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I have 4 cats (Bobo, Sadie, DUI and Nika). They are really great cats. A month ago I moved into a smaller home and thought this would be traumatic but all went well. I have NEVER had an issue with their toileting around the house. All four share the same litter box which is upstairs in a bathroom. Recently one of them has started pooping on my carpet downstairs during the night. I need help to figure out how to stop this behaviors before it becomes a pattern. Here are the facts. 2 weeks ago I purchased a new area rug. The cats all laid on it and appeared to enjoy the texture compared to the hardwood flooring. Last Friday morning I came downstairs and one of my angels pooped on the carpet. I put their noses in it and gave a firm "no" to each since I did not know who actually made the mess. Needless to say for the next 4 days I woke up to this little surprise in the same general area. IT was a little loose so I thought maybe someone was sick but could not tell who. The only other factor that changed was my boyfriend was not around for those 4 days. He came over again on the 5th day, I covered the spot where they pooped and the next morning there was nothing. Then this morning there was another surprise and last night my boyfriend was not there. Could this be the trigger? is it the carpet that they originally loved? is it just that one is sick? How do I redirect the behavior and get rid of any odor that may be encouraging their behavior now that they have already started pooping on my carpet? Thanks !
 

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michelle said:
....I moved into a smaller home....All four share the same litter box which is upstairs in a bathroom......this little surprise in the same general area.....I covered the spot where they pooped and the next morning there was nothing.
Michelle - Welcome to the forum!

Your experience has happened to many cat owners. I've take the liberty of quoting the relevant parts of your post. Moving is a stressful time for cats (yes, people, too!! :x ). Stress in a cat's life can alter its behaviors. First of all, a general rule of thumb is 1 box per cat plus one extra; also with multi-level houses the rule of thumb is 1 box per level. Second, once a cat poops outside its box it will go back to the same place because it smells the scent there. You discovered this by covering it up. The new carpet has absolutely no bearing because the cats don't care.

You need more litter boxes. You need boxes on each level the cats have access to. You need to promptly clean each accident with a special cleaner for this purpose, available at pet stores. Look on the label. It should say something about enzymes.

Finally:

michelle said:
....I put their noses in it and gave a firm "no"
Please don't do this. It doesn't work. The cat has no idea what it's nose is being stuck in the poop for.

I hope these suggestions work for you, and please stop by the forum and tell us about your cat stories, and shares some pictures. Good luck!
 

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Follow up

I appreciate your response but I have a hard time believing it is true since I previously had a large home and one litter box for the last 2-3years. This is a smaller home and the litter box is more readily accessible than in the last home. Also for the last month this was not an issue. My concern is why now. I have a hard time believing that the number of litter boxes is all of a sudden the issue. I wil try moving the box. Thanks for you suggestion.
 

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The cats moved. It's a smaller house. It's multiple levels. Yes, even the new carpet. Lots of changes in a cat's life. Maybe it was carpet that finally did it, I don't know. The fact remains you have insufficient number of litter boxes per general guidelines. Ask any vet. An environmental change can disrupt something that used to be working fine. You might not get it back to the way it was, but you do need to prevent them from doing it on the new carpet. Get more boxes, clean the spots. Those are the solutions any one will give you. Could it be a health problem? Sure. You posted in the behavior section. You think it's a behavior problem, and I agree. I just think this cat decided the carpet was a more attractive place to poop than his old overcrowded litterbox. You have to give him an even more attractive place to do it than the carpet. You can buy three litterboxes for less than it would cost for a single vet visit. Why not try the most likely option first?
 

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New environment! This could be as simple as "Oh, I have to go really bad and someone else is using the box" "Gotta go, Gotta Go, Gotta Go right now Gotta go, Gotta Go, Gotta Go...." heheeheheee :lol:
Or....."I really like this new carpet, I think I'll claim it!"

2 products you will hear recommendations for removing the odor.
Nature's Miracle for Cats and F.O.N. (feline odor neutralizer)

No matter if you have only had 1 box for the past time period....that doesnt really matter anymore!
Some cats get finicky as they age as well. I second the vote on adding another litterbox. Good luck to you. :)
 
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