Cats Poop Outside The Litter Box And How To Solve – KingdomOfCats

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Why Does Cats Poop Outside The Litter Box?

KingdomOfCat Admin

This might be one of the most headache situations of cat lovers. However, by spending time on your pet and paying attention to his or her behavior, you could discover reasons and find solutions for it. For example, sometimes it can be a behavioral problem when your cats disobey, or sometimes it relates to a health condition (such as urinary tract infection, which is life-threatening to your pet). If you prefer making a cat pan by yourself, let's explore how to make a homemade cat litter from very common materials: sand, soil or dust, natural wood fiber, and chicken scratch.

Below are several suggestions for you before beginning to correct this problem

1. The litter box is not clean (Important) 2. Position of the box
3. Size of the box 4. Territorial marking behavior
5. Pet has a urinary or digestive issue (Serious)  

1. The litter box is not clean (Important)

This could be a common reason why your cat poops outside the litter box. Studies say that cat has around 200 million odor-sensitive cells in their noses whereas humans only have 5 million cells. If this sense of smell plays a very important role in human life in our response to the environment, for the cat, it’s even much more significant and might result in some disturbing behaviors, such as urinating outside the designated area. Besides, due to the cat’s hunting instinct, they must hide their smell to avoid their enemy

After doing everything with the box, though, it is still not clean, you can check out below tips: how to get rid of cat litter's smell

Why Does Cats Poop Outside The Litter Box?

Clean your cat's litter box every day can let your cat poop confidence

It is quite simple to solve this problem. You should clean up the litter tray usually by changing the new cat litter every time after he or she poops. If the tray is dirty, use hot water with soap once per week, but stay away from strong detergent as a cat is very sensitive to the smell. 

If you bring home a wild adult cat, peeing in a sandbox might not be their habit yet. Instead of pouring the cat inside the pan, you should mix with soil and crushed coal. When they gradually get used to the good behavior in peeing, that will be time to change and for cat litter.

2. Position of the box

Sometimes, your pet might not like the position of the litter box that you set to her or him. It could be too close to his/ her food area, or because your house is too big and has several floors, or there is noisy (from the washing machine, hairdryer…) near the box which brings cats a sense of unsafety and inconvenience. Your cats will have to find another “more quiet, private and safer” place to get to.

Avoid placing litter box near your cat' food area, and maybe preparing 2-3 cat pans in different corners if your house is big

In the case of your large house, you could prepare 2-3 cat pans in different corners so that they can find easily a suitable place when needed. Let think if you want to go to the toilet and you have to run from the 1st floor to the 3rd floor, is it stressful?

3. Size of the box

Size, shape, and depth of the box could affect the cat’s behavior to urinate, especially the covered litter box, in which pets may feel stuck or trapped inside.

For long-hair cats, it is a big problem as the small area could make their fur dirty, while they are always trying to keep their fur clean. A deep box, in addition, is an obstacle for old or too small cats, or those with joint disease. They will get trouble and afraid of stepping into the box.

Why Does Cats Poop Outside The Litter Box? Litter box is too small

The litter box too small is another reason make your cat poop outside

Therefore, we have a suggestion for you when choosing a litter box for the cat. Don’t think your pet is still small and only needs a small area. In fact, kittens grow very fast and their childhood box will soon become tiny compared to their new size. If your pets have difficulty stepping inside, you can place a sloping bar from the ground up into the box, or a medium-sized rock near the litter pan.

4. Territorial marking behavior ( Only if you have more than 2 cats, or maybe with neighbor's cat)

It happens with two situations: you have more than 1 cat and your pet mark territory in their reproductive status.

For the first case, there will be a stronger cat among the others, and the weaker don’t want to occupy their leader’s area. Or simply a cat does not want to share his territory to anyone else. They feel safe only when they are in their own space. So when you have several cats in your house and they all don’t poop at their designated area, you had better arrange each one with a private litter box. Also, make sure that each cat is equally loved and cared for.

If you have more than a cat, make sure they have enough space for their behavior

For the second issue when your pet is at reproductive age, both male and female one can mark their territory with urine. Feline urinary marking is ordinarily done by spraying: cat reverses up to a vertical surface (such as the wall, bathtub, or anywhere they want to occupy like carpet, bet sheet, blanket…) and, with their tails held high, releases a spray of urine. While with normal peeing, they squat in a position. This behavior is their primary means of communicating with other cats and letting them know another one is in the area.

 Cats communicating via urine, and you will need to remove them with a strong aroma

If your pet is doing so, firstly those marked places should be cleaned with strong smell detergent to remove urine odor. You can remove the cat's urine odor by using such aroma as orange, grapefruit essential oil. This solution makes the cat stay away from the areas, but it is only temporary.

In case you don’t want your pet to reproduce, you could think of sterilization for the cat. Remember to ask for advice from the vet carefully before deciding so.

5. Pet has a urinary or digestive issue (Serious)

As mentioned above, if this illness is not diagnosed soon, your cat can be life-threatening.

If you notice that they usually pee very little each time and many times in a day, there is blood or they squeal every when pooping/ urinating like a faint cry, the first and foremost thing you should do is to take your pet to a Vet, as soon as possible. The vet will examine, diagnose and offer a safe treatment. However, prevention is better than cure, you should pay more attention to their diet and help them clean often.

You should always pay more attention to the cat's diet and help them clean often


But if your cat met digestive issue and they refuse to eat, check out of this small guide, This will explain 6 reasons why your cat refuse to eat and I hope it helps


In general, the key to stopping inappropriate urination in cats depends on how much you care about them. Keep your pet clean, healthy and visit the vet for routine care. I hope the above tips bring you a clearer view of the question “Why does my cat poop outside the litter box” and how to solve the problem.

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