Cat pee/poo all over house

topic posted Thu, September 14, 2006 - 10:43 AM by  Matt
I've been reading about this online for weeks now and haven't found anyone with the same sorts of problems. They're all easy fixes with a clear cause why the cat is behaving the way he is. New baby, new cat, new surroundings, new roommate, etc...

Our cat has refused to use the litter box for the last couple of months. He is healthy, Neutered, 5 years old, taken into the vet a few weeks ago and described his behavior. He has had no lifestyle changes, no one on vacation, no one visiting, no changes in food/litter or surroundings. Behaviourly he is acting normal. He hates our other cat with a passion but he always has and he wasn't peeing around the house for the whole last couple of years.

He pees directly in front of the litterbox and right in front of our front door so guests get blasted with week old cat pee when they walk in, and actually takes a poo every 3-5 daysin various places around the house include in front of the front door, in the middle of the living room, etc. He makes sure that there is no one watching him as he does this. I have only caught him once and I work from home so I assume he only does it at night when we're in bed so you cannot discipline him.

We have tried:
Urine-gone: Makes it smell nice for a day, until he pees there again.
Fellaway: Expensive crud that does nothing.
3-4 other kinds of pet cleaners: nothing, he just pees there again later.

There is just nothing to change! He's a good cat, but has gone bonkers and there is no clear way to change his behavior! HELP!
posted by:
  • Re: Cat pee/poo all over house

    Thu, September 14, 2006 - 11:13 AM
    It sounds like you might need to do some more troubleshooting. Cats don't just pee and poop in odd places to tick us off. There's something going on, even if us silly humans can't figure it out. So... if you could answer some questions, maybe we can help you narrow it down and try some things. :)

    1. You took him to the vet and the vet thought he was perfect healthy, right?

    2. How many litterboxes do you have? It's often recommended that you have one for each cat plus one extra, so for a two-cat household, that's 3. My husband and I go overboard with a 4th for our two.

    3. How often do you scoop the litterboxes?

    4. What type of litter do you use, and have you changed that lately? If not, you might want to try a different type... clay vs. not clay. clumping vs. not, etc.

    5. Some cats change their preference of what type of litterbox they like. Some like covered, but many like uncovered. If you have covered litterboxes, try leaving the covers off and seeing how he likes it.

    6. Sometimes litterbox aversions are caused by a fright when the cat was using the litterbox. Maybe try putting another one in a different location. It is often helpful to put a litterbox right where the cat is urinating or defecating and seeing if they'll use that, and if they, move it a couple inches every day to a more acceptable place. Don't move it too far, too fast or that could lead to bad habits again. Also, if the other cat startled him while he was in the litterbox, he may be comfortable with one that isn't in a corner -- he'd still have an escape route.

    7. Above all, be patient. Your cat is trying to tell you something, and it's sometimes hard to figure out what. Discipline never really works with cats -- negative attention is still attention. The best you can do is to make the thing you don't want them to do unattractive and the thing you do want them to do so attractive they can't resist.

    BTW, Feliway is not a cleaner. It is a synthetic version of happy-cat pheromones that will often calm cats down.

    You should also think about working in conjunction with your vet on this. Once any physiological causes are ruled out (which it sounds like they might've been), it's time to move on to behavioral causes. If your vet isn't comfortable helping you with that, have him/her refer you to someone who is!
    • Re: Cat pee/poo all over house

      Thu, September 14, 2006 - 11:15 AM
      Also -- sorry, I meant to mention this in my previous post -- you may want to try switching types of litter. Put a litterpan with the new type of litter in it right next to the old one, see what happens. Sometimes cats just change their preferences for unfathomable reasons.
      • Re: Cat pee/poo all over house

        Thu, September 14, 2006 - 11:22 AM
        Thanks for the response some good ideas to try in there.
        To answer some of your questions...

        "1. You took him to the vet and the vet thought he was perfect healthy, right?" - Yes, he thought it was just litter preference. We switched back, tried different ones, same results.

        "2. How many litterboxes do you have?" - 2 boxes for 2 cats. Both covered and side by side. Going to try switching this up a bit and putting a 3rd box elsewhere. Not much you can do when he goes 6 inches in front of his existing box though.

        "3. How often do you scoop the litterboxes?" - Every night.

        "4. What type of litter do you use..." - Clumping, unscented, usually stick with the same brand that he's used forever. Higher quality stuff.

        "6. Sometimes litterbox aversions are caused by a fright when the cat was using the litterbox." - I have seen the other cat pick on him when he's using the litterbox. Like lying on top of it and batting his face. Not much to do about this except removing the top, which I'm going to do right now.

        You have given me some great ideas and I am off to try a few!
        • Re: Cat pee/poo all over house

          Thu, September 14, 2006 - 2:44 PM
          my neighbor has a cover on one box, not on the other.

          my box has no cover (it's in a closet, so i guess that's a BIG cover.....but i mean, how would i feel if i had to crawl into a space no bigger than me to pee? with no view, especially peripheral vision? not so good)

          so the removing the lid idea is probably a good one....

          and i remember in another thread a discussion about how the 'standard' litter box is a wee bit too small for adult cats to use without making a you might want to search for that.

          i mean, who decides the dimension of a litterbox, anyway???? i've got an adult cat, i look at the box, and i can see a problem (the box is a little too small for the whole covering ritual, which he is really into, dig dig dig, cover cover cover).
    • Re: Cat pee/poo all over house

      Thu, September 14, 2006 - 11:16 AM
      i have a neighbor of mine with three cats, but only two boxes; the boxes don't get scooped regularly, and she wonders why there's errant pee and poo around the house????

      my guy has one box, but he goes outside in the garden (unless he really needs to go at night, then he'll begrudgingly use the box).

      but when i moved into this house, there was a planter box that all the neighborhood cats had been using for their litter box. he was so disgusted that one of the first things i had to do was entirely clean that box out!

      good luck!
  • Re: Cat pee/poo all over house

    Fri, September 15, 2006 - 12:11 AM
    Could there be a new cat in the neighborhood thats hanging around your front door at night? That could be one reason he pees right in front of the door.
    • Re: Cat pee/poo all over house

      Fri, September 15, 2006 - 11:50 AM
      Only pooping problem i ever run across is that every now and then Shadow gets a dingleberry and starts dragging her ass over whatever she can to wipe it out.

      and occasionally, if Tonya makes her mad, she'll pee on stuff near Tonya just to annoy her back.

      the pee is easy enough to clean if i catch her in the act, but cleaning up the dragmarks on those thankfully rare occasions when she has her other little problem is just so gross...
      • Re: Cat pee/poo all over house

        Fri, September 15, 2006 - 5:17 PM
        Do you also clean the box itself occasionally? Dumping the old litter, scrubbing the box with a neutral smelling cleaner ( I use mild dish soap and rinse with lots of hot water) and then starting with fresh litter every few months is a good idea. We also give the surrounding area a good cleaning when we do the box.

        I'm using Feliway now for a spot in front of our front door that one of cats was peeing on. At first, we weren't consistent and it didn't seem to work but since I do it twice a day (fingers crossed) for nearly a month now, it seems to be working.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Cat pee/poo all over house

    Sat, January 19, 2008 - 11:21 PM
    hey matt,

    here is an idea, lock the offender in the bathroom with the litterbox for the night!
    or the laundry room, or another bedroom, wherever that he can be ALONE with the box.
    maybe it's anxiety and he needs alone time to do his buiz.

    i would also suggest rescue remedy - a drop or two into his mouth couple times daily.
    this will help with his stress.

    we use a pretty cheap spray that we pick up in london drugs - it's called 'folex' and takes out protein stains and smells.
    we went through bottles of that when our last cat was dying (very old age) and it does wonders, but quite honestly i haven't found
    anything that 'completely' takes out cat pee.

    also, reward your cat for doing his buiz in the litter box.

    check his paws too, are they sore? some cats are sensitive and don't like clay. we have swiched our guy to a clumping, and flushable (so far so good) litter made out of corn! works much better then any clay product we every used.
    it's also advertised for sensitive feet and it's true.
    it does however have a bit of a pine scent, so your cat may have a pine protest like our old one did. depends on the cat tho and is worth a try.

    hope that helps.
  • Re: Cat pee/poo all over house

    Sun, January 20, 2008 - 6:43 AM
    I have some mild issues with my three boys. They pee at the front door and I believe it's because outside cats are marking the door from the outside and mine are trying to mark it from inside.

    One will pee on my bathroom rug near the litterbox whenever the litterbox is too dirty. It doesn't happen often because I keep the box in the bathroom so I can scoop and dump in the toilet several times a day. I mainly have just one box with three cats and there really isn't much trouble because I clean it so often. Scoop several times daily and change litter at least twice a week. I have two boxes on an enclosed porch, but I close the door in winter because of the cold.

    As for discipline, I do have a water gun and it works quite well to prevent scratching on furniture, jumping on tables and counters and such. Now, they have learned that just the sound of pumping air into the super-soaker means water may come at them and they stop whatever they were doing and run.
    • Re: Cat pee/poo all over house

      Sun, January 20, 2008 - 6:44 AM
      Oh, and a suggestion for cleaning. Vinegar does the trick. I mix about half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle and it neutralizes the odor. Vinager is acid and urine is base, so it works chemically. I try to avoid artificial cleaners and chemicals in my home. I even use vinager and baking soda to clean clogged drains.

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