Mystified and frustrated

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-1997
Mystified and frustrated
4
Tue, 04-08-2014 - 10:01am

My cat, Millie, is pooping outside her sand box and I don't know why!  She's 15 years old and until the past few months always pooped and peed in her box.  She still pees in the box, but started pooping now and then on the floor when she had an abcess on her rear. That got fixed and is all cleared up now, but she still goes on the floor just about every day. Not every time, though! Sometimes she'll go in the box. I've tried changing the kind of sand she uses - from a corn base to a clay, I've given her lots of space around the box, kept it filled up like she likes it and I clean the clumps out at least once a day.  I don't yell at her or punish her when I find the poo, but no matter what I do or don't do, I find little poops several feet away from the box just about every day (especially overnight).
She is neutered, indoor only, and eats only dry food (it's what she prefers). And I haven't changed her food brand or type.
Any suggestions on what could be wrong, what I can do, or how to get her to put her poop where it belongs every time?


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Avatar for tiggs_mom
Community Leader
Registered: 07-02-1999
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 11:13am
That is strange that she was ok for a week and then back to her old habits. I wonder if another box in a different spot might get her attention. If she checks out medically, then there is something else going on. Sometimes it can be location - if something startles a cat using the box, they may not go back. Or if they feel trapped for some reason. And the Cat Attract should help as well.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-1997
Thu, 04-17-2014 - 10:31pm

I'm even more mystified. I took Millie to the vet and she checked out fine. I changed out her sand completely, even though she'd been using the same brand of sand for years. The problem seemed to be fixed - she went about a week without an accident. But the past couple of days, she's back to pooping on the floor. I just don't know what is causing it.
Thanks for your suggestions. I'll try to find that Cat Attract litter and see if it helps retrain her to use the box all the time.


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Avatar for tiggs_mom
Community Leader
Registered: 07-02-1999
Thu, 04-10-2014 - 3:03pm
I'm a little behind... I agree with Leslie - since she is older, a trip to the vet may be in order. The cat attract does work - I have used it to litter box train kittens. Maybe even try setting up another box for her in the general area. Having an older pet can be a challenge (my oldest is 19). Honestly, it may still even be a hold over from the abcess - she associates the previous pain with the box.
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Community Leader
Registered: 03-24-2000
Tue, 04-08-2014 - 12:12pm

That can be really frustrating.  I have a friend that had a cat that pooped on the floor when he had a urinary tract infection which was weird.  I think something most likely medical is going on with Millie.  Since she is an elderly cat  sometimes they have arthritis and it makes it painful for them to get into the litter box.  Somedays she may be able to get in it easily and somedays may be more difficult for her.   It could be so many things that it would be hard to say what is going on with Millie especially at her age.  There is a litter that is called Cat Attract and you might give that a try.  It has a scent that attracts cats back to the litter box and is supposed to work well. Sometimes cats get upset when furniture is moved around or something in their lives change that seems small to us, but can really upset some cats.  

Other than that I think you need to take her to your vet and see if he or she can figure it out.

Good luck and let us know what you figure or find out about Millie.

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