My cat poops outside the litter box

Felines are very hygienic animals that, in general, do not need you to teach them to use the litter tray because they have already learned it. However, sometimes cats poop outside the litter box and we don’t understand why.

It is important that we study what has happened to make our cat stop using its tray. This situation is usually due to something that causes discomfort or displeasure. In no case does your cat poop outside the litter box to bother you. If the inadequate defecation happens once in a while and it is something punctual, you should not give it too much importance. The problem comes when it becomes a regular, daily occurrence. You should also rule out any possible health problems by taking him to the vet.

If you’ve just picked up or adopted a kitten and he doesn’t know how to use the box, there are some guidelines you can follow to teach him. Read on to find out all about it.

Reasons why a cat poops out of the litter box

These are the most common reasons why a cat does not use or stops using its litter tray:

  • He doesn’t like the litter, have you changed the substrate? This may be the reason why your cat doesn’t want to do his business indoors.
  • It does not like the tray. The litter box should be comfortable and of a suitable size for your feline. If it is small or has very high edges, he may choose to do it outside. It may also be due to its location.
  • Dirty litter box. If you don’t remove urine and feces daily or the box smells bad, your cat may avoid going inside.
  • Arrival of a new cat at home. Cats are very clean and territorial, so much so that some do not like to share their litter tray. If your cat poops out of the litter box when another cat enters the family, this is almost certainly the reason.
  • Stress, anxiety or fear. The emotional state of cats may also influence inappropriate eliminations.

However, it may also be due to a health problem, so if none of the above causes fit you, consult your veterinarian to rule out any disease.

What can we do if our cat poops outside the litter box?

In connection with the above reasons, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Change litter. Cats have a preference for the type of litter: fine, coarse, natural, scented, clumping, silica… You will have to find their favorite and discard the ones they don’t like.
  • Choosing the right litter tray. Cats have very special tastes when it comes to food and things, and the litter box is no different. In order for a cat to use the tray he has to like it, you will have to take into account things like size and whether it is open or closed.
  • Study the location of the litter tray. Many cats want privacy when they go to relieve themselves. Therefore, their litter box should be in a quiet, low-traffic place where they feel comfortable and safe. Also, it should not be near their food or bedding because they don’t like it. If your cat always defecates in a specific place in the house and you can’t get him to go to his tray, try to place it in the place he has chosen.
  • Increase sandbox hygiene. Pick up stool and make more frequent litter changes.
  • Provide one tray for each cat. If you have adopted another cat and their arrival coincides with your cat pooping outside the litter box, you need to provide a separate litter box for each of them as they will most likely not want to share.

How to teach a cat to use the litter tray?

  • Know his routine and use it to anticipate. If, for example, you know he usually poops after meals or before bedtime, take him to the tray at those times to teach him to do it there.
  • Turn teaching into fun. If he doesn’t like or is afraid of his litter box, play with your cat near it or even in it. You can stir the litter and dig around to get her to see you and get her attention.
  • Place the feces inside the tray. If your cat poops outside the litter box, you can pick it up with a scoop or a bag and put it in the litter box. This will help him understand that this is the right place to do it. Don’t forget to clean the area where he did it well to remove any trace of odor.
  • Reward him every time he uses the litter box. If you pamper your cat every time he poops in the litter, you will motivate him to do it every time.
  • Don’t scold him. Yelling at him or scaring him will only make the situation worse and he will not understand why you are angry.

With these tips you will know what to look out for and what to do if your cat poops outside the litter box.

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