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My cat pooped on the floor!!

June 5th, 2010, 12:46 AM
I'm in shock right now - my 7 year old kitty did something he's NEVER done - he pooped on the floor! In the dining room! NOWHERE near his litterbox! :eek::eek::eek:

I'm not sure if I should be worried - his little world has been rocked in the past few days, and I have a feeling that is what caused this, but I just never, never expected anything like that. My husband left for a business trip earlier this week and that weirded the kitties out. My little girl kitty stayed under the bed for a day (still eating/using the box, but spending all her time under the bed). Last night I had girlfriends over and I put the kitties (with their litterbox/food/water) in our bedroom upstairs since we were in and out of the house on the patio and I didn't want them to be accidentally let outside (they're strictly indoors). And then today I was a bad mom. :( I worked a full day away from home (I usually work from home), leaving at 8:30am, and I didn't get back until midnight. :( I had left them with breakfast (1.5 oz. wet food each) and a smidge of dry food (they only get about 1/6 cup each a day), but obviously it wasn't enough and I left them alone for far too long. I feel horrible. Needless to say I won't be doing that again! Anyway I came home and the house smelled (it's a small condo), so I cleaned their box; I couldn't figure out why it was still stinky in here. And then I saw him trying to "bury" something in the dining room - and there was a little coil of feces, just sitting next to the dining room buffet. :eek:

Should I be worried? I know he has a big hairball that's been bugging him lately - he's vomited a few times (mostly hair and some food), but that's nothing new for him. His bowel movements are normal (save for the random bout of diarrhea now and then) and he goes twice a day. He's perfectly healthy, according to his last vet visit. We've had a rough year - I was ill and inpatient at the hospital for over 3 months, and we moved in January, so it's been a lot for them to adjust to. But I've been home since July 2009, so I figured that wasn't the root of this issue.

Do you think it was just circumstantial? He's obviously pissed off at me, but right now he's curled up next to me snoring. I just NEVER thought he'd do something like that - I'm literally in shock. :shrug:

Any advice is appreciated. My husband suggested the emergency vet, but my kitty is acting perfectly normal otherwise, so I thought I'd wait until the morning and call my vet and ask him what he thinks. UGH! I'm seriously in shock. :confused:

ETA: I clean their box every time they go (when I'm home), a minimum of 2-3 times a day. So their box may not have been clean enough for his liking today.

June 5th, 2010, 01:07 AM
A vet visit would be in order, but I wouldn't go rushing to the ER being he's acting otherwise normal.

Accidents do happen (could he have gotten locked away from his litterbox :confused:?), and unless it becomes a regular thing I wouldn't start freaking out or something.

Have you changed litter or litterboxes recently? Sometimes that can cause that type of problem.
And like you said, the litterbox may not have been clean enough for him, since you normally keep it really clean. If a cat is used to really clean litterbox they sometimes won't wanna use it if it becomes too soiled.

June 5th, 2010, 07:36 AM
Given the facts of the story - you being gone all day that day and normally the box being cleaned 2 or 3 times a day - I would think it was a random 'ooppss, box is too dirty for my little paws to walk on' moment. You have at least two cats, right? So the solution to your issue would most likely be to get at least one more, preferably two more, litter boxes. If kitty doesn't like to go in a box when it is slightly used then that should solve the problem.
If the inappropriate pooping keeps up then a vet visit would be in order. :thumbs up

June 5th, 2010, 10:31 AM
MyBirdIsEvil - Their litterbox is in the guest bathroom, and unless we have guests over, the door is always propped open so that they won't be locked out from their box. So I know he had access to it. We haven't changed litters, but we did just empty/clean/refill their box - we use Feline Fresh Scoopable Pine and sometimes the litter varies from bag to bag, and we did use a new bag - but they don't seem to mind or notice, and it smells the same and clumps the same as the last bag. I do think that the box wasn't to his liking - he's really picky about that. But he's been left home for a long stretch at a time before - so I think that would only be one piece of the puzzle here.

14+ - We have a very small house on multiple levels, and the only appropriate place for another litterbox would be in the same bathroom - I would have to put it right next to the current box. Do you think that would be worth it? They've never had more than one box (except as kittens, and that was because his sister was going through a phase :rolleyes:) and we keep it so clean that it's never been an issue, but maybe I should get another box and just put it in the same room.

He slept with me all night, just like normal, all snuggled up like he usually does. :lovestruck: But now he's upstairs in his bathroom, screaming and trying to open the bathroom cabinets. :rolleyes: This cat is so weird! :crazy:

I think I'm going to call the vet and leave a message, asking him to give me a call back so I can really talk to him for a few minutes. I think you guys are right, that he was really upset and didn't want to use a box that wasn't up to his standards, but I'm still so weirded out by the whole thing.

I have to go clean the box - duty calls! :laughing:

ETA: I just left a message for the vet to call me - when I described the hairball issue to his assistant, she said he'd probably want to see them in an appointment. Does anyone know what they do in that situation? Is there something they can give them to cough up the hairball? I can't imagine life is fun with a big matted ball of hair in your tummy. :( Laxatone and daily brushing don't solve it - what else can be done?

June 5th, 2010, 11:46 AM
I would be inclined to think the hairball might be a factor. They can cause digestive issues and irritate the intestinal tract, which may make a kitty feel rather icky. I know Aztec occasionally poops outside the litter box for that reason. I've watched him go into the box, circle around it several times and then stand there in a partial-pooping pose for a while. Then he jumps out (without accomplishing what he went there to do) like something bit him, slinks off to another part of the house and finishes the job there.

Some things that can help with hairballs are slippery elm bark powder, digestive enzymes, butter or olive oil, or a commercial product like Vet's Best Hairball Relief Gel ( (aka "Cat Lube) or Vetbasis Hairball Gel (

June 5th, 2010, 03:55 PM
I think another boxwould be good idea. You certainly don't want him to get into a habit of pooping outside the box. Place beside the other one to see if it makes a diff, but if not put it in a quiet corner. Good luck! :fingerscr

It's crazy sometimes how just one thing will change a behaviour. I changed litter from a clumping clay litter to Swheat Scoop (because it was dustfree), and my girl seem to like it OK for a few weeks, then decided she didn't like to cover up her business. So I switched back to the clumping clay litter which she likes better, and at first covered everything up as before, but now a week later has decided she doesn't want to cover up her pee or poop. Go figure??? :shrug: Well, at least she's doing it in the box. Her half-bro had no problems with either litter and covers up his own, but not hers.

June 5th, 2010, 09:53 PM
One of my cats did what Sugarcatmom described, she was constipated and kept straining in the box, she would walk out and go a few steps and strain again. She actually went in my husbands baseball hat and tried to go (I didn't tell him) but couldn't. Maybe yours was constipated and finally got lucky.

June 5th, 2010, 10:00 PM
You said he went in your dining room. Is there a small corner that you could hide a box there for them? You could disguise it with a screen or something. If it is a multi level house maybe he really had to go and couldn't make it to the one box in time. :shrug:

June 6th, 2010, 10:03 PM
I'm calling the vet first thing tomorrow morning to make an appointment for this week. His litter box behavior has been completely 100% normal since "the incident", but I'm concerned that this is a hairball issue, like sugarcatmom suggested. He's technically being normal - he's drinking water, eating some crunchies, just had a bite of tuna (treat), purring, pooping, etc. He and his sister have both shunned their wet food, though (nothing new in this house :rolleyes:), which is sending me through the roof :wall: but it's par for the course - whenever my husband or myself goes away, they get all weird about their wet food. Fantastic! Because in a week or so, I'm leaving the state for 10 days! :yell:

I have a feeling this poop on the floor thing was a behavioral/hairball issue - but if it does happen again, I will add a second box. I really appreciate all of the input and suggestions and advice. I think it's a combination of what everyone is suggesting, between the hairball, the behavior, and the condition of the box at the time of the transgression. :p But hopefully we'll get it all sorted out at the vet.

June 7th, 2010, 06:46 PM
UPDATE! We just got back from the vet. Fitzy is fine, the doctor thinks it's completely behavioral. He looked at his tummy, mouth, throat, skin, felt him all over and weighed him, and he said that everything looked completely normal. When I described the order of events, he said that some cats can get so stressed out when something is changed - one of us leaves, moving, overnight guests, etc. That the eating habits sounded like they coincided with stressful events for the kitties (like my husband's business trip, my hospital stay, me going back to work). And it's true - every time we leave or something changes, they stop eating their wet food and get really picky about food and start eating less. :shrug: Nothing I can do about that, except try to keep things as constant as possible and give them some variety.

But he's fine - and the vet recommended continuing our current hairball regimen (brushing daily and Laxatone a few times a week as needed) for the time being.

Now as far as the poop - I think he was just really, really mad at me. Because his bowel movements have been completely normal and regular since that. I'm a bit concerned that he'll have a "repeat performance" while I'm gone, but my husband promised to keep a very regular schedule and spend time with them.

I'm so paranoid - I'm fortunate to have such an understanding, compassionate, gentle vet. He sits and listens to everything, until I'm completely satisfied that we've gone over every possibility. :cat:

So I guess that's it for now - I guess it's better to be an alarmist than complacent! :o Thank you as always for giving such great advice - it definitely helped me sort out my thoughts and cover all the bases when I spoke to my vet.