Species: Cat Breed: tabby cat Age: More than 15 ye
My cat doesn't poop in her litter box, so I put down rugs near her litter box and she goes on them most of the time, but lately she has started this upstairs in the same place every so often.
I clean her litter 3 times per week, she has two litter boxes in the same room(her room)but she only uses one of them. She still ocasionally poops in the upstairs living room. Is there a way to make her stop this behavior? Today I placed a bowl of her dry food in the area she has been going, thinking that she will not go where she eats. I am concerned because my husband says if she does it again, she has to be put down, but she is otherwise really healthy, older but no signs of any other problems. I have had her for 16 years and in no way want to put her down if she isn't sick.
Thanks so much, I will recommend your website to my friends.
Dr. Marie replied:
When a cat poops outside of the litter box it can be very frustrating! Often we don't know why a cat does this.
Here are a few things that I can recommend that sometimes help:
Throw out your litter boxes and get new ones. The old boxes can retain odors over the years.
Have one more box than the number of cats you have.
Clean the boxes twice daily
Try different sizes of litter boxes. Some older cats don't like to get in a box with large walls, so try using a boot tray. Other cats like large walls so try using a rubbermaid container.
Experiment with offering different types of litter.
Use pee pads in the places where she is pooping. Then, every day, move the pads so that they are closer to where the litter boxes are kept. You may be able to retrain her to poop in the box.
Consider Feliway which releases pheromones that reduce stress in cats.
If this is a new behavior for Quincy it's a good idea to have your vet take a look at her. Sometimes older cats will poop in the house because of pain in the spinal cord called lumbosacral syndrome. This can sometimes be treated with pain medication.
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Dr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.
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