Cat pooing on the floor

in Pets & Pet Care
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NaughtiusMaximusNaughtiusMaximus Forumite
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Our cat is a 14-15 year old boy (not sure how old, we had him as a rescue cat 13 years ago) and he's recently started pooing on the floor rather than his litter tray, not all the time, maybe once a week on average.

We remove any deposits from his 2 litter trays daily and completely clean them weekly (wash the trays and replace the litter), his decision to poo on the floor bears no relation to the cleanliness of the litter trays so we don't think that's the cause.

We haven't changed any food or anything in his routine, he doesn't seem to be ill or otherwise distressed and we haven't noticed any change in his behaviour otherwise. We did have another cat who died 18 months ago and we moved house 12 months ago but the inappropriate pooing only started a few months ago. His behaviour and body languages suggests a happy, relaxed cat.

Any ideas what might be causing it?
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  • BramblingBrambling Forumite
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    It could be a sign that he has an underlying medical problem it may be worth getting him checked by the vet, cats are very good at hiding they're sick until they are really ill.

    I had a 13 year old cat who when she was very ill but with no outwards signs started to mess next to the litter tray even through she used it to wee in it
    Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage   -          Anais Nin
  • hb2hb2 Forumite
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    Cats sometimes poo outside of the litter-tray when they are in discomfort (they associate the pain with the litter-tray), so I second the advice to get your lad checked by a vet as a first step.
    It's not difficult!
    'Wander' - to walk or move in a leisurely manner.
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  • NaughtiusMaximusNaughtiusMaximus Forumite
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    Thanks for the responses, he's due for his annual booster jabs in a few weeks anyway, we'll mention it to the vet then.
  • Fire_FoxFire_Fox Forumite
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    Make an appointment with your vet ASAP, please do not leave it any longer than you already have. :(

    Cats hide pain or discomfort very well: they often need a professional physical examination or further tests to reveal the source of the problem.
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  • mangogmangog Forumite
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    Could it be arthritis? He might be finding it difficult to get in and out of the tray if he's feeling a bit stiff and sore.
  • LorianLorian Forumite
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    in my experience this is when the cat tray smells or they are constipated. I'm sure there must be other reasons.

    Still have its teeth?
    Feeding age appropriate food?
    Wormed recently?
  • NaughtiusMaximusNaughtiusMaximus Forumite
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    Lorian wrote: »
    in my experience this is when the cat tray smells or they are constipated. I'm sure there must be other reasons.

    Still have its teeth?
    Feeding age appropriate food?
    Wormed recently?

    Yes, yes and yes.
    mangog wrote: »
    Could it be arthritis? He might be finding it difficult to get in and out of the tray if he's feeling a bit stiff and sore.

    I wouldn't have thought it's arthritis, he's still pretty agile for his age and doesn't have any problems climbing or jumping.
    Fire_Fox wrote: »
    Make an appointment with your vet ASAP, please do not leave it any longer than you already have. :(

    Cats hide pain or discomfort very well: they often need a professional physical examination or further tests to reveal the source of the problem.

    Fair point, no harm in bringing his boosters forward a few weeks anyway, I'll give the vets a call this evening.

    We used to have two other cats who were about 5 years older but sadly no longer with us, with both of them there were definite behavioural changes when they started developing age related illnesses. In this instance there's nothing other than the occasional random deposit, the last of which was about a week ago.
  • donnac2558donnac2558 Forumite
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    My girl is 16 and still jumps up to the window sill etc no problems but she has arthritis. The vet mentioned it when she went for a check-up for her kidneys, so she is on painkillers
  • Fire_FoxFire_Fox Forumite
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    Fair point, no harm in bringing his boosters forward a few weeks anyway, I'll give the vets a call this evening.

    We used to have two other cats who were about 5 years older but sadly no longer with us, with both of them there were definite behavioural changes when they started developing age related illnesses. In this instance there's nothing other than the occasional random deposit, the last of which was about a week ago.

    :A Clever boy to have chosen you. :A

    Some medical conditions have symptoms in the early stages, some in the mid stages and some not until the late stages. If you add that to an animal that hides discomfort or pain well ....
    I wouldn't have thought it's arthritis, he's still pretty agile for his age and doesn't have any problems climbing or jumping.

    My little girl is around nine: a year ago she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. We believe this is secondary to an accident in her first year (before I adopted her) which briefly left her limping. Time-related but not technically age-related IYSWIM.

    On the first visit I was embarassed how little I could tell the vet, how vague my information was, but the vet was NOT AT ALL surprised. When the vet checked up my girl's back with her thumbs, I was horrified and sickened to hear my girl howl/ yowl/ growl as I have never heard in seven years.

    So little was or is unusual: my girl eats/ plays/ leaps/ jumps/ chases/ runs as any young cat. Toileting issues are rare, hissing is rare. But that is all I have.

    Waffling, sorry. :o
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  • SensibleSarahSensibleSarah Forumite
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    My 17-year old cat does this sometimes. He is a bit stiff these days - much better now he's on joint supplements. I now have the litter trays in an open large dog crate and the floor of it is covered with puppy pads - means it's easy to clean up when he 'misses'.
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