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.






My Thoughts:

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 good.

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.

-Kurt

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Feb 15, 2010
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Some thoughts
by: Kurt (Admin)

Isolation retraining will likely take more than one day. In fact, it can take a week or longer, but you never know.

Usually what you do is place the cat in a sunny room with toys, a litter box, water, the whole 9 yards. Depending upon the circumstances, you can let her out when you're around, but only when you can watch her.

You also have to absolutely make sure that you've removed all traces of the smell from the carpet as well. Otherwise, she might go right back to it after the retraining.

I have some other thoughts about what to try first, though, but let me ask:

1. Does she ever use the litter box at all?

2. When she goes on the carpet, does she always use the same area?

3. If she uses the same area, have you tried placing a plastic cover down over the spot (after carpet cleaning), then an uncovered litter box on top of the plastic, and then some carpeting inside the box?

The plastic cover would protect the carpet underneath and help with any residual odor transfer. The carpeting inside the box might satisfy any texture preferences, and placing it right on the spot takes care of the location.

If that didn't work, then how about the plastic + a piece of carpet to get her started, and then trying a very low and very wide tray with carpet in it? Kind of like a non-box litter box if you know what I mean.

You might have to make one out of a Rubbermaid container by cutting the sides down, or you might be able to purchase something from a home store.

If she goes for that, you can then start adding in litter, and eventually remove the carpet. You may even then (after some time has passed) be able to move the box, inch-by-inch, to another room.

It's worth a shot.

Feb 15, 2010
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isolation training
by: Anonymous

That is one thing I have not tried. She sleeps with me in my bedroom and hangs out in there all day when I'm not home. It is her favorite place. I can't imagine locking her in the bathroom. She'd probably meow all night long. How many nights/days would it take? thx.

Feb 15, 2010
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Isolation retraining
by: Kurt (Admin)

This has been going on so long, she's probably developed a location and texture preference by now, as well as being attracted to the smells. Have you tried isolation retraining?

Feb 15, 2010
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cat pooping on floor
by: Anonymous

Hi. She is about 9 now. I can try a different cleaner. I've used the carpet cleaners, pet cleaners... So, I can try citrus. Maybe she is senile - I can't rule that out! She's sweet, it is very difficult. Especially at night when she usually goes, then I have to smell it too (and it wakes me up). Uggg. Thanks for your suggestion.

Feb 15, 2010
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Is She Elderly?
by: Anonymous

How old is she? She could be getting senile and just goes when she needs to go. Once an area is used, the scent will bring them back again and again. Try a citrus scented cleaner, Clorox and some others actually have a smell that encourages them to use that spot again.

Feb 14, 2010
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Cat poop in my bedroom
by: Anonymous

My cat poops at the bottom of my bed on the carpet and has been doing this for almost 2 years now. I have tried everything. New litter, two boxes, sprays, reducing stress. I don't know what to do. Live with it forever?

She used to poop in her liter box (for 6 years), then I remodeled a room (not a room special to her or that anything to do with peeing or pooping), but that's around when it started. Then she pooped in my room, and has done so ever since.

Yes, she's been to the doctor, nothing physical. Any suggestions would help. I don't want to think there are parasites and germs in my carpet???? (which are probably getting on my feet)

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