There are reasons why pets display unusual and strange behavior; sometimes, it can result from a health condition, a reaction, or a behavioral disorder. As long as you can successfully identify the cause, resolving it will not be difficult. This blog post will greatly be important if you have a cat that poops outside its litter box.
If your cat poops outside its litter box, you should try any of these solutions; clean the litter box regularly, identify the spot the cat poops in and place obstacles to discourage it, add another litter box, take the cat to a veterinarian for medical checkup, train the cat to poop in the litter box.
One mistake cat owners make is assuming a cat will instinctively begin to use a litter box to pee or poop. Pets, like children, must be trained to do something; they have to learn it before it can be part of them.
Why A Cat Will Suddenly Poop Outside The Litter Box?
When a cat stops pooping in its litter box and starts pooping elsewhere, it is a result of a change in the cat’s behavior, or there is an issue with the litter box. Of course, this is if the cat has been trained. Here are some of the possible reasons your cat will suddenly stop pooping outside its litter box.
There are different medical conditions that will cause your cat to stop pooping in its litter box, such as constipation and diarrhea. When your cat has either of these medical conditions, the urge to poop may be so overwhelming that the cat cannot make it to the litter box.
As long as these are the issues and there are no underlying health problems, it will be over in a while. However, if your cat has health problems like intestinal problems, diabetes, or thyroid issues, your cat will poop outside its litter box, and you would have to take it to a vet for diagnosis and treatment.
Cats are different from dogs, the latter can deal with stress and find a way to ease itself, but the former finds it difficult to deal with stress. A small change in the environment, like rearranging the room, can trigger stress in a cat. As long as the cat is stressed, it will display unacceptable behaviors, but as it alleviates, the behavior stops.
Cats are very sensitive animals, and little things can get them triggered. Usually, these little things do not affect other pets, but they are a big deal for cats. Some environmental issues that can cause a cat to stop pooping in its litter box are:
A Dirty Litter Box
It is common for cats to avoid or stay away from a litter box that does not attain the standard of odor or cleanliness as they want. This is the behavior of all cats, including litter-trained ones.
As long as the litter box is dirty and smells, the cat will stay away and poop in another place. It can also be that the cat does not like the smell of the cleaning products you use to clean the litter box.
Change In Household
If there is a change in the household, such as the birth of a baby, the addition of a new pet, or someone moved in or moved out, it can affect your cat’s behavior. Until the cat gets used to the new situation, the stress will affect its behavior to the extent that your cat can stop pooping in its litter box.
Wrong Litter Box Location
Placing the litter box in an uncomfortable location, like close to the door, or in any other part of the house where there are many human activities, the cat will ignore the litter box and find a secluded place to poop. If it is also in a place that the act cannot easily get to, it will poop elsewhere.
It could also be that you use a litter box with a lid; many cats do not like lids on their litter box, which makes them feel trapped or nervous. Furthermore, some cats do not like an open litter box because they feel exposed; you can try a litter box with a lid for them.
Do Cats Poop Outside The Litter Box For Attention?
There is an assumption that cats poop outside their litter boxes to attract their owner’s attention. This is true to some extent because the reasons we listed above require the owner’s attention. So, except you are not concerned about your pet’s well-being, you will not be bothered.
A cat that poops outside its litter box signifies to the owner that an underlying medical issue must be addressed as soon as possible. It can also be telling its owner that it is not comfortable with the litter box, the location, and the environment. It also tells the owner that it is under much stress.
How To Discipline A Cat That Poops On The Floor And Avoids The Litter Box
There are do’s and don’ts when disciplining a cat for anything, especially bad behavior like pooping on the floor and avoiding the litter box. Most times, the reason a cat poops on the floor is the owner’s negligence. So, if a cat poops on the floor, your first action should not be to discipline it but to identify the cause.
Disciplining a cat is different from disciplining other pets, especially dogs. Dogs become submissive when you yell at them, but cats will not listen when you yell. Cats are also intolerant to all forms of punishment, especially physical punishment. Hitting, shaking, or holding down a cat is the wrong way to punish it.
It is important that you first take the cat to the vet if it poops on the floor instead of its litter box. You should reinforce good behaviors when you want to discipline your cat for pooping on the floor. So, you should try to make it poop in the litter box and encourage it by giving it treats. It would be best if you also praised it for good behavior.
Curtailing A Cat That Poops Outside The Litter Box
The first thing to do if your cat poops outside of its litter box is to take it to a veterinarian to identify if it is a result of an underlying medical issue and deal with it. It has been proven to be other reasons and not a medical issue; you can try any of these:
Clean The Litter Box Regularly
This should be something you do regularly; you do not have to wait until your cat poops outside the litter box before you clean it. No one would use a dirty toilet, regardless of how overwhelming the pressure is.
So, if this would mean you would replace the litter box, do it. Ensure you scrub the box with mild dish soap and warm water, rinse it with clean water, and leave it to dry. You need to be careful of the dish soap you use because it can affect the cat.
Identify The Location
If you notice that your cat likes to poop in a particular location, you need to find the exact spot and place obstacles to stop it from going to that spot. This will force it to poop in the litter box, and if the cat is unyielding and finds another spot, you should check the litter box and ensure it is good enough for the cat.
Cats are great pets, but they are very sensitive. So, it is imperative to pay attention to everything your cat does; it could be signaling to you. Cats are not as dogged as people think; they are caring, lovable, and great companions. However, it is best not to relate with a cat the same way you relate with a dog.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.