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Unread 09-12-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pooping outside the litter box -- oh lord!

Okay, I just posted about my flea infestation problem (in Cat Health section) but it made me think of another, less serious, little issue I've been dealing with lol

One of my cats consistently poops JUST OUTSIDE the litter box. Neither has done this ever before.

Let me give you the background.

I just moved to my new house around the 1st of August. Previously, I and the cats had been staying at my sister's. My sister also has a cat, a Maine Coon, and has a HUGE dome litter box. All three cats love the dome litter box and used it consistently.

When I came to the new place, all I had was a small pan. I used this for a few weeks, and they were fine with it. I just had to empty it about twice a day.

Then I went to Petco and bought a nice dome litter box. It was slightly smaller than my sister's, but still big ... big enough for my 17 lb Nefrit to climb comfortably inside, stand upright, and move in a circle.

After this is when the pooping outside the box started. The poop is located just beneath the opening/entrance to the dome. It's almost like the cat squatted and accidentally missed the box, instead going out the door! (I know, gross! ) But this can't be an accident. It happens every third or fourth night. And yes, it only occurs at night, or rarely, when I'm not at home. NEVER when I'm home.

Thoughts?
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Unread 09-21-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Hi, just noticed your post, and the fact you had no replies.

Maybe no-one else has had this problem - well I've had it a number of times with Sasha. Not all the time but on quite a few occasions. I moved to a bigger domed litter box as she was sometimes going outside the previous tray when both weeing and pooping.

The new box cured it to some degree - but she seems to have a thing about needing to go as close to the front as possible - when I empty it the wee is always clumped right against the front and I have watched her get in and face the back and completely miss the tray when having a poop.

It's not nice but so far I've not figured out a way to stop it!

Maybe Nefrit feels a bit claustrophobic and that is why she gets as close to the front as possible?
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Unread 09-21-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Try taking the dome off the litterpan and see what happens. Could be your cat just isn't getting inside the box all the way. I have this problem on occasion with Cami, she doesn't seem to get her behind in the pan!
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Unread 09-22-2009   #4 (permalink)
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You might try rubbermaid (tm)totes instead. Get the big ones with 13 inc sides. Lots of room for kitty and the sides are too high to hang the butt out!

By the way, many cats prefer a choice of box, so I'd advise at least two boxes.

And make sure she isn't having constipation problems, if she is having trouble pooping, she may turn and turn as she strains, and just happen to have found that when her butt is hanging out seems to be the best way to go. Chronic constipation can lead to megacolon.


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Unread 10-14-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Could it be that the further she gets in the covered tray the stronger the smell is?

I'm not saying you don't take good care of that tray it just crossed my mind that maybe the smell of the litter or maybe something stuck to the bottom of the tray is making it a little smelly inside??

Cats are so picky about smells and if you have scented litter than it might be a little strong smelling the deeper inside she gets.

You might think that she could just stick her head outside the tray and go but I've not seen to many cats stick their head out of a covered tray and go. I don't know why, maybe others have a different experience.

I don't know I'm just thinking out loud here.

Good Luck!

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Unread 10-14-2009   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the responses, everyone!!

The rubbermaid tote, I can see how that would be effective ... they're so large though, and uncovered, unsightly ... I'm not sure where in my tiny house I could put one other than the bedroom. I don't have a wash room or utility type room, so that's why I had to buy a covered litter box for the bathroom.

Sooo I think what is happening is that she is literally MISSING the box God love her but she can be a menace, that cat. The electric litter box I had apparently had sides tall enough so that this wasn't an issue for her.

Well, I don't really feel like going out and buying another box, but if I have to ... I mean, I'm getting tired of cleaning up poop every third day or so

Thanks again for the replies
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Unread 10-14-2009   #7 (permalink)
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I can see how space issues would work against using the big tubs.

How about some kind of pretty screen around the rubbermaid tub?

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Yes I would check if your cat is having constipation...That might also be due to the house moving...
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