The reasons your cats is pooping and peeing outside the litter box and how to solve it

It's not a nice experience coming home after a long and stressful day of work ready to resort to the comfort of your couch only to see your cat poop and urine everywhere.

Your heart starts to beat very fast leading to a series of questions you do not yet have an answer to.

"Why is my cat pooping and peeing outside the litter box?"

"Why is my cat pooping on the floor even with a clean litter box?"

Some cats can even go to the extent of only pooping in the litter but peeing all around the house.

But let's face it.

Accidents happen.

Your cat can poop or pee on the floor by mistake, but if it's getting frequent, then yes it should be something you should be worried about.

The issue can be health-related, environmental changes, or behavioral changes.

You must break your cat's habit of pooping and peeing outside the litter box as soon as possible before it becomes a habit.

If your cat is home-trained to use the litter box and has been doing so before without any issues, but suddenly stops using it, it might be a sign of health issues.


    1. Arthritis in older cats.

      Arthritis (also called DJD - Degenerative joint disease) is a chronic and painful condition involving the joints of cats, especially the older ones.

      As we humans get joint pains as we age, so do cats. Research has shown that arthritis impacts between 70% to 90% of cats over 12 years old.

      When a cat has arthritis, they usually have trouble climbing the litter box, making it difficult for them to get into the litter box.

      They will also be unable to bend their legs, making squatting difficult for them. This makes cats to resort turning the house into their toilets. Arthritis in the feet, especially in declawed cats, may cause discomfort when stepping on certain textures, like cat litter.

      Most affected joints include:
        • Elbows
        • spine
        • hip
        • knee

        NB: Any joint can develop arthritis. What is listed above is just the most common ones.

    1. Constipation, inflammatory and bowel disease.

      Sudden uncontrollable urge to toilets

    1. Diarrhea or other kidney disease

      can cause cats to go to the toilet more often and can make the litter get dirty quickly.

      Cats don't like using dirty litter.

      Their response is to do business on the floor and starts pooping and peeing all around the house.

  1. Cognitive disorder.

    Studies have shown that 28 percent of cats between the ages of 11 and 15 and 50 percent of cats over the age of 15 show some signs of cognitive dysfunction.

    If your cat is super old, chances are that she's lonely and having anxiety.

    This can make her feel uncomfortable in her litter box

Take your cat to the vet for examination to rule out any health issues.

If your vet determines your cat is safe, it might be due to environmental or behavioral changes.


    1. Dirty cat litter

      Nobody likes to use a dirty toilet likewise cats too. One of the biggest reasons why cat resort to pooping and peeing on the floor and not using the litter box is because of smelly litter.

      As a cat owner, you must change the cat litter frequently.

    1. Cat Litter Smell

      Cats are animals that are super sensitive to smell. Like dogs, they can notice even the tiniest changes in smell. Cats are very picky about the cat litter they use so if your cat is not using the litter box, it might be because of the smell of the cat litter.

    1. The wrong type of litter box

      Litter boxes that are covered or have a high side or are too deep might be frightening to your cat. Some self-cleaning litter boxes or litter robots have these issues. Make sure to check out the height and compare it to your cat's height before purchasing it

  1. Changes in box location or wrong litter box location

    Older cats that have dementia might have trouble locating the litter box once you change it to another angle.

    Just like humans, cats need privacy too. They want it to be in a place that doesn't get a lot of traffic.

    Cats want their litter box to be in a place they can easily access. They don't want it to be in a corner where they can't see every angle in case they need to run out of the litter box.


    1. New Rival

      Cats are territorial animals. They love to defend their territories from unwanted guests. If another cat or a new baby or even a new guests enter the house, they might use that to mark their territory. This is temporary and the cat should adapt as time goes on.

    1. Resource Hoarding

      This happens when the cat is guarding her litter and doesn't want other cats accessing the litter box.

  1. Stress

    Like humans too, when your cat has a lot going on with her, it might take some getting used to from your cat.

    Examples are when you move out of your house to a new place or you have some routine changes or any other normal stuff change in the house, it might stress out your cat.

    This is also temporary and it should go after some time

How to prevent your cat from pooping and peeing outside the litter box

    1. Have a clean Litter

      Scoop and clean the litter at least once per day. Make sure to use enzyme-based and unscented litter (Scented litter is not appealing to some breeds of cats).

      If you are a person who's busy and doesn't have time to scoop, clean, and change the litter daily, you can invest in the self-cleaning automatic cat litter box.

      If you have multiple cats in the house and you notice they are using the same litter box for their business, you might want to clean it more frequently as it will get dirty easily.


    1. Litter box choice

      The type of litter box you will use depends mostly on your cat and your personal preference. You might need to do a little bit of trial and error to get the right kind of litter box that your cat prefers.

      If your cat is older and can't walk, you might want to consider a cat litter that's not too tall or too small.

      Also, consider your cat's health challenges in choosing cat litter for your cat to poop

    1. Choose the right litter

      Though the best litter for your cat will depend on your cat's personal preference, based on research and study, an unscented, clumping cat litter might work for your cat.

      Don't be afraid to test different litters. Once you find the one that your cat loves, stick with it. Changes as little as the smell can make your cat ditch the litter box so be careful not to change it. If worse comes to worst and you have to change it, kindly do so little by little. Don't change everything at once.

    1. Choose the right location

      You might probably be thinking of putting it either in the kitchen or where you clean and wash laundry. Putting cat litter boxes in the kitchen can cause your food to get contaminated by bacteria. This can make you and your cat sick.

      Putting the cat litter box near the washing machine or any other loud object is also not ideal as cats don't want their toilet close to noise.

      Find a place that doesn't get a lot of traffic and is easily accessible to your cat.

      Sometimes it might take trial and error to find the right placement for the cat litter box so don't be afraid to test out new locations if your previous one is not working. A popular trick is to spread the litter box throughout the house

      If you have tried this and your cat is still pooping and peeing outside the litter box and all around the house, you might want to make those places less desirable for your cat to go there.

      A motion-activated light always does the trick but you can use any other material as far as it will scare her away.

      You can also use enzyme-based cleansers to remove any smell or pheromones that might be attracting them to that location. Don't forget to make the location of the litter box obvious to your cat.

    1. Stress relieve

      If you notice your cat is showing signs of anxiety, you might want to try to spend more time with your cat, use pheromones, stick to a routine as much as you can, and play more with her. Pet puzzle cat also keep your cat engaged while you are away.

  1. More is better

    If you have more than one cat in your house, and you are wondering how many litter boxes should you get per cat, you might want to get multiple cat litter boxes. The ideal number is one litter box per cat and make sure to spread the cat litter across the house to avoid conflict and fight between the cats.

    Some vets will recommend that you have one extra litter box in case your cat wants more options or the first one no longer suit her. That means if you have one cat, have two litter boxes. If you have two cats, have three, and so on.

When to speak to your vet?

The first obvious reason is when your cat continues to poop and pee all over the house every time even when you have tried changing the litter and the litter box.

The less obvious ones are when your cat's:
  • showing unusual behaviors or hiding or getting scared easily
  • have blood in stool or other unusual elements
  • appetite decreased
Make sure to contact your vet if any of the above happens. If anything unusual happens that you don't understand, give your vet a call

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