Cat Poo Issues
How To Stop These Nasty Problems 

Firstly cat poo in the house needs to be taken seriously by the cat owner, it is a sign that your cat is either ill or is feeling anxious about something. 

They are not being naughty and they only do it in extreme cases of anxiety. This page is designed to help you understand why cats do this and how you can help your cat return to normal behavior if the cause is anxiety and not ill health. 

Talking about poop is not an easy subject to approach. Often Cat owners will not discuss cat-fouling problems with anyone for the fear of embarrassment.

Feeling that others will condemn them for either having a defective pet or a dirty house.

But luckily with the advent of the Internet people can ask questions like “why does my cat poo everywhere” in complete anonymity and be able to solve this rather unsavory problem.

I am constantly being asked by often very distressed and surprised cat owners why these problems occur in the first place from an animal so associated with being clean.

I felt it was about time I wrote a page about the subject to try and clarify that cat poo in the house and outside the litter tray is a urgent cry for help from your cat and should not be ignored.

So Why Is My Cat Fouling The House?

When cat poo is found around the house and your cat is in good health, alarm bells should start to ring.

This is an extreme behavior from a cat and is not carried out lightly.

The process of misplaced defecating is called Middening and is a very deliberate act. 

Your cat is not being naughty and should not be punished, but the problem does require urgent and gentle attention from owners to stop the behavior becoming a hard habit to break.

Techniques To Stop Cat Poo In The Home

There is only one way to stop cat poo ruining your life and your home. Take control of the situation fast but calmly.

Remember do not shout at your cat or tell it off, you must make your cat comfortable and secure in their home again. This is normally done in two steps.

  • Remove Threat - Firstly make sure that you remove the initial threat that was making your cat feel insecure in the first place. This may mean making sure no other cats are getting in through cat flaps etc, or by making sure your cat is not left alone for long periods if it is suffering from separation anxiety.

  • A Safe Place - Secondly you will have to carry out a period of confinement for your cat to gradually make them feel more secure in their environment and to reintroduce them to the litter tray.

    Keep your cat in a pen or small room for about a week, with their toys, water and litter tray (feed them out of the pen in their usual spot then replace them back in the pen. Then gradually reintroduce them to the rest of the house.

    If new pets or children are the cause, then gradual introduction is required. All of these measures are designed to help the cat come to terms with the new situation and also to become less nervous in their home environment.

Some cats need some extra help in getting used to new environments and situations. products like Feliway can help during these transitional phases.

Feliway is a well known product that mimics the natural pheromones in a cats scent helping them to feel safe and secure.

Available in diffusers such as Comfort Zone w/ Diffuser, it can help you create a happy and contented home for both you and your cat.


It may sound an extreme measure to confine a cat for a week or so, especially if the behavior is from a cat that has lived with you for many years. But if you look at it from your cats point of view, they have started to display and extreme behavior i.e. Middening, they would not do this unless they were very upset about something. As we cannot explain to them with words we have to show them gently and gradually not to be afraid.

Understanding Middening

Cat communication is very much based on scent and just like urinating to leave their scent, middening is a more extreme territory marker.

However the cat has chosen to leave cat poo as a very definite visual marker as well as a scent marker and is a very strong sign to other cats that this area is their territory and to back off. It is only carried out in extreme cases where the cat feels very insecure indeed.

In the wild other animal’s use middening quite obviously to mark out their territory and creatures like otters will often leave piles of feces on high rocks to make sure it is very visible.

Feral cats will also do the same and this is why a lot of people dislike feral cats. They are much less likely to bury their waste and instead like to leave it on lawns and pathways as markers and signals to other cats.

Middening in domesticated cats is far less common than cat spraying and so when it does occur it is often quite a shock for owners who become desperate to stop the behavior quickly.

Trying to pin down the actual cause of why your cat is leaving cat poo everywhere will need some detective work from yourselves, as each individual case can be different. However here are some of the usual causes:

  • A new cat or dog (or even baby) Introduced to the house

  • Too many cats living together in close proximity
  • Separation anxiety

  • A strange cat getting into the house via cat flaps etc.

  • Moving house

Any of the above could trigger your cat to defecate in the house but you must look at your own situations carefully. Some cats are easily upset and the simplest thing may cause them to become distressed, even moving their litter tray to a different part of the room may be just cause.

I Thought Cats Were Clean Animals?

Well yes they are in 99.9% of cases and this is one reason why cat ownership is on the increase over dog ownership. In our increasingly busy lives where both partners now go out to work, owning a cat that can look after itself during the day is an absolute bonus.

Also kittens need far less toilet training than puppies and so the need to be constantly available during the early months of ownership is less of an issue.

Kittens are essentially taught by their mother from a very early stage that they must keep their nest clean, essentially to avoid infection and not to attract predators.

She does this by taking them out of the nest and stimulating them to go to the toilet away from their living area. This way they learn that this is the way to do it. Puppies are not taught the same way.

Kittens also have a natural desire to dig at soft loose dirt and by watching their mother dig a hole and then to perform her toilet and cover it up, they learn fast and these skills are very easy to transfer to a litter tray when the time comes.

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