8 month old spayed kitten keeps pooping outside her box

by Nessa S.
(Dayton, OH)

My 8 month old black kitty keeps pooping in precarious places in my carpeted house even when I have just cleaned her box.


She will poop most times in the box, but sometimes she will find somewhere inconspicuous like under my desk or right under my dining room window in the corner or the worst, behind my gigantic entertainment center!

I've heard they will do this when they are upset with their owner, I'm not sure if this is the case.

She wants to go outside, but I will not let her because I have severe allergies to the elements and allowing her to go and come as she pleases will present a big issue for me.

I do let her explore on the porch from time to time and I will hold her when I go out sometimes... but between her pooping and the destroying of my household items, she's on a fast track to adoption-ville!

Please help if there is anyone who has had this same issue. Thank you so much.

My thoughts:

I'm sorry to hear that your cat is having problems. When a cat consistently uses the box to urinate, but only intermittently uses the box to defecate, it often turns out to be:

An undetected medical problem.

Or...

An expression of stress, fear, or dominance, although given she's using out of the way places, I doubt dominance is the problem.

Before I continue, however, it's possible she may be one of those cats that prefers one box to pee in and another box to poop in. Adding another box (technically, the experts tell us one cat should have two boxes) is never a bad idea, in my opinion, and it can sometimes change the game. Moving on...

I'd like to clear something up. You said:

"I've heard they will do this when they are upset with their owner, I'm not sure if this is the case."

This is an important point but I'd like to make a distinction. I would word it differently. Cats sometimes defecate outside the box when they are upset, not with their humans, per se, but with their situation.

In other words, something about the conditions of the kitty's life (house, litter box/litter, housemates, etc.) are not right at those times.

Illnesses that could cause a cat to stop using the box could be directly bowel related, such as constipation, or some other condition with a bowel problem as a symptom. For example, the flu can lead to dehydration, and dehydration can lead to constipation. Problems due to worms or other parasites, infection, and kidney problems are all suspect.

Has she been checked by your vet recently? If your vet gives the all clear, here are some examples of things that might upset your cat or cause stress...

Cats or other animals outside the house that are threatening her, even though she stays inside.

Changes in the household or immediate environment.

Lack of adequate resources or needs not being met (lack of vertical or horizontal space, not enough exercise/attention, etc.).

Fighting with another cat or pet or not getting along with a human household member.

I hope that you'll work with her to determine what's causing her problem.

-Kurt

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May 08, 2017
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Pooping outside the box
by: Lora W.

The first thing that comes to mind is always the medical situation. I will assume all is well with your little one.
We have had many situations similar to your problem over the years. Last year, we took in a little kitty ( approx 1 year old). One of our resident cats (female) took great offense to this, ( the new one was a spayed female too). She (older cat) started peeing and pooping in various places. Corners, UNDER the couch, behind the TV entertainment center, etc. She literally stayed on the couch and the arm of the couch for months. Finally, we decided the couch had to go. That seemed to break the ice.Slowly the situation normalized. What I am getting at is PATIENCE. Please have patience with the little kitty. She is going through some kind of change. Show her kindness and affection every chance you get. Talk to her, yes, talk to her. You'd be surprised how much they understand. Say words of encouragement to her when she does her business in the box. Never yell, even though you want to.
I do think another box is a great idea. She may simply be adverse to the 'pee' in her box and wishes to go somewhere else for the other. I couldn't help but notice that you are thinking of 'adopting' her out. She may sense this ambiguity in you and be acting out. Believe me, they are so perceptive it is scary. Don't give up on her; she will reward you a thousand times over with love and friendship for life.
One more thing, my brother reminded me, when all this situation was occurring with our Kitties, Suzanne ( our older cat), preferred that he stay with her when she did her business. I do not know if your kitty lets you know her preference, but try it both ways: Stand with her and praise her for a good job done or give her the privacy she seeks. You will find out quickly what she likes. And this may be a bonding technique for both of you.

May 06, 2017
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Pooping Outside the box
by: sRuth

My sister's cat used to defecate on my bed when she had a medical problem. At first it was a sign she had a uti. Then later in life it was a sign that her kidney disease had progressed. She was not a dirty cat. It was a sign every time that she had a medical problem. And it was my sister'a cat but she always did it on my bed. Maybe because she knew that I was the main caregiver and always the one at home.

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