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Cat defecating near his litter box


All Access Member
Apr 2, 2021
@Dr. Jeff, I'm wondering if you can offer any advice about a new cat behavior issue.

My 8 year old rescue cat, Squeaky, a neutered male, has begun defecating on the bathroom floor near his litter box. Some background:
  • Squeaky has not used the litter box to defecate for some time but until now had gone to the basement and found a corner to use. (After scooping up his droppings, I thoroughly spray the area with disinfectant.)
  • During a construction project, there were days when he was confined to a small area of the house which included the bathroom with his litter box. Sometimes he defecated in the box. This is when he began to also use the bathroom floor. I had hoped he would return to his previous basement habit, and sometimes he does.
  • Squeaky weighs 25 pounds. I've tried giving him larger litter boxes, but that does not change his behavior.
  • He had at least two homes before I got him. Food insecurity clearly is an issue for him based on behavior toward the other cats, who arrived at the same time from the same house but are unrelated.
Any advice would be very welcome!

Thank you. -- Sally

Dr. Jeff

Feb 23, 2017
Hey Sally, welcome!

I'm so glad to see you here!

Sorry to hear about Squeaky's pooping problem ("inappropriate elimination").

Has he been 25 lbs. since you adopted him?

Is he just "big boned" or is he overweight?

What does Squeaky eat?

When you see him, what's he doing?

I ask because this sounds like a mild energetic imbalance triggered by the reaction to the construction project (how did he respond to it?). But it's important to rule out some possible medical/physical stuff as well.

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