Cat pees in box - poops outside!!

vgbaron

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I am 85 years old and have had cats all my life but this is a first for me.
I have three cats, two males and one female - oldest male is 6 and other two are 3/ I have a small 20x10 room used for exercise and cat boxes. I have 4 litter boxes along one side and corner of the room. One male and female are ersuces as a bonded pair at about age 1.5 yrs.
All of the cats have been using the boxes normally but about 6 months ago the female poops outside of the box or sometimes outside of the room.. She still pees in the box - just does not poop.

I've used cameras so I know it's the female. I can find no reason for this behavior - any suggestions on how to retrain her?

Thanx!

Vic
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. How is the consistency of her poop? Any changes in food that might be causing some sort of problem? She could be having some sort of physical/health issue related to pooping that makes her avoid the boxes - most cats associate discomfort with the box and not their bodies.

Oddly enough, some cats change their preference and would prefer to pee in one box and poop in another, so that might also be a consideration. Can you place one or two of the litter boxes elsewhere to see if that makes a difference? It could also be that she now prefers her litter boxes to be 'cleaner' - that sometimes happens with cats as well. So, make sure they are kept scooped out as much as possible.
The Litterbox: What Every Cat Owner Needs To Know – TheCatSite Articles
 
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vgbaron

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Thanx for the links. I have read most of them but a refresher will be helpful.
The consistency of her poop is normal. Some days it might be a little softer depending on what I feed her. I'll try moving one of the litter boxes to another room and see what develops.
I usually clean the boxes first thing in the AM, I'll try adding a second daily cleaning mid afternoon.

There's one box she prefers but I have seen her use all of them. I have seen her walk up to a box, put her head in over the litter and poop on the floor. BTW, these are all uncovered boxes - they wouldn't go in the covered ones.
 

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V vgbaron oh dear, she sounds a little.mixed up! Do you have one with high sides?

I'm also thinking that putting one or two in an entirely different room would be helpful. Looking forward to hearing back from you whether or not that worked.

What kind of litter are you using? Another weird thing I've tried is putting different litters in different boxes in attempt to find a preference. I still used each type until the end, but then I ly bought more of their preferred type.

Dog pee pads outside the litter for your own peace of mind is helpful for cleaning.
 

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What kind of litter are you using? Another weird thing I've tried is putting different litters in different boxes in attempt to find a preference. I still used each type until the end, but then I ly bought more of their preferred type.

Dog pee pads outside the litter for your own peace of mind is helpful for cleaning.
I like these thoughts too, there are disposable pee pads as well as washable/reusable ones in various sizes :)
 
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vgbaron

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V vgbaron oh dear, she sounds a little.mixed up! Do you have one with high sides?

I'm also thinking that putting one or two in an entirely different room would be helpful. Looking forward to hearing back from you whether or not that worked.

What kind of litter are you using? Another weird thing I've tried is putting different litters in different boxes in attempt to find a preference. I still used each type until the end, but then I ly bought more of their preferred type.
I tried several but they prefer Fresh Step, Strange thing is all has been fine for almost three years and all of a sudden she started this. Her normal eating and play are fine. She roughhouses with the others and eats just fine. She pees normally and poops about once in 24 hours.
I've just moved her favorite box to another room so fingers crossed.
The ONLY plus to her pooping on the floor is that it is ceramic tile which makes cleanup much easier! :)
 
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vgbaron

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EWell, sadly, no real progress. I moved one of the boxes to another room, of course all 3 cats use it. Since I did that, she has pooped along side the box twice. If she has pooped more, it has been in one of the boxes, I went through the house thoroughly and there no other places.
She STILL pees in the box with no problem, she just has, after a few years, decided not to go in the box.
I'm stumped. Physically everything looks ok, no loose stool, she pees normally and behaves normally in every way other than this issue..
I'll try to get better timings and see if I can catch her just before she goes and put her in the box.
 

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I wonder if she has the beginnings of arthritis and while getting in the box is ok, the squat for pooping is becoming more challenging and she's associated the box with pain or something like that.
 

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If you haven't placed two litter boxes close together, try that. That way if one of them is 'cleaner' than the other, she might use it. The other thing is cleaning all the boxes multiple times a day and see if that changes anything.
 
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vgbaron

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I have them close together and two are apart.
I will try more frequent cleaning. Currently it's once or twice a day.

I wonder if she has the beginnings of arthritis and while getting in the box is ok, the squat for pooping is becoming more challenging and she's associated the box with pain or something like that.
She doesn't seem to have a problem squatting or moving at all. On a few occasions I have caught her when she was about to go and was able to put her in the box, she went just fine and jumped out of the box. Next day - outside again. On a few occasions she has pooped no where near the box which is strange.
 

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If your cats are microchipped, you could use her chip to program a cat door to a room that the others cannot get to, and perhaps she would be happy to have a litter box all to herself for pooping. Oddly, enough there are cats like that!
 
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vgbaron

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Well, progress of sorts.I am scratching my head and trying not to laugh.
I put all four boxes back and just changed their position. A few moments ago I watched het jump in one box and pee. Then she jumped out, walked around for two minutes and then went over to another box. She climbed in with two front legs and 1 rear leg. With most of her body on the box, she pooped on the floor, then climbed all the way in, scratched a bit and then had one last small poop. BTW, there is plenty of room in the box for her to fit. I had to praise her for the attempt, hopefully she'll figure out that the active end needs to be inside. BUT it is an improvement. :)
 

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You seem so dedicated to her wellbeing!! :)
Have you noticed her coughing at all? If the boxes are covered, have you tried removing the covers? You said her stool consistency was dependent on what she was fed, have you noticed any patterns (example, she's fed chicken and is fine but she's fed beef and she has issues?)
Have you noticed ANY situations where the other cats are watching her, or stalking her (even playfully) while she's in the box?
I have used the same litter for years, and I got a weird batch recently. The pee clumps would break upon scooping and the cats seemed to scratch more at the box. Is it possible the litter changed formulas? Did they add any scent that you've noticed? (Unscented to us doesn't always mean unscented to them.)
And...try different litters. My Levi was very picky about litter and chose a litter I thought he would hate after leaving him confined to a small space with many clean boxes, all with separate litters available. He chose the ONE litter I bought thinking "this will never work" but it's what he chose, and what he preferred for his entire life. Luckily, my other cats aren't too picky.
 
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