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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21421
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My 8-9 year old cat (idk when she was born) has been pooping

Customer Question

My 8-9 year old cat (idk when she was born) has been pooping everywhere except for the litter box (mostly on the couch) for about 3-4 months. I have tried spraying her when I catch her, even "punishing" her by showing to her and kind of flicking her ear so she knows its bad (not too hard though) and she still did it. After trying that, I got 2 litter boxes because I thought maybe it was because having 2 cats produces allot of poop. Well, that didn't work. I have recently gotten a new couch because the old one just straight up smelled like poop and I know that can sometimes confuse animals. So, now I have to keep puppy pads on the couch because she still does it, every day. I even changed the food to a more natural brand. My mom told me that it is a healthier food and that when she was cat-sitting for a week, my cat didn't poop as much and even used the litter box. I have tried so many things to get this to stop. I cant tell if its just her getting older or if shes rebelling because i'm not showing her enough love. I don't know what to do about this. Please reply and give me any advice. I am on the verge of giving her to the humane society and I could use all the help I can get.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 2 years ago.
Hello, and welcome!
Thanks very much for your question.
I just have a few questions to get to know your kitty and the situation, better:
What is your cat's name?
Is she indoor-only?
Is she spayed?
What is the name of the food she eats now? Is it dry or canned?
You had mentioned you were away recently; has your routine changed in any way or has anything in her environment changed?
Where are the two litterboxes located?
What litter do you use?
Are her stools very hard, normal/solid, mushy or loose?
Is she using the litterbox for urination all the time?
Other than this problem, is she eating, drinking and acting as usual?
Thanks for all your additional information and after you reply, please allow me some time to read through it and send your detailed answer.
Warmest wishes,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Her name is ***** ***** is indoor only and she is spayed. She eats purina indoor cat chow (dry) and I use cats pride scoopable litter (it is the softest one I can find). My routine hasnt changed and she was doing this before I went on vacation. Both litterboxes are in the living room, and the tv is in between them. Her stools vary between normal and mushy. Im pretty sure she urinates in the litterboxes. She isnt out and about as much as she used to be, but she has allways been a little shy. Shes different from most cats.
Expert:  Cher replied 2 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks so much for your very helpful reply about Sassy.
First, I would either add another box in a different area of the house, where it is low traffic and quiet, or take one of the boxes in the living room and move it to this other place.
You can add Cat Attract litter to her regular litter in all boxex and this contains herbal attractants to encourage use of the litterbox. It's a scoopable litter, too and shouldn't be too hard on her paws. Also, if litterboxes are covered, open them.
Because her stools are sometimes mushy, this may indicate an intestinal problem going on, and this may be causing her some discomfort when she defecates. When a cat feels pain upon elimination, she will seek out softer places to 'go', hoping this will take away the pain. There may be an ingredient in her current food that is disagreeing with her, especially if it contains corn, grains and artificial preservatives or additives, as these are common allergens for cats. Some well recommended brands are Wellness, Wellness CORE, EVO, Felidae, Blue, and many others available in your pet supply stores. Read the labels and real meat should be the first ingredient. Here is a great guide on how best to feed our cats, written by a feline veterinarian:
If you can't keep her out of the room where the couch is (no door), put you can put sheets of aluminum foil on it, or strips of double sided sticky tape, because cats hate the feel of that under their feet and won't be able to scratch before and after eliminating. I know it's unsightly and if you use the couch every day, you can lay a towel or sheet on top of these items, before sitting on it. The puppy pads were a good idea, to save the couch, but she may be used to going on them now, and thing they are the 'correct' place to defecate.
Make sure to clean any areas she's soiled with an enzyme based cleaner for pet stains/odors, like Nature's Miracle, Zero Odor, Odor Mute, or any other type sold in your pet supply store. This will remove the smell completely, so she doesn't smell the scent of her 'deposits' and won't want to return there.
Also, get some Feliway plug in diffusers and Feliway spray. This is a calming pheromone that makes cats think they marked in a certain place, already, so you can lightly spray Feliway onto the couch, but don't allow the cats access to it until the feliway has dried for at least 30 minutes. First, check to see that the cleaner and Feliway won't damage the material of your couch, before using. Here is more information:
Don't spray her or flick her ear or yell at her when she goes on the couch; this is not effective and unless you catch her in the act and quickly remove her to the litterbox, she will not know why she is being yelled at or 'punished;' cats just don't think that way. You can take a solid stool and put it in the box so she knows that's where it belongs--show it to her and let her sniff it.
I would first recommend a visit to the vet so she can be evaluated and also bring a fresh fecal sample with you, if possible, to save time in the office, for analysis. It's possible she has an intestinal parasite or other problem, that the vet can diagnose and then treat.
If necessary, discuss with the vet a prescription medication to help with inappropriate elimination......I always like to recommend that as a last resort, so consider all other possibilities first.
If you should consider re-homing her, please don't give her to the Humane Society, unless it is a 'no kill' shelter, or else she will be put down and I know you wouldn't want this. Look for Cat Rescue organizations in your area, if it comes to that.
I hope all will be well with your Sassy, and the situation will improve, soon!
Please kindly rate my answer with positive feedback and if you have any additional questions, just click Reply and I will always be here for you and your furry girl. Rating will not cut off our ability to communicate. This question will always be open for you to reply to me.
Warmest wishes,
Expert:  Cher replied 2 years ago.
Hi again,
I'm just checking in with you to see how everything is going with Sassy. I hope all is well!
Is there anything else I can help you with? If so, please let me know, and I will be happy to continue. I realize that in situations like this, it may take a while to see a positive difference after employing some of these suggestions and while I understand your frustration, patience is key, so try to hang in there.
If you found the information my answer helpful, please let me know, by choosing a positive rating. Thank you!
If you need any additional information, just click the "Reply to Expert" tab and I will reply asap.
Warmest wishes,