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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7349
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My cat has suddenly started to elimate in the house instead

Customer Question

My cat has suddenly started to elimate in the house instead of the litter box after 3 yrs he is 3 nothing has changed re his litter or box position
He is not sick as he is playing and eating normally
He is a Ragdoll and stays indoors except for the 3 balconies we have
I'm very concerned as every morning he has done a poo either on the kitchen mat or the rug in the lounge room,this only started 4 days ago and his box is clean
Please advise
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you, but need a bit more information. Can you tell me how many cats live in the household and how many total litter boxes you have. Were the stools completely normal and formed. What type of litter do you use? Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response or I may be offline, but if so, I will respond as soon as I am able.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No other cats in house
Stools normal
Crystal litter
One litter box
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Nothing has changed in 3 years,same box,same litter,same position of box
Cat happy,healthy,playing and eating normally
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry for the delay. I typed a response, but it did not seem to post. Give me a few minutes to retype it.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
It sounds as if Spanky has developed a litter box aversion for stool. Often the litter box aversion started when something unpleasant to him turned him off to going back to the box. It may have been that he stepped in it while it was dirty or something scared him one time while he was in the pan and he associates that unpleasant experience with the box. This is not uncommon in cats with longer hair around the anus where stool can get stuck. The goal is to make the litter pans the most attractive place in the house and the other spots less attractive. The general rule of thumb is to have one more litter pan than you have cats. Since he is your only cat, then it may solve the problem completely to add one more box next to his current litter box or near the area where he is soiling. Once he starts using it you can slowly move it back to a less obvious site. Some cats develop a preference of one for stool and one for urine, even if they never did before. Maybe try one covered and one uncovered to find his preference. Clumping litters seem to be preferred by most cats because it is soft. It also allows you to keep it cleaner as there shouldn't be a wet bottom. You may need to experiment with different litters. You must scoop daily! Cat's are very texture specific so look at the places he is choosing to go. If it is a carpet, you may want to put a piece of scrap carpeting in a litter box for him and slowly add more litter as he starts to use it. Next, you want to make the other spots unattractive or unavailable, confinement is one way. Maybe keep him from the places it is occurring if possible, especially when you are not home, unless that is where the litter boxes are. This is a hard subject to cover adequately in a few paragraphs. I am including a link that may give you a few more ideas. Work with your veterinarian who should have experience with this also as this is a very common problem, but can be solved in many cases especially since he is still a young cat. I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.Dr Z

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