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Ask Dr Scott Nimmo Your Own Question
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19121
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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I have an older cat that for some reason has started pooping

Customer Question

I have an older cat that for some reason has started pooping randomly in various places in the house He has never pooped in the house even hen he as a kitten he always used the bo. He has a box but will not use it
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the kitten's name?
Customer: Io
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Io?
Customer: A homless cat has been coming around Although Io doesnt seem threated
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Hi,I'm Dr Scott. Welcome to JustAnswer, I am working on your question now, you can expect a written reply sometime within the next ten minutes or so.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Hello again Keith,

This is a frustrating problem for you I know but I have worked out an answer for you below.

The first thing to do is to have your cat checked over by your vet regarding this problem, you should do so in case there is some medical problem or other at the root of her behaviour. While this may be unlikely this is your logical starting point as you would not want to miss medical causes. If he gets a clean bill of health at your vet then logically it must be a behavioural problem. Truthfully this can be a difficult issue to resolve or even to suggest why it has actually suddenly started, though often it is a territorial issue if you have more than one cat in the house or perhaps the homeless cat you mention. Below are the sum total of the ideas which I have given to my clients as a practice handout over the years where their cats have behaved like your one is doing some of these solutions have worked well.

1. When you clean up after where your cat has been dirty use one of the odour eliminator type solutions you can get from the vet or pet store. These work as they have a biological action like a washing machine soap powder and digest organic matter. In fact a dilute solution of such a soap powder is a good thing to use as well. If you just use normal soap and water it will smell fine to you but to your cat it will still smell it afterwards, and if the place smells like a public toilet to him then he may use it as such! Make sure you leave the cleaning agent to soak for a while.

2. Best advice is to keep the litter trays well away from food or water bowls because that could be reason he does not go. Having an additional litter tray in another part of the house would be a good idea as well.

3. Change your cat litter to another brand which is very different in colour and texture from the brand you are using now. Also consider using earth from the garden or peat from the garden centre instead of cat litter, it is not quite so absorbent as cat litter in terms of smells etc. but it is much more natural for the cat and might bring him back into his litter tray. If this works then you can gradually switch back to commercial cat litter.

4. This could be your best idea : Some cats start to be dirty in the house in response to some anxiety, another cat in the house or neighbourhood etc. They may just have seen another cat through the window or smelled them under the front door. Products such as Feliway can help here, some of my clients swear by Feliway. It is used a lot in the UK but hopefully it is available in your area, your vet will advise. I have put a link about Feliway below.

LINK

5. Some cats respond to low level tranquillisers where territorial anxiety concerning other cats is a factor but this is a last resort, it often works well though.

6. But in any case I should be available online for you the next four or five hours today so please do not hesitate to get straight back to me if you would like to talk things over with me further.

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
OK thanks that is very helpful information. Since He was always very territorial himself and would have driven off any strangers in the past , he now is very feeble and I suspected that his behavior was stress related to the appearance of this new cat.
I will try the Feliway. I will save your reply for reference Kn
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Feliway is well worth a try in this sort of situation.

Please let me know how things go ...

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Hello again Keith,

I am just checking back in to see how your cat is getting on after our recent dialogue concerning his behavioural issues ...

Please get back to me and let me know how things are going.

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue. Such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.