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Cat pooing in the house?!(16 Posts)
I posted this in The Litter Tray several weeks ago but am reposting here for traffic as the problem is on going.
We have a kitten and have had him about 14 weeks now. He was toilet trained before we got him. We did the normal routine of keeping him in one room with a litter tray until we were sure he was using it properly, then we slowly introduced him to the rest of the house. All was still fine with the litter tray, no issues at all for the first 3 weeks.
All of a sudden about 5 weeks later, he started pooing on the carpet behind the TV. We thought that maybe he wanted more privacy so we moved the litter tray to a quiet part of the house. It worked for a day, but then he started pooing on the carpet again. This went on for a few days. We ended up shutting him out of this room, in case he was confused and thought that this room was an acceptable litter tray.
Instead he just chose a different carpet. We tried changing the brand of cat litter, changing the litter completely twice a day (expensive and still didn’t work), we even got his health checked at the vets.
His health check came back fine and nothing makes a difference. The only thing that semi works is shutting him in the kitchen and utility room with his litter tray. In which case he will use the litter tray to poo but will wee in the corner instead. We have praised him loads and rewarded him when he does use the litter tray but it makes no difference. The strange part is that he will use his litter tray most days, he just chooses to poo on the carpet too.
We love him and he’s so settled in our family, super chilled and friendly, sleeps on my daughter’s bed and will sit with her for hours.
Why is he destroying our carpets?!
Sounds like you’re doing all the right things to encourage him. Some cats really like clean litter trays so I would give him at least 2, so if he’s weed in one the other is clean for him to poo in. Reduce his space again to retrain him (like when you first got him) then expand the space slowly once he’s clean.
Have you tried having 2 litter trays. I remember reading that some cats won't wee and poo in the same box. Maybe once he has used it for a wee he then doesn't want to use it for the other, or vice versa.
Not sure what else it could be as you have had him checked at the vet. Hope you get him sorted.
The Cats Protection website has some very useful advice on all aspects of behaviour under the ‘managing behaviour’ section
My cat did this
I moved the litter tray 2 feet to the right and she starting using it
Have you tried repositioning the tray?
They don’t like them in busy walkways or near doors and some cats don’t like covered ones
And some cats prefer covered ones! Tricky little gits. Try moving it around inch by inch, changing the litter, adding more litter, taking some out, different colour tray? At some point he’ll poo in it then you know he’s happy and CHANGE NOTHING!
Hi all, thanks for replying. We already have two litter trays as I read something similar online back when the problem started. We have also tried moving them. They are currently both in secluded 'private' spots in the house.
Last night DP and I were upstairs putting the children to bed and the cat walked past both litter trays, up two flights of stairs and pooed in the corner of my daughter's bedroom - while we were in there! I didn't realise what he was doing in time as I never would have believed he would do it in front of us, given how private cats (normally) are about this sort of thing.
I'm at a loss. Rehoming him is definitely not an option, but we can't go on like this either.
User147 this is the problem though, he poos in the litter tray most days, he just also poos on the carpets too! There is no pattern to it unfortunately.
Thanks to everyone for your replies!
Oh, he’s a tricky one! There’s a method of retraining where you crate them with enough room for bed, food, water and tray. As cats are clean critters they’ll use the tray to avoid soiling their bed or food. You keep them crated until their brain is retrained (I think it may be two weeks but perhaps google to check), then reintroduce them to the rest of the house. I feel for you, you’re obviously doing everything right but he’s not following the rules!
Does he poo or wee on the carpet mainly when you are there, or not? I just wonder if it could be an attention thing. Also if he is using the same spots over and over you might need to adjust the clean up regime.
You can try putting litter trays wherever he soils then gradually moving them together and consolidating, or as you say, back to a small area with at least 2 trays and try again.
He is still just a baby. It might just be a blip but you're right to be on it. I would also assume he is not as "super chilled" as he looks.
Have you tried a different litter?
One of ours stopped using the tray when we used the wood pellets (what she was trained with at shelter). She went in, changed her mind and then would go right next to tray. No health issues.
We changed the litter to a finer one (think it was catsan) and she just used it as normal without any problems.
Skyis he isn't using the exact spots over and over, it's just the same rooms. It's also a mix of when we are here and when we are out (opening the front door to the smell of cat poo is always a pleasant experience )
We have tried six different types/brands of litter now and changed his trays a few times too so I think we're fast running out of options really.
I have researched the crate training and while it seems extreme, I think we will have to try something along those lines because nothing else seems to make any difference. We are off over Christmas so this would be the ideal time to do it if we are going to do it at all.
Does anybody have any positive experiences of the crate training? I think I'm going to struggle with keeping him in there and not feeling too guilty
Our vet recommended crate training but we never quite got to that point. Remember, though, in a cattery or rescue centre they get a box and a small run, sometimes for much longer periods.
It sounds like he has access to a lot of rooms and there's a lot of change going on with trays moving and changing, and litter changes. I know that's all for a good reason but maybe it's a bit confusing. I think it's a good idea to go back to basics and start again. Limit him to the utility. Leave his poo tray where it is and add a wee one in the corner. Give it a week or two then expand into the kitchen.
It’s only a couple of weeks out of his long and lovely life with an obvious very nice and caring owners, it’s worth it. Good luck and keep us posted
I am probs saying this and you have already tried it - but - have you tried CatSan clumping litter? ITS GREAT FOR RELUCTANT KITTIES! The Vet's nurse highly recommended it to me and the rescue cat absolutely "loved" it! It needs to be as deep as to the cat's knees NOT a shallow amount. She did a lot of digging (that very quick scraping cats do!) and would turn and turn and turn and then do her poo! The vet's nurse told me some folk don't put enough cat litter in the tray and also cats don't like those liners you can buy, nor those perfumey sprays to hide cat poo smells. My rescue cat liked two trays, as per above, one to wee in, one to poo in! She preferred covered in trays - she was a turfed-out cat from a (bstrd) household and had been using a thick bush to poo in so I guessed she felt safer in a covered tray......
PS I personally think crate training is cruel - like you are saying we don't like you - so he then may "stress poo" when he is let out. Stress poo IS the "anywhere in the house" pooing & my two previous cats had it when builders worked right outside the back door for @ 3 months and they got so nervous of all the noise they did poos behind the sofa - which we didnt know til an odour "appeared" - we did wonder why there was so little in the tray/s ..............it was night - the only time they felt safe to poo in their usual trays because the workmen had gone home.....
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