Why Do Cats Poop on Carpets?

Get to the root of your kitty's litter box woes.
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Cats have a reputation the world over for being comparatively low-maintenance, hassle-free pets. However, that can change very quickly if your little buddy all of a sudden stops using the litter box and starts going instead on your prized wool carpeting.


Before immediately blaming your little feline for the carpet chaos, first take a look at yourself -- or at whomever is in charge of changing the litter box in your household. If you don't frequently and carefully clean out your kitty's box, she simply won't use it. Cats are meticulously clean beings. Some cats prefer cleanings after each use. For others, once at the end of the day should suffice. It all depends on your little darling's specific preferences.


Litter box competition in multi-cat households can also lead to messy and icky bathroom problems for felines. Make sure all of your kitties have their own designated boxes. Many cats simply don't like to share. Also, it may help to have separate boxes for numbers one and two, as some picky cats don't like using the same one for both.


If your poor kitty is suffering from a bout of gastrointestinal distress, it understandably may lead to some carpet disaster. It could be anything from a minor case of diarrhea to something more serious -- think parasites or chronic constipation. Take your cat to the veterinarian to check if your sweet pet has any health conditions that are causing the litter box avoidance.


Simple littler box discomfort could also be the problem. Cats generally prefer shallow litter -- roughly 1 inch high. Cramped quarters could also be behind why Fluffy is choosing to eliminate all over the living room carpet. Look into getting a box that is a little roomier for your pet, especially if she is of a bigger cat breed, say a Maine coon. Cats are also very modest and private creatures. If kitty's box is in an area of your home that has a lot of traffic, she may prefer to relieve herself in a more peaceful spot, such as your downstairs den. Lastly, make sure to keep your cat's box far, far away from her water and food. Felines prefer to keep eating and elimination separate, which is understandable!


Consider the exact location of your pet's litter box. If it's situated directly over carpeting that has a soft texture, it may lead to confusion in your cat, especially if she is elderly. If you find your puzzled cat eliminating over the surrounding carpet, try placing the box over a harder surface, such as hardwood flooring or tile.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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