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You probably can't keep your eyes off of your adorable new kitten. But the moment you do look away is the moment they squeeze out a poop on the floor. Or maybe your elderly cat can't quite make it into the tray quickly enough anymore. Either way, love is stronger than cat poo! We’ll show you how to stop a cat from pooping in the house, explain possible causes and provide solutions to help stop your cat from pooping on carpets. You’ve got this.
Cat pooping outside the litter box? Identify why
The first step in learning how to stop a cat from pooping on the floor is figuring out why they’re doing it. There are various potential causes, including environmental, social, behavioural and health reasons. These include:
- Medical conditions
- Litter hygiene
- Litter type
How to stop cats pooping in the house due to a medical condition
First up, it’s important to rule out any medical conditions that could be the cause. It might be that constipation or diarrhoea is making the urge to go, well... more urgent, so they can’t make it to the tray in time. Or it might be another health-related reason that needs treatment.
Of course you want to stop cats pooping in the house but, more importantly, you want to be sure your cat is happy, health and well. Make an appointment with your vet to rule out any underlying medical cause.
How to stop a cat from pooping on the floor due to litter hygiene
Once you’ve had the all clear from the vet, you can consider other possible explanations. And one of the most common reasons for a cat pooping outside its litter box tray is the classic dirty protest.
Cats are very clean animals, and will avoid their litter box if it’s not up to their (usually very high) standards. So if you want to stop your cat pooping on floor, you need to make sure their litter tray is incredibly clean – both the tray itself and the litter. It’s also a good rule of thumb to have as many litter trays as there are cats, plus one. So if you have two cats, have three trays.
Yep, it’s a pain to be on constant poop-scooping duty, but it’ll be worth it when they cease and desist with their dirty protests. So slap on those rubber gloves, get a strong sheet of kitchen towel, and get rid of their poop pronto.
Tip: Plenty kitchen towel stays strong even when wet, so it's perfect for keeping your gloved hand clean when picking up cat poo from their tray (fingers crossed) or the floor (gah). Scoop and wrap it up before popping it in the bin. Et voila!
How to stop a cat from pooping on carpets because of litter type
So, you’re keeping their litter tray spotlessly clean, but you still find yourself needing to know how to stop your cat from pooping on the carpet. Well, it could still be litter related, but not from a hygiene point of view.
It’s great that there are lots of different types of cat litter nowadays, but with choice comes complications. Some cats don’t like the feel or smell of wood pellets, or clay, or sand, or corn, or clumping, or non-clumping… you catch our drift. It might be as simple as changing to a different type of litter to stop your cat from pooping on the carpet. Top tip: when bringing a new cat home, stick to the litter they’re used to.
Switching the tray itself might also help stop cats pooping in the house. Perhaps they’d like a hooded one instead of an open tray (or vice versa), or a low-sided tray, or a different location (somewhere more private, away from their food and water). Cats can be shy – and no one wants to be the subject of prying eyes when they’re on the loo, right!?
How to stop cats pooping in the house due to boredom
Now, it’s entirely possible that your cat might be ruining your carpet because they haven’t got anything more exciting to do! Cats are clever and need mental and physical stimulation – especially if they don’t go outside. So to stop your cat pooping on floors you can try upping their fun.
Buy or make new toys, give food puzzles, interact and play, and simply spend time with them. That should help stimulate them and also reduce their stress levels.
How to stop a cat from pooping in the house because of stress
Stress can be caused by all sorts of things, from pain to fear to changes. Fortunately there are quite a few tactics when it comes to how to deter cats from pooping on carpets when they’re acting out of stress.
Try giving them more places to climb up high (they love looking down on the world, metaphorically and literally), and more places to hide (cardboard boxes are a simple solution). Some owners also swear by diffusers and sprays specifically made to help calm cats.
Now you have lots of ideas for how to deter cats from pooping on the carpet or floor to try. Good luck!