Cat Pooping Outside the Litter Box? 5 Things to Consider

August 16, 2012

It’s perplexing when you find cat poop outside the litter box yet your cat still pees in it. While you might chalk it up to random kitty kookiness, most of the time there’s a good reason for the behavior. Here are five reasons your cat might be pooping outside the litter box and some things you can try.

1. Medical Reasons - Please don’t ignore this possibility! If your cat suddenly starts pooping outside the litter box, there could be an underlying medical reason – pain while pooping, for example. Get that kitty to the vet!

2. Furry Butt Syndrome – Some cats with long hair don’t like the feel of remnants sticking to their fur so they may try to resolve that issue by pooping elsewhere. They associate the box with kitty, um, dingleberries so they avoid it. A simple fix is to trim the fur around your kitty’s bottom and keep it nice and clean.

3. Box is Too Small - If the box is too small, your cat might hang over it or be uncomfortable using it. Pooping and peeing require different stances so while it might be fine for #1, your cat might not like it for #2. I love big, clear storage containers like these. Also, if you use a covered litter box, consider trying something without a cover. Your cat might be having a hard time finding a comfortable position in the covered box.

4. Litter – As mentioned above, I’m sure you have noticed that the poop position is different than the pee position so try some different litters in different boxes to see what your cat prefers. Also, try some varying depths of litter to see if that helps.

5. Location of the Box – Pooping requires a bit more time than peeing does so your kitty might be feeling a bit anxious about being “vulnerable” that long. If there are other cats in your home, they may be intimidating your cat during litter box visits. Make sure the box is in a location that offers an easy “escape” for your cat and, even better, make sure you have several boxes in different locations so your cat has options.

Readers, have you had this issue? What solutions have worked for you?