Why Do Cats Poop Outside the Litter Box? 9 Possible Reasons!
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Why do cats poop outside the litter box? A cat’s decision to eliminate outside the litter box can stem from poor previous experiences. Let’s look at the most common reasons for this behavior.
Having a cat pooping outside the litter box is annoying and unhygienic. It can be very frustrating for owners to understand what’s causing their cat’s behavioral issues and what to do about it.
There are many reasons that a cat may poop outside the litter box. For example, if you recently introduced a new cat to the home, it is likely that the older resident will not want to share its litter box with this newcomer. This could lead to bullying behavior if there are one or more other cats in the household and they are not getting along as well as they should be. We’ve researched the most common reasons a cat has stopped using the litter box.
Why do cats poop outside the litter box?
1. If a new cat, dog, or another animal is introduced into the household, this can cause your cat to feel threatened. You may find that your cat has also stopped using the litter box in this situation. Cats are territorial animals, and if another cat enters their territory, this can cause stress and anxiety. You may need to keep your cats separate for a few weeks until they get used to each other’s smells and can be slowly introduced.
2. Have you just moved house? It’s possible that your cat doesn’t feel safe in his new home, especially if your pet is timid. This can lead them to pooping outside the litter box.
3. Cats are very clean animals who are sensitive to their environment. If you have recently put down new carpets or cleaned the floors with harsh chemicals, this may cause your cat to stop using the litter box.
4. If you have just remodeled your home, this can cause your cat to become anxious and stop using the litter box altogether.
5. When a new baby or another person is brought into the house, cats are ignored in favor of the human visitors. This causes them to feel displaced and may lead to them refusing to use the litter box.
6. If you have recently changed your cat litter or litter tray, this could be confusing for your cat. Your cat may not like the texture of the new litter. Sometimes changing the type of clay litter can cause issues with your cat’s sense of smell and make them re-locate to a different place.
7. If you have too many cats, this may cause some feline rivalry. It’s best to look at your cat population and ensure that each household has one litter box per cat plus one extra.
8. Maybe your litter tray isn’t up to scratch? Cats want their litter box to be as clean as possible, so your cat may poo outside of his box if you don’t make this effort. Litter boxes should be large enough for your cat to turn around in comfortably. It’s also important that the litter boxes are kept clean by scooping them once or twice a day at a minimum and cleaning out any clumps of waste daily.
9. Is your cat’s litter tray in a high-traffic area? Maybe it’s in front of the door to your living room or near a washing machine. Your cat may feel uncomfortable using the litter box in front of other people or if there’s a lot of noise. Think about how comfortable and private the space is. Your cat must have somewhere he can easily access and feel safe in.
Related Article: How Often Do Cats Pee?
How to stop cat from pooping outside of the litter box
You must determine the reason for your cat’s behavior before attempting to change it. If not, there is a chance that your cat’s behavior will become even more stress and anxiety-related.
First, reassess how comfortable your home is for your pet. Cats love feeling secure and safe. If possible, they like a quiet and peaceful area, away from any loud noises or smells. They also want to have somewhere to go without having their litter box disturbed by people or other cats.
It’s essential to keep your cat’s litter tray as clean as possible so that your home doesn’t smell and also for the health and wellbeing of your pet. You should regularly scoop out the poo and clean out any clumps of litter. If your cat isn’t correctly cleaning his paws and is traipsing litter across the floor, you can buy a special mat to put underneath the litter box.
Why do cats poop outside the litter box? Final thoughts
With a bit of patience, you can help your cat solve his toileting problems. Ensure that you have one litter box per cat in your household. Encourage your cat to use the litter box by placing it in a quiet location, away from other animals, young children, or noise from washing machines, etc. Regularly cleaning the litter box will also make it more appealing to your pet.
If you have recently changed the type of litter in your home or bought a new litter tray, this can put your cat off using it altogether. Cats are very sensitive to new smells and textures, so the slightest difference can make them uncomfortable. If you change your litter tray or type of clay, do it gradually over time to reduce the chances of stress for your cat.
Related article: Why do cats lay in their litter boxes?