Cat pooping upstairs

by Reagan
(North Carolina)

About 4 weeks ago, my husband and I left for a week for my baby shower and had some guy house sit. But he did a terrible job and didn't look like he was even here and my cat was pooping up stairs.

When we got home, he would poop in the same spot and we'd clean it up, but he'd poop there every few days.

Then I put foil down in the hallway, and he stopped pooping there for a week until he realized he could move the foil and pooped in the same spot.

I then put white vinegar mixed with water and baking soda all down the hallway to get the smell out and this time, taped the foil down to the carpet.

Another week goes by and he's doing fine but I can hear him in the hallway trying to lift up the foil but can't. So he makes a new spot in the hallway where there is no foil!

I know he's doing this on purpose now because there is poop in his litter box and I scoop it every day and you can hear him poking around up stairs trying to be naughty!

I've tried everything and don't know what to do anymore because it's literally been 4 weeks now since we've been home!

I'm due in 4 weeks and am wondering now if he's just jealous of the baby or something? Someone please help me!

My thoughts: I'm sorry to hear that your cat is having trouble keeping it in the box.

As always, I'm assuming he doesn't have a medical condition that's causing him to intermittently not use the box. With that in mind...

We know that any change in routine can throw a cat off the box, and with your being away and a house sitter not doing a good job, that sounds like enough stress to cause your cat to change his behavior.

This is an assumption, but one can also imagine the box got so filled with urine and feces that it simply became repulsive and unusable at some point.

Given the other facts, I wouldn't jump to any conclusions about his reaction to your pregnancy at this point. I'd focus on the problem at hand.

It's easy to assume your cat is being naughty or might be acting out of jealously, but that's assigning human qualities to a cat, which can be a mistake.

Instead, in situations like this, you can often assume there is a triple-whammy going on. Sometimes, when a cat rejects the litter box in favor of another location, a certain attachment to that location or locations similar to it can develop.

This is appropriately called a location preference. Whammy number one.

In addition, surface type preferences can develop as well. For example, your cat may suddenly take comfort in the feel of doing his business on carpeting, a rug, or a wood or tile floor. Whammy number two.

Whammy number three can be hard to accept, especially if you've worked tirelessly to clean the area, but it's the residual odor.

Sometimes, you can try and try, and do everything in your power to deodorize the "spot," but your cat's very sensitive nose is still bringing him back to the area.

The only cure for whammy number three is repeated efforts to remove all the odor, and time.

As I've mentioned many times, in extreme cases, drug therapy can be used, but I would try less extreme measures first, such as:

1. Isolation retraining, where you push the virtual reset button and train your cat to use the litter box while restricting his movements to a single room.

This requires setting up an environment very similar to the one you set up when a cat first arrives at your house. Once his habits are back on track, and the offending area has been thoroughly cleaned, he can have the run of the house again.

2. Products that aren't drugs, but may have an impact on behavior and a calming effect, such as Feliway, Rescue Remedy, or Jackson Galaxy's herbal product line.

I hope that helps to give you some perspective, and please let us know how it goes.

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Jan 10, 2017
Apple Cider Vinegar
by: Anonymous

Please try using pure apple cider vinegar and if possible rinse it thoroughly. This usually works for me over the years. The white vinegar does not take away the odor. When using Cider Vinegar the kitty cannot smell their odor in area where they incorrectly went.

And I agree the change in care was probably the initial problem, as well as protesting since you were gone from the house.

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