Cat pooping on the floor
Ok I am cat-sitting for a friend. The cat is a super nice male.
There is one problem - he started pooping on the carpet in the corner of my dining room. I tried moving the box there but he would just poop along the side of the box.
So I moved his stuff to my bedroom and kept him in there.
There were no problems, except whenever he is let out he goes to that spot and poops on the carpet.
This whole time however he has been peeing in the box, so for some reason he doesn't want to poop in there.
He has been an outdoor cat, but during the winter he is use to being an indoor cat. I have currently moved the box where he likes to poop on the carpet.
I did this because while in the bedroom he either would sneak out when the door was open or not poop (which over the long term it can't be good for him not to poop).
I am also removing the lid from the box since I think he might like that better, plus I clean it daily in the morning since he usually pees ( and hopefully poops too) at night.
I am thinking that if he keeps this up I might change the litter (which is what the owner gave me, I think it's clay). I am stumped on what is going on and would appreciate any help.
Cat sitting is tough if the cat is not in his usual environment because cats are extremely territorial. When their routine is disrupted it can be stressful, and changing houses is very stressful.
A cat needs to establish themselves in their new territory before they are truly comfortable.
If it's not a physical problem (like he was constipated and now associates painful bowel movements with the litter box), then stress, in it's various forms, is often at the root of a litter box problem. The stress can be as simple as another cat that's outside the house.
So, anything you can do to reduce stress would be
Changing the litter may work, but I would normally stick with whatever litter he was using before. Some cats are very picky about the litter type and sometimes changing cat litter type or brand can actually cause problems. I'm not saying it won't work, just that it wouldn't be my first choice.
I'm wondering if, in addition to the stress of being in a new environment, he's used to having two litter boxes. Some cats like one box for pee and one for poop, and have a hard time adjusting to just one box. I would hope that you would have been told that before hand though!
Is it the same box he's used to? If he's used to an uncovered box then removing the cover might help.
Sometimes the covers contain the smells inside the box and that can turn a cat off. Also, if this started happening at night, the cover may be reducing the light into the box too much for his taste. So, either more light or no cover may help.
He'll probably have a strong urge to return to the carpeted area and you'll need to clean that thoroughly. I'd consider blocking off the area to him as well if that's possible. He may choose a new area, and you'll have to work with that.
Outdoor cats are sometimes more comfortable on grass than sandy surfaces, and a carpet is the next best thing.
One recommendation for stimulating things is to put some grass inside the box with the litter. Or, you can buy Cat Attract to add to the litter, which has been known to work with some cats.
In addition, I would try a fresh batch of litter (same type), and cleaning the box both morning and night for a couple of days and see if things change (keeping him away from his new favorite spot). Also, you can get Feliway spray and see if spraying that around reduces his stress level.
I hope that helps and please let us know if you figure it out. If anyone else has ideas, we'd love to hear them.