Old cat started pooping on the floor.

sukhenkoi

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Hello,

I know that my question was probably already asked many times but I have to ask it. We have a 10 and a half years old cat Julia, female. She was fine until last summer we put to sleep our second cat because he was very sick and our vet could not help him. That cat was 2 years older. They lived together for almost 10 years.
After that Julia started occasionally pooping on the floor, on the carpet, instead of litter box. At least 2-3 times a week. After 3 months she almost stopped. But 4 months ago she started pooping on the floor again. Now she is doing that almost every day. We tried many different things. Change litter. We purchased additional litter box. She has 3 now litter boxes. We tried to use different stain and odor removers. We tried to cover areas where she likes to poop with a plastic. But nothing helps. We took her to vet clinic. They checked her, her urine and blood and did not find anything wrong with her. She keeps pooping in different places places of the house. It is a nightmare. We don’t know what to do anymore. We are running out of options.
Any advice will be very appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance,

Igor
 

vince

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Older cat--I thought immediately that perhaps she might have trouble climbing over the rim to get in the box. Have you explored that possibility? Litter boxes with a low entrance are commercially available or you can make one out of a plastic storage box from the hardware store.

Cats do go off when their lives have a major life change, creatures of habit that they are. Mom and dad's cat started pooping in the bathtub when they went away on an extended trip when dad retired.
 

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Hi. I take it she pees fine in the litter boxes, yes? If so, the first thing that comes to mind is possible arthritis, given her age. Most cats hold a different position for peeing than they do for pooping, so perhaps the arthritis is causing some discomfort when she tries to poop in a litter box, so now she avoids them. As it seems to be the case for so many cats, they associate the litter box with the discomfort rather it being caused by their bodies. X-rays would detect any arthritis, for the most part. You could also think about giving her a joint supplement like Cosequin or Dasuquin to see if that might help, but it could take several weeks to see any difference.

The other thing to consider is that since she did this when she lost her buddy, there might be something else going on that is causing her anxiety or stress. Stray cats, or other animals, that she can sense/see outside? New outside noises that she finds bothersome/worrisome? If you live in an apartment or townhouse, it could be related to 'new' neighbors with pets of their own, or some other sort of noise she picks up on related to them? Different smells in your house, or new furniture, etc?

You could also try some cat calming products, as well as cat music, to see if those might relax her a bit, should it be some external/outside source bothering her.
 
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sunny578

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This is so hard! I’m sorry you are dealing with it.

I think sometimes cats go outside the box, and realize that it’s just easier than using their box. Do you notice if she always chooses to poop on a rug instead of a hardwood floor? Does she have a preferred pooping surface? I think some cats poop on rugs bc they can get good traction, so I’m wondering about trying a litter box with an alternate material in it, or trying an alternate material all together. Say, if she likes pooping only on your carpet, getting a few pieces of scrap carpet, putting them in some of her favorite inappropriate pooping places, and then seeing if you could get her to go on that. The next step would be to move the carpet scraps into an empty litter box.

Another thought is that she is trying to spread her scent now that she is the only cat in the house. My younger cat’s inappropriate elimination increased a lot after my older (stinky) cat died, and I wondered if maybe she was going to the bathroom all over the place to make the house smell more like cats. So, another thing that might work is really spreading her scent. You could do this by getting lots of cat scratchers and placing them in key locations, or putting her used cat beds and blankets all around the house. Getting a cat tree could help, and so could pheromones.

If there is one room that she really goes to town in (ie does she poop mostly in the living room?) then I would make an effort to really add some cat factor to this room. Get her some toys, spread cat nip, play with her and treat her in this room. Feed her some meals in there.

Good luck and please keep us posted!!!!
 
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sukhenkoi

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Thank you very much for all your suggestions.
Hi. I take it she pees fine in the litter boxes, yes? If so, the first thing that comes to mind is possible arthritis, given her age. Most cats hold a different position for peeing than they do for pooping, so perhaps the arthritis is causing some discomfort when she tries to poop in a litter box, so now she avoids them. As it seems to be the case for so many cats, they associate the litter box with the discomfort rather it being caused by their bodies. X-rays would detect any arthritis, for the most part. You could also think about giving her a joint supplement like Cosequin or Dasuquin to see if that might help, but it could take several weeks to see any difference.

The other thing to consider is that since she did this when she lost her buddy, there might be something else going on that is causing her anxiety or stress. Stray cats, or other animals, that she can sense/see outside? New outside noises that she finds bothersome/worrisome? If you live in an apartment or townhouse, it could be related to 'new' neighbors with pets of their own, or some other sort of noise she picks up on related to them? Different smells in your house, or new furniture, etc?

You could also try some cat calming products, as well as cat music, to see if those might relax her a bit, should it be some external/outside source bothering her.
Thank you very much for your reply.
Yes, she pees fine in the litter boxes. And yes, our vet doctor mentioned that she has some mild arthritis. Maybe this is the main reason she does not like to go to litter boxes anymore. The doctor recommended to try a special "flat" litter box but we cannot find one. Maybe I can adjust one of our 3 litter boxes by cutting the box entry. She also sees a stray cat what comes to our deck few times a day because we feed him. But that stray cat has been coming for almost 10 years already, so I don't think this is the reason for her to avoid litter boxes. We leave in a townhouse, but we don't hear any noises from our neighbors. Where can I find Cosequin or Dasuquin?
 
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sukhenkoi

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This is so hard! I’m sorry you are dealing with it.

I think sometimes cats go outside the box, and realize that it’s just easier than using their box. Do you notice if she always chooses to poop on a rug instead of a hardwood floor? Does she have a preferred pooping surface? I think some cats poop on rugs bc they can get good traction, so I’m wondering about trying a litter box with an alternate material in it, or trying an alternate material all together. Say, if she likes pooping only on your carpet, getting a few pieces of scrap carpet, putting them in some of her favorite inappropriate pooping places, and then seeing if you could get her to go on that. The next step would be to move the carpet scraps into an empty litter box.

Another thought is that she is trying to spread her scent now that she is the only cat in the house. My younger cat’s inappropriate elimination increased a lot after my older (stinky) cat died, and I wondered if maybe she was going to the bathroom all over the place to make the house smell more like cats. So, another thing that might work is really spreading her scent. You could do this by getting lots of cat scratchers and placing them in key locations, or putting her used cat beds and blankets all around the house. Getting a cat tree could help, and so could pheromones.

If there is one room that she really goes to town in (ie does she poop mostly in the living room?) then I would make an effort to really add some cat factor to this room. Get her some toys, spread cat nip, play with her and treat her in this room. Feed her some meals in there.

Good luck and please keep us posted!!!!
Thank you very much for your response. She liked to poop on a rug instead of hard floor but when we covered the rug with a plastic she started pooping on that plastic. And now she does it most of the time. Most of the times she poops in the same 2-3 places covered by plastic. Usually not far from her litter boxes.
Our old cat was very clean. But she is not. We've seen him many times in the past hiding her poop in the litter box after she finished her business and left the litter box. But she sometimes comes to our bad smelling like her poop and having fecal pieces stuck to her hair. So, I doubt that she avoids litter boxes to make the house smell more like cats.
 

FeebysOwner

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I am not sure what your vet means by a 'flat' box, but you could test out a large cardboard box lid with litter in it to see if that would help any. And, you could buy a large rug to place underneath it to help catch litter 'fall out'.

Cosequin and/or Dasuquin can be found at most pet stores, as well as online sites like Chewy or Amazon. Walmart carries Cosequin too. I get the capsules and then open them and sprinkle the contents into a lickable treat, baby food meat, or even a bite of Feeby's regular food before feeding her a meal.
Cosequin Original Joint Health Sprinkle Capsules Cat Supplement, 30 count - Walmart.com
NUTRAMAX Cosequin Maximum Strength Capsules Joint Supplement for Cats, 30-count - Chewy.com

EDIT: After reading your response above, you could also consider using puppy pee pads either inside the cardboard box lid - if she for some reason doesn't like to poop in litter any longer. If the box lid doesn't work, place the pee pads where she poops now or nearby her regular litter boxes and see what happens. If she uses either of these ideas, you might be able to at least keep them close to the regular litter boxes so that you have locations - of your choosing - for her to use.
 
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sukhenkoi

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Older cat--I thought immediately that perhaps she might have trouble climbing over the rim to get in the box. Have you explored that possibility? Litter boxes with a low entrance are commercially available or you can make one out of a plastic storage box from the hardware store.

Cats do go off when their lives have a major life change, creatures of habit that they are. Mom and dad's cat started pooping in the bathtub when they went away on an extended trip when dad retired.
Thank you very much for your suggestion. I will try to find a low entrance litter box or adjust one of her 3 litter boxes to make it low entrance.
 
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sukhenkoi

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I am not sure what your vet means by a 'flat' box, but you could test out a large cardboard box lid with litter in it to see if that would help any. And, you could buy a large rug to place underneath it to help catch litter 'fall out'.

Cosequin and/or Dasuquin can be found at most pet stores, as well as online sites like Chewy or Amazon. Walmart carries Cosequin too. I get the capsules and then open them and sprinkle the contents into a lickable treat, baby food meat, or even a bite of Feeby's regular food before feeding her a meal.
Cosequin Original Joint Health Sprinkle Capsules Cat Supplement, 30 count - Walmart.com
NUTRAMAX Cosequin Maximum Strength Capsules Joint Supplement for Cats, 30-count - Chewy.com

EDIT: After reading your response above, you could also consider using puppy pee pads either inside the cardboard box lid - if she for some reason doesn't like to poop in litter any longer. If the box lid doesn't work, place the pee pads where she poops now or nearby her regular litter boxes and see what happens. If she uses either of these ideas, you might be able to at least keep them close to the regular litter boxes so that you have locations - of your choosing - for her to use.
I think that the vet meant was a litter box with low walls. I could not find any. Will try to make it myself.
I'll check Chewy or Amazon for Cosequin and/or Dasuquin. We have account in both, but Amazon account is prime, so shipping will be free. We put thick plastic film under her litter boxes and close to them. Most of the time now she poops on that plastic.
 
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