My Cat is pooping on the porch - on purpose!
My cat is pooping on my screened-in deck, on purpose!
I've tried scrubbing the rug and floor where he's decided to leave it, my Mom tried making him smell it once, and if we keep him off of the porch he attacks everyone on sight until they let him out.
This seems to happen every time we come back from vacation. We get back, get him out of the kennel and open his travel box. He's happy to see us and loves on everything. Then a few days later he's messing up the back porch. The only thing that seems to help is keeping him off of it for about a month.
That's not the only thing he does. Sometimes he pees on the deck chairs out there too, and we've washed those multiple times.
How can I stop him from doing this? Help is greatly appreciated!My Thoughts:
Human beings create legal descriptions of property and put fences up to designate where one person's territory ends and another person's begins.
Cats do it the easy way... they poop and pee.
This sounds like a difficult one to solve, because there may be a lot of factors here. Again, I'll give my usual caution that if there's a medical problem, nothing you try will help until that is resolved. So, a call to the vet is the first step.
Remember that stress is a major factor with inappropriate elimination problems that are behavioral in nature. Reducing your cat's stress level is extremely important.
A rule to follow is never to punish him for this behavior as it won't help and it may make things worse. Never rub his nose in it or make him smell it.
One way that cats identify who's who is by the scents that are left in feces. He knows very well what his own poop smells like and there's no need to remind him. That technique doesn't work for dogs either, and it only makes them fear you or get more stressed out.
Let's try to think like a cat for a minute and see if we can't guess what might be going on. Understanding cat behavior
is very important here.
OK, so you're a cat. You hunt, and you may be hunted if you're not careful. You're very territorial. You declare your territory by leaving your scent markings and eliminating in strategic places so that other cats know to keep out or there will be a fight.
You leave your scent markings all over the house and the people in it. This makes you feel secure in your surroundings.
You like a daily routine that's fairly stable. Stable routines mean that things are safe and comfortable.
Now, you're scooped up and put in a kennel. Your regular routine that made you feel safe is all messed up.
It's a strange place with strange people and strange animals and strange sounds. It's very scary. Things don't smell right at all, and this new territory doesn't belong to you. You can't patrol this new territory and mark it all up so that you feel safe.
You're forced to get nasty smells of strange creatures on you and live where other creatures live. You hate this place, even if you don't complain much about it.
After a while, your family finally comes to rescue you and bring you back to your house. You're very happy to be home, but it doesn't smell right and neither do you. It's gonna take you a week to get things right again.
So, you scent everybody and every thing you can. You still can't get the nasty scent of that strange place off you but you're determined to do it. So you rub and groom and patrol and do what you can to make things right.
OK, this room is pretty good, and that one, and this person smells right, uh huh. We're doing pretty good.
Uh, oh, what's that smell? Hmmm... the porch area has been breached! Your territory has been defiled just outside the porch by some stray or feral cat or worse, several! Insult!
You've been gone and you haven't been scenting the area so they've tried to move in! They've been marking all around outside like they
own the place, not you!
So you say "Let me out! Let me at 'em I must attack and I'm going to attack you in the meantime! I absolutely have to poop and pee out there so I overpower their smell. This place is mine!
This won't be easy. I might have to keep doing this until they get the message that I'm back and here to stay."
OK, so I'm having some fun, but that may be your problem.If
that is the reason for the inappropriate elimination on the porch, then here's what I would suggest as a solution:
1. Clean the area in and around the porch thoroughly:
If wandering cats or other animals are leaving scent markings just outside the porch and this is disturbing your cat, then you'll want to wash down the porch and the areas around it. I'm assuming that a stray cat has sprayed around the porch, so you need to wash that entire area and wait until it dries.
2. Clean the porch and your cats leavings:
Just cleaning up the poop and pee may still leave a scent that your cat can detect, and remember that once a cat has eliminated in an area, they will be drawn back to it. You have to make sure you remove all the smells.
I would use either an enzyme, bacterial, or CO2 based cleaner for this, such as Fizzion
3. Use Feliway:
Feliway has been used successfully to calm cats, stop misplaced aggression, and solve inappropriate elimination problems. Feliway is synthetic cat cheek pheromone and produces the same calming effect that your cat gets when he's cheek rubbed everything.
You might want to get the Feliway diffuser
and let it run for a while.
Also, I would get the spray and spray it everywhere. Spray it on the porch, all over the house at "cat nose level" and spray it on everyone's pant legs too.
4. Confine your cat and prepare the house:
While you do all this, confine your cat. When you first bring your cat home from the kennel, spray the Feliway (or use the diffuser) in a room and confine your cat there.
That room should have everything he needs so he can get comfortable. Food, water, a litter box placed well away from the food, some toys, and a sleeping spot. Spend some time in there with him at first with both of you behind a closed door and get him used to being home.
You can make things interesting for him during this transition by leaving treats in places he can find them and playing with him periodically with his favorite toy. Remember to give him alone time if he seems like he wants it. You can't pressure cats as that adds stress.
Then, leave him confined and go outside and wash down the porch area. After you've washed down the outside and it's drying, spray the Feliway all over the rest of the house, maybe also use a second diffuser near the porch.
Once the porch area dries, spray the Feliway there, and make sure you spray the perimeter to try to put it between your cat and the offenders.
Then, you can let him out in the rest of the house and let him get himself all situated again. Leave treats around for him to find. This may help distract him and get his confidence up.
If he expresses misplaced aggression and doesn't like what's going on with the porch, then start over again and confine him. Do more cleaning and more Feliway.
If he responds to catnip, you can lace a toy or his scratching post or cat tree with some catnip or catnip oil
. This should help distract him.
If you still have an issue after that then I would suggest contacting a cat therapist or animal behaviorist to try some more specific techniques.
I hope that helps,