Why Is My Cat Pooping on the Floor

Help Your Cats Poop Better at Home

You may be asking yourself, “Why is my cat defecating on the floor?” Grasping this problem is as complicated as the complex brain of your small companion. 

There are plenty of adorable things your cat can do: sleeping in boxes that are too small for them, playfully swat your shoelaces, and headbutt you when he wants attention. So, why did your cat suddenly poop outside of the litter box? 

It’s simple–it means there is something wrong or something that is making them uncomfortable. This could be as simple as your ‘outside the box’ pooper not liking the type of kitty litter you have provided or litter box issues like its location and size or your cat isn’t feeling well–emotionally or physically. 

Experts claim that around 10 percent of cats stop using the litter box at some point in their lives. Let’s find out some of the common reasons why your cat is sending you such stinky messages.

Reasons Your Cat is Pooping on the Floor

Here are six possible reasons for your ‘why is my cat pooping outside the litter box?’ problem:

Uncleaned Litter Box

Cats have extremely sensitive snoots and are fastidiously clean creatures. They have a powerful smell of about 40 times better than humans. And so stinky litter boxes can be unbearable for them.

Like us, no one really likes using a dirty bathroom. If your ‘cat won’t use litter box’ incident still persists, try scooping your cats’ litter box clean daily instead of weekly to give your kitty a nice, appealing place to go.

If your cat is using a perfumed cat litter, try shifting to an unscented litter as they might not like the strong scent.

Uncomfortable Litter Box

Likewise, if you’re using granulated litter types, try purchasing a finer grain clumping litter. Take note that gravelly kitty litter made from corn and clay is like kryptonite to your cat’s cute little paws.

The sharp textures of the sand can make it painful and unbearable for your pet. With finer litters, however, your cat may tend to like how they feel–whether this is just a weird cat preference, or because a cat instinctively likes to cover feces in sand or dirt.

Generally, cats spend over 20 seconds pawing around in their litter box. That’s why it’s essential for your cat to truly want to use your chosen litter box.

In addition, the depth of the litter might also be inadequate for cats to bury their business. So if you spot some bare patches from where your cat has tried to cover their cat poop, you could increase the amount of litter you pour on their litter boxes.


Your cat’s litter box issues might mean there’s something upsetting their routine and mental stability. Unlike dogs who are more equipped to go with the flow, cats easily get stressed out [1].

Your cat’s stress can be triggered by slight changes like moving, a rough-and-tumble puppy, rearranging the furniture, a change in your work schedule, a new baby, a long vacation, or by a significant event such as the death of his cat companion, and result in your ‘cat suddenly pooping outside litter box’ issues.

Often, when the stress is alleviated, the behavior stops on its own. If not, you may need to seek advice from an animal behaviorist.


Even if you only have one cat, it’s a good idea to supply an extra litter box. Hence, if you can’t always be around for a prompt scoop and if your kitty is sensitive about it being used, then she will still have another option. Aside from the ‘cat not using litter box’ problem, cats also don’t like sharing–even if they are siblings of the same litter.

If there are multi-cat families at home, cat owners should have the same number of litter boxes as the number of cats, plus one additional box: simply put, for two kitties, there should be three litter boxes.

When cats are not provided with their own space and are expected to share the same litter with other cats, it might start more issues. And litter box conflict can lead to unhappy accidents and can also create stress.

You can also try adding extra boxes in new places–whether it’s the living room or laundry room–and remove the lids of the covered boxes, as long as there is one box on every floor of the home.

Litter Box Location

The ‘cat pooping outside litter box’ condition may be happening due to a simple preference: Kitty simply doesn’t like where you’ve placed the litter box. The location of the kitty litter box can be a problem for some cats.

Many times, litter boxes are located in places where pet owners find it more acceptable or out of sight or in areas that are convenient for humans to access. While people think it’s great for them, it might not be so great for their cats.

By the same token, if your pet just recently graduated to a bigger box or your cat is getting a little older, there’s a chance that he’s grappling to climb in. Stiffness or arthritis pain can make it difficult for senior cats to climb high walls.

The same is true if your pet needs an enclosure to get into the box, or to stoop under a hood, or into cat-pooing-position.

Cat Won t Poop In Litter Box at Home

The Litter Box is too Small

Another reason for your ‘cat pooping on floor’ problem is that the litter is too small for your pet. A cat’s litter box should be just right: not too small or too big. The kitty litter box needs to be at least 1.5 times its length for your cat to maneuver comfortably.

A cramped litter box doesn’t give your pet the means to turn around and dig, making their everyday bathroom routine disturbing which causes him to poop on the floor. Once more, if you have an older kitty who suffers from arthritis, buying a high-sided box might make it hard for him to get in and out of the box.

What You Can Do to Stop Your Cat From Pooping on the Floor?

If your pet is just experiencing some type of mental block and has received a clean bill of health, there are some ways you can try to make him stop making a mess outside of the box and get him back in the box again.

Restrict His Space

Although this depends on where your pet is peeing and pooping, one short-term solution is to block off the areas that are used by your cats as an alternative box. Securing him into a small space–like your bathroom–along with his box can also help you kickstart his litterbox issues.

Add Another Box

If your pet already has a negative association with his old box, it’s might be a good idea to buy a new box. If your present boxes are covered and deep, try giving your cat a shallow box in another space of the basement.

Clean His Box More Often

The ‘cat stopped using litter box’ craze won’t stop if Mr. Whiskers has a dirty box. Make sure to clean your cat’s box as often as you can. Thoroughly scrub the box and change the kitty litter more frequently. And try to scoop it daily or even twice daily.

To change your cat litter, you should empty the entire box once a week while working your way at the ‘outside the litter box’ issue. At that time, gradually clear and refill at longer intervals: it could be twice a month or monthly at least.

This may sound like a pain, but there are other techniques to make it easier for you. You could try providing your cat with an easy-to-clean flushable litter. It’s less tracking and just takes a minute to scoop and flush.

Strange Cat Pooping Behavior

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Get My Cat To Stop Pooping On The Floor?

You can get your cat to stop pooping on the floor by detecting the root cause of the problem. Most often, litter box problems happen because of your cat’s issues with its litter box or a change in the cat’s routine. If this is the case, you can follow the steps given above.

However, if he’s house-trained and just suddenly stops using its box, it might be due to medical reasons. This is the very common root of ‘cat poops on floor’ problems. If so, your first step is to take your pet to the vet to rule out any health concerns.

Your cat might be suffering from diarrhea, UTI, or constipation, and taking him to the vet will help him diagnose and treat them early. However, if your vet detected that issue doesn’t have a physiological basis, your vet will also check whether Mr. Whiskers has a behavioral problem.

Do Cats Poop Out Of Spite?

No, cats don’t poop out of spite. People might think this behavior is their cat’s way as revenge but this isn’t the case. Cats may be territorial, but they are not spiteful.

Usually, it’s a cleanliness or territorial issue with the litter box itself. It’s necessary to keep in mind that your kitty isn’t doing this to spite you.

They are not vengeful creatures. Your fur baby is just trying to communicate with you that something is wrong in one of the only ways he can.

Is It Normal For A Cat To Poop 3 Times A Day?

No, it is not normal for a cat to poop 3 times a day. While every kitty has its own rhythm, most cats only go 2 times around once a day. Older felines, on the other hand, tend to go less often. If pooping happens more than 2 or 3 times per day, this means that your cats may be having bowel movements.


From nasty cat litter to stress, there are plenty of grounds for Mr. Whiskers’ sudden change in potty habits. We hope we’ve helped you stamp out some of the mystery why your cat has started to poop outside the box. Be understanding and patient when it comes to your fur baby’s accidents. With time, little kitty will learn to love his potty box again.

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