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Feline housesoiling – defecation

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Sally Foote 1 year, 4 months ago.

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  • #9829

    I know this is a very general question, but a shelter vet is asking…3yo MN cat, very affectionate with people and other cats but came in from a TNR originally. Adopted and returned twice for defecating outside the litterbox. The shelter vet found no abnormalities on PE. What are your r/o’s for this? thanks for your input.

    Cheryl Kolus, DVM


  • #9830

    Defecating outside the litterbox is a toileting rather than a marking issue.

    My main rule outs would be:

    • litter substrate aversion (defecation involves more intimate contact with the litter compared with urinating),
    • litter cleanliness issue,
    • problem with accessing litterbox (eg: in a noisy place, blocked by another cat, sides too high for arthritic cat)
    • musculoskeletal issue/s causing problems in posturing correctly for defecation (although it sounds like the shelter vet has ruled that out with physical exam findings).

    Does the cat defecate in the litterbox in the shelter?

    I’d suggest checking what litter substrate was in the litterbox, checking number and location of litter boxes in the household, and go from there. I hope that helps.


  • #9966

    Sally Foote

    Check the anal glands and ask about the stool – any blood?  Chronic colitis cats do this often

    Calm diet helps as it is digestible, and has the anxiety supplement

    Also all of the above suggestions

    Sally J Foote DVM  Tuscola IL



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