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Cat Poop Outside The Litter Box - Reader Q & A's

Finding cat poop outside the litter box is one of the worst cat behavior problems we can deal with.

During the last year we've had the same question, or problem, repeating itself: "Why is my cat pooping on the floor (or bed, etc.) instead of in the litter box?"

As a community we've come together with suggestions and solutions for this problem. If you are dealing with a cat poo problem, you should find some helpful advice here.


Not Using The Litter Box

I moved in a new apartment 10 months ago with my two female cats, one Maine Coon.

Since then one of them or both is not using the litter box. I try everything; changing the place of the litter box, buying a hormonal spay to relax them.

I'm desperate. Please help.



I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. It seems like one of your cats was disrupted by the move. There is a type of "checklist" of things to try before giving up hope. If I were you, I would:

  • Get 2 more litter boxes (uncovered)
  • Place the new boxes away from each other, perhaps one in each room. If there is a place on a carpet that is getting "used," place a box near it.

  • Make sure to clean the boxes as many times a day as possible at first. Ideally, every time they are used.
  • Try an attractive litter: Many folks find success with Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat ''Cat Attract'' Cat Litter
  • Clean the soiled areas very thoroughly with Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover for Pets
  • Do some reflecting on your cats and their recent behavior. Is one stressed? Could a visit to the vet be in order (check for urinary tract infection or other issues)? Could one cat be bullying the other, "taking possession" of the box?

Usually kind of behavior means one cats is acting out, for your attention. Perhaps he/she only needs to become "at home" in your new home.

I'm not sure whether you question is about poop outside the box, pee, or both. Feel free to visit our closely related page, Cat Pee Outside The Litter Box for even more questions and advice.



Problems with Loki

By Bethany in Erie

Hello, I just adopted a second Maine Coon mix and we've had a lot of troubles with this little boy.

My existing cat is a year old coon mix and Loki is about 3 months old and we've had him for about a month now.

He was found as a malnourished, scrawny stray and initially wasn't really great with people, but he's come a long way into being very affectionate with me and even a little possessive when he's challenged with our older cat or my boyfriend.

He's had some undesirable behavior problems such as biting and loud incessant wailing. We've come a long way on him, but his latest is blatantly pooping places.

We recently have moved his litter box downstairs to the basement with our other cat's box and he has used the box.

However, just tonight I found that he pooped square in the middle of my bed. I'm not happy about his new habit and I want to correct it, but I don't understand why he's doing this all of the sudden.

Does anyone have a possible explanation or solution to this problem?


Hi Bethany,

Sorry to hear about Loki's problems. It is a very frustrating thing to deal with.

Inappropriate Elimination (peeing or pooping outside the litter box) is one of the most common cat behavior problems. It's frustrating, when there doesn't seem to be a reason.

And, it's hard to "get inside" your cats head to figure out what the problem might be. Here is a short list of things to think about:

Common reasons for Inappropriate Elimination:

  • Stress due to a change in routine (moving, new pet, passing of other pet or human companion)
  • Number & placement of boxes (one per cat, plus one more. Not all together in one area.)
  • Cat doesn't like the litter of choice
  • Boxes not big enough
  • Boxes not clean enough

My guess is that you are dealing with the first issue, a change in routine. Since you recently moved the box downstairs with the other boxes, he might not like that. Or more likely, he's intimidated by another cat. Even if he has used it since it was moved he may have been blocked by another cat & now he's letting you know there is a problem.

It seems like he's not yet part of the "pack" and needs his own personal space. I would recommend moving his box back to where it was.

Also, there is a popular and effective product I have learned about recently. It's called Cat Attract Problem Cat Training Litter and it works by making the litter box attractive to cats. They get happy feelings and go right to it. Some even roll in it (while it's still unused)!

So that might help Loki get back on the right track. I hope things turn around soon for you and Loki,


Reader Comments:

"Thanks!" By: Bethany

Well I've moved the litter box back to where it was and the problems stopped. The only question I have now is how do I eventually get the litter box out of the upstairs bedroom!?


Why Will My Maine Coon Not Poop In The Litter Box?

I just adopted a 5 year old male Maine Coon three weeks ago. He came from a cat adoption organization and before that the pound. (not sure what happened before that)

When I got him he had giardia and diarrhea so I was giving him liquid medicine for the first 5 days I had him.

He was using the litter box to pee but not to poop. After the 5 days he seemed to be feeling better and his poop was solid.

Still not using the litter box to poop though. Then just a few days after that he had diarrhea again. One time he had a major accident on my bed.

So, I took him to the vet and they decided to give him antibiotics. (2 pills twice a day) Yesterday was day 4 of this and his poops were more solid. He actually went in the box! I was so excited.

Then last night he jumped up on my bed and went poop right by my pillow. I feel that one was on purpose.

I don't understand a) why he won't use the litter box and b)is now going right where I sleep. I assume he's mad at me but at night when I come home from work he lays on my lap all night and he gets lots of love and attention.

I'm so distraught because I really want to keep him but I'm losing sleep and am stressed out because I'm always wondering where his is going to poop next and will it be on my bed again. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thank you!



Well, I'm happy for you and your new boy that you have found each other. And you are getting him plenty of good medical care, so I don't need to recommend that!

He clearly has some issues with the box. The first thing that comes to mind is to try moving the box, adding a box or two, making sure he has "alone time" with the box, restricting him from the bedroom, and/or trying a different litter.

You could ask the shelter if he had litter box troubles there, and what type of litter they used. Also, if you are using a covered box he may not like it.

Beyond my general suggestions, you may be looking for an expert in cat behavior. In these cases I like to recommend a cat behavior E-Book all about how cats think and solving behavior problems. You can click here to read more about it.

I really hope your new boy gets his act together soon, so you can have many happy years together!


Cat Behavior Secrets Revealed

Reader Comments:

"Cat boxes" By: Helen

The first thing I'd do is take another stool to your trusted vet for him to run another fecal. It has been my experience that diarrhea of any kind needs to be treated for at least 10 days to two weeks to insure all the bacteria/parasites/amoeba are killed.

My coon cat has to have two litter boxes. He pees in one and poops in the other. It is just his nature.

Cats generally do things to get your attention, not to "get back at you." They just don't think like that. Retribution is a human trait. Until he gets his toilet habits established I wouldn't let him in the bedroom at all.

My cats have free run of the house during the day, but sleep in their own beds in another room at night (with the door closed). They are happy with this arrangement and I sleep a lot better without a chain-saw next to my ear. Hehehe

Don't give up on this kitty. He's had a tough time and it may take a little imagination to sort out his problems.


Pooping Outside The Litter Box

by Em in Knoxville, TN

We adopted Dooley about 6 weeks ago and he is now 15 months old. In the 6 weeks, he had 4 accidents (poop only) away from the litter box.

One of them is my daughter's fault, by accident left him closed in her room (while she was at school). We closed her room door from then until last weekend.

We have some relatives visiting and the girls were in my daughter's room talking - he pooped on her floor again (so far he did it 3 times in 2 different spots). I do not know whether he is looking for attention from her or he is stressed from having visitors (maybe he is not used to having so many people).

When we adopted him, the shelter said that he has a behavior issue but never did said what it was (they told us they don't know).

When he made the first accident (poop), we started taking him to the litter box and he was fine. He did that on Friday, and I picked him up and took him to the litter box and also his poop and let him smell that it belongs there and he jumped out and hide.

Any suggestions!


Hi Em,

Pooping outside the litter box is a frustrating behavior problem. And, it's surprisingly common. It's a specific cat behavior problem and not a "Maine Coon" subject, so I'll do my best with advice but I welcome others to share their experiences and advice, too.

As for Dooley returning to your daughters room, cats will do that. Once they have an "accident" they will return to the scene of the crime. The best thing you can do is thoroughly deep clean the spot. He probably still smells it (even though there is no smell to us humans).

I would recommend you try Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Stain And Odor Remover 32oz if you haven't already. It works very well, and is a staple in many pet households. This will hopefully remove his "connection" with the spot. You may also want to keep her door closed off to Dooley for a while longer.

As for the company, it could cause some stress. And this could be the way he acts out when he's stressed. He's been with your family for six weeks and settled well without stress, though, so I would think the issue can be resolved.

Just make sure his boxes are super-clean and always accessible. If there are other pets, make sure there are enough boxes for everyone.

I hope Dooley returns to good habits soon! As always, we welcome comments and tips from anyone with advice to share!



Poop Outside Next To The Litter Box

by Em in Knoxville, TN


Dooley has been with us for about 3 months now. I think we tried everything but nothing seems to work for long term. I started using "Cat Attract" litter and it was good for 4 weeks.

I usually lay a towel outside the litter box so that when he gets out, the litters will drop on the towel. Three nights ago, he started pooping on the towel and even rolled them up. I even fixed him another litter box last night and lay another towel down. The same thing happened on the towel.

Any suggestions and help would greatly appreciate. Distressed!!!


Hi Em,

Boy, I'm sorry to hear that Dooley is sliding backward with litter box issues. I'm not sure what else to suggest!

Here is the checklist we have:

You've made sure there are enough boxes (one to pee in, one to poop in. Also he may not want to share with another cat.)

You tried a new litter, which worked for a while

The boxes are big enough, and placed strategically - Are they big enough? He may want a really huge box. He is pooping near it, but not in it so he knows where he's supposed to go. But something is stopping him from stepping in.

If you haven't already, you can visit our page on big cat litter boxes to see some big choices. My Leo loves his big box!

I wonder if some of the litter has spilled onto the towel, thus giving him the idea that this is a place to poop? Maybe he's confused. Maybe the towel texture is giving him the wrong idea. I would take it away and switch to a cat litter mat or something similar.

Beyond these suggestions, I think you are looking for expert advice in this kind of cat behavior problem. If you want more insight into why cats do things like this, you can click here to check out a popular Ebook about cat behavior problems.

Sometimes it's a matter of seeing things through a cat's perspective and figuring out what they must be thinking. I hope you and Dooley can get things sorted out.

And as usual, we welcome visitor advice and comments for Em regarding Dooley's behavior!


Reader Comments:

Pain Associated With Pooping by: Kim

Your cat may be experiencing a bowel or urinary track problem. A cat, when it needs to go, will approach the litter box, but the pain may make them further associate it with the litter box and they won't climb in it.

The Cat Box by: Helen

I found out the Bezzer Buzzer was actually standing in the box so close to the edge that the poop was falling outside on the floor. The solution was a big tub from the store with sides tall enough that no matter where he stands the poop will still fall inside. It also will help cats that want to stand and spray when they urinate. I put about two inches of scoopable litter in the bottom of the tub.

Even my little 6 pound DSH cat has no problem hopping in and out of the tub.


Using The Litter Box

By: Ada Arnold in Elmira Ny Chemung
angel the black cat with boy

Hi my name is Ada.

I have a maine coon he's all black long haired... and he uses the cat litter but since we have two more cats he completely stop using it... what should I do?

I need some suggestions please...


Hi Ada,

That problem is not uncommon. When getting new cats, you should always add a couple more litter boxes to your house.

Some cats don't like to share, and some cats will actually block the other from getting access to it. It is part of how they work out their "pecking order." Perhaps that has happened once, and now he thinks he can't go back.

You may want to separate them for a while, so he can get comfortable again. You could place him in his own room or even a pet kennel with his box. He should go to it.

Also, many pet owners have field success with Feliway products. They reduce pet anxiety through mimicking pheromones. I hope it gets better.

All The Best,

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