Cat Pooping in the House

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Sick cat is pooping everywhere

Oct 2005

Help! I checked the ''cat peeing everywhere'' posts, but didn't see anything that applied to our situation, which is: We had two 14-year-old cats, Daisy and Mowgli. They fought frequently. Daisy was more dominant and used Mowgli as a scratching post and punching bag for the last 14 years, but they somehow managed to coexist. Daisy also frequently peed outside her litter box for her entire life. Yet, we loved her and put up with her irritating stinky ways. In January, Daisy suddenly became very ill and was diagnosed with an inoperable lung tumor, so we euthanized her. It was very hard for us. Our now 26- month-old daughter talked about the cat EVERY DAY until July. (''Where is Daisy? Why Daisy die? Daisy was sick? Mommy, are you sick? Daisy died because she was sick? Did Daisy love me? I loved Daisy so much'' etc. and so on.) Within 2 weeks, of Daisy's death, Mowgli became ill (diarrhea and weight loss) and started pooping next to our bed and in one of our closets. She's been to the vet many times and they don't know what's wrong. We changed to a special food from the vet and she immediately got sicker. They are recommending steroids (which can cause diabetes in 10% of cats, apparently) and/or intestinal biopsy (lots of $$). We went back to her old food, and she is still sickly and thin, but just seems old and tired and her condition isn't really changing now. We keep two litterboxes for Mowgli, which we change every day. And yet . . . about once each week, she poops next to the bed or in the closet. And the smell! Oh my God. Has anyone had this problem? My question is: Has anyone had this old-cat-wasting-away-and-pooping- outside-the-litterbox problem? How do you know when to give up and put the poor thing to sleep? I am not willing to spend more than a few hundred dollars on this cat at her age, but I'm so desperate about the pooping that I'm ready to call the pet psychic! Please, no lectures about how I should go to any lengths to save my pet. I spent $1,500 dollars that we couldn't afford on the last cat, only to learn that she had to be euthanized. Any advice would be appreciated. Needs the Kitty Psychic

I think your cat, who just lost her dear companion of 14 years, is depressed! Has your vet considered this? Animals do indeed become depressed, and can show improvement with antidepressant drugs. -just something to consider

If your cat's suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, than using Prednisolone (a steroid), is an appropriate treatment (and can be very effective). If you're concerned about the possibility of diabetes, bring this up with your vet. Also clarify with your vet what the probable diagnosis is. Once you've got a name, you can google it and learn more about what works and what doesn't. If you don't feel you're getting enough information from your vet, change vets, or at least get a second opinion. anon

I feel your pain. I have a 19 year old kitty, Mom to two former love bugs who died last year at the age of 15. I am so afraid she is going to die on us soon, because I know my 4 year old son is going to really take this one hard.

So, a couple of things-I can't help but wonder if your cat is grieving. This seems like behavior that would be completely in sync with this (I have to say that my Mom-kitty was very lonely after both of her boys died, even though she had never been too enamoured of either one!) Failing that, I would definitely have a blood panel done--is there a kidney problem (elevated kidney enzymes)going on? A blood panel should cost around $100 and can tell a vet/you so much.

When my last cat died, I still owed almost $4000, and I vowed I wouldn't do that again. I have an entire family to consider, and some practicality must be factored in. On the other hand, I hear you about your carpet, but this is just a cost of having a pet, in my opinion.

If the blood panel and a thorough exam show no problem, I personally would assume grief, and give her extra special love to hopefully get beyond it. In the event your vet believes this is something else, I am completely sure reading your post that you will make a good and wise decision on this beloved family member.

There are some books targetted for little ones too when a beloved pet dies. Perhaps this could be helpful? Best of luck, Another lover of an old gal

Our 8 year old cat started to get very thin, and started jumping up on the kitchen counters to look for food. And, he started having diarrhea, and often missing the litter box. Turns out he has a thryoid problem, which are often associated with kidney problems which are responsible for the messy poop. The options were either surgery ($$$, and for some reason the procedure had to be done in Sacramento) or give a pill every day. We decided on the pill for now, and also turned him into an outside cat. He weight has stablized, and his diarrhea has cleared. Life is so much easier with him as an outside cat, but we have to figure out what to do about winter. Cat liker, not lover

We had this problem, but with a younger cat so it wasn't due to a medical condition as yours might be. At the time, I was single and living with two roommates and we were never ever home and the cat wasn't allowed to go outside and this cat used to be able to do this. Turns out he was very lonely and stressed out by himself so we got a kitten and the problem was solved. Your cat could be missing his companion, even if he was a bully. Perhaps give him lots of love and attention, and maybe get another cat? (The cat may be too old for this, however.) Good luck! Anon

My cat, now 18 years old, also started loosing weight about two years ago and pooping (primarily diarhea- UGH!) outside of her litter box. After numerous expensive tests over 6 months it was finally determined that she has inflamatory bowel disease and needs to be on steroids (prednisone) and a ''low allergen'' food diet (Hill's Prescription Diet Z/D). This has helped although she still poops outside of the box (solid, but still poop) and seems to be wasting away regardless of the medication/special diet. She has always been a huge 16 pound cat and last visit to the vet is down to 8 pounds! It is very upsetting and I am also considering euthenizing her rather than have her continue to waste away slowly. Ask your vet about inflamatory bowel disease because it is fairly common in older cats. Oh, and yes, they periodically check her for diabetes because the steroid can sometimes bring on diabetes, although she's on a pretty low dose. Oy, my poor cat! I also have a 3 year old daughter and am working through how to explain all of this to her if we determine to put the cat to sleep. Good luck to you. no easy answers

I spoke with Lee Richter at Montclair Vet. She said they can help with behavior issues and would check to see if there were medical issues as well. Her husband, Gary Richter is the chief vet there and writes a column in the Montclairon. Feel free to ask for her and mention my name.
1961 Mountain Blvd Oakland, CA 94611-2812 (510) 339-8600 

If your cat has irritable bowel, then you should put him on a raw meat diet. Cat food has a lot of vegetables and grains that cats can't digest. It mostly just comes out, and they get what little nutrition they can from the meat in the food. Some cats can't tolerate this, and get very sick. The best thing to do for your cat is to give it raw meat with some supplements. (It sounds expensive and time consuming, but I think it ends up being cheaper, because you use so little, and you can freeze the food once it's mixed)

Here's a website:

I am allergic to cats, so don't know much about this, but my friend was telling me about it just a few days ago, it saved her kitty after many rounds of medicine. muriel

I just lost my cat at nearly 19 early this year. And NO, I'm not going to tell you to spend a dime more at the vet's. The cat is old, after all. What I will tell you, for your sanity, is to spend the least you can for two more cat litter pans, and put them in the 2 places he's been pooping (by the bed and in the closet, I think you said?). At least it'll go into cat litter. And you'll resent his infirmity less. A change like this worked for me, and my cat died with minimal cost and intervention (just some sub-q fluids) in a sweet, gentle death in my arms. Jennie