Cat started pooping on the rug
My cat just started pooping on the rug.
He has always been the best cat about using the litter box but just lately has used the rug instead.
I am at my wit's end as to how to help him.My Thoughts:
I'm sorry that your cat is having trouble. I don't have a lot of information to go on here, so I'll run through the basics.
Most of what I'm going to post here is on the various main pages of this section of the site, or in the question and answer pages submitted by readers like yourself.
But, it never hurts to review, so here we go...
1) Eliminate the possibility of a medical cause. If he's got a medical problem (constipation, irritable bowel disease, parasites, and so on) you can't solve this until it's addressed. Get him vet checked with this specific problem in mind.
2) He may have developed a texture and/or location preference. Whatever made him go off the box (medical problem, pain due to constipation, arthritis, injury, removal or addition of a family member, etc.) may not be what's keeping him off the box.
If he's got a location preference, place an additional box right smack on top of where he wants to go. If he won't go to the bathroom, let the bathroom come to him.
See what happens.
Once he's using that box regularly, you can move it, inch by inch daily, to a new location. If he reverts, start over.
3) If you don't thoroughly clean up the area and remove the smells (use an enzyme or bacterial based cleaner), he'll be drawn back to it.
4) Deny him access to the area. If he won't use that box that you placed on the rug, then deny him access completely.
Lay down cardboard with double-sided tape, or aluminum foil, or a rug
turned upside down or place products normally used to keep cats off counters in the area to keep him away.
Be careful with products that spray air or make noise, though, as this may add to his stress level.
5) If his problem is stress related, Feliway may help. You can buy the Feliway diffuser and that may reduce his stress level.
6) Make sure his needs are being met. Attention, toys, exercise and play time (15 minutes per day, twice a day with you) are vital.
The use of vertical space via climbing furniture, alone time, proper diet, things to hunt (not live animals!), are all part of what a cat needs.
7) Make sure no other household members (2 legged or 4 legged) are causing problems for him.
8) Make sure there are no cats or other animals (predators like bobcats) outside near your house. When they come by, cats in the house get upset.
9) Isolation retraining is for extreme cases. Keep your cat in a sunny room with his toys, a bed and blanket, food and water, and a litter box placed far away from the food and water.
Visit him often and give him lots of love and attention. Play with him.
You can let him out as long as you supervise him. This isn't punishment, it's training.
A large cage can also be used for retraining in certain circumstance. Once he's using the box, he can be allowed access to the rest of the house unsupervised.
The earlier you catch these problems and deal with them the better, so if he's just started doing this, that's actually good news. You're catching it early.
Other than the above, the biggest question to ask yourself is... what changed in his life just before this started?
I hope that helps and please let us know how he's doing.