Maine Coon Kitten Poops Outside of Litter Box
(Redding, CA, U.S.)
I have a four month old Maine Coon Kitten that is pooping outside of her litter box; she is an indoor cat. When I first got her 2 months ago, she did not do this, however after a couple of weeks this issue arose.
Their are no other animals in my house as well, so I know that can't be an issue. I do move her litter box into another room at night though and keep her in that room; however, during the day, I move her litter box back into the computer room.
When she is in the computer room then she goes poop and pee in the box, however, when she's roaming the whole house then she decides that the carpet is her litter box. Is she just being lazy? I would appreciate your insight into this matter greatly!
OK Fallon, I'll start this with the same caveat I always give: if it's a medical problem you'll never fix it without fixing that first.
It's hard to keep an eye on your cat at all times, but does she seem to be straining at all when she poops?
If she's having some intermittent constipation issues (not uncommon for a Maine Coon with all that fur), this may be at fault. Some hairball remedies may be in your future.
A lot of people think cats are being lazy when they don't use the box, but that's not the case.
Cats are, in general, rather particular about their bathroom habits. If she's not using the box, there must be a reason, and it's not because she's lazy.
You didn't have her too long before the problem started. Can you think of anything that might have disrupted her routine when the problem started?
Did she have any problems settling in to her new home? This can be very stressful for a cat and if she wasn't on solid footing, this could be a problem.
Did you move/add/delete any furniture or people in the house before the problem started? Make any changes to her routine (or yours), food, and so on?
Are you using a kitten sized box? Maine Coons are large cats, and even though they take a while to get to full size, they get big. A bigger box may be better for her at this point.
Your cat's nose is, of course, many times more powerful than yours. Have you replaced the litter (with the same type and brand as you've always used) after thoroughly washing the box?
box isn't too close to the food, is it?
Keep in mind that if you don't thoroughly clean the area, your cat may be tempted to return to that area of the carpet again and again. Usually, an enzymatic cleaner or a cleaner that is made for pet stains/odors will do the trick, unless the odor has penetrated into the pad under the carpet.
I wouldn't normally move a litter box, except on rare occasions. Instead, I'd use two.
Cats in the wild have no problem finding unused areas to defecate and urinate on. She may prefer to pee in one box and poop in another, or she may find that the level of cleanliness is not always to her liking. Sometimes you can scoop every day, and it's just not quite enough.
What you can try is, after cleaning the carpet, placing a second box right smack on top of the area on the carpet that she's using. Keep in mind too that some longer haired cats prefer a smooth surface to defecate on rather than using litter, but they still like to cover it up.
So, sometimes a box that's filled with a small amount of litter, pushed mostly to one end so that about half the box bottom is exposed works well as a good test for this. If, however, the bottom doesn't feel sturdy to her, she may not like it. The fix for that is to put a board down and lay the box on top of it.
Another thing you can try is a piece of cardboard with aluminum foil (or double sided tape) glued or taped to it. Tape the cardboard, aluminum foil side up, to the carpet, covering the area she normally uses.
Cats don't usually like to walk on aluminum foil, so she sould avoid that area. See if she finds another spot to use or if she goes back to using the box full time.
An upside down rug with backing on it sometimes has a similar effect.
Sometimes cats outside can invoke a response resulting in inappropriate elimination. You may never see that outside cat, but your cat may be stressed over it.
You might try, if possible, doing some modified isolation retraining by keeping her in a closed off section of the house (away from that carpet) for several days. Make sure she has lots of sun, stimulation in the form of your company and toys, food, water, and a fresh litter box.
I hope that gives you some ideas.