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Dealing with Cat Poop: Causes and Solutions

Cats are known for their hygiene and cleanliness, which is why it is concerning when they start pooping outside of their designated litter box. Whether it’s on your bed or behind the couch, this behavior can be frustrating to deal with and could be a sign of an underlying issue.

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why cats might poop outside the litter box and provide tips on how to address this behavior.

Understanding the Reasons for a Cat Pooping outside the Litter Box

When addressing the issue of cat pooping outside the litter box, it is crucial to understand the underlying reasons. The following are some of the most common issues that may cause a cat to poop outside of its designated area.

Medical Conditions

Some medical issues such as constipation, diarrhea, and arthritis can cause a cat to avoid using the litter box. For instance, if a cat is constipated, pooping can be painful, and the cat would prefer to do it somewhere else.

Similarly, arthritis can make it difficult for a cat to get in and out of the litter box and find it easier to go somewhere else. If you notice any of these issues in your cat, it’s vital to visit a vet immediately to get appropriate treatment.

Behavioral Issues

Stress, anxiety, boredom, or other behavioral issues could cause a cat to change its pooping habits. These issues manifest in various ways, including eating-related problems and behavior change.

For instance, if a cat is stressed or anxious, it may find comfort in pooping somewhere other than the litter box. Behavioral issues can often be resolved through environmental changes or training.

Litter Box Issues

Dirty litter box, poor location, or an inaccessible litter box is some of the litter box-related issues that may cause cats to avoid using it. Other issues, such as not enough litter boxes, litter boxes too small, or unappealing litter, can also be a significant problem.

Addressing these litter box issues can significantly reduce the likelihood of your cat pooping outside of its designated area.

Tips to Stop a Cat from Pooping outside the Litter Box

Addressing litter box problems is essential when trying to stop a cat from pooping outside the litter box. Below are some of the tips that you can use to address this issue.

Rule Out Underlying Health Issues

Before addressing any litter box-related problems, it is essential to rule out any underlying medical conditions by taking the cat for regular vet checkups. For senior cats, annual wellness checkups are highly recommended.

Keep a Clean Litter Box

You should scoop the litter box daily to keep it clean and fresh. Litter boxes should only be filled up to about two to three inches of litter and replaced at least once a week.

Consider Buying a New Litter Box

Cats have different preferences when it comes to litter boxes. Some prefer a covered litter box while others an uncovered one.

The size of the litter box is also crucial, and it should be appropriate for your cat’s size. Keep in mind that cats tend to prefer big and spacious litter boxes.

Provide an Adequate Number of Litter Boxes

The rule of thumb is the N+1 rule, which states that you should have one litter box for each of your cats, plus an extra. Place the litter boxes in quiet locations in your home to allow your cat more privacy when using it.

Switch Cat Litter

Cats tend to stick with their preferred litter, but some cats prefer a particular type such as unscented clumping litter. If your cat is pooping outside the litter box, consider buying different types of litter to see which one suits your cat best.

Look for Recent Changes Within Your Home

Cats can be highly sensitive to change, and recent changes such as a new job or an addition of a new pet can trigger litter box problems. If you suspect that something has changed and is causing your cat to poop outside the litter box, try to remove or address the issue.

Make Sure Your Senior Cat Can Access the Litter Box

Older cats may suffer from arthritis, making it difficult to access the litter box. To address this issue, you can add ramps or steps to help them access the litter box more easily.


In conclusion, cats pooping outside of their designated litter box is a frustrating issue to deal with, but it’s essential to understand the underlying reasons for the behavior. Once you have identified the issue, making the necessary changes to litter boxes, litter, and addressing behavioral and health issues can help solve the problem.

Maintain a clean and fresh litter box, ensure your cat has access to the box, and consider buying different litter brands if your cat is not using the litter box. Finally, if behavioral issues persist, seek help from a certified trainer or vet to identify the root cause of the problem and provide a solution.

When living with a cat, one of the most frustrating issues to deal with is your furry feline pooping outside of their designated litter box. While this behavior can be concerning, it’s essential to address it immediately to prevent a habit from forming.

In this article, we will expand on the existing topics and delve into when to call a vet about your cat pooping outside the litter box and how to clean up cat poop from different surfaces.

When to Call Your Vet About Pooping outside the Litter Box

Any significant change in your cat’s behavior patterns should signal a call to the vet. If you notice your cat pooping outside of its litter box, it could be an indication of an underlying medical condition or an emergency that requires immediate attention.

Below are some of the scenarios in which you should call a vet:

1. The behavior of the cat changes suddenly, i.e., uncharacteristic behavior patterns.

2. The cat is pooping outside the litter box, and there have been no changes to its litter box or routine.

3. The cat is straining to defecate and not producing much feces itself; it could be a sign of constipation or other underlying medical conditions.

4. There is blood in the cat’s stool or the cat is pooping with diarrhea.

5. The cat becomes lethargic or has a loss of appetite.

In summary, if your cat is pooping outside of its box, and you have ruled out environmental and behavioral factors as the cause, then a visit to the vet is recommended. Your vet will conduct tests to rule out any medical conditions and provide appropriate treatment when needed.

How to Clean up Cat Poop from


Beds, or


In case you have a cat that poops outside the litter box, its inevitable that some poop will make its way to carpets, beds, or couches. Of course, this is not the most desirable scenario, but there are steps you can take to clean it up quickly and efficiently.

The following are steps to follow when cleaning up cat poop from various surfaces:


When cleaning up cat poop from the carpet, the first step is to remove as much poop as possible carefully. You can use a paper towel or old cloth to do this.

Once you’ve gotten rid of the poop, use warm water and blot the affected area with a clean cloth. Continue blotting until the spot is barely damp.

Next, apply an enzyme-based cleaner, such as Nature’s Miracle, on the affected area, but make sure it’s safe for pets and people. Follow the instructions and let the cleaner sit for about 15 minutes.

Rinse the area thoroughly with water and repeat the process if the stain hasn’t disappeared.


Cleaning up cat poop from a bed is similar to cleaning up a carpet, but since beds are more delicate, it’s essential to take extra precautions. First, remove any linens or bedding affected by the poop and clean them separately.

Once you’ve done that, vacuum the mattress gently to remove any dried poop or dander. Now use an enzyme-based cleaner to clean the affected area of the bed.

Spray on the cleaner and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before blotting it with warm water. Let it dry naturally and repeat the process if needed.


Cleaning up cat poop from a couch can also be done using an enzyme-based cleaner such as Natures Miracle. Apply the cleaner to the affected area and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before blotting the spot with warm water.

As with the bed, make sure you’re careful not to damage the couch by using too much water or cleaner. If the poop has seeped in, you may need to clean the affected area multiple times to get rid of the smell.

Make sure to let the affected area dry naturally, ventilate the room, and increase air circulation by opening windows and doors.

Final Thoughts

If your cat poops outside of its designated litter box, try to identify the underlying cause and address them accordingly. If you suspect any medical condition, call your vet for appropriate attention.

Additionally, if your cat has an accident outside of the litter box, take care of the affected area immediately using an enzyme-based cleaner safe for pets and people. With patience and practice, you can get your cat back into its litter box and avoid any foul surprises.

In conclusion, a cat pooping outside the litter box can be frustrating and concerning. It’s crucial to identify the underlying causes, which can range from medical conditions to environmental changes.

Addressing these issues can help to reduce the likelihood of your cat pooping outside of its designated area. If your cat is experiencing a sudden change in behavior, or there are any medical issues present, it’s essential to contact your veterinarian immediately.

Additionally, cleaning up cat poop from a bed, couch, or carpet should be done with an enzyme-based cleaner that’s safe for pets and people. With proper care and attention, you can help your cat feel more comfortable and secure when using its litter box, reducing the likelihood of accidents outside it.

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