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Why is My Cat Pooping on the Floor? 7 Possible Reasons

David Fields
Last Updated on
by David Fields

It’s no fun when your house-trained cat suddenly starts doing their business everywhere but their litter box. Not only is this problem frustrating, but it can also be a sign of both mental and physical health issues.

Cats are exceptionally clean animals, and they generally prefer not to leave urine or feces just anywhere.

So if you’re wondering, “Why is my cat pooping on the floor?” It could be something behavioral, or a health issue like constipation.

But in general, if your house-trained cat suddenly starts pooping on the floor, it’s a surefire sign that something is wrong. As your cat’s caretaker, it’s up to you to figure out what’s going on.

These issues run the gamut from a simple matter of your cat not liking her litter to more serious health problems.

Cats Poop on the Floor
Why Do Cats Poop on the Floor?

7 Reasons Cats Poop On the Floor

Here are some common reasons cats poop on the floor.

1. Your Cat Is Sick

The first order of business is ruling out any health complications. For various reasons, sick cats often have trouble using their litter boxes.

Your kitty may have diarrhea or be constipated, which can make it hard for them to reach the litter box in time. Or he might have a UTI, causing painful urination.

If your cat is constipated, it’s very essential to feed them with cat food made specially for constipation.

A visit to your vet is the best way to ensure nothing serious is going on. The vet can screen for and treat any issues so that your cat can get back to his old habits in no time.

2. Your Cat Is Stressed

Cats are sensitive to changes in their environment. They get stressed easily, even by something as seemingly unimportant as rearranging your furniture.

Other events, like the death of a companion animal, the birth of a new baby, or the arrival of a new cat, may also cause stress. If your kitty’s had any life changes lately, it may throw off their bathroom habits.

The good news is that in most cases, this regression is temporary. Your cat will slowly adjust to the situation, but it may take a while—and some extra cleanings—before things are back to normal.

3. Your Cat Dislikes the Litter Box

When it comes to litter boxes, cats have different preferences for size and shape. You may have unknowingly picked a small litter box that your cat dislikes.

Some prefer open boxes, others prefer walls, and some cats want to do their business completely out of sight. Try purchasing a different litter box type to see if that helps your cat feel safe using it.

4. Your Cat Dislikes the Kitty Litter

Did you know that kitty paws are highly sensitive? If they dislike the way the litter feels on their paws, your furry friend may decide to do their business elsewhere.

Hard, ball-like litters are often the culprit, so you may want to try something new. Though some type and effort (and added cost) may be involved, the solution could be as easy as a simple change.

5.Your Cat Dislikes the Litter Box Location

You wouldn’t choose just any location to go to the bathroom, would you? Well, cats feel the same way. Sometimes, we place litter boxes in locations that are convenient for us without realizing that these places are less than ideal for our furry friends.

Here are some locations to avoid putting a litter box:

  • Dark areas or closets
  • High-traffic areas
  • Near appliances such as washers or dishwashers
  • Next to food or water

6. Your Cat Needs More Litter Boxes

Even if you only have one cat, it’s worth adding a second litter box. Cats can be picky about cleanliness, so having a second box gives them more options.

7. Your Cat Needs a Cleaner Litter Box

This problem makes sense—who wants to use a dirty bathroom?

Cats have exacting standards when it comes to cleanliness, so if you’re not keeping things up to par, they may go elsewhere. Ensure that you’re scooping the litter box at least once a day, and dump all the litter weekly, or better still get a self cleaning litter box.

How to Stop a Cat from Pooping on the Floor

Now that you understand why your cat might be pooping on the floor, you’re probably wondering how to stop this behavior.

If you’ve already ruled out any health issues with your vet, here are some steps you can take to get your kitty to love her litter box again.

Cleaning. cat poop
Cleaning Cat Poop

1. Deep Clean the Litter Box

Aside from the daily and weekly cleaning mentioned above, performing a deep clean of the litter box can be helpful.

To do so, get rid of the old litter, wash the box with dish soap and warm water, and let it air dry. Then start afresh with new litter, which should be more attractive to your cat.

A word to the wise: always make sure to wear rubber gloves and a face mask for protection against germs. And if you’re pregnant, leave this task to another household member. Being in contact with cat litter puts you at higher risk of contracting toxoplasmosis.

2. Deep Clean Accidents

If your cat can smell old urine in random corners of the house, he might be tempted to repeat this behavior. Make sure to deep clean any previous accident sites with a specialized enzyme cleaner, which should dissuade him from repeats.

3. Analyze Prior Crime Scenes

When your cat is pooping outside their litter box, it’s sometimes because they prefer a different surface.

Look at your kitty’s favorite non-litter box defecation sites and try to recreate that surface. For example, if you see that she’s pooping on tile, try leaving the box empty. Or if she likes paper, follow your cat’s lead and line the box with paper.

Final Thoughts

Cats poop on the floor for many different reasons, but there is always an underlying problem to discover. As their owner, it’s up to you to figure out what’s wrong to keep your feline happy and healthy.

About David Fields
David Fields
David Fields is a long-time animal lover and has been blessed to share his life with many companions. A short list includes ragdoll cats, siberian husky and greyhound dogs, an African Grey parrot, many fish of all sorts, and a pandemonium of parakeet. He writes most of the articles on iPetCompanion and is regularly featured on other popular websites on the Internet.
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