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Cat - Messing

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Cheryse, May 28, 2019.


  1. Cheryse

    Cheryse PetForums Newbie

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    I have an 11 month old kitten, turns one 06.06, he was neutered in February and ever since has once daily pooped outside of his litter tray: next to it or near it.

    He has been to the vets, has an extra litter tray, and we have bought Feliway in case he has been stressed. He goes into his litter tray daily; pees, and poops in it. Other than once a day. We thought maybe he needed to be near us, so we let him upstairs with us but he just went in the bathroom sink.

    He does this at any time of the day, there is no consistency, and as we will soon have a baby we will not be able to continue with this. We love him to pieces and don't know how to solve this, but we will have to consider rehoming him if we cannot solve it.
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @Cheryse and welcome. :)

    I am sorry to hear you are having this problem with your kitten. With soiling problems it is important to try and identify why the cat is doing it. The cat will have a rational reason for his behaviour and it is up to us humans to do our detective work and try and find the cause. :)

    Can you clarify how many times a day he is pooing? Reading your post it sounds as though he poos several times a day, sometimes in the litter tray sometimes next to it ? Is this correct?

    At 11 months old it would be normal for him to poo only once a day, twice a day at most.

    Please describe his stools - or post a photo of a typical deposit. Stools should be firm, well formed like little sausages; not soft, loose, squashy or wet. Cats who don't have normal stools will sometimes avoid the litter tray. They may do this instinctively, to avoid contaminating their tray with what might be unhealthy stools.

    If he has a loose stool, it is possibly due to his diet. Can you please list everything in his diet.

    Feeding dry food can cause a large bulky stool, unnatural for a cat. It can also make the cat poo too often.

    For a healthy bowel a cat needs a wet food diet that is grain free and high in meat protein. Not vegetable protein which a cat is unable to digest (they lack the necessary enzyme) and just acts as a 'filler' to add bulk to the stool. Some supermarket wet foods e.g Felix and Whiskas, contain a high percent of veg protein and are best avoided.

    As he is soiling right next to the tray or near it, it is unlikely (but not impossible) it is scent marking (middening). If the tray avoidance is not due to the consistency of his stools it could be that he does not like the litter trays much for some reason. It could be the type of litter - are you using a clumping litter ? Or the type of tray - are the trays open or covered?

    Clumping litter is more hygienic than non-clumping as it's easier to keep the trays clean. If you're using wood pellets the whole tray needs emptying out at least once a day, cleaning and refilling with fresh litter.

    Cats like a fine granular litter, made from either clay, shredded wood, or shredded corn kernels.

    He needs at least 2 trays - as you are providing. The trays should be in separate places in the house, not together, and he should have constant access to them. They should be in quiet spots where he will have privacy. Open trays are best, especially for a cat who has been soiling.

    Is he your only cat ? And your only pet?

    If the soiling is perhaps due to stress it is possibly linked to your pregnancy. As I expect you know when a human female becomes pregnant her body scent alters due to hormonal changes. This change in scent is not noticeable to another human, but is very apparent to the owner's cat.

    Cats are hugely scent driven creatures and some cats find it confusing and worrying when their owner's familiar scent changes. They don't know how to interpret it as the owner still sounds and looks the same but smells different. If your cat's litter tray avoidance started around the time when you were 3 months pregnant then maybe it is something to do with your cat's soiling. It would not be that unusual. If so, it should resolve after your baby arrives. But I don't think we should assume your pregnancy is the reason for the soiling until we have ruled out all other possibilities, as I have suggested above. ;)
     
    Soozi, Scouttie and Gallifreyangirl like this.
  3. Cheryse

    Cheryse PetForums Newbie

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    Hi @chillminx,

    He goes to the toilet around 2-3 times a day, which is apparently fine according to the vets, he goes in his litter tray other than once every day. He never pees elsewhere. His stools are healthy, normal, they are firm, usually colouring and formed like sausages.

    He was on Tesco's dry biscuits, we've decided to move him onto Whiska's dry biscuits as we believe a better quality may help his diet, considering it could be a contributing factor. He has dry food as we were advised due to his small size it would be more beneficial for him, especially as he would scoff down wet food.

    He has three trays; one is hooded and the other two open, we have tried three different cat litters now - Tesco's, Catsan and a Lidl one. But he doesn't seem to have a preference and they have all been clumping. He only has access to two rooms and so we have two in the kitchen and one in the living room. But as we don't want it near his food we don't have a lot of other options. We always kept one of the trays consistent, so as not to stress him out further.

    But as it is only once a day, and there never seems to be differing circumstances; he can have a freshly clean tray or medium and he will still go beside it, or he does it when we're not in the house or when we are only in the living room (Where he can come to us). So it's hard to pin point what could be causing it.

    I've read that apparently some cats do this after being neutered or as spoken about due to the change in my scent. So, if not solved before, hopefully that is the reason.
     
  4. Scouttie

    Scouttie PetForums Senior

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    Can you stretch to a better quality dry food, or even better wet food?

    Whiska dry food isn’t great for your cat. Wet is best for them. My cat has just turned one and eats wet during the day and a tablespoon of dry for nighttime snacks.

    A good quality, grain free wet food might help with any digestive issues.

    How do you react when he pops outside the litter box? Does he do it in front of you?
     
  5. Cheryse

    Cheryse PetForums Newbie

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    We’ll have a look into better foods, but as far as we’re aware he isn’t having digestion issues.

    We clean it up, he doesn’t do it in front of us. And as they don’t understand punishment or frustration we don’t do anything in particular about it. Apart from thoroughly clean.
     
  6. Scouttie

    Scouttie PetForums Senior

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    A change in diet might mean he only poops once a day - my one year old only does once, every morning.
     
  7. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums VIP

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    It’s not that he is standing in the litter tray and doesn’t quite position his bum right so poops outside the tray. Since we changed from hooded to high sided trays Sheep usually walks in turns 180 and faces out of the low side, about 1 in 10 she forgets to turn. So her face isn’t too close to the wall her butt hangs out and she poops on the floor. A larger litter tray would solve the issue but they do not do one with high sides and Monty doesn’t squat enough when he pees so it would end up on the floor. I prefer cleaning poop than pee and we have them on tiles flooring anyway.
     
    #7 lillytheunicorn, Jun 2, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
    chillminx likes this.
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Cheryse - pooing 2 twice a day is OK as some cats of his age do still poo twice in 24 hours. But pooing 3 times a day is not usual and is probably due to eating a dry food diet that is high in carbs and fillers, so it is bulking up his stools.

    Although his stools are normal in appearance it's possible that pooing 3 times a day is making his bowel or his bottom feel uncomfortable. Is there any pattern to when he poos next to the trays? e.g. does he his first poo of the day inside the tray and the 2nd and 3rd next to the trays? Or similar to that or is it totally random?

    Neither Whiskas dry or Tesco dry are great foods.

    These are the ingredients of the Tesco dry food :

    Composition: Cereals, meat and animal derivatives, (4% chicken) vegetable protein extract, oils and fats, derivatives of vegetable origin, minerals, vegetables (1% vegetables), fish and fish derivatives, yeast.

    This food is high in carbs and low in meat protein. It contains vegetable protein extract which cats cannot digest as they lack the right enzyme.

    These are the ingredients of Whiskas dry food :

    Cereals, Meat and Animal Derivatives (including 4% Chicken in the Light Brown Kibbles), Vegetable Protein Extracts, Oils and Fats (including 0.25% Fish Oil, 0.1% Sunflower Oil), Derivatives of Vegetable Origin, Minerals (including 0.2% Sodium Tripolyphosphate), Vegetables (4% Carrots in the Orange Kibbles, 4% Peas in the Green Kibbles)

    As you see the ingredients of both Whiskas and Tesco dry are similar - they are both inexpensive cats foods of a similar not great quality.

    If you can feed him a better quality dry food as well as some wet he may be more comfortable in his bowel and would probably poo less often if he was not eating so many carbs and fillers. The lowest carb food on the market is Thrive Premium Plus Chicken which can usually be bought from Amazon, Pets at Home or Zooplus.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thrive-Pre...hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4584207578281706&psc=1
     
  9. Cheryse

    Cheryse PetForums Newbie

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    @ chillminx It is totally random. We will try both; wet and better quality food. Hopefully that'll be better for him and help prevent this.
     
  10. Cheryse

    Cheryse PetForums Newbie

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    We have witnessed him going in the tray (if he starts pawing at the floor we check if he is in the litter tray) he tends to have his face just over the edge so his bum is in the litter tray, when we have found it on the floor it is always around a foot away from the litter trays.
     
  11. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Cheryse - I wonder if the litter trays are large enough for him. Some cats like large trays.

    I meant to add earlier in reply to your comment about neutering, that I have never known a soiling problem to be a result of neutering. In fact a cat who has not been neutered is probably more likely to soil indoors, (either with their faeces or their urine) as a way of scent marking their territory.
     
  12. Cheryse

    Cheryse PetForums Newbie

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    @chillminx
    The ones we have are 2x his size, as he’s not a very big cat, but will give it a go if food doesn’t sort.

    I understand the territory thing, it’s why we got him neutered. I was reading up about other people with similar situations afterwards neutering though, no one seemed to have any answers, so I would assume it’s a different factor.
     
  13. Pepperpots

    Pepperpots PetForums Senior

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    One of my fosters does this, despite multiple litter trays. She’s not stressed, it’s just her thing. Just make sure I put a decent sized piece of Lino under the trays, so it takes all of a minute to clear up. Baby wipes and Simple Solution spray are my weapons of choice.
     
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  14. Cheryse

    Cheryse PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all, just an update!
    We found out that if we let him outside he is happy to do his business there! And have only had the issue again in October when we moved house. Solly is brilliant with our 6 monthold, and thankfully still a happy cat at home :) Thank you for all of the help and advice!
     
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