Question about Pooping outside the box - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Question about Pooping outside the box

Im not sure who the "culprit" is, but we have had one of our babies pooping on one of the small area rugs. The door to this room has been mostly shut (meaning, its a snug doorway, and its not latched but they do have to shove their way in). its in the laundry room, covering the sewer/drain in the floor.

the poop it self is perfectly fine, looks no different than what ive been seeing in the boxes all this time.

i have a couple theories as to why, but im not sure. One idea is that some scent is coming from that drain, drawing them to it bad enough to want to mask it?

another theory i have is that some days, we have been trying to leave the food bowl empty. just for a few hours. trying to keep them (mostly simba) from eating out of boredom. Could it be that he is expressing his anger for not having enough kibble at all times? the only thing that doesnt make sense is that it *seems* to happen overnight. i check it every night when i clean the boxes. (they havent been going there every night). The problem with this theory is that when i do try to get them more mealtime-ish based, their definite meal is in the evening just before i go to bed. so, overnight there is all the kibble they could want. and normally some canned to go along with it, plenty to nibble on.

a third theory that i thought of is that im currently testing unscented vs scented litters (one type in each box) to try to determine which they prefer - up until i started that a few months ago i had been buying whatever was on sale. sometimes scented. which i think led to issues with the bigger, more important/expensive rug in the main room. i have since *touching wood, literally* solved that problem since going back to the unscented. check that every night too, still. i read that scented litters can confuse them and draw them away from their own scents. that its better maybe for us humans but worse for them.

but the fact that its not just there and effort is required to get in leads me to think its got something to do with that drain being there.

has anyone else had a similar problem??

i just now sprayed some leftover indoor cat repellant that we had from the big carpet onto this smaller carpet, and closed the door all the way latched for the night.

since its a smaller carpet, i can wash the snot out of it in the washer... but if the drain smell is the cause, what on earth can i do about that??

this particular issue did just start more routinely, about a week ago. i looked in when i noticed the door was only open about wide enough for a cat to fit inside. sure enough there it was. before this we had problems in that area but very much spread out and just random, possibly on a night i skipped cleaning the box (but im talking months ago.) .... now it seems to be getting more routine. the boxes still get cleaned nightly. every night. since i skipped a night and woke up to a problem, i never skip now. not brave enough.

can anyone shed any light on the situation?? luckily its not a super expensive large rug *touching wood again*. but id rather get the issue totally fixed, regardless of size or quality of the carpet.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 06:02 AM
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You haven't mention another possible cause: medical. Perhaps the problem is none of the above but a medical issue. Get them vet checked to rule out any issues. Could be the smell, could be the litter, could be the box location, could be the door - - all of these could contribute. You need to rule out medical, then go through process of elimination with each issue one at a time.
My Zipper would poop on the LR carpet until I discovered that the new auto air freshener in the laundry room (where the downstairs boxes were) was the problem (dumb me didn't make the co-relation at first). I turned it off and the pooping stopped. Coincidence? I think not.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 12:18 AM
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I'm curious to know what happened last night since you locked the door? Did the culprit just use the litter box, or was there poop somewhere else?

Some scent may have drawn the culprit at first, but it may also be the texture of the rug. One of mine, who still occasionally poops outside of her box when she is constipated (which is why you do want to consult a vet), stopped pooping on my big expensive rug when I bought a small cheap one with a different texture and put it on top of the spot where she'd been pooping. I wasn't thinking about texture when I bought it, just that it was cheap, so I could throw it out if necessary. But she's pooped in a different area on the nice rug, so clearly the texture was a turnoff.

Do you have any means of videoing the door, to see who it is? My downstairs neighbor got some app that allows her to use the camera on her laptop to take video, so she can see what her dog's up to when she's not home.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Actually to answer your question, whoever it is did in fact just use the box since access to that rug/drain scent was locked off. for a few nights now... but theyve been acting just the same, both of them. if i go down to clean the boxes, there seems to be no desire to go in there (you know, when they sit somewhere and look up at you means let me in there).

it still could be scent or texture, but how to tell which?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Claiken View Post
it still could be scent or texture, but how to tell which?
I suppose if you really want to know, you could leave the door latched, but put the small rug on the outside of the them access to the rug (texture), but not the drain (scent). Then see what happens!

That said, in your shoes, I'd probably just leave the door closed/latched on a regular basis, since I don't imagine the cats have any need to be in the laundry room.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 12:48 AM
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I had that problem as well a few weeks ago. All I had to do was add a second litter box.

How many cats do you have/how many boxes? The rule is 1 per cat +1. I have two cats and two boxes (I should have three, but they are fine with two). One of the two were pooping on the rug under the table. The consistency was fine and they were peeing in the box. I added a second box and voila, no more pooping outside the box.

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