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Why does he keep pooing in my kitchen?

(25 Posts)
crumblybiscuits Wed 30-Dec-15 10:22:30

Adopted a two year old male cat from Cat's Protection two weeks ago, he was a stray before we took him in. Settled in well, although a bit jittery. He's been outside every day the past week and comes home after an hour or two when hungry. Uses litter tray for wees but the past two days running he's pooed in the corner of my kitchen when he's been unattended. We use the same kind of litter as CP, his litter tray hasn't moved and he was using it properly beforehand. It started when I went back to work and he was alone during the day but I obviously can't stay at home with him and then he did it last night while I was sleeping. How can I stop it? I wouldn't be too irritated but I'm pregnant and worried about toxoplasmosis.

cozietoesie Wed 30-Dec-15 11:24:50

I seem to recall that you practically have to smear the poo over your hands to run any sort of risk at all. Normal hygiene measures should see you OK on that one. smile

Have you room for another tray? Some cats - my own boy is one - are real fuss pots when it comes to trays and very much dislike using a tray for one function which might already have been used for another. ( And they often follow each other very quickly.) Or have associations in their mind.

Another tray for the duration might do the trick.

crumblybiscuits Wed 30-Dec-15 11:26:26

Cozie will try that as I think our tray is a bit too small for him anyway. Might try one with a lid too as he is so jumpy, thanks for the suggestion.

emwithme Wed 30-Dec-15 11:40:07

I've heard you shouldn't use a covered tray for jumpy cats, because they can't assess the risk of being pounced on while pooing.

I'd get a tray as big as you can, and pop it in the location your cat has chosen for poos. I have friends who have to have two trays for their one cat, as cat wants to wee and poo in separate trays (although now cat is starting to go out, it's used less and less).

crumblybiscuits Wed 30-Dec-15 11:46:43

I can't put it where he poos as it is literally in the middle of my kitchen. I can have it in the room but just not in that exact spot. It's just annoying as he was using the one tray for both just fine before I started going back to work and he just doesn't seem to poo or wee outside. Something is obviously distressing him with the tray though as he meows at me for ages before going.

SevenOfNineTrue Wed 30-Dec-15 11:51:07

Personally I would not let a new cat outside unless they had been with me at least 4 weeks. Maybe keep him in so he gets to know his surroundings and feels safe.

Good luck.

MsMims Thu 31-Dec-15 02:52:21

Letting him outside after a week really is far too soon, I agree with seven

Keep him in for 4-6 weeks, he's no doubt feeling very insecure and unsettled having to take in a large new territory so quickly. He needs time to acclimatise to the new house before going out. I've kept jittery, nervous cats in for months before allowing them to free roam outside.

timtam23 Thu 31-Dec-15 10:43:17

I would also say keep him in for a bit longer especially if he is nervous & has been a stray. Maybe you going back to work has unsettled him in some way - he might really like routine or may have very quickly attached himself to you?
Re: pregnancy & cleaning up after cats, I used to do it, just washed my hands very thoroughly afterwards and I also had packs of disposable latex gloves (cheap at home bargains/quality save) which I used if hand washing didn't seem to be enough smile

crumblybiscuits Thu 31-Dec-15 11:59:28

Oh okay, Cats Protection who we got him from were the ones that gave us the okay to let him out sooner as he had settled in well. Maybe I will start keeping him in. I don't put him outside or anything, he just has the option to go if he wishes but maybe it is the issue. He has definitely attached himself to me very quickly tim, following me around everywhere.

crumblybiscuits Sun 03-Jan-16 11:05:23

Moved the tray to where he was pooping and he just pooped next to it instead. Also pooed in DD1's playhouse. I don't mind cleaning up the cat poo but feels really unfair that he is ruining DD1's things sad

cozietoesie Sun 03-Jan-16 11:09:44

Hmmm. He sounds nervy and confused.

What kind of tray and litter are you using? And did you get a second tray or just move the existing one?

crumblybiscuits Sun 03-Jan-16 11:16:02

We're going out to get a second tray today as we haven't had chance til today. I feel awful for him, worried that he's unhappy here. We have been keeping him in, he cries by the door before pooing. It's just a basic open plastic tray with wood chip stuff, the same one he's always had with CP. He is still weeing in it so maybe when we pick up the second tray today that will make the difference, fingers crossed. He was sniffing at the tray in his usual spot when he was getting ready to go today but just pooed next to it anyway.

crumblybiscuits Thu 07-Jan-16 21:21:09

Got second tray and moved trays and he's still weeing and pooing everywhere sad

cozietoesie Thu 07-Jan-16 21:44:06

Oh Dear,

You still have a couple of options. One is to use a different litter type - I know he had wood pellets at the rescue but none of my cats can abide them.

The other option is to try a very much flatter tray. I was interested that he should poo beside it. Sounds as if he knows where to go but can't get into it for some reason. (Strange when he's such a young cat.)

How is his general health otherwise. Does he walk and jump OK? (I'm half considering some lower back/back leg troubles because holding the high poo squat is actually quite demanding on them whereas peeing is much easier - you just let go.)

cozietoesie Thu 07-Jan-16 21:45:33

PS - is he still using the tray for his peeing?

crumblybiscuits Thu 07-Jan-16 22:01:38

We had no accident at all this week but now he's started weeing on furniture upstairs too. The new tray we bought is much larger and flatter actually and he was weeing in it fine but suddenly stopped again. Walking and jumping good. He's very kitten like, loves to play and run. I will try a different litter type. He's not been covering it up either if that means anything?

cozietoesie Thu 07-Jan-16 22:31:09

Try that then and let us know how it goes.

Is he being kept in at the moment?

cozietoesie Fri 08-Jan-16 21:27:54

How are things today?

pumpkinpie5 Fri 08-Jan-16 21:34:10

The weeing everywhere is also a stress reaction and I would agree that something is making him nervous. It could also be the proximity of other cats outside etc and he's not yet settled in enough to not feel threatened in his house.

I agree with more than one litter tray, I would also get a feliway diffuser in the house as this is known to calm cats, would keep him in for a little longer, and keep upstairs doors shut.

If this doesn't work its worth asking the vets for advice or I may be able to ask the behaviourists at work for some input and advice for you :-)

Good luck.

crumblybiscuits Fri 08-Jan-16 22:14:27

We've not changed the litter brand yet as I've been out at work all day but he has been using the tray again all day. I'm going to strip out the trays tomorrow as DP keeps putting tray liners in and he hates them as they get caught on his claws when trying to rake over the litter and see if that helps too.
I'm just trying to keep the peace really between the cat and DP at the moment. I really, really don't want to have to give him up but it will come to that if he keeps weeing and pooing on DD's things as DP will insist. I am trying him with being kept in but he has made a couple of escape attempts where he has actually pooed in the garden happily, but it's a cat heavy area and I heard him hissing at a cat outside our patio doors the other day while he was inside and the cat was out in our garden so he is obviously not very happy with the other cats in his space so I am trying my best to keep him contained. I'm just worried that he won't settle in and this will just be it now. DD1 is nearly 3 and I am pregnant with DD2 and I am worried it's the child aspect that is stressing him out. I keep them separated as much as possible and he never gets angry with her or anything but obviously she is 3 and bugs him and if this is what's stressing him out then it's not really going to get any better.

crumblybiscuits Fri 08-Jan-16 22:19:37

I think I am going to buy a feliway diffuser too and I will also keep the door to upstairs shut as that is where he keeps weeing so maybe it's because he doesn't feel as confident up there? It just seems so random, there's no real triggers or anything apart from him not having our attention at that moment in time.

cozietoesie Fri 08-Jan-16 22:31:12

Trays are a necessary place but I also try to make them reasonably inviting. We use natural clumping litter to a good depth so that pee forms into balls and never reaches the bottom. (Or hardly ever.) I've never ever used tray liners. They're cleaned as soon as I see they've been used so if I'm home, that means directly or as soon as the pee has 'set' and can be quickly lifted out. (In fact, my current boy will come to tell me he's used his tray so that I can clean it if - for example - I'm downstairs and may not have noticed.)

He may have different litter preferences to mine of course but if he's catching his claws, I'm wondering how deep you have his litter? And how often do you clean his trays?

crumblybiscuits Fri 08-Jan-16 22:39:36

The wood chip stuff we have doesn't seem to bury, when he tries to bury it more gets wet and then it all is fluffy and sat at the top if you get what I mean? We do have it deep, I made DP make it deeper when we first started having the issues as it wasn't deep enough for him but the tray liners raise at the sides so it pushes it all into the middle and he catches his claws on the exposed sides which is why I want to get rid of them. I tell DP to clean it or at least change the litter once a day as we're both a bit worried about toxoplasmosis (worriers) but he thinks that is too much litter to be using. I bet we sound like awful cat owners blush Gino drinks lots and lots but only seems to go for maybe one or two wees a day. Is that normal?

cozietoesie Fri 08-Jan-16 22:53:00

Two good sized pees a day would be fine by me - but I think, from the sound of it, that you're on the wrong litter type and maybe not cleaning enough. In other words, his tray use is a trial to him and not a decent but essentially neutral experience.

Clumping litter is not expensive because the pee forms into these 'balls' which can quickly be lifted out and disposed of - as can poos. The rest of the litter can then be smoothed over (assuming you have a good depth) with maybe a little fresh put on to make up for losses. Regular changing of course but in my experience, it's certainly not a daily thing unless your cat has an infection or something which necessitates it.

Have a think about it.

Oh - and I'd personally bin any of those plastic litter shovels with holes in. Hopeless. You're far better off using something with a hard point and edges - I go for metal flour scoops but cheap garden trowels (Poundland's Finest) would work just as well I think.

crumblybiscuits Fri 08-Jan-16 23:08:11

Oh okay, those are great suggestions, thank you!

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