Why is the cat pooping on the floor randomly?
You might think this is only the behavior of older cats. The cat pooping on the floor can also develop in young cats and male or female.
In senior cats, the reasons for pooping randomly may be related to medical issues associated with older age or dementia.
Some kitty sleuth work may be required.
The first and most obvious thing to do is visit the vet to see if there is a medical problem. It is important to rule out or identify medical issues. Otherwise you are operating on guesswork or advice from other cat owners. Better to get the expert opinion about your cat, no one else’s cat.
Medical issues may include urinary tract infection, bladder inflammation, urinary stones and more.
If the cat pooping on the floor randomly is not a medical problem then what is the cause?
Five Most Common Causes Of Litter Box Rejection Resulting In Random Pooping
1. The Litter Box, The Litter Or The Location Of The Litter Box
The Litter Box
It can be the actual litter box which is causing the problems. Is the box big enough for the cat? Cats prefer larger litter boxes.
Do you have an uncovered or covered litter box? Although covered litter boxes can be practical for humans, cats don’t always like them. They can trap odors inside the litter box unless they are diligently cleaned.
Plus the cat cannot see what is happening outside the box when he is inside a covered box. He cannot be eyeing an escape route should one be needed. We may think the cat doesn’t need to plan an escape route. This is something that is programmed for him from ancestral times and living in the wild.
It may be the type of litter that is being used.
Consider having a couple of litter boxes with different types of litter to see if there is one that is favored over the other. Most cats like an unscented clumping litter.
Have you recently changed to a perfumed litter? This could be problematic for the cat.
If you are going to change the type of litter, this is the best way to do it. Add a little at a time, over the top of the usual litter. Gradually replace the litter as the cat becomes accustomed to the new litter.
Location Of The Litter Box
Think about the location of the litter box? Has it became a scary place for the cat to visit? Does the cat have to pass a dog’s bed to get to the litter box. Is it in a noisy thoroughfare?
Cats do like quiet places to pee and poop so it may possible that the litter box is in a less than desirable location.
2. How Clean Is The Litter Box Really?
The litter box may not be clean enough for the cat. Quite often the cat pooping on the floor randomly can be solved by something as simple as ramping up cat litter cleaning duties.
Kitty says not to take offense here, it is just the way it is. It is important to scoop the litter box daily, regularly change or top up the litter and wash the litter box.
There is detailed information here about how to look after a litter box.
Cats have a very strong sense of smell.
If they have urinated elsewhere it is really important to totally get rid of that smell otherwise the cat will be drawn back to pee at the same spot.
Hard surfaces such as a tiled or hardwood floor can be cleaned thoroughly with your normal household cleaner.
Fabric and carpet must be cleaned with a proven bio enzymatic cleaner for pet urine to really do a good job.
3. Senior Cats And Agility Problems
If your cat is senior and has arthritis or stiff joints, it may be painful when entering and exiting the box.
A box that has a low entry point is essential. There are various litter boxes that suit senior cats or cats with compromised joint mobility. Read more to find out about the features to consider in a litter box for a cat with agility problems.
4. Stress And Anxiety
Stress and anxiety cats can sometimes be a cause of litter box avoidance and lead to the cat pooping on the floor randomly. Cats are very attune to different types of stress in the household.
Things such as, other animals coming into the house, new people in the house, conflict with neighboring cats (if your cat is an outside cat). Even moving furniture can all contribute to stress for the cat and cause litter box problems.
Declawing can also be a major cause of pooping randomly and actively avoiding the litter box.
Even when some of these stressors are removed, the cat may still continue to urinate and poop outside the litter box thus compounding the problem.
It can become a habit. Humans are the same, we form bad habits that make no sense but we still have them. It’s not easy to let go of a habit. This makes it another good reason to try and find a solution to the problem, as soon as we are aware that there is a problem.
If your household has multiple cats there is usually one that is dominant and this can cause stress for a more timid cat.
If you don’t already, get multiple litter boxes so that the cat doesn’t have to fear meeting up with his arch enemy on the way to the litter box.
5. Behavioral Issues
The Cat may Develop A Substrate Preference
Another potentially and more difficult issue to solve, is that cats can develop a surface preference. They choose places to urinate or deposit stools based on how the surface feels to them.
Sometimes you will read this referred to as the cat developing a substrate preference. The preference can be carpet or fabric or it may be a hard surface such as a tiled floor or a soft surface such as bedding.
Quite often the cat will have a preference for one or the other so will always choose a soft surface or always choose a harder surface.
One solution is to change the litter based on the cats behavior so choose a softer litter if the cat is urinating on fabric or soft surfaces.
If you notice the cat pooping on the floor randomly but more specifically on carpeted areas, consider putting some carpet in the bottom of the litter box. The carpet can be disposed of or cleaned a necessary. Cover with a small amount of litter.
If you can locate some old carpet squares that would be a relatively easy solution or alternatively if the cat is choosing a hard tiled surface try putting some tiles in the bottom of the box, covered with a small amount of litter.
Gradually add more litter and then remove the carpet or tiles.
Consider using a cat litter attractant to lure kitty back to the box.
This may be enough to break the habit. It is often an easy and inexpensive solution. Definitely worth a try!
The problem can be basic cleanliness in the litter box and if you put extra effort into ensuring that the litter box is in top notch shape you may save a lot of time and frustration.
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One thing is clear your cat is not doing this on purpose to annoy you.
Even if you catch the cat in the act he is not going to connect your “crossness” with what he is doing. Cats do not see their urine and faeces as dirty or disgusting.
Treating the problem as soon as it is observed is the best way to solve the problem. First of all take the cat to the vet for a check up. If no medical problems are evident the next thing to do is address any litter box problems. This make take some investigating.
Have you got this problem with your cat? What have you tried to solve this problem?
You might also like to read…
Entice Kitty Back To The Litter Box
Has Kitty Gone AWOL from the litter box? Save your sanity! Use cat litter attractant to send him back to the litter box.
Has Your Cat Been Scratching You For No Apparent Reason?
Why do cats scratch their owners? It can be frustrating!