Many cat parents think that their cats poop outside the box out of spite, but this is not true.
I’m going to tell you something, something a lot of you will not like to hear or may be surprised by… you ready? Our beautiful cats do NOT get revenge on us or do things out of spite. Spite is not an emotion cats have. We, as humans, tend to humanize our kitty cats and give them human emotions.
A lot of times people think their cats are pooping outside the box because they are upset at their humans and trying to make a point but this just isn’t true. Now it’s true that a cat may be experiencing something that’s making them inappropriately eliminate. This can be stress, illness or even pain. But as far as being spiteful, cats are just not wired that way.
Let’s talk about cats that poop outside the box. There are several reasons why a cat may be doing this. It might be as simple as their box is too dirty or it can be the opposite and their box might be too clean! Yes, you heard me a box that is bleached every day (I used to have a pet sitting client that did this) is so NOT ideal, bleach is toxic but that is another blog altogether! The truth is a cat’s scent (urine or fecal) is soothing to them. If their box is constantly being sanitized and this scent is completely being taken away this might cause your cat to go outside the box.
Cats Going Outside The Box
Not having enough boxes is another reason a cat may poop outside the box. Did you know most cats like to urinate in one box and poop in another? The rule of thumb is for every cat you have you should have one more litter box for, so if you have 2 cats you should have 3 boxes.
Cats like having an escape route! Remember our kitty cat friends are both predators and prey. They are very vulnerable when they are “going” and being in a box with a lid and side can be stressful because they are basically trapped with no way out to run from any potential bully encounters; like with other cats in the home.
The type of litter can be an issue for pooping outside the box. I suggest using a non scented, dust free, natural litter that is gentle on their paws. Having too much or not enough litter can be an issue too. You want to have about 2 inches of litter in the box.
If this is a new behavior, look around their environment and see what’s changed that might be causing stress. Is there a new addition to the home? A stray cat hanging around outside, etc. If there is something stressing them out a calming aid might be in order.
As always make sure first and foremost there is nothing medical that can be causing your cat to poop outside the box.