Anna poops outside the box
by David & Saleana Widman
After my wife's favorite cat passed away on Thanksgiving, we adopted 2 kittens, both females from a shelter. They had been spayed, etc.
They were about 3 1/2 months old when we got them. Since we have 3 other cats -- 12 and 13 years old -- we kept them in a separate room, and started slowly introducing them to the older cats and finally all were together.
Recently, Anna started to poop outside the box -- she didn't do this when she first arrived as the their box was in their room until the accumulation into the house was complete.
We have 3 boxes available for all the cats. I have tried different litters and the results are the same -- Anna still goes poop outside the box.
She will urinate in the box no problem, and sometimes she will poop in the box occasionally. Any suggestions or ideas are greatly welcome.
My thoughts: I'm sorry for your loss, and I'm sorry to hear that Anna is having troubles. Intermittent problems like this can be hard to track down, and it sounds like you've done a lot of things right (slow introductions, multiple boxes).
Does she poop near one of the boxes? This can sometimes indicate a dislike of box conditions (location, cleanliness, litter type, etc.).
Does she poop in the same spot or general area each time? If so, she may have developed a location preference, and one possible test for that is to place a litter box right on that spot. See if she uses it.
If she's developed a preference for pooping and peeing in different boxes, it's possible that when she has to go, there's often urine in the litter boxes that are available.
Increasing the frequency with which the boxes are tended to might offer her a window of time where one of the boxes is fresh. Adding another box may help as well.
Is it possible she's having some digestive issues? Have you noticed that she visits the box several times within a short period, but is unsuccessful? This may indicate bowel problems.
Does she seem to have excessively hard stool (indicating constipation issues), or loose stool at times? Has she seen a veterinarian with this problem in mind? Has her diet changed at all?
There are some products you can try, such as Cat Attract, which may encourage her to use the box on those occasions where she might not.
I hope that helps and please let us know how she comes along.