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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20421
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My Ragdoll cat has been defecating on the mat outside his

Customer Question

My Ragdoll cat has been defecating on the mat outside his litter box off and on for the past 3 weeks. What kind of questions can I ask a vet to be confident that they are on the right track to finding out what's wrong?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 10 months 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 10 months ago.

Hello again Kyle,

This is a very frustrating problem I know, but I have dealt with this sort of problem many times in the past, you may perhaps find that there is enough information to help you resolve the issue on your own in my reply will also give you some ideas what to ask your local vet. I have worked out a plan of action for you, this is drawn from the practice handout which I give to clients where their cats have behaved like your one, some of these solutions have worked very well.

1. The first thing to do is to have your cat checked over by your vet as you have done. If he gets a clean bill of health at your vet then logically it must likely be a behavioural problem of some sort, and this is not uncommon in the cat.

2. 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 Nimbus 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.

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

4.. 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.

5. 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 and it has helped them a lot. Here is a link to this product so you can check it out : LINK

6. 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. These are prescription drugs so you will have to talk this over with your vet.

7. Also 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.


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 10 months ago.
Thank you for your reply. What kinds of questions can I ask a vet to be able to tell if they are competent enough to diagnose my car? For example, if I get my cars tires worked on I would be worried if the mechanic ask me about the radio.
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 10 months ago.

That is a hard one, you are really looking for a vet who is cat orientated as opposed to a vet who treats all animals both domestic and farm animals ...

You can find a cat orientated vet practice via The American Association of Feline Practitioners website : LINK

I regret I cannot suggest any precise questions for you, that is not really possible ...


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.