Do you like the show My Cat From Hell ? We do and we love it and learn something new each episode.
The star of My Cat From Hell, Jackson Galaxy, has agreed to talk with us about some of the questions Happy Litterbox readers have sent in.
We’ve received a lot of questions about cat poop. Who knew there were so many variations of cat pooping behavior? We’ve tried to address everyone’s question with one that hits on a lot of issues.
Here’s the reader question:
My cat Sydney refuses to use the litter box for #2. He has no problem urinating in one, just will not use it for #2. And fortunately (or unfortunately) he has decided the rug by the back door is the place to go. I have tried changing litter, changing litter box placement, etc., to no avail. I have a feeling this is why, at nine years old, he was relinquished by his previous owners. He is a lovely cat and I think he is fantastic except for this one habit of his. Any ideas? I have had to replace the rug three times already!
So, Jackson and I talked about this. He says if your cat won’t poop in the box, you need to start thinking about what information their body is sending them. Are they constipated? Do they have diarrhea? Maybe they have other G/I issues. Make sure to have your cat checked out by a vet to ensure there is no medical reason for the “inappropriate” pooping. Remember, if it hurts them to poop and they associate the pain with the litter box then they will keep looking for a place where they can poop where it doesn’t hurt.
Also, check out the poop consistency – is it hard? Soft? That will also be a clue to what’s going on with your cat physically.
Consider Sydney’s age. Nine years old is a normal age to have arthritis. Pooping requires a bit of a different stance in the litter box than peeing does. So perhaps Sydney is uncomfortable when he is in poop position.
Another thing you can look at is the level of the litter. Again, cats get in different positions for peeing and pooping. When Sydney poops, he may be sinking down a bit in the litter. This may cause him to grab with his feet and, well, if he has arthritis, that could hurt!
You might also change the placement of the mat at the back door. If Sydney still seeks out that mat, then he prefers that surface to his litter box.
But, if he goes on the floor by the back door, then there might be something about the back door that says to him, “Sydney, go poop here.”
Some advice Jackson gives to everyone dealing with litter box issues: you need to approach the problem with a long-term perspective. Don’t get mad – there is nothing you can do at that moment to change your cat’s behavior. The best thing to do is take notes. Pay attention to the circumstances surrounding the behavior and literally write it down. You will definitely start seeing patterns.
At the moment, just clean up the mess and move on. Then prepare yourself for the process of getting to the bottom of your cat’s problem – and then adjusting circumstances to help him get over it!