Cat poops in litter box, pees beside box

by Donna
(Canada)

I have a 13 year old female cat, that for no known reason has ever had a heat. She's a totally indoor cat.


She has never been a problem in any way what so ever and has never had any medical issues.

She has recently begun to pee beside her litter box but continues to poop in it.

Please help me please. I have been sitting on this computer for hours getting NO WHERE!!!! Thank you from "Computer Discouraged."






My Thoughts:

I'm sorry to hear that your kitty is having problems, Donna, and I know it can be difficult finding answers. You have a challenging problem to diagnose, especially without a medical consult.

Keep in mind that anytime a cat feels out of sorts (whether from physical or emotional causes), this can lead to litter box problems.

In the case of pooping inside the box but peeing outside the box, the obvious possible physical causes might relate to something causing pain when urinating.

A urinary tract or bladder problem, such as infections, cystitis, or crystals are fairly common.

If you notice that she's straining or seems to be in pain when attempting to urinate, this is often a classic sign (although you may not notice her discomfort at all).

She may also attempt to urinate more frequently but with less volume, often outside the litter box.

There is of course always a chance that it's more serious than that, but in any case the first step is to get your cat to the veterinarian to see what's what.

So I would set an appointment with the vet, and keep in mind some retraining might be required even after the medical problem is resolved.

Another possible is that as your cat has aged, she's running into trouble getting into the litter box. Maybe a bit of arthritis has set in, combined with less control over her bladder.

If the vet sees any signs of this, try providing a step of some kind to make it easier to get into and out of the litter box.

The other possibility that hits me is that your cat has simply developed a preference for using one litter box for number one, and one for number two.

If you're not providing two boxes, the floor becomes the substitute for the second box, which is one reason that most experts recommend two boxes.

Next, I would review any changes that may have occurred in your cat's life just prior to the problem appearing for the first time. Sometimes house guests, moving of furniture, change of diet, change of litter or placement of the box, and so on, can disrupt litter box habits.

I hope that gives you some ideas. Please let us know how she progresses and what works, and perhaps some of our visitors will come up with other ideas to help you.
-Kurt

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