Why Is My Cat Pooping Outside the Litter Box?

Matt Twinley

Discover the reasons behind this common feline behavior and how to address it.

Pooping outside the litter box isn't uncommon. Around 10% of cats do this at some point in their lives.

Health Issues

Like humans, cats can have bathroom issues when they're ill. Diarrhea, constipation, and other health problems can be the cause

Digestive Problems

Digestive issues can make it hard for cats to control when and where they poop.

Aging Cats

Senior cats might face challenges like arthritis, making it difficult to access the litter box.


Constipation can make it hard for a cat to poop in the litter box. Dry poop is a sign of this issue.

Litter Box Location

Cats can be picky about the location of their litter box. Ensure it's in a quiet, accessible place.

Stress Factors

Any deviation from their routine can stress cats. Consider recent changes in their environment.

Fear and the Litter Box

Ensure the litter box is away from anything that might scare your cat.

Recently Adopted Cats

Newly adopted cats might take time to adjust. Ensure their litter box is in a private and accessible place.

Understanding the reasons behind your cat's behavior can help address the issue. When in doubt, consult with a vet.