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kitten determined to poop just outside the litter box

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  


Member Since
01/17/2012
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 17, '12 1:44pm PST 
We have a 7 year old cat and 2 six month old kittens. Since they arrived, one of the kittens has been consistently pooping just outside the litter box. We have 3 boxes - and he goes outside each of them. They are cleaned daily - and he'll sometimes do this just after I've cleaned the box. He pees in the litter box (but never covers it up) - so it is not as if he won't use the box at all, just not for pooping.

He's been caught in the act a couple of times - and put in the box and refused to go, but then as soon as the observer was gone, he went on the floor again!

We use Swheatscoop Multicat, clean boxes daily, boxes are uncovered and of varying sizes (two are in bathrooms, one in the living room).

He (and his brother) are very lively, social, and confident kittens. His brother is fine with the box.

Any suggestions?

Edited by author Tue Jan 17, '12 2:08pm PST

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Kosuteh

Biting means I- love you..- right?
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 17, '12 2:53pm PST 
Dr. Esleys (I think that's how its spelled) makes a Kitten Attract Litter that you could try. It also comes in something you can just sprinkle on top of your current litter as well. It's got an herbal blend that attracts cats and kittens to the box.

I wasn't fond of using the litter box at all when I was little. It was a struggle to get me to go where I was supposed to go. It worked for me!
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Pandora

go getter kitter
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 17, '12 3:39pm PST 
Close; it's Dr Elsey's. We second this, it really does seem to work. Besides, it has a very imformative booklet in every bag. You get this litter at Petsmart. We like the regular Dr Elsey's 'Precious Cat' also, as there isn't much dust.Also if your boxes are coverec, uncover one to see what happens.
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ZACK

BLACK is- HANDSOME
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 17, '12 4:28pm PST 
We third liking both Dr Elsey's Kitten Attract and Precious Ultra Litter. I would recommend trying the Kitten Attract. Their whole line is really great.

I would try another litter for sure. Might be as simple as that. Try that first. Seems like he is trying to tell you he isn't happy about something with the litter box. It is recommended to have one box per cat plus one. We have 2 cats but have 4 litter boxes.

I read that another reason a cat will poop outside the box is because they feel constipated and equal the feeling of pain to the litter box so they go outside it.

Pandora I see where the poster said that the boxes are all uncovered which I think is good and what cats usually prefer.

Edited by author Tue Jan 17, '12 4:32pm PST

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Member Since
01/17/2012
 
 
Purred: Wed Jan 18, '12 7:00pm PST 
Thanks, we'll try that!!

However, it really isn't a case of his being averse to the litter. In fact, he likes to "help" clean the litter boxes, and wants to play with the bag holding the dirty litter.
Today, for instance, he followed me to clean the boxes. As soon as the first box was clean, he hopped in and peed. Then, he went outside of the box and squatted to poop. I grabbed him and put him in the box; he manfully held it in - and as soon as i let go of him, he hopped right back out and pooped!
He'll pee just fine in the box. And he generally poops just at the entrance to the box - one of the boxes has a half circle for easy entrance i guess in the front, and no matter where i put the box, he poops right at that entrance.
I found this article http://www.thecatbehaviorclinic.com/defecating-or-middening.html which seems to describe this sort of territorial behavior, though alas she careful not to offer any solutions (it is $200 for a phone consultation)
The only difference is that our little pooper is definitely not anxious or fearful. He's quite confident and sure of himself.
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ZACK

BLACK is- HANDSOME
 
 
Purred: Thu Jan 19, '12 12:17am PST 
I hope that behavior isn't too hard to break. The Kitten Attract is still worth a try as it has herbs in it that will attract him to it. Hopefully to poop. You could always try it in one litter box and see. Cheaper than a $200 consult!
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Pandora

go getter kitter
 
 
Purred: Thu Jan 19, '12 11:29am PST 
You mention 'the entrance' to the box...again, is it a covered box? Lots of cats will pee but not poo in those, and do you really blame them?
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Member Since
12/13/2006
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 4, '12 10:11am PST 
No, the 3 cats have access to 3 big, uncovered litter boxes. The "entrance" is just a cutout where the wall of the box is shallower.

He follows me everyday as i empty the boxes, and loves to be the first to pee in them. The poop is always right in front of the box, so I think it is perhaps more of a message to the other cats?

Feliway made no difference. I'm hesitant to try the cat-attract, as half the amazon reviews said it made the situation worse - cat began going in more bad places, or other cats stopped using the box.
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Mocha

1138114
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 4, '12 11:18am PST 
I would try covered litter boxes and see if that takes care of it. Get the type with the removable flap that covers the entrance. My three actually prefer those (they all like their privacy).

I used to use the open boxes, but our old cat, Kovu, was so big that he literally didn't fit in the boxes (not fat, just a big boy... miss him), so we got him a covered box, and then everyone started using just that one and leaving the others alone. Anyways, he was basically so big that he was missing the litter box. I know this isn't the case with your guy, but forcing him to go inside the box may just break the habit.
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