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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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I have a 7 year old male altered cat. Nothing in my home has

Customer Question

I have a 7 year old male altered cat. Nothing in my home has changed the past several years. I have taken him to the vet and there are no health issues, he is and has always been a nervous little guy ( He was feral till about 8 weeks of age) about 8 months ago he started not using his litter pan for poop. He kept going into my home office on the wood floor. So I added another litter pan and also did not make the litter too deep (Don't think he likes his feet covered) it has helped by not all the time. He still continues to leave me a poop present on the carpet in my bedroom I think cuz he scrathces at the carpet before and after he poops on the carpet. I have a pheromone collar on him and twice daily buspar from the vet.....has not really made a huge impact.....
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Candy R. replied 2 years ago.
Hello. I am sorry to hear Dirtynose is giving you some trouble. My name is ***** ***** I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years. I would be happy to help I just have a few questions so I can better assist you.
How often is this happening?
Does he now or has he in the past ever had trouble with hard stools, constipation or diarrhea?
Is he the only cat?
What type of litter boxes do you use ( open, covered, self cleaning etc)
What are you using to clean the areas he has gone?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello. it is sometimes once per day. Then he will go a few days in the litter pan that I have placed near the spot on my carpet that he seems to like so well. His poop is not firm but not liquid either. He is not the only cat, I have 4 that are indoor outdoor, mostly they stay inside. I used to do TNR volunteering and also fostering (Long time ago) and I kept several cats that no one would adopt. But non of the cats in the house or outdoors are new at all.My litter boxes are open and not covered not slef cleaning and I clean it as soon as it is used cuz I know that he will not use the pan if even his mess is in it. (He would but would be hesitant) He will scratchy at the carpet and poop right in front of me . I have even moved the location of the pan (Behignd things so it would be more private and out in ther open so that he would not feel "TRAPPED"He will do this late in the afternoon before I come home from work about 6pm and sometimes in the middle of the night about 4am (I wake up cuz I hear him scratching and walking around meowing) he is very very vocal.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I clean the area with just water and a clean cloth and then again with Urine gone or another enzyme product so there is no offensive smell for him.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.
There are a few common reasons for this to occur the most common being
* Constipation. This can be either current or previous. When there is pain when defecating often the cat will associate the litter box with this pain and will seek either cool surfaces such as tile or counter or soft areas such as a bed or carpet. This is they attempt at defecating without pain.
* Joint or leg pain or weakness. There are several things that can cause this such as arthritis, or spinal degeneration.
* Territory Marking. This is something I can not rule out since he is going in places more associated with you such as your bedroom or your office.Cats unlike dogs are not pack animals and will in fact live solitary lives in the wild. Because they do not care to interact other then mating they us urine or feces marking to leave the message that this is their area.
If it is happening while you are not home or when you are sleeping perhaps another cat has already used the box so he does not want to.
I am not sure how many boxes you have but rule of thumb is one box per cat plus one. I realize that is not always an option especially when you have 2 or more cats.
If you have had him for 7 years and this has only been happening for 8 months then something has changed to make him start doing this. It may be something that you have not even noticed such as the dynamics between him and the other cats or in some cases something as simple as a stray cat outside that they can see out windows or even smell.
If his stool is not firm even though it is not loose I would suggest having your vet send a stool sample out to the lab to rule out parasites ( not checked in the office) some things like hook worms can shed intermittently so they are easily missed and whip worms almost never show up in a stool sample tested in the office since the stool is not spun down.
Another thing we have to consider if he is walking around being very vocal before doing this is he having intermittent pain somewhere.
While not the optimum solution one thing you could try is getting cheap carpet remnants You can often find these at the dollar tree or if you have a local carpet store they will often give you free pieces of left over. Place this in a open box and see if he will use this instead or your carpet. Like I said not an option that we like but it will often work and then once he is using that daily you can try adding a little litter on top and transition back to just litter.
You could also try adding a product called cat attract to the litter box to see if this helps.You can purchase this online or at some pet stores.
If the Buspar is not working you may want to ask your vet about trying a different medication to help reduce anxiety. Just like with humans not every drug works for ever cat and sometimes we have to try different ones until we find one that works.
I would also make sure you have scheduled play time to help reduce anxiety. You want to play with him twice a day for about 20 minutes or until he is to tired to play anymore. For night time getting timer controlled toys or hands free laser toys can really help to give him something to do when you are not home or are sleeping.
Unfortunately inappropriate urination/defecation is one of the most frustrating things to solve and is one of the leading causes of older cats ending up in shelters.
I hope this helps give you some options. Please reply back if you have additional questions and I will be happy to continue.
If you have no additional questions please take a few minutes to provide a rating so that justanswer is notified that your questions have been addressed and I can be compensated for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will try the product you told me about to attract him to the litter pan. Like the carpet remnant idea too. Will try another anti anxiety, I think prozac may work better, will do the play each day. What would one do for constipation? There is a small amount of blood from time to time in his poop, I will deworm with the strongid and for the tape worms.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 2 years ago.
Ok now if there is a bit of blood in the stool this could be parasites or something like IBD. IBD can have flair ups which could explain the crying before going or why he will go in the box for a few days and then go on the floor.
For constipation you could add 1/4 of a teaspoon of mineral oil to his food daily.
If you feed canned food and change flavors often like most people try to see if the blood or going on the floor coincide with a specific flavor ( keep a food diary.
If you want to try deworming ( which I think is a great idea) you want to do 3 rounds 3-4 weeks apart because deworming only kills adult worms.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks so much for your help. Now he is peeing on the leather chair in my room...urgh this cat. I watched him today, he is def afraid of the litter pan. Going to have the vet test his stool and his urine. Switch to Prozac and the other modifications, Thanks again.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 2 years ago.
Oh no.. Please keep me posted on how things are going. I will stick it out with you until we get this under control. Even after providing a rating you can continue to come back to this thread at no additional charge
Expert:  Candy R. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Lisa,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Dirtynose. How is everything going?

Candy R.