Happy Silly Cat

From Health Problems to Stress: Understanding Why Cats Poop Outside the Litter Box

Why Cats Poop Outside the Litter Box and How to Stop It

Cats are generally tidy creatures that prefer to do their business in a clean and private litter box. However, sometimes your feline friend may decide to poop outside the litter box, which can be frustrating and unpleasant.

There are several reasons why this may happen, and it’s essential to address the underlying issue efficiently. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why cats may poop outside the litter box and provide practical solutions to stop it from happening in the future.

Reasons Why Cats May Poop Outside the Litter Box

Health Problems

One of the most common reasons why cats may poop outside the litter box is due to health problems. Diarrhea and constipation can cause discomfort and pain, making your cat associate the litter box with unpleasant experiences.

Arthritis can also make it challenging for cats to climb into and out of the litter box. Solution: Take your cat to the vet to rule out any underlying health problems.

If your cat has a medical condition, follow your vet’s guidance on how to manage the issue. You could also consider purchasing a litter box with lower sides or place a step stool next to the litter box to make it easier for your cat to get in and out.

Smelly Litter Box

Cats have an exceptional sense of smell, and they can get turned off by a dirty or smelly litter box. If you leave feces and urine in the box for too long, it can develop an offensive odor that will make your cat avoid it altogether.

Solution: Scoop the litter box daily and replace the litter at least once a week. Use odor-neutralizing litter or baking soda to absorb any unpleasant smells.

Consider purchasing a self-cleaning litter box that automatically scoops out waste and disposes of it.

Wrong Box Location

The location of the litter box is crucial. If it’s too close to your cat’s food or water, your pet may be put off by the proximity.

Furthermore, high traffic areas with noise and a lack of privacy can also deter cats from using the box. Solution: Choose a quiet and private location for the litter box, away from food and water stations.

If you have a multi-story house, ensure that there’s a litter box on each floor so that your cat doesn’t have to navigate the stairs to use the box.

Change in the Household

Cats can be territorial creatures, and any disruption to their routine or environment can spark anxiety and stress. A new pet, a new baby, or a change in the household could be the reason why your cat is pooping outside the litter box.

Solution: Introduce changes gradually. Give your cat plenty of attention and love to reassure them.

Provide extra litter boxes around the house and in quiet locations. Consider using pheromone sprays designed to reduce stress and anxiety in cats.

Recently Adopted Kitty

A new cat may take time to adjust to your household and settle into their routine. They may be used to a different litter box type or litter, which can make using your litter box an unpleasant experience.

Solution: Give your new cat plenty of time and space to adjust to their surroundings. Ensure that you use the same type of litter and litter box they’re used to.

Gradually transition the new cat to a litter box that you prefer.


Cats can get stressed out by a change in their environment, such as moving to a new house, loud noises, or a new family member.

Stress can cause cats to poop outside the litter box as their way of communicating their discomfort.

Solution: Minimize stress triggers and ensure that your cat has a safe and comfortable environment. Provide quiet areas and hiding places to reduce stress.

Consider using calming treats or medications to ease your cat’s anxiety.

How to Stop Cats from Pooping Outside the Litter Box

Clean the Box

Scoop the litter box daily and replace the litter at least once a week. Deep clean the litter box with soap and water regularly.

If your cat has a medical condition, consider using a litter box with a lower opening, a larger size, or a shallow depth.

Focus on Location

Choose a quiet and private location for the litter box, away from food and water stations. If you have multiple cats, provide enough litter boxes to avoid overcrowding.

Ensure that the litter box is in a quiet, low-traffic area of the house.

Add Another Litter Box

Provide more litter boxes around the house to avoid overcrowding or competition between cats. Ensure that each cat has access to a private litter box.

Put Up Obstacles

Use barriers or deterrents to prevent your cat from pooping in certain areas of your home. Consider using double-sided tape, aluminum foil, or motion-activated air sprays.

Re-Create the Scene of the Crime

If your cat has a preferred surface for pooping, recreate it in the litter box. You could place a flat piece of cardboard or a small tray in the litter box and cover it with litter.

Clean Up Previous Accidents

Clean up any previous accidents thoroughly by using an enzymatic cleaner that removes the odor. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaners, which can intensify the smell of urine and feces.


In conclusion, cats may poop outside the litter box due to various reasons, including health problems, smell, location, stress, and change in the household. To stop cats from pooping outside the litter box, you need to identify the underlying issue and address it accordingly.

This might involve providing a clean and private litter box, re-creating the surface of preference, or introducing calming treats or medications. Remember to give your cat plenty of love and attention, and provide a safe and comfortable environment.

With these tips, you can help your cat go back to using the litter box appropriately while keeping your home clean and odor-free. When to Call the Vet: Addressing Your Cats Health Issues

As responsible feline owners, we all want to ensure our cats are healthy and happy.

Monitoring your cat’s behavior is an essential aspect of keeping them healthy, as it can help you detect potential health problems early. However, it can be challenging to determine when to contact your vet, and there are different reasons for doing so.

In this article, we will explore when to call the vet by looking at several key factors relating to your cat’s health, behavior monitoring, and consulting with veterinarians.

Monitoring the Behavior

Observing your cat’s behavior is a critical aspect of monitoring their health. Cats’ behavior changes over time, so consistent behavior that lasts multiple days or more may indicate an underlying health issue.

Changes in appetite are one example of a behavior you should pay attention to. If your cat is not eating for more than a day, it may indicate an underlying condition, such as kidney disease or digestive problems.

If your cat is overeating, there may be an underlying problem such as thyroid issues, and this could lead to obesity. Another behavior to monitor is your cats litter box habits.

If your cat is not urinating or defecating regularly, it may indicate constipation or urinary tract issues. Changes in the color, odor, or consistency of the urine or fecal matter can also signal a health issue.

Pay attention to any changes in your cat’s activity level, playfulness, or sleep habits. Sudden lethargy or a lack of energy may indicate a looming health issue.

Health Concerns

As previously mentioned, if you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior, it may indicate an underlying health issue. Some of the common health issues requiring veterinary attention include diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, sneezing, and skin allergies.

While these signs may indicate minor issues, it is vital to consult with your vet quickly to prevent further health problems. Sudden changes in your cat’s behavior can also indicate underlying health problems.

If your cat is usually sociable and starts to become less interested in people or surroundings, it may signal an underlying condition. A decrease in energy levels, clouded eyes or stiffness could be an indication of an age-related problem.

Early detection of such issues is crucial for managing it effectively.

Consulting a Veterinarian

If you’re unsure whether your cat’s behavior is an indication of their health issue, then consulting with a veterinarian is always the best option. Veterinarians are experts in feline health and can detect and diagnose health issues that owners may not be aware of.

They can make personalized health recommendations and ensure that your cat receives the proper care. It is advisable to keep a cat medical history to keep track of your cat’s health issues and behavior.

This will help your vet provide accurate recommendations for your cat’s care. Keep track of dates and types of vaccinations, spaying/neutering, surgeries or health issues.

Note down symptoms that you’ve observed, the frequency of their occurrence and the duration. Your vet can use this information to form a diagnosis and treatment plan.

When you contact your veterinarian, be as specific about your cat’s health as possible. Mention any changes in behavior or routine, such as if theyve been exposed to any new foods, medications or environments.

Describe any changes in appetite, activity levels, or litter box habits. Being specific with such details will help your vet prescribe the right care and treatment for your cat.


In conclusion, monitoring your cat’s behavior is essential to maintain their health and prevent potential health-related issues. Changes in your cat’s behavior, appetite, litter box habits, and activity level may signal underlying health problems.

If you detect any sudden changes or consistent behavior that lasts multiple days, it is essential to contact a veterinarian promptly. Veterinarians can diagnose health issues accurately, provide personalized recommendations, and prescribe the proper care.

So, keep your cat’s medical history and schedule regular visits with your veterinarian to tackle potential health issues before they become serious. Monitoring your cat’s behavior and health is crucial to maintaining their well-being, and it’s essential to know when to call the veterinarian.

Consistent behavior changes that last for multiple days may indicate an underlying health issue or medical condition. Changes in appetite, litter box habits, and activity levels are some of the behaviors you should monitor closely.

Consulting with a veterinarian is always the best course of action, and maintaining a cat’s health history assists the veterinarian in providing accurate medical recommendations. By taking proactive steps to monitor and address their health, you can ensure your cat’s happiness and well-being for years to come.

Popular Posts