If your cat refuses to defecate in the litter box, there’s a reason behind it that never happens by chance. In this article, I present to you the different causes that can push him there, how to detect the precise cause of the problem and especially how to react so that he learns to use his litter box to do his business.

Cat that no longer defecates in the litter box: The cat’s relationship to cleanliness

Cats are clean animals par excellence, they very often lick themselves to get rid of dirt and cats are also clean with their excrement, normally not doing it anywhere but in a place where they can bury. So, if your cat has this problem defecating or peeing out of the litter box, there is bound to be a problem that needs to be addressed so that your cat can do its business there.

The different causes and their solutions

If your cat no longer defecates in its litter box, it is most likely because your cat has one of the following problems, here is everything you need to know to solve the problem.

A sickness

Regarding diseases, they mainly affect old cats, kidney failure is the first cause, and the cat will often not be able to pee, in the event that there is something preventing it in its body or if he suffers too much while peeing or if he loses control of his bladder, then he will pee everywhere and often blood.

But there are many possible illnesses, so if your cat is pooping outside of the litter box and showing signs of illness, such as diarrhea or vomiting . So in this case, go to the veterinarian if nothing passes quickly or your cat has a weak immune system (very young or very old cat).

A problem with the litter

The litter box can cause many problems, and if this is the case for your cat, you will need to change certain aspects of it, here is all that must be put in place at the level of the litter box.

The cleanliness

First of all, it must always be sufficiently clean with daily cleaning at the level of excrement and especially a weekly change so that your cat does not refuse it. Do not wash it with smelly household products that can attack your cat’s sense of smell, but prefer baking soda, which is much more accepted by cats.

The size

Next, make sure the litter box is big enough for your cat, for example, if your cat is a Maine Coon , he needs a litter box he doesn’t feel stuck in, otherwise he won’t relieve himself in it. . Because in the wild, cats are in a vulnerable position when they do their business and they keep it in the domestic state.


Also take quality pellets and put 5-7 cm. First of all, quality pellets will be accepted by the cat who will know that they can easily cover their needs, moreover, they will not smell any strange smell in their eyes.

As far as their volume is concerned, too little will be a sign that the excrement cannot be covered by the cat, and conversely, too many pellets will make it sink, it will no longer go to the toilet.

Access to litter

This point mainly concerns old cats and if the litter has edges or is high up, his joints can be a problem and he will no longer defecate in the litter. For old cats, a litter placed on the ground and without a rim is essential.

The type of litter

The type of litter is also to be taken into account, the closed ones may displease your cat for the feeling of confinement they create. Take it rather open or semi-closed so that he can sleep there without fear of a potential threat while he does his business.

The location of the litter box

A litter should be placed in a clean, quiet and accessible place, without being too close to its food. Otherwise, your cat will refuse to do its business there, because it is in a moment when it needs total privacy and to feel safe.

The stress

Your cat may also be scared of something that causes him to relieve himself outside of the litter box, such as a new arrival or a new home, in either case it is vital that your cat can feel good.

For this, the immediate solution is an anti-stress spray that will calm him down, but to treat him at the root, it will absolutely be necessary that your cat can be used to what stresses him, or, if necessary, remove what causes him stress. looking at what he is afraid of.

Territory marking

If you have an unneutered cat and/or several cats, your cat may decide to urinate everywhere to mark its territory, in this case, it will have to be neutered or go to see a behaviorist so that everything goes well in the future. .

In the meantime, put him in a reusable cat diaper so he doesn’t soil the apartment, especially the couch . Don’t punish him, just ignore him after he does something wrong and redirect him to the litter box.

Don’t punish your cat

Don’t punish your cat if he starts defecating outside the litter box, address the root cause and ensure he is properly reprimanded, especially using ignorance and punishment-reward systems . Here is my article dedicated to the subject.

Cat that no longer defecates in the litter box: The final word

If your cat decides not to defecate in the litter box, it’s not to upset your spirits but for a specific reason. Make sure to find the cause, then it will be easy to act according to what is causing the problem.