Why would a litter trained cat suddenly begin to use the house as his litter box?
This did not just start. He's now been doing this for a little while. One vet I asked seemed to think it was stress. Someone else I spoke to thought it was for attention. I admit he is the most left out of the mix of the 4 I have, but I have lately been making more efforts to make sure he gets his time with mommy (me) too, and now, he gets time with me twice a day. Yet he poops in front of the litter box, and will pee elsewhere in a corner of the house. How do I stop this behavior?
Think about what changed when it started. It could be that he is reacting to something that changed or something that is going on with you emotionally.
Most cats are fussy about their litter box - where it is located - they need privacy - they like it quite clean not a whole big mess - sometimes a problem. Litter scented with chemicals some cats prefer a simple scoopable litter - the chemical may leave residue on their paws. Has anyone been punishing or treating the cat badly? Do you leave the cat alone for too many hours without a radio on or a window ledge view? Boredom could be a factor - have you considered putting the cat in a carrier and just let it sit on the porch for a half-hour a day? Any small change can be good. Hope the problem gets solved.
The cat could have developed a urinary tract infection and associates elimination in the box with pain. Take your cat to a veterinarian to rule out a medical cause.
Just wanted to weigh in. Cat R, Deb Welch and Dubuquedogtrainer have just about summed it all up. I had the same problem with one of mine, and ruled out all of those possibilities. However, in my case, the cat was born outside, and i did confine him indoors after he was neutered. He ran out the door every chance he got. Then he started doing his business outside the litter box when he could not get outside. I finally put him outside with house privileges at his request. some individuals (as well as cats) just want to be free. The only time he soiled in the house after that was when he was confined indoors longer than he wanted to be. Cats are very independent, have minds of their own, and learn quickly how to control and manipulate their masters. Good luck with your little guy.
Thanks guys. Actually, I never noticed this problem until after we moved, but it was a while after. I did pick up on the fact that I think this little guy is kinda the oddball, or left out more than the others, so I have made sure to give him lots of attention, as I was thinking it had to do with that. However, I think the amount of litter my son puts in the box may be a factor, as I fussed at him for wasting it, by over filling it. Now, it seems he has gone to the other extreme. Also, we used to yell at the cat a bit when he did this, which I have stopped, and told my son not to do anymore either. So I did think about if the cat felt scared or intimidated. I really think it may be the amount of litter, and whether or not the box is clean enough. My son doesn't like to handle that, but it is his chore. I have 4 cats, and two boxes. I may need a third, & will threaten my son with that if he doesn't make sure to clean the box at least 2x weekly. Thanks for the suggestions.
How lucky you are to have four cats to love! Sadly, we're down to two. My vet advised a box for each cat at the very minimum. I know four boxes would take up a lot of space, but if you only do three, it's imperative to clean their boxes every day. Cats, as I'm sure you know, are picky creatures, and some absolutely refuse to use dirty boxes. Or worse, they hold it until they're desperate and get urinary tract infections. Is that him in the photo? He's precious! Good luck!
Odd male humans in the house that aren't usually there can do it. A messy house can do it. Stress can do it, too. Moving furniture around, and getting new furniture. From what I've seen, though, male cats just seem to snap at some point and pee on everything until they die.
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