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Why Is My Cat Pooping on the Floor? 4 Vet Reviewed Reasons

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

hand picking up cat poop

Why Is My Cat Pooping on the Floor? 4 Vet Reviewed Reasons


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats are fun, frisky, and usually clean. They wash themselves with their tongue, and they are careful not to frequent muddy or dirty spaces in general. They also do not typically enjoy leaving urine or feces just anywhere, which is why they are so easy to litter train. However, sometimes a cat might poop on the floor. It makes sense why a kitten might poop on the floor, especially if they have not been fully litter trained yet.

But why would an adult cat do this? The following are possible reasons that a cat would poop on the floor and what can be done about it.


The 4 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Pooping on the Floor

1. The Litter Box Is Undesirable

One big reason that your cat is pooping on the floor is that they find their litter box environment undesirable. Have you changed the type of litter recently? If so, this might be the problem. Switching back to your old brand or trying new options until you find one that your cat likes should solve the floor-pooping problem. If you have replaced an open litter box with a covered one, your cat might not like the cover. Try taking the cover off and see what happens.

The location of the litter box might be a problem too. Move the litter box to a more private location, and your cat might decide to use it more often, if not all the time. If you have just brought your new cat home and set a litter box up for them, the problem of pooping on the floor could be due to any of these reasons. Make one change at a time to the litter box setup so your cat gets a chance to get used to it.

cat leaving litter box
Image by: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

2. There Is Too Much Environmental Stress

Environmental stress can make your cat do unusual things, including pooping on the floor. Moving to a new home is enough stress to cause your cat not to use their litter box, at least temporarily. A new pet moving into the home could also cause bathroom problems for your cat and your household. Even seemingly small environmental changes can be a big deal to your cat.

Things like making changes to your daily schedule, rearranging furniture, and even adjusting your family’s mealtimes can be sources of stress for your cat.

When cats get stressed out, they may urinate or poop on the floor. If you think that stress is the reason for your cat’s bathroom problems, your task is to determine the source of the stress and try to remove it. For instance, if a new pet is the problem, you should spend time gradually introducing and properly socializing your cat and the new pet so they get used to each other’s presence before sharing a space.

When you are not there to supervise, the pets should be separated into different rooms. If you have moved, try to set the litter box up in a similar place and in the same way that it was set up in the old house. If your schedule changes, you either have to switch back to your old schedule or make more gradual changes, such as 30-minute extensions at a time instead of 5 hours suddenly, so your cat has time to adapt to your new schedule.

3. Territory Marking Has Come Into Play

If your cat feels that they need to mark their territory and establish their dominance for any reason, they will do so by peeing and/or pooping on the floor in areas where they do not want others to go. This is most common when other pets move to the house or a new child is born. New people or animals coming into their lives can make cats feel threatened as if their territory will be taken over, and they use their urine and feces to establish their dominance and mark their area.

Special enzymatic neutralizer sprays can be used in places where your cat marks the most, to deter them from doing so. You can also try putting their litter box and belongings like bedding and toys in the area that your cat most wants to protect. These things should reduce the occurrence of pooping on the floor.

4. Medical Problems Have Developed

The most dangerous reason that your cat might be pooping on the floor is the development of medical problems. If the other reasons do not seem to pertain to your cat and your cat has suddenly started using the bathroom on your household floors, there is a chance that a serious health problem is present.

A veterinarian’s care should be sought out as soon as possible so your cat can be screened for possible problems. Hopefully, your veterinarian can help fix the problem, and your cat will get back to their clean habits quickly.

cat paw divider

In Conclusion

There are many different reasons that your cat might be pooping on the floor. It takes time, commitment, patience, and an investigative mind to figure out the right one.

Hopefully, our guide makes the process easy and stress-free. Which reasons do you think are the most common for cats pooping on the floor?

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Featured Image Credit: Kristi Blokhin, Shutterstock

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