Cat Running Out Of Litter Box When He Has Diarrhea

Count

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This has been a problem for a while, but today was the worst case of this so far. Count, whenever he is playful, just dashes out of his litter box after pooping, or just digging for fun. It is a habit of his, independent to diarrhea. Usually, other than some tracked litter, this isn't a problem. But what happens when he has diarrhea and he is playful is, he digs much more than normal, and gets a lot of it stuck to his paws, then he dashes out of his litter box and runs to the couch on the other side of the apartment. He leaves a disgusting trail when he does this. Then, on the couch he licks himself clean, while spreading poop on the couch as well. This happens when he didn't just poop as well because for some reason he digs in his box for play as well, so I try to clean his box asap if he has diarrhea but obviously this is not always possible.

What happened today is the worst case so far, it took me an hour just to wipe the floor and I have to wash the couch too, since there is too much to clean with some soap and a cloth. Thankfully it is IKEA so I can wash it in the washing machine, but this means I have no couch for a few days until it dries. I put Count in his room and closed the door in case he still has some diarrhea left in him. I think he will stay in that room tonight. (It is a big room with everything he needs)

The reason I'm writing here is, has anyone dealt with a similar situation before? Any advice on stopping this from happening in the future?
 

rubysmama

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So sorry you're dealing with that. :alright:

My Ruby has a very sensitive digestive system, but we keep it (mostly) under control with a special veterinary food. However, on occasion, I've had to deal with diarrhea on the carpet, so I have an idea of the frustration you're feeling. :(

How often does Count have diarrhea? Have you discussed it with his vet?

As for the digging in the litter box, hopefully that's something he'll eventually outgrow.
 

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Feeby has occasionally 'forgot' to finish before the leaving the litter box, and has even walked several feet away before the last piece is 'deposited' elsewhere (thankfully never with pee). She also has an infrequent case where she steps in the poop, or tries to cover it unsuccessfully (she only rarely bothers to cover it), and carries some out with her. But - knock on wood - she doesn't tend to ever have diarrhea and these incidents aren't even weekly.

Is it possible that Count could use a bigger litterbox, and deeper litter? Maybe it would encourage him to hang in there long enough to cover everything before he goes off running? You might get more litter outside of the box, but if it stops the rest of the behavior, that is still a win. Does he have a second box? That might help as well. Perhaps, a second box with different type of litter as a test to see if he would do that same thing with another litter.

The only other thing I can think of is if you are home most of the time, have you ever kept track of the timing of his litterbox use? I don't know about other cats, but Feeby is reasonably regular. So, if you have an idea when he is about to go, you could follow him and close the door to his room while he is in there - minimizing the amount of territory he can cover with his deposits?

As a side note, do you know what is causing the diarrhea and how are you treating it? Wouldn't change his behavior, but it would go a long way in reducing your cleaning efforts.

Not sure about your couch, but if it is the covers you took off to clean, you could place a blanket over the uncovered cushions until everything is dry?
 
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Count

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Is it possible that Count could use a bigger litterbox, and deeper litter? Maybe it would encourage him to hang in there long enough to cover everything before he goes off running? You might get more litter outside of the box, but if it stops the rest of the behavior, that is still a win.
He has a very large litterbox (largest I can find) and I use a 10L box of litter and top it off regularly so I'm pretty sure it is not about the depth of the litter or size.

Does he have a second box? That might help as well. Perhaps, a second box with different type of litter as a test to see if he would do that same thing with another litter.
He only has one litter box. I can't find anywhere to put a second one. Only place that I can think of is my bedroom, but I definitely don't want something like that on my bed. I did try different litters, but Ever Clean Less Trail seems to work the best for him, even though it costs 3x other litters.

The only other thing I can think of is if you are home most of the time, have you ever kept track of the timing of his litterbox use? I don't know about other cats, but Feeby is reasonably regular. So, if you have an idea when he is about to go, you could follow him and close the door to his room while he is in there - minimizing the amount of territory he can cover with his deposits?
I am home often but my feeding hours change quite often so his toilet usage changes too. Plus, I don't want to close the door every time he uses his toilet, it would feel like I'm torturing him.

My Ruby has a very sensitive digestive system, but we keep it (mostly) under control with a special veterinary food. However, on occasion, I've had to deal with diarrhea on the carpet, so I have an idea of the frustration you're feeling. :(
I wish I could put him on a special diet, but we don't have enough variety here in Turkey. Only vet food we have here is some Hills or Farmina kibble, no wet food.

As a side note, do you know what is causing the diarrhea and how are you treating it? Wouldn't change his behavior, but it would go a long way in reducing your cleaning efforts.
How often does Count have diarrhea? Have you discussed it with his vet?
He has a sensitive digestive system so it does happen occasionally. Vet said it is fine as long as it doesn't happen too often. He is allergic to two foods I know of, so I avoid them now. I did try a new can yesterday, and it does have a ingredient I haven't tried before. It is a weird one, aloe. It is toxic to cats but it seems to be fine in low amounts as far as my research says. It has many positive reviews so it was fine for most peoples' cats. But maybe he is allergic to it as well? He was fine yesterday night but he did have diarrhea earlier today (but no mess) and now, so maybe it upset him a lot. Or he ate something that I don't know of.

Not sure about your couch, but if it is the covers you took off to clean, you could place a blanket over the uncovered cushions until everything is dry?
Good idea. Thanks!

As for the digging in the litter box, hopefully that's something he'll eventually outgrow.
I hope so because I can't think of a another way of fixing this. Only way I can think of is to tire him out so he no longer is playful, but he is just too hyperactive. He can play for hours straight, I don't have enough time or energy to keep up with that. I wish he could still play with Leo. :(
 

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I did try a new can yesterday, and it does have a ingredient I haven't tried before. It is a weird one, aloe. It is toxic to cats but it seems to be fine in low amounts as far as my research says. It has many positive reviews so it was fine for most peoples' cats. But maybe he is allergic to it as well? He was fine yesterday night but he did have diarrhea earlier today (but no mess) and now, so maybe it upset him a lot. Or he ate something that I don't know of.
If he has a sensitive stomach, any ingredient out of the ordinary could affect him. Also, when trying new foods with him, the general rule of thumb is to add just a tiny of the 'new' food to the old to start with, then increase the 'new' as you decrease the 'old'. Gives their system a chance to 'adapt'.

He has a very large litterbox (largest I can find) and I use a 10L box of litter and top it off regularly so I'm pretty sure it is not about the depth of the litter or size.
How about doing what my neighbor does, place the litter box inside a very large outer box, perhaps even test such a set up using a cardboard box that you can cut down as needed. He has to get in the cardboard box and then get in his litter box inside of that, but it would slow him down as well when getting out of both boxes?? If he makes a mess in the cardboard box, that can be gotten rid of and replaced as needed.
 
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Count

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If he has a sensitive stomach, any ingredient out of the ordinary could affect him. Also, when trying new foods with him, the general rule of thumb is to add just a tiny of the 'new' food to the old to start with, then increase the 'new' as you decrease the 'old'. Gives their system a chance to 'adapt'.
I try to give him a variety of foods when it comes to wet food, otherwise he gets bored of it and doesn't eat enough. So I can't do that with wet food unfortunately. His kibble stays the same all the time.

How about doing what my neighbor does, place the litter box inside a very large outer box, perhaps even test such a set up using a cardboard box that you can cut down as needed. He had to get in the cardboard box and then get in his litter box inside of that, but it would slow him down as well when getting out of both boxes?? If he makes a mess in the cardboard box, that can be gotten rid of replaced as needed.
That might help with tracked litter but won't help with diarrhea. I need to somehow convince him to lick immediately after getting out of the box, not at the other side of the apartment, on the couch. Or convince him not to poop when playful. Both sound like impossible tasks. Plus his box is already in the corner so he needs to make a U turn when getting out, doesn't help.
 

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:welcomesign:I can’t help the diarrhea on the couch besides plastic covers or a tarp until you solve what is causing it. In cases of cat allergies limited ingredient diet foods are best for solving what your cat is allergic to/preventing giving your cat food that it is allergic to. Because you are in Turkey I’m not sure what foods are safe. You may consider checking out the nutrition forum for homemade cat food recipes. Common allergens for cats are chicken, corn, wheat and fish.

:goodluck:
 

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I try to give him a variety of foods when it comes to wet food, otherwise he gets bored of it and doesn't eat enough. So I can't do that with wet food unfortunately. His kibble stays the same all the time.
No, but when you have a wet food that he already has eaten and you know it is OK with his digestive tract, that is when you can introduce a small amount of a new food to one of them. The new food should alter the taste enough, even with just a bit added, to get him over the 'boredom hump'.

I need to somehow convince him to lick immediately after getting out of the box, not at the other side of the apartment, on the couch. Or convince him not to poop when playful. Both sound like impossible tasks. Plus his box is already in the corner so he needs to make a U turn when getting out, doesn't help.
Yeah - :wink: - those are lofty - and likely impossible - goals to be sure! The U-turn issue is something that I think affects Feeby as well with possibly dragging stuff out of the litter box with her - and stepping in it as well.

I haven't done it yet because she is older and has arthritic issues, but there are members here who have made HUGE boxes out of plastic storage bins. So, you can make a litter box any size you want - if you have room, that is.

If you do consider using plastic/tarp to cover the couch with, you could also introduce a puppy pee pad or two immediately before the couch to see if he uses that instead of the couch. Some cats don't like sitting on the plastic. So, if that would be the case, you'd have a 'Plan B' prepared for him with the pee pads?
 

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He has a very large litterbox (largest I can find) and I use a 10L box of litter and top it off regularly so I'm pretty sure it is not about the depth of the litter or size.


He only has one litter box. I can't find anywhere to put a second one. Only place that I can think of is my bedroom, but I definitely don't want something like that on my bed. I did try different litters, but Ever Clean Less Trail seems to work the best for him, even though it costs 3x other litters.


I am home often but my feeding hours change quite often so his toilet usage changes too. Plus, I don't want to close the door every time he uses his toilet, it would feel like I'm torturing him.


I wish I could put him on a special diet, but we don't have enough variety here in Turkey. Only vet food we have here is some Hills or Farmina kibble, no wet food.



He has a sensitive digestive system so it does happen occasionally. Vet said it is fine as long as it doesn't happen too often. He is allergic to two foods I know of, so I avoid them now. I did try a new can yesterday, and it does have a ingredient I haven't tried before. It is a weird one, aloe. It is toxic to cats but it seems to be fine in low amounts as far as my research says. It has many positive reviews so it was fine for most peoples' cats. But maybe he is allergic to it as well? He was fine yesterday night but he did have diarrhea earlier today (but no mess) and now, so maybe it upset him a lot. Or he ate something that I don't know of.


Good idea. Thanks!


I hope so because I can't think of a another way of fixing this. Only way I can think of is to tire him out so he no longer is playful, but he is just too hyperactive. He can play for hours straight, I don't have enough time or energy to keep up with that. I wish he could still play with Leo. :(
New foods will often cause digestive upsets. FeebysOwner FeebysOwner 's suggestion on introducing the new food gradually is one experts suggest, and I would follow it.
As for "accidents", not sure what you have access to, but we use Nature's Miracle-Just For Cats. It's a liquid enzymatic cleaner that doesn't just mask the "accident", it gets rid of it using enzymes. I also have a robotic carpet/upholstery shampooer that uses special cleaners made for it, and does a good job of spot cleaning. It's called the Bissell SpotBot Pet.
 
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Count

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I can’t help the diarrhea on the couch besides plastic covers or a tarp until you solve what is causing it.
If you do consider using plastic/tarp to cover the couch with, you could also introduce a puppy pee pad or two immediately before the couch to see if he uses that instead of the couch. Some cats don't like sitting on the plastic. So, if that would be the case, you'd have a 'Plan B' prepared for him with the pee pads?
Diarrhea only happens about once a week, and doesn't usually get on the couch, just the floor. It only got on the couch 3 times so far. I don't want to live with an uncomfortable, bad looking couch that I cannot relax on just to avoid one accident a month at most.

In cases of cat allergies limited ingredient diet foods are best for solving what your cat is allergic to/preventing giving your cat food that it is allergic to. Because you are in Turkey I’m not sure what foods are safe. You may consider checking out the nutrition forum for homemade cat food recipes. Common allergens for cats are chicken, corn, wheat and fish
Count is allergic to some fish, so I avoid them other than a few tested options. He is fine with red meat and tuna. None of his food contains any wheat, corn etc. He also is allergic to a chicken based treat, but not it's tuna variety. That one I cannot solve because he is fine with many kinds of chicken based food. Maybe the tuna one and the chicken one has different ingredients. (other than chicken/tuna obviously)

He ate chicken based food his whole life, and for his few months of life he was exclusively fed N&D or Orijen kibble with chicken. He occasionally had diarrhea, but it was rare enough that the vet wasn't concerned about it. Over time I added many kinds of chicken based wet food without increasing the frequency of diarrhea. Could this be a case of chicken allergy that only happens occasionally? If not, chicken should be off the allergen list for Count, and if that is the case, I really don't know what causes his diarrhea.

As for "accidents", not sure what you have access to, but we use Nature's Miracle-Just For Cats. It's a liquid enzymatic cleaner that doesn't just mask the "accident", it gets rid of it using enzymes. I also have a robotic carpet/upholstery shampooer that uses special cleaners made for it, and does a good job of spot cleaning. It's called the Bissell SpotBot Pet.
I heard of enzymatic cleaners. I think they are available at my vet's but I don't see them online. Maybe I'll buy one in my next visit. I think just cleaning with soap is enough in my case though, he doesn't pee/poop on the floor, he just drags them accidentally.

No, but when you have a wet food that he already has eaten and you know it is OK with his digestive tract, that is when you can introduce a small amount of a new food to one of them. The new food should alter the taste enough, even with just a bit added, to get him over the 'boredom hump'.
New foods will often cause digestive upsets. FeebysOwner FeebysOwner 's suggestion on introducing the new food gradually is one experts suggest, and I would follow it.
Will try in my next attempt of this food.

I haven't done it yet because she is older and has arthritic issues, but there are members here who have made HUGE boxes out of plastic storage bins. So, you can make a litter box any size you want - if you have room, that is.
Yeah that can be done. Only problem is I would have to scoop them. I like my Omega Paw box. But if I'm desperate enough, I'll try.
 
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Only other change in his diet that I can think of is that I increased from 1 can a day to two cans a day, with reduced kibble. Maybe wet food isn't great for him? I think my vet said something like that before as well, but I'm not sure.
 

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Only other change in his diet that I can think of is that I increased from 1 can a day to two cans a day, with reduced kibble. Maybe wet food isn't great for him? I think my vet said something like that before as well, but I'm not sure.
Once again, especially with his sensitive system, if you added an extra can a day all at once, it could too be part of the problem. Try giving back to him some of the kibble you took away, and feeding him less of the canned. Same principle applies - you can increase the extra canned and decrease the kibble exponentially over time. It's all about digestive balance with any cat, and even more so with one who tends to have related issues.
 
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I did increase gradually by giving 1.5 cans per day for two days. Plus it has been a week since this change, but I mentioned anyway since it is relatively new. When I say reduced kibble, what really I mean is he eats less. I measure his kibble according to the chart on the back but he never eats it all anyway, so no different from free feeding.
 

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Diarrhea only happens about once a week, and doesn't usually get on the couch, just the floor. It only got on the couch 3 times so far. I don't want to live with an uncomfortable, bad looking couch that I cannot relax on just to avoid one accident a month at most.


Count is allergic to some fish, so I avoid them other than a few tested options. He is fine with red meat and tuna. None of his food contains any wheat, corn etc. He also is allergic to a chicken based treat, but not it's tuna variety. That one I cannot solve because he is fine with many kinds of chicken based food. Maybe the tuna one and the chicken one has different ingredients. (other than chicken/tuna obviously)

He ate chicken based food his whole life, and for his few months of life he was exclusively fed N&D or Orijen kibble with chicken. He occasionally had diarrhea, but it was rare enough that the vet wasn't concerned about it. Over time I added many kinds of chicken based wet food without increasing the frequency of diarrhea. Could this be a case of chicken allergy that only happens occasionally? If not, chicken should be off the allergen list for Count, and if that is the case, I really don't know what causes his diarrhea.


I heard of enzymatic cleaners. I think they are available at my vet's but I don't see them online. Maybe I'll buy one in my next visit. I think just cleaning with soap is enough in my case though, he doesn't pee/poop on the floor, he just drags them accidentally.



Will try in my next attempt of this food.


Yeah that can be done. Only problem is I would have to scoop them. I like my Omega Paw box. But if I'm desperate enough, I'll try.
Anything's possible, as each individual is unique. People -- and cats, too -- can develop bad reactions to things they used to tolerate well. Only an allergy test could determine if this is now the case with Count.
The enzymatic cleaners are a "must" for us -- just to have on hand for when needed. You can use those with confidence that they will really work, used as directed.
So I guess foods such as turkey, beef, lamb would be good for Count.
 

rubysmama

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It's all about digestive balance with any cat, and even more so with one who tends to have related issues.
It really is. :sigh: With Ruby, she only gets 2 kinds of food. A hypo-allergenic canned food, and a gastro-intestinal kibble. Both from the vet. And the balance is like 90% canned, 10% kibble. I try to feed her the same amounts every day, and hope she eats all I give her, because even a slight change in the balance of canned/kibble that she eats, can cause diarrhea.
 
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