My one cat is pooping everywhere

by Stephanie

It started awhile ago and was just once in awhile. It's a daily occurrence now, was just on the floor and now its become pooping on the couch, stairs and even a blanket she sleeps on. Nothing has changed, she seems content and her normal self just the pooping.

I did change her food about 2 months ago but she started doing this before that. She sometimes goes to the litter box, scratches in it, jumps out and then scratches on the floor and leaves. Then the next morning I find a poop somewhere.

I clean the litter box daily in the morning. I have cleaned the area around it making sure there was no litter on the floor, cleaning the box totally out and fresh new litter and still. It usually happens at night so I don't see her do it.

My Thoughts: If your cat makes an effort at the box, swishes some litter around and exits, and then poops elsewhere later, it's often constipation, or some pain related problem.

If she's had pain while trying to poop in the box, she may associate the box with pain and can't poop in there anymore.

If there's an underlying physical cause, you have to treat that first before you can get her back on track.

If she's pooping where she often sleeps, that's a problem that I would certainly want the vet to look at.

Slipped discs in the spine, infections, and a host of other issues could be at work. Anal sac problems can be fairly common and the vet may need to expel them.

Are her poops hard, dry and smallish? That's often the tell-tale sign of constipation and she may need help to get regular. Constipation leads to pain, pain leads to pooping on the couch and not in the box.

If there's a lot of hair in the stool, that's indicative of hair balls gumming up the plumbing. Combine that with the chronic dehydration that is common in cats and you need a plumber.

For constipation, wet food, adding fiber to the diet (like bland canned pumpkin), encouraging your cat to drink more, and various treatments (like lactulose) are often recommended, but you'll need your vet to diagnose the problem first.

The longer these problems go on, the more there is a behavioral component to them, no matter the original cause. Since the problem is getting worse, I would take notice of the type of stools, and report details of the behavior to your veterinarian.

I hope that gives you some ideas, Stephanie and please let us know how she does.


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May 19, 2010
medical problem
by: Anonymous

I concur that it could be a medical problem something along the side of feline diarrhea but best to have a vet check her out for sure.

May 18, 2010
Just to clarify
by: Kurt (Admin)

Hi Stephanie,

A higher quality food will have more nutrients with less volume of food consumed. This tends to produce a smaller amount of stool overall, yes.

What you look for with constipation in cats is typically dry, hard, sometimes pebble-sized poop, or narrower than usual "logs" if you'll pardon the expression.

With less water volume, the stool gets narrow but is harder to move out of the colon. Over time, the colon becomes smaller too, and chronic constipation can lead to a nasty disorder called megacolon.

In any case, I'm glad she used the box today. You might try setting up a second box in an easily accessible area and see if that helps.

She might have intermittent constipation or another physical problem as well. Teddie suffered from constipation on and off for years, and she does that swishing in the box routine, sometimes several times an hour when she's bothered by it. The vet prescribed lactulose many moons ago, and a few doses of that gets her going again.

I'm concerned, though, about your cat pooping where she sleeps. Any amount of litter box mishaps means there is some root problem, but even cats with issues don't usually poop where they sleep. I'd call the vet and check things out.

Oh, and many cats are dry food addicted, so you just have to try to get them to drink more water, or transition them to wet, which can be a challenge.

May 18, 2010
Her poop
by: Stephanie

Her poops are firm but not hard, they are smaller in size than she used to. I just thought it was because the change of food. As the pet store said she would poop less because less waste. She was eating Iams indoor cat and I changed her to Solid Gold the gluten free one. She isn't much of a wet cat food eater, I have tried feeding it to her before. She did poop in the litter box today though.

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