Urinary Problems: Cat Not Using The Litter Box

by Heather
(El Cajon, CA)



I have two cats, both males, that came from the same litter. I have had them since they were 8 wks old (they are now 3 1/2 yrs) and they are strictly indoor cats. One is fat and one is average size. The fat one (Oscar), would every once in a while poop on a rug (in the kitchen or in the bathroom), but it was not very often. I know it is him because I have caught him in the act. A few months ago, I moved in with my boyfriend who has a cat that comes and goes as he pleases and only goes to the bathroom outside. Oscar is now pooping on the rug almost every night and has on occasion urinated there too. I love this cat and don't know what to do about it. He knows what he is doing is wrong because when I say his name after I find the mess, he covers and runs off to hide. I hate to say it, but if I can't figure out a way to make this stop, we will have to get rid of him because I can't have my house smelling like a litter box! Please help!


Hi, Heather,

Unfortunately, from Oscar's viewpoint, his world has been turned upside down. Many changes and much stress.

We always need to start dealing with a possible behavioral problem by first making sure it's not a medical problem. Due to his weight and behavior problems, he should be examined by a vet and blood taken to rule out diabetes. Also, a fecal sample should be examined as well as a urine sample.

If nothing is found, there are various things you can do to encourage him to use his litter box. These are things that should be done even if something is found medically because often what begins as a medical issue continues just out of habit even after resolution of the medical problem.

These environmental changes include such things as adding extra litter boxes, trying a different kind of litter, taking hoods off of litter boxes, changing the location of boxes, using positive reinforcement and never negative punishment, etc. This and more is covered under Cat Elimination Problems as well as many questions and answers at the bottom of the page entitled Cat Behavior.

If you still have questions after seeing the vet and reading the related content here on this website, please don't hesitate to write back.


Return to

Do You Have A Question or Story About Urinary Problems of Cats?