Cat recently started pooping on rug

by Anonymous

My 8 year old cat recently started pooping on our rug! About a month ago, my partner and I switched our cat's dry food from Merrick's grain free to Wellness Complete with grain under the advisement of our Vet.

Long story short, we also had to change his food timer schedule around and the portioning of food as well as we were going out of town soon, which caused a lot of intense poop smells!

Before we went out of town for work, however, we had several friends stay with us who were visiting from another state. We left before our friends did and they took care of our cat for a few days before they left. Once our friends left, our cat sitter stayed at our apartment for another 10 days before my partner and I returned.

Upon arriving at our apartment, however, our cat sitter noticed that our cat had pooped on our rug and proceeded to do so for the next several days. Our cat sitter didn't let us know until a few days after, and we let them know about the enzymatic cleaners and they tried their best to remove the stains and odors.

Our cat sitter eventually moved the litter box to near the rug and our cat, according to the cat sitter, returned to eliminating in the litter box.

When we returned, we moved the litter box back to its original location (a quiet spot in a room in the back of the apartment, which is also our office) and gradually "retrained" our cat to use the litter box in its original location, which took about a week.

We even got a new rug (we could not get the poop smell out at all) and everything seemed fine for an additional four days. Then suddenly, our cat returned to pooping on the rug!

Prior to our cat pooping on the rug again, he had wandered
into the office and sat with me for a bit, then left. I went out to the office about 10 minutes later and during that time is when the cat pooped. As soon as I walked out into the area where the rug is, my cat immediately started meowing at me. Is that normal?

Sorry for the long winded story, but just wanted to give the larger context. We wondered if all the stuff happening about a month ago might have agitated our cat.

We don't think it's a health issue because we recently took our pet to the vet in early March and the vet said our cat was healthy aside from a very high pH level, which was why our vet suggested a different diet to help balance that out. Could it be the new food? My cat always finishes the Wellness food.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

My thoughts: I'm sorry to hear your cat is having troubles. As I'm fond of saying, cats hate change, and that was a lot of change.

Other than that, if you're certain he's healthy, a few things to note:

Changing cat food quickly can sometimes cause gastric upset. If he moved too quickly from the old food to the new, that could be a factor.

If his change in diet caused him discomfort, he may have associated that discomfort with using the litter box.

When moving a litter box (e.g. from the rug area to the office), it's best to do it slowly. I would probably not have moved the box back to the office right away. Instead, I would have moved it a little bit at a time each day.

You might want to repeat the process of placing a box on or near the rug, and then move it slowly to a new location.

I hope that helps. Please keep us updated on his progress.

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Apr 22, 2018
Cats can be finicky & like their routine!
by: Amy A

Sounds like a routine change or a bit of insecurity is 2 blame. I have 2-13 yr old cats & they both tend to like a routine & changes that affect that routine are often not tolerated well. When you changed the food, did you happen to also change the litter? That seems to be an issue w/ my cats, especially my female. She does not like it when I buy a diff litter on sale, & they both like unscented.
Our cats tend to mope & sleep more when 1 of us is out of town. They don't like the change & if their time schedule changes because of it that can cause peeing out of the litter box issues. You said it started only after you went out of town w/ the sitter? Usually behaviours like that will return to normal after the routine is back in place, but since you were gone for over a week & had friends there previously maybe it's just taking a bit longer? I would try getting another litter box to see if having 2 available helps. It doesn't have to be smack in the middle of the room on that carpet but maybe near there. My female will not use a litter box that has anything in it alreadsoy, either from her or 1 of the other cats. I know you only have 1, but maybe his preferances have changed & he likes it really clean, so try checking it 2-3 times a day if possible so it's always fresh. Other than that, a food change, maybe? I doubt that is the issue & it was probably a coincidence that you had just changed, but you could try. Good luck, cleaning cat poo from the rug is NO fun!

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