have probably changed something with her litter box or with her routine.

Did you move the litter box to a different spot?

This is the common cause.

However, if your house-trained cat has stopped using its box all of a sudden, this can mean trouble.

Our first suggestion always is to take your cat to the vet.

Here are some things that can cause cats pooping outside of the litter box.

Stress

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The most common reason why your cat is pooping outside of the litter box is stress.

Just like with humans, a bad life period can affect their bowels. It may even cause temper tantrums.

Think about what might be happening to stress your kitty so much.

Litter Box Is Moved

Kitties hate when things change. If you moved the litter box to some new location, your cat might not like it.

Maybe the litter box is somewhere with a lot of traffic.

People constantly walking around can disturb more shy felines.

Another thing that might be happening is that your cat can’t easily reach her litter box.

This is especially stressful for older cats, as they might be starting to get dementia.

Moving the litter box creates confusion for your comfort-loving four-legged friend.

Dirty Litter Box

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If you don’t clean your litter box as often as you should, this might be unpleasant for your cat’s nose.

Let’s not even mention how unhygienic that is! Cats are known for being clean animals and dirty toilets are a big no-no for them.

Some cats even go so far that they demand their litter boxes be pristine. Others will simply refuse to use their litter box once it gets dirty enough.

This is why they choose to relieve themselves in a bit more noticeable place… Such as your new carpet.

Small Litter Box

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If you got the litter box while your cat was still a kitten, maybe she’s outgrown the litter box.

The right size for a litter box should be around one-and-a-half times your cat’s body length.

If your cat grew in size or gained some weight, she might find her current litter box uncomfortable.

Another size problem can occur if the box is too shallow or if you didn’t put enough litter in it.

This way she won’t be able to satisfy her feline dig-and-bury instinct.

Bad Litter Choice

As we’ve already established, cats are picky animals. They usually won’t eat all food and won’t play with all the toys you’ve bought them.

The same goes for the litter. Sure, most litter brands might look the same for us. If we could ask our cats they’d probably say we can make some atrocious choices.

Cats are known to dislike scented litters. Some even carefully choose the texture.

Whatever the specific reason for the dislike might be, make sure that you haven’t made changes in your litter choice.

Otherwise, this is likely the case why you’re finding smelly presents outside of the litter box.

Litter-Robot

New Household Member

 

Cats are territorial animals. If there was a new addition to your household, they might not be too happy about it.

This is often the case when you adopt another cat, or even when you have a baby.

Sometimes even moving in with your new partner can be the reason behind cats pooping outside of the litter box.

Leaving feces around the house in this situation means the cat is marking her territory the only way she knows.

Similarly, new pets can take a while to get used to the new environment.

They won’t use the litter box until they are comfortable enough.

Keep in mind that it might take weeks for your cat to adjust to a new family member. Sometimes this process can even last for months if the kitten is on the shyer side.

Health Issues

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Sometimes, when your cat’s been having bowel problems, she might have to go all of a sudden. REALLY all of a sudden.

This might be the reason why the poop was outside of the litter box; she couldn’t make it on time. If this situation is temporary, you shouldn’t worry.

Everyone has bad stomach days from time to time. But if the situation keeps happening, visiting a vet is a necessity.

This can also be a symptom of your cat having bowel problems in the past.

If your cat’s been having UTIs or similar problems, she may have associated the box with an unpleasant event.

Similar might happen as a result of stress, such as if your cat’s been frightened while doing her business.

Either way, going to a veterinarian is a good choice. It’s better to feel safe than sorry.

Why Does My Cat Pee On My Bed?

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Another similar common problem cat owners face is when a cat pees on their bed.

This can be even worse than finding poop right in front of your bedroom door.

The reasons why your cat pees on your bed are usually similar to the ones already mentioned.

If the litter box isn’t right for her or is too dirty, she might decide to pee outside of it.

Your bed is comfortable and already smells of her, so she might think it’s a fine spot.

Your cat might be stressed and the reason why she chose your bed for relief is pure coincidence.

Another reason for this location might be if you have adopted a new pet.

Your new kitty might spend a lot of time with you on your bed.

This will make your older feline friend territorial and will force her to pee to mark her territory.

This also tends to happen when your cat misses you. Maybe you aren’t spending enough time with her recently.

This is often the case when you have adopted a new pet. She will try to combine her scent with yours so she can feel closer to you.

And no – your cat isn’t being spiteful for peeing or pooping where she shouldn’t have.

She is simply trying to cope with something the only way she can and you should help her.

How to Prevent Your Cat from Pooping Outside the Litter Box?

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There are several things you can do to prevent your cat from pooping outside the litter box.

Of course, you should consult your veterinarian first to make sure there are no health problems with your friend.

When you’ve ruled bowel problems out of the calculation, you can start working on the solution. Here are several tips and hints:

  • Make sure to clean all your litter boxes daily, or even twice a day.
  • Try to determine which litter is your cat preferring. This can be done by lining up several boxes with different litter. That way you will see which one your cat doesn’t mind using.
  • Make sure that the box is easily accessible.
  • There are covered and uncovered types of boxes – try them both!
  • If you have more than one cat, buy more than one litter box. There should usually be as many boxes as there are cats, + 1.
  • Clean up places on which your cat likes to poop to remove the smell. If this isn’t enough, try physically blocking her from reaching these spots. A good idea is to put your cat’s bed or food over that spot. That way she’ll understand the place is not good for pooping.
  • Consult your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist if nothing else helps.

Find the Alternative

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If all else fails, try finding an alternative such as the Litter-Robot.

This product is the automatic litter box that self-cleans.

Litter-Robot

This way you will keep your cat’s litter box clean without any troubles.

Despite not being the most affordable product on the market, we think it’s worth every penny.

With it, you can stop scooping once and for all.

The Litter-Robot has a drawer that it drops the waste in, separating it from the clean litter.

This might make your life a little bit easier, and most cats will love it. If you don’t feel comfortable giving away a lot of money just to risk your cat hating it – don’t worry.

The product comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. This way you can test it before actually spending any cash.

Conclusion

The reason behind your cats pooping outside of the litter box is usually benign.

Sometimes we even find the true cause of it funny, even though it is traumatic for our feline.

The first thing that you should do is to think if you did anything to disrupt the cat’s sensitive routine.

The next step should be finding the root of the problem, so you can help your cat relieve with comfort.

Of course, if you suspect any health problems, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Urinary and bowel problems are a serious issue that can become life-threatening if not treated on time.