Why is My Cat Pooping Outside the Litter Box?

A common question that many cat owners ask is why does my cat poop outside the litter box? Even though many cats are intelligent and can be trained to use a litter box, the reasons for this behavior can vary. You should take note of your cat’s behavior more closely in order to help determine what might be causing them to poo outside.

Reasons for This Unwanted Behavior

There are many reasons why your cat may be eliminating outside their litter box. If you are seeing your cat pooping outside their litter box it is important to consider what and when this is occurring. Depending on the reason for elimination outside the litter box, you may need to take different action in order to correct the unwanted behavior. The most common reasons include:

  1. If your cat is eliminating outside the litter box, then you should immediately take note of when and where your cat is pooping. It is possible that there is a medical reason why your cat may be eliminating outside the litter box.
  2. Your cat may be using their litter box incorrectly for elimination. If you notice that your cat is regularly pooping outside their litter box, then you should immediately check to see if they are lifting their tail straight up in order to do so. You should also observe whether or not the cat is pushing the litter into the box. The reason behind this behavior may be that they are too excited or stressed to eliminate when the box is next to their food and water dishes.
  3. Litter box aversion is also a very common reason why cats eliminate outside the litter box. Cats can be rather picky when it comes to their litter, and if they don’t like what is placed inside the box they may choose an alternative place to go. Aversion can be caused by a number of factors such as dirty or clumps litter, or the fact that the box is too small for their needs. Typically owners will notice that their cat may begin to eliminate outside the box when it is dirty. This is a very important reason why you should be cleaning your litter box regularly. If there are multiple cats in your home then you may be seeing elimination outside the box occurring in a certain location. If this occurs in one area of your home, then this can be attributed to territory (or marking) issues.
  4. The location of the litter box may be another reason why your cat is eliminating outside the box. If your cat eliminates in an area that is very far away from their litter box, then it can be assumed that they are not going back and forth from their bed area to their litter box. The best option in this case is to place the litter box closer to the areas where you have seen your cat eliminating.
  5. The litter box may be too dirty. When the litter box is not cleaned often enough, cats tend to go to the bathroom in an area that is more comfortable for them.
  6. Stress can cause the cat to eliminate outside their litter box. This type of stress can include a new pet in the home, or even a new baby coming into the family.
  7. Territorial reasons. If your cat is eliminating in a spot that is new to them, then it can be assumed that they are marking their territory.
  8. Your cat may not like the type of litter you are using. Cats can be picky when it comes to the texture and scent of the litter used in their box. If your cat eliminates outside the litter box consistently, then you should try changing types of litter up until you find one that your cat will accept.

How to Train Your Cat to Poop In The Litter Box

There are several different techniques to try in order to train your cat to use the litter box for their elimination.

  1. You may want to introduce your cat to the litter box immediately. If you have a new cat that has never been introduced to a litter box, then it will be important for you to provide them with a comfortable area where they can eliminate. You may even want to place litter boxes throughout your home in various locations in order for them to be familiar with the location of each box. This will help ensure that they know which box is theirs and where it is located.
  2. You may want to try placing your cat’s food and water near the litter box. Cats are territorial by nature, which can cause them to feel a little more comfortable when they have their food next to their litter box.
  3. If you notice that your cat is pooping in areas that are far away from the litter box, then you may need to place multiple litter boxes throughout the house in various locations.
  4. You should always try to keep the litter box clean at all times. Cats have a tendency to go somewhere else if they do not like the box or if it is dirty.
  5. Cats tend to become stressed out with change in their environment, so you should try to keep things as normal as possible when you introduce your new kitty home. For example, don’t rearrange furniture and be sure to put their litter box in the same general location that it was in before.

Final Thoughts

If you are noticing that your cat is eliminating outside the litter box, then you should take steps to resolve the issue immediately. The obvious reason why this is occurring is because your cat does not like going in their litter box. You may need to take them into a veterinary hospital immediately for a professional opinion and will need to have an examination performed. You should also consult with a veterinarian about the best way to teach your cat how to use the litter box.

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