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Reani, Cat Care Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1762
Experience:  20+ years experience with Cat Care and behavior problems, 3 years Pet Rescue
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How can I stop my cats from pooping on floor

Resolved Question:

I have two 14 year old cats. For what ever reason, one or both of them have begun to poop in my dining room. They only do it when I'm not around (sleep, generally). I think it's mental because they don't do it when I'm around... no problem using their litter boxes. I even slept in my living room (across from my dining room) and they didn't do it all night. However, 1 night in my own bed & poop. What can I do to stop this? I can't take it anymore.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Reani replied 9 years ago.
Hi there,

I would be happy to help you.
Can you tell how long this has been going on?
Are the stools normal?
How many litterboxes do you have?
How many pets?
Have there been any changes in the household recently, new people, schedule, pets, furniture?
Do they go outdoors at all?

Standing by to help you...
Warm Wishes,
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
1. Can you tell how long this has been going on?
    *Well, last year, around this time, one of the cats kept pooping on the floor of my downstairs bathroom and in the upstairs bath tub.
I closed off both areas, and the problem stopped.
For the past 3 weeks, and now, an almost every day occurence (twice today), when I am not home or awake, there have been accidents. It's funny... I slept on the couch for 2 nights to try to catch the culprit, but nothing happened. I set out a camera to record and nothing happened. Today I left and forgot to set the camera, and... poop. Last night I slept in my own bed, forgot to reset the camera, and poop.

2. Are the stools normal?
     * Usually. I have a cat that has been losing fur. I'll be taking him to the vet this week. I thought for sure it was he. However, the stools don't look sickly, at all.
3. How many litterboxes do you have?
    *2. Both in the basement.
4. How many pets?
    *2 cats and 1 nine-year old son (well, he's not really a pet, but...).
5. Have there been any changes in the household recently, new people, schedule, pets, furniture?
    *No, not really. I did purchase the covered litter boxes, though. However, there are signs of usage. I had to get them because the cats would rise up while urinating and get it all over the floor. I am thinking about moving them closer to the front of the basement and moving 1 upstairs. I guess I could remove the lid, too.
6. Do they go outdoors at all?
    *No, they don't. They've been house cats, except for venturing out onto the front enclosed porch on occasion.
Expert:  Reani replied 9 years ago.

Hi again!

When a normally well behaved cat begins pooping or peeing outside the box, the first thing to check is for a medical reason. If your cat experiences any discomfort while using the box, they will avoid using it, so it might be a good idea to start with having them checked by a vet.

Now, for a little psychology, cats in the wild leave their feces uncovered as a warning to other cats that they have been there and it is their territory. Other cats in turn will respect the other's space and stay away. If you do not have at least one litterbox per cat and they are not cleaned daily, this type of behavior can result. The rule of thumb is one box per cat and one extra, as some cats do not like to share, and some even won't poop where they pee. Moving one upstairs is a good idea, especially if you can put it in the room where this is happening. Another idea would be to place a feedign station over the spot.

Next, if your cat is stressed in any way, change in the household routine, even another cat outside, this behavior can occur. To remedy this, use a Feliway Diffuser in the room they mess in. It emits a calming pheromone scent that the cat finds calming making them feel less like they need to protect their territory.

Lastly, be sure to clean the area with a good enzymatic cleaner to remove all traces of the smell. If they can smell it they will return to it to re-claim. You can also try putting a tarp (not pretty I know) over the area help break the habit. They do not like the feel or sound of them.

Please keep me posted on their progress. We can get them through this.....feel free to contact me anytime for futher help on this is the above does not help. The above steps should cover all possibilites from a medical condition, to territorial behavior and stress, so all bases are covered here.

Warmest Wishes,


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