Male cat runs and poops
He runs like crazy and leaves poop all over the house. We have taken him to two vets so far and they say it is a behavioral problem. Try locking him up in a room until he learns to use the litter box again. I think that this is just wrong.
Because he runs all over when he poops. Also it would drive his sister crazy. They sleep and play together all day long. Does anyone have any advice?
I'm sorry to hear that your kitty is having problems. I'm assuming the vets are correct, and he has no medical problem. Some vets will tell you that without extensive testing, including X-rays to check for spinal anomalies, it can be difficult to diagnose some of these problems.
I'm also assuming that he uses the litter box to urinate successfully 100 percent of the time? So, it's only the defecating that we have to be concerned with here.
Does he make an effort to use the litter box for defecation? Does he poop in the litter box at all? Ever? A small amount?
One of the benefits of using isolation/confinement retraining is observation. It's harder to get a handle on things when he has the run of the place and there's another cat in the house too.
Is there a lot of hair in his poop or does it tend to be hard and dry?
Let me tell you a quick story. Frankie had long hair and lots of it.
One of the problems her massive fur caused her was that it would bind up her stool so that she literally could not get all of the poop out while in the box.
You could say that she suffered from a kind of constipation in that her stool was bound up as one loooooooong pooper.
So, she'd visit the box and try to do her business and then shoot across the house like someone fired a gun. She'd run around the house at top speed, leaving poop in various spots on the floor.
I suspect the activity forced the poop out of her, and I believe that she ran like that because the feeling of having it stuck bothered her.
Sometimes, she'd still have some of it sticking out of her butt that wouldn't come out. The first time I saw it I thought her rectum was pushing through and it scared the heck out of me. On closer examination, it was just stuck poop!
It was dry, so I'd suit up and actually pull it out of her by hand. I did that for her many times over the years we spent together. Rather disgusting I know, but we do these things for our feline children.
This isn't diagnosed
as a medical problem per se (other than possibly constipation), and it's not exclusive to long haired cats.
Giving laxative treatments periodically can help, but I don't like to give those too often. Sometimes a change in diet can help, such as the typical constipation
remedies like adding canned pumpkin to wet food. Lots of grooming definitely helps.
I'm not sure if your cat has a similar problem, but I'd watch for it.
How many boxes do you have? With two cats, you should normally have three, so I'd add some if that's not the case.
As for confinement... I know it seems cruel, and I myself hate to lock them them up, but if you want to solve the problem it may need to be done. A cattery cage or a large dog cage, big enough for him and his sister would work for retraining.
They can keep each other company, and you can let them out (after he poops in the litter box) for observed play, then put them back in later.
Did either of the vets recommend any course of action to help him reduce stress? Behavioral problems with no medical root cause are often due to stress.
What is causing his stress? I don't know. He might just be a nervous kitty, but there might be things you can do to help him if that's the case.
I talk to people all the time who tell me they have problems with their cats. Most of the time, it turns out that the cats don't get enough attention, or another pet or family member steals the show...
or one family member is treating the cat in a way they don't like...
or they're not making use of vertical climbing space or "safe space" in the house...
or they don't have good hiding spots set up, or enough toys or... you name it.
I don't know if any of these things are part of your little guy's problem, but you have to look at the cat's life from a holistic point of view.
You might want to find an animal behaviorist or a vet who specializes in behavioral issues in cats to help you.
If his problem is purely behavioral as the vets say, then you can try one of several anti-anxiety treatments.
1. Holistic anti-anxiety remedies
3. Rescue Remedy
Another option is kitty Prozac. I really resist the idea of using drugs, but it's reported that some cats do respond to it.
Always give lots of praise whenever he uses the box and give him lots of attention and playtime.
I hope that helps and please let us know your thoughts and what you try.
Anyone who'd like to give this a shot, please chime in.