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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18221
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Our cat uses s box to pee but will not use it movements - he

Customer Question

our cat uses his box to pee but will not use it for bowl movements - he goes on our floors - any explanation?
Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he been doing this?

Where does he specifically pass stool? Near the litter box?

Are these kittens still in the house?

Any reduction in the amount or height of his jumping as of late?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. 7 months
2. Any where he gets the urge
3. Actually they are bigger than he is, they stay outdoors a lot except at night.
4. No, he still can jump quite high.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

First, if Alkazar is passing urine in the litter box, that tells us that he hasn't an issue with the box as it is. Therefore, we can rule out direct litter box rejection and can stop making changes to that.

That aside, his behaviour is one we see with cats that have joint issues (less likely with his age and with no change to his activity level) and those that feel there territory is under threat. And with the kitten situation (even if they are outdoor most of the time), the latter is our top suspicion here for poor Alkazar.

While it is not nice for him to pass feces outside the box, to a cat it is as if he is putting up flags (like an historical explorer would have). It is a cat way of telling another cat that this is their territory and they are not pleased to have to share it with these other cats. In regards ***** ***** the behaviour, I have to warn you that Alkazar may be best living in a single cat household (which is actually more fitting to natural cat behaviour and instinct).

Otherwise, if that isn't an option, then we'd have to try to address the stress/anxiety behind this inappropriate behavior. To do so, there are a range of de-stressing treatments that can help provide a general peaceful environment for our cats. Often we will use Feliway, which is a synthetic cat pheromone that helps to relieve stress. This can be used as a spray or a plug-in diffuser. There is also a diet on the market called Calm by Royal Canin. This contains a number of supplements that have been found to provide stress relief to cats. As well, there are nutritional supplements like Kalmaid, Zylkene, Composure, and even Bach’s Flower Remedies that can soothe anxious cats and halt this behavior. And as these are not drugs per say, you can use them together as needed.

Finally because we need to discourage him associating the non litterbox places with being somewhere he can go and this becoming habitual (a risk if this has gone on for months), you will need to make sure the areas are cleaned afterwards. I would advise using an enzymatic odor neutralizing cleaner (ie Nature's Miracle, Fizzion) wherever he has gone because while normal cleaners will eliminate the smell to us, he may still be able to smell his own scent and thus choose to go there again.

Overall, defecating out of the box is not something cats do lightly. It is a behavior that is actually going against his instincts. Therefore, we have to appreciate that this is highly likely to be stress/anxiety related as he feels they are encroaching on his territory. Therefore, it'd be ideal for him to be in a single cat household or we can try the above to try to soothe him. And if you find that you are struggling despite the above, I would also note that his local vet can start him on medication (short or long term) to dampen his drive to send these unpleasant "messages" to the other cats in his territory.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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