Defecation issues

by Andria

I have an older cat who has either IBD or small cell carcinoma in his intestines. Given his age we did not do a biopsy since we were told the treatment would be similar--starting with prednisolone. The only symptom is defecation outside the box! At first it was "running poops"--the kitty seemed to need to run to defecate. For a while prednisolone has helped; then we put him on venison food and that helped for about 3 weeks but now he is defecating outside the box again. He is 15. He urinates in his box just fine. He has two boxes but sometimes defecates on our bed or near our bed. I am at wit's end! He seems fine otherwise; eats well, plays, etc. Thank you


Unfortunately many cats react to stress by urinating or defecating to express discomfort with a situation. It can be a houseguest over the holidays, or numerous other things that are causing a change in its routine.

In his case it could be having to take medication or even a physical discomfort that his condition is causing. You could try moving one of the litter boxes into the bedroom at night to see if the behavior changes.

Animals can't tell us what is wrong and to communicate there is a problem, they often resort to behaviors that will get our attention.

I suggest you talk to your vet about a medication to reduce his stress and see there is improvement.

Comments for Defecation issues

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Jun 13, 2020
Update on Ray
by: Andria Richey

Turns out Ray has inflammatory bowel disease, and we finally got him on a dose of prednisilone that controlled it. No fish helped too. Vet had not seen these symptoms before!

Jun 13, 2020
Defecation issues
by: MF4Mark

First off anyone who has a cat with litterbox issues should make sure their food contains ZERO grains. Humans have a hard time with it, cat's have an even worse time of it. Second, ditch the canned food if you can. If you can afford it, freeze dried raw would be great. Also, probiotics work wonders as does filtered water. Remember, chlorine kills bacteria including the good gut bugs.

Lastly, I'd recommend looking at the symptoms holistically. If your cat has several inflammatory conditions, you should take a more aggressive look. Our Slinky passed away 2 1/4 years ago. He started with diarrhea on the rug. He then developed eye clouding and fluid around his kidneys as his arthritis became worse. He finally succumbed to pancreatitis which involved a final vet visit and a tearful goodbye I have yet to overcome.

What's the common theme here? INFLAMMATION. Do everything in your power to prevent it, and mitigate it in the case of elderly cats. Slinky was 14 when he started having diarrhea so we could have given him fish oil, probiotics and a raw diet. But because of advanced age he would have likely required anti-inflammatory herbs to help manage symptoms. Had we known all that and brought him to a non-traditional veterinarian who would have said more than, "all his labs look normal" he might still be climbing up onto my lap.

Dec 05, 2019
Defecating outside the box.
by: Solomon's mom

My Solly is having very similar problems to the one above. Tonight he goes for an ultrasound. He's 14. He will pee in my shower if I"m not careful. He used to run to poop under my bed. I finally removed the carpet and keep the door closed. Now he runs to get on the stairs and poops there. Squishy, nasty smelling poops. I've picked him up and put him in the box when he starts, but he stops going and then goes again on the floor. There is only one box he will pee in and that isn't every time. I have pee pads around the boxes for when he misses. He just refuses to put himself far enough in the box to pee in it. I think some of it is stress related as he has lost all the fur on his tummy, some on his back feet and thinning behind the ears. Two other cats in the house. I"m hoping tonight will give some answers. Otherwise, he is his usual self.

Nov 25, 2019
Update on my cat
by: Anonymous

Well, we switched him to rabbit protein food mixed with a bit of proplan and all of a sudden he seems much better. I was able to reduce his prednisolone dose. So I still don't really know what is going on but at least for the last couple of weeks he is much better and is using his box. Our vet has warned me that his physical disease does wax and wane, but that stress makes it worse. Sigh! Thank you so much for posting this. I would be so interested to hear if others have cats going through anything similar!!


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