One year old female cat defecating on carpet

by Glenn
(Port Saint Lucie, Florida)

My year old female cat is defecating on my carpets and not in the litter box which she used to use.

My thoughts: I'm sorry to hear that your cat is having trouble, Glenn. That's not a lot to go on, so I have some questions.

When a cat goes off the litter box, it's often due to either medical problems or some stressor. So the first question is... does she check out OK medically?

Constipation is a common problem. If she's having hard, pebble-like stools or seems to be straining to go, she may have been thrown off by constipation. Does she seem to be constipated (or was she right before this began)?

Other than medical problems, we look for a stressor that has led up to the problem. Almost anything can be a stressor, but we usually look for some change that took place right before the problem began.

For example:

1) Did you change the litter box, the placement, cleaning schedule, type of litter, etc.?

2) Were there any additions or subtractions to the family (including pets), or changes in schedules or routines?

3) Are there any other pets in the house? Is she possibly having problems with one of the other pets?

4) Does she get enough exercise and playtime? Has she been sluggish or overly reclusive lately?

5) Does she have a place in the house (hopefully multiple locations) where she can be alone, undisturbed?

6) Have there been any other life changes (changes in diet, guests staying over, noisy holiday celebrations)?

If the vet certifies her as medically OK, I would increase her exercise level by having regular play sessions twice daily.

Did you try placing a litter box right on the spot that she's using? That may work. Otherwise, isolation/confinement retraining may be a good option, along with Feliway.

I hope that helps and please use the comments if you can shed any more light on her situation.

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