Cat not adjusting to infant, poops on the floor every night! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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Old 09-05-2004, 02:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cat not adjusting to infant, poops on the floor every night!

Hi, I'm new here. The title about sums it up. We've had Oscar (Maine Coon mix) and Milo (angora) for over four years now. Never really had a problem until after we had our first child nearly a year ago. Oscar was ok for the first 6 months, but recently he has been pooping on the hardwood floor and carpet of our house. We assume it's in protest of our infant son, since both Oscar and Milo are no longer getting as much attention as they used to. Oscar's litter is fairly clean (sometimes we miss a day here and there) and food and water are always available. Milo is as normal as ever.

Oscar mainly does it at night and in high traffic and "attention getting" areas like at the front door, the entrance to our son's room (on the off chance that we leave the door open), at the top of the stairs, etc. We thought it would be only temporary, but the poop problems are going on three months now!

We are seriously considering giving him up for adoption. Our little one is now crawling and soon walking, so it's pretty unhygienic for the baby as well as tiresome having to clean up poop every morning. Any suggestions on how to stop him?
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Cats don't go outside the box for reasons of spite, jealousy, protest, etc. There *is* a message though, and that is that there is some kind of stress going on (which may or may not be at all related to the baby).

The first thing you need to do is make a vet appointment to make sure the problem is not physical. I've seen cats do this because of abscessed teeth or other causes of pain.

If it is determined to be a behavioral issue, pooping outside the box is usually a territorial stress or marking issue. For instance, if you only have one litterbox, you probably need more. Definitely put one box on each floor of the house, particularly if the cats are older and/or declawed since arthritis can become a significant issue in either case. Box cleanliness is also essential; would you want to "go" in a toilet that wasn't flushed for a few days? Impeccable box hygiene will become even more important as your son becomes more mobile!

Feliway diffusers can be very helpful at reducing overall stress. Play therapy might also be very useful if there's stress due to lack of attention or social interaction. (http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... w&item=012)
Also in the library are several articles on litterbox issues that may give you some more ideas about possible causes and fixes.

Please don't give up on your cat without at least trying to find and solve the underlying issue...anyway just think of this little challenge as good practice for when your little boy uses the remote control as a hammer to break the window and discovers other entertaining activities that you'll also need to resolve!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drjean
Please don't give up on your cat without at least trying to find and solve the underlying issue...anyway just think of this little challenge as good practice for when your little boy uses the remote control as a hammer to break the window and discovers other entertaining activities that you'll also need to resolve!
Ain't that the truth!
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Old 09-07-2004, 09:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Pooping on the floor

I have the same problem with my cat pooping on the floor since my daughter was born. We've been to the vet, no problems. We've added a box, didn't help. We keep the box very clean, etc. She still poops right next to the box. What should we do next???
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Old 09-07-2004, 11:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Is there a hood on your box? If so, I would remove it. Have you cleaned the spot with enzyme cleaner? Any residual smell can be a signal for the cat to still poop there.
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Old 09-08-2004, 01:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. I was hoping someone has experienced the same and might be able to give us some advice.

I should say that we have made every effort to address the underlying issue. Our vet has ruled out any physical reasons. As I stated, it has been going on for well over 3 months with no end in sight, so entertaining the thought of giving him up is no rash decision.

Oscar's litter box is clean (this missed day or two is a rare occurence). We have two large litter boxes for them both. He gets plenty of food and water. In fact, he was on a diet prior to my wife giving birth with rationed and monitored feeding. However, we've scrapped the idea in an effort to appease him thinking he was protesting the lack of readily available food. Our other cat Milo is perfectly fine and there are no other cats or animals in our neighborhood that would present a threat. BTW, both cats are completely indoor 100% of the time and get along just fine.

I'll try the enzyme cleaner, but Oscar goes in different locations throughout the house. The only constant area is the front door mat. I removed the mat for a while to see if it made a difference, but he still went any way. We're at a loss for what to do next.
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Old 09-08-2004, 09:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm going to repost the link to drjean's website:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library

Have you read throught the litterbox articles (Litterbox secrets, Parts 1-4)? There may be a few tricks up your sleeve still. Of course, you can still try Feliway, that may help.
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Old 09-10-2004, 11:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Here's hoping for some more feedback...

Yes, I did read the articles on litterbox issues. Unfortunately, most of it does not apply. I've made a concerted effort to interact with him more and I'm praying things will work out. He's been on a poop around the house every other day routine for the past week or so, so I hope this indicates progress.
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