Multiple Factors – Why Is My Cat Pooping Outside the Box?

Cats’ inappropriate elimination, mostly pooping outside their litterbox is a common frustrating problem that many cat owners go through. These could be behavioral problems, but in other cases, they could be health issues causing your cat to eliminate outside the litterbox.

If your cat has arthritis, it may find it difficult to enter the litterbox. Behavioral causes can make your cat eliminate in inappropriate areas. It can be because they dislike their litter box or they have found an alternative better location. This article will focus on the reasons why your cat is pooping outside the litter box.


External Factors to Why the Cat Poo Outside the Box

– Dirty litter box

Cats just like humans are very sensitive to hygiene and will react when hygiene is not maintained. A dirty litter box prevents the cat from using it. The cat, therefore, avoids it and will poo outside it since the bad smell and the dirt interferes with the comfortability of the cat.

– Unpleasant litter

Perfumed litters are unpleasant to the cat and make the litter box unwelcoming to the cat. The cat will spend most of the time outside it or will stay away from it completely. The cat will therefore carry out its activities outside it including removal of waste materials.

– Hard to get into the litter box

Large cats find it hard to fit into small litter boxes or covered litter boxes. Also, small boxes provide no room for the cat to maneuver. Long-haired cats experience trouble in an attempt to clean their fur.


Neurotic Factors to Why the Cat Poo Outside the Box

– Location of the litter box

The litter box should be placed in an area familiar to the cat. If the cat dislikes the position of the litter box, she might not use it.

Placing the litter box near her food may trouble the cat since naturally cats hate eating and eliminating in the same area. Additionally, placing it near disturbances such as electrical appliances causes the cat stress and makes the cat fail to use the litter box.

– Kitty stress

Cats are very sensitive creatures and always react to changes in the environment. The abrupt change will cause the cat to be anxious and encounter stress. Sudden changes in the household may cause the cat to stop using the litter box due to anxiety.

Stress may also arise from punishments. Punishing the cat when it eliminates outside the litter box causes the cat to experience stress and encounter emotional problems. Naturally, stress interferes with the normal functioning of the cat and therefore, the cat will behave abnormally.

Furthermore, if the litter box is not clean or comfortable, the cat will experience stress and deliberately avoid it.

– Territorial dispute

If there is more than one cat, a dispute may arise from the use of a litter box since such a state will involve dominancy and the dominant cat will in most cases be in the position to dominate the litter box.

Cats hate to cross other cats’ territory and if they find themselves doing so they will be reluctant to use the litter box.

Additionally, cats hate to share litter boxes therefore if they have to share, some cats will be reluctant to do so and will eliminate somewhere else.


Medical Factors to Why the Cat Poo Outside the Box

The following medical factors may cause the cat to poop outside the litter box.

– Feline interstitial cystitis

This condition affects the urinary bladder of cats. Given the increased frequency associated with this disease, the cat may fail to eliminate inside the litter box due to the urgency

– Urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections prevent the bladder to function properly and cause problems to the cat during elimination. When the bladder has a problem, the cat will urinate frequently and this frequency will prevent the cat from using the litter box since the bladder will be loose.

– Bladder stones

These are mineral deposits, organic material, and crystals found in a cat’s bladder and may interfere with the ability of the cat to urinate. The cat experience frequent and painful urination. This prevents the cat from urinating inside the litter box given the urgency of urination.


Why Do Older Cats Start Pooping on the Floor?

Cats start pooping on the floor due to various reasons such as health reasons and behavioral reasons. When the older cats start this practice, it is very alarming and the owner should try to find out where the problem is. The following are the reasons why an older cat would start pooping on the floor:

– Health problems

Health problems interfere with the cat’s daily routine. Problems relating to diarrhea cause the cat to experience urgency in releasing waste and therefore may fail to make it to the litter box given the sudden nature of this urge.

An older cat with health problems may start pooping on the floor no matter how well trained.

– Stress and behavioral issues

When an older cat experiences stress, perhaps due to a smelly litter box, change in location, or disturbances, it will change its behavior.

Stress will cause the cat to act differently since cats are very sensitive to stress. If they feel that they are encountering disturbance they may eliminate it outside the litter box.

– Introduction of another cat

When a new cat is introduced, the older cat will experience anxiety and may perceive rivalry. Furthermore, if they are required to share the same litter box conflict may occur forcing the older cat to start pooping on the floor.

– Change in litter material

A sudden change in litter material creates anxiety in the cat and the cat may feel not contented with the new litter. If the new litter is scented, the cat will dislike it and may start pooping outside the litter box.


Ways to Stop Your Cat from Pooping on the Floor

Pooping on the floor can be very frustrating and disappointing especially if one has to go round the house stepping on the cat’s poop. It can also be very challenging when it comes to carpet cleaning. The following are ways to stop your cat from pooping on the floor.

– Take your cat to a vet

If your cat suddenly starts pooping on the floor, you should take it to the vet for a medical checkup. Health complications such as bladder and urinary infections may cause the cat to experience frequent urination which makes the cat not make it to the litter box in time.

By taking the cat to the vet, health problems will be solved and if there are no health problems appropriate intervention will be taken.

– Avoid an unfamiliar place

Avoid placing the litter box in a place unfamiliar with the cat or a place that will cause disturbance as this will bring anxiety and stress to the cat and make them feel less comfortable.

– Avoid covered litter boxes

It is also wise to avoid covered litter boxes as these will make the cat feel intimidated and in extreme cases may not even adapt to the new litter box at all.

– Avoid keeping the litter box dirty

Clean the litter box daily using unscented soap and water to rid it of the bad smell due to urine and feces. This unpleasant smell will cause the cat to feel uncomfortable and stay away from the new litter box.

– Avoid negative reinforcements

Also, avoid negative reinforcements on the cat as these will only cause them stress and anxiety and further keep them away from their litter box.

Contrary, use positive reinforcements as these will encourage the cat to constantly strive to adapt to its new environment.


When Do You Take Your Cat to the Vet?

Cats just like human beings require regular medical checkups to ensure that they are functioning well. Cats are very good at hiding illness, therefore, routine checkups would help to ensure the health safety of the cat.

Additionally, bladder and urinary infections need to be monitored at an early stage given their fatality.



In conclusion, it is important to monitor and understand the behavior of your cat to determine why the cat is missing the litter box. Additionally, it is important to take your cat to the vet for a medical checkup.