Pooping Outside the Litter Box Problems? Why Only Poop and Not Urine You Ask? Ask Our Harvard-trained Cat Behaviorist.
Mieshelle Nagelschneider, author and Harvard-trained cat behaviorist lecturing on defecation at the International Humane Society and SPCA Behavior Education Convention, Toronto, Canada (keynote speaker) 2014 “In the Business of Saving Lives”.
Learn why your cat’s defecation behavior falls into the 80% majority for this issue … and how to SOLVE IT.
Schedule a phone or video consult with behavior author, lecturer, and Harvard-trained cat behaviorist, Mieshelle Nagelschneider ACCBC (certified), to solve the infamous defecation issue and see why we have hundreds of client testimonials. We go beyond the obvious facts and give intelligent solutions to solve this “perplexing” issue. By scheduling a consultation, you will not only help your cat, but also help cats everywhere by taking part in our behavior studies at the clinic.
Important update: Mieshelle is back from her jaguar research project in Costa Rica! Currently her next availability for defecation appointments begins Monday, March 2nd.
|Cat Poop on Bed?
||Cat Poop on Area Rug?
|Cat Poop on Wall-to-Wall Carpet?
||Cat Poop on Treadmill?
Think you’ve tried everything?
We’re pretty sure you haven’t.
Schedule a phone consultation and learn what causes cats to defecate (only) outside the box. Hint: 80% of the time the instigating factor has nothing to do with the litter box (or litter) which is precisely why other behaviorists have a difficult time solving this “unfixable” issue. Your cat may look like he’s just pooping for no reason at all, but if he’s in the 80% majority, there can be several reasons for the behavior. Mieshelle or Dr. Shultz can tell you not only why this “behavior anomaly” occurs, but how to solve it during your phone consultation.
Today’s Date March 2, 2015 - testimonial: Hi there! I just wanted to let you know that Reuben is now pooing in his litter box! YAY! for the past 2 weeks. I got something from (behavior advice removed). He has stopped biting as much but I’d like to use the last bit of my time to talk to you about that if we can organize a time. Thanks so much for all your help with this! It’s a huge relief. Andrea P. Toronto, Canada
Defecation testimonial just in: Mieshelle, I just wanted to let you know that everything is going perfectly now. It’s been 10 days and he has been pooping in the litter box every time! I can’t tell you how relieved we all are that we don’t have to clean up poop every day. After 4 years of daily poop patrol, we almost don’t know what to do with ourselves. Our seven year old daughter wants to be a cat whisperer nowoo! Thank you for giving us our lives back! Munchkin is clearly a happier cat which like you said was a big part of the problem. His happiness alone was worth the consultation. C. Cooper and family – Brooklyn, NY
Testimonial just in: — “Poop in the box for first time one day after consultation!” Mieshelle, Sammie used the box! This is photo of today, and the only thing we’ve done so far is (advice removed). So excited! C. Scott, Illinois
March 2015 Testimonial: — Poop in the litter box for first time 2 days after consultation. “Cooper has actually been going in the box and photos are below”. Sherry R. Jupiter, Florida
If your cat is just pooping outside the litter box, you may have already gotten advice such as, “Add a litter box.” Whether your cat is pooping on the wood floor or carpet, pooping on the bed or house furniture, or just pooping everywhere, litter boxes are occasionally just a very small part of a real, long-term solution. No treatment plan for unwanted elimination is complete unless it includes all three parts of what we call a C.A.T. Treatment Plan: Cease the Unwanted Behavior (this is where your cat may fall into the 80% diagnosis group and you won’t have any success if you don’t address this problem); Attract to a Desirable Alternative (this will be effective as long as the instigating factor — again, that 80% we keep mentioning is addressed); and last but hardly least, Transform the Cat’s Environment (which includes social dynamic hierarchy structure).
Compared to the other common cat behavior issues, the defecation issue is far too complex to find effective help online and in popular books with cookie cutter advice. We have even helped multiple veterinarians with this issue with their own cats. We recommend you schedule a phone consultation with Mieshelle or Dr. Shultz where you can also participate in our cat behavior study to help cats everywhere just like yours.
That’s how we solved this cat’s (Taffy) problem (note: cats are never spiteful or bad; they don’t have this level of cognition). IMPORTANT: Taffy is NOT bad, and he is not just “pooping”. He’s in the 80% and a descendent of the African wildcat (just like your cat). From Taffy’s owner after day one of initiating just one piece of the behavior plan: “I expected a nice surprise when I opened the bedroom door, but there was nothing!” T. Whalen Oakdale, New York 2009
The cause of your cat’s behavior is critical to understand fully. Is the problem related to territory? How can you be sure that your cat is defecating rather than marking in a territorial behavior called middening? How do you know a secondary problem hasn’t developed like a habit for location or a substrate preference? Identifying the problem(s) makes all the difference between wasting your time and money on dead end reinventing the wheel advice and getting a real and lasting cure. That’s where we come in and other behaviorists won’t because they do not have the level of experience or education to address this sometimes (ok, always!) very frustrating behavior issue. Mieshelle Nagelschneider ACCBC and Dr. Jim Shultz DVM are here to help.
In your behavior consultation with our expert cat behaviorist you’ll learn and we’ll also show you:
- The Nagelschneider Method and why “social glue” may be crucial in solving this and other behavior issues.
- why your cat is just pooping outside of the box (urination is not an issue unless your cat also has a urinary issue) and how to remedy this issue
- how your cat’s innate instincts directly affect his litter box needs and how you can make the multi-faceted yet simple changes to meet these needs (but this is just one component of a comprehensive behavior plan).
- the retraining process to ensure your cat defecates in the litter box every time. If your cat falls into the 80% diagnosis and that problem is addressed, then your cat may begin defecating in the box right away (even if your cat hasn’t pooped in the box for 5 years).
- the latest behavior modification techniques to undo any habituated behavior (this is the part of the plan the internet, other book authors, and vets leave out and why cat owners fail at remedying this behavior issue).
- why social tension between cats is often the cause of litter box issues and what to do about it (hint: it’s not about the box!). This social tension can actually be the first instigating cause that will place your cat in the 80%.
- the latest scientific research and techniques to address scent tension with the litter box.
- what 4 popular litters to avoid that are top of the list for creating litter box aversions! You will be surprised.
- depending on when you schedule your phone consultation, you have the option of taking part in any of our cat behavior studies to help not only your cat, but cats everywhere.
- and more, depending on the needs of your own cat(s), your household, and you.
Defecation testimonial for April 14th, 2013 “Tater” — Cathy S. Fredricksburg, Virginia
Here is a further update on Tater: 2 weeks since consultation. We continued all efforts described from week 1 update and he continued to poop outside of the box. Now with the (behavior information removed). However, on Friday night he used the litter box and then again on Saturday night!! Unbelievable, he has not used the litter box in back to back poops in years! We still went forth and (behavior advice removed). We also (behavior advice removed).
Zoologist Testimonial: “The reason people are so mesmerized by house cats is because they are truly miniature versions of lions, tigers, and leopards. Mieshelle explains in an unprecedented and a most accessible way, the behavior of the house cat, with her unique insight into the often misunderstood companion animal that is as wild as we have become civilized.” Dr. Jordan Carlton Schaul, PhD — Contributing Editor, National Geographic Society and Curator, Orange County Zoo
Even if you take steps to cease the unwanted behavior, any favorable results are likely to be at best temporary without a plan to Attract your cat to a new behavior. This is where our behavior modification techniques are also crucial to long-term success. We’ll show you how to implement these. The techniques alone are priceless and they are not one-size-fits-all like you might find elsewhere. This is also why you really do need to schedule a consultation with a behaviorist because you will never find the level of care online that your cat needs — there are too many interdependent variables. The defecation problem is far too complex to remedy on your own in at least 80% of the cases we see every day by phone. We have even had licensed vets as our clients for the infamous pooping issue!
And then there’s the big one, the Territory: how to create an environment that makes sense to them (after all, we are keeping them in captivity), so that your cats have all the resources they need and in locations that make sense to them for minimal behavior problems. We’ll explain how to set up your cats’ environment to help them structure their social hierarchy the way we do our own cats – a big part of why our clients have lasting success with this issue.
If you schedule a consultation we require a photo of where the defecation is occurring (stool included), litter box areas, feeding areas, and perching and resting areas.
“After the phone consult with your cat behaviorist, I immediately (behavior advice removed). It took 5 days to address the actual real problem (yes, she was right), and Sage began pooping in the box like nothing ever was wrong. Mieshelle’s advice is precious and I’m just so glad I called you folks. I thought I was the savvy cat owner working at the shelter all these years, but now I know there is a lot to know about cats!! My vet even looked at me like I was crazy, so he will learn this knowledge soon to help other cats. I think many cats are taken to the shelter for this exact problem and it’s like a silent killer — so sad.”
Karen S. – New York, NY 2011
“I must say that we can’t be anymore happier than we are right now! The vets and staff are amazed that you have fixed this cat of ours. He has been going to the vet for the last 3 years with test after test and now he is no longer ruining our house with urinating and defecating thanks to you! Thank you! I only wished I had called you sooner. I would have saved myself and kitty Jasper a lot of agony, car rides, and money!”
Law M. – Napa Valley, CA
“Just started the techniques…amazingly, Jerry has used the litter box to defecate! Of course this is AMAZING, since it hasn’t happened in 8 years. Thank you!”
Erin A., Reston, VA
I’m writing to give you an update on Lucy. The wonderful news is that she used (defecated) her box today! After I spoke with you, I made (behavior advice removed) and I got the (advice removed) her temperament does seem quite improved. I also (advice removed). She does like to have (advice removed) those activities when things are going well, so perhaps that is why. She has even slept in the bed a few times which she had not been doing. I think that’s about it for now!
Thanks very much,
Hilary P. Brooklyn, NY 2012
Just to let you know that all has been WONDERFUL with the cats! No pooping and no more peeing going on upstairs! … Anyway, thank you for saving us!!!”
R.W., Rock Island, IL
“Well, it’s been about a week that Hurley has been using the box to defecate. I am EXTREMELY pleased with the results so far.
“There have been no accidents. He goes right in the box. You get another testimonial from a happy client!”
Bill G., New York, NY
“So far Avery has been accident free for almost 3 weeks. I am so excited. Thanks to you! We haven’t had to confine him either. Thanks….”
Lisa N. Alabama
October, 2013: Dear Cat Behavior Clinic, It has been two weeks since we had our consultation to address Cadbury’s persistent non-litterbox pooping and we are *delighted* to report that he has not missed the box since initiating the behavior modification recommendations made by Ms. Nagelschneider. The change in behavior was immediate. In addition to using the box, we have observed (information removed) since implementing the (advice removed) changes. Thank you for your time and help. If there are any further developments we will let you know, but it seems that the underlying issues causing the problem have been successfully addressed. Regards, Mike & Barbara S. (And M&M, Cadbury, and Kokio), Townsend, MA
December 2014: To The Cat Behavior Clinic – Well, here is another testimonial for you! I honestly thought Buster would be that one case that you would not be able to solve. I guess I was wrong. Not only has he been pooping in the litter box every single time for going on 5 weeks, he now sleeps on the bed with the other cats where previously he was that odd cat out. I guess you could say I am now over my cautiously optimistic stage and feel like I have a normal cat household, FINALLY!! I didn’t realize how much this problem bothered me until it had completely disappeared. I know this might sound a little cliche’, but I feel like I finally have my life back! Also, on a side note, my co-workers are no longer snickering at me for hiring “the Cat Whisperer”, but asking me for your phone number! Thank you for all that you do. 2013 is now going to end on a “poop-free” note! What a relief… Regards, Stephen M. New York, NY
January 2014: Mieshelle,
As much as I didn’t want to say “you told me so”….YOU TOLD ME SO! I’ve had cats all my life and never thought anyone could tell me anything I didn’t already know, but you proved me wrong (several times over, I might add) and I have a happier cat family to prove it — and most importantly, the defecation issue was solved in 3 days..! The vets couldn’t help me or all those cat behavior books. but your advice made sense and I’m just wishing I would have called you sooner! Thank you for your astute knowledge and all the work you do in saving cats lives! Dave C. Los angeles, California
Excerpt from Mieshelle Nagelschneider’s new cat behavior book, The Cat Whisperer (Random House Publishing), on Defecation Behavior Issues
OR JUST A STOOL AWAY FROM HOME?
Sometimes a stool is not just a stool. Stools left around the walkways
of the home or on a favored sofa or other elevated areas might be a
form of marking done by your cat to delineate territory. This “middening,”
which usually begins only when the cat enters into social
maturity, is to simple defecation as spraying is to mere urination. Middening
comes from a little-known English word that derives from the
Old Norse term for a dunghill or manure pile.
If you type middening into a search engine, it will, maddeningly, try
to correct your spelling. “Was it maddening you were looking for?”
Just say no. The fact that the search engine thinks you can’t spell, and
won’t give you much information on middening in any event, is an
indication of how rare middening is, at least indoors (free-ranging outdoor
cats midden as much as half the time, but in housecats it’s much
rarer). But when it does happen, middening can be synonymous with
More-dominant or confident cats may midden to send territorial
messages. Middening is not only a strong visual signal, visible from a distance, but, because the anal sac secretions that lubricate feces are so foul smelling, it’s a very strong olfactory signal as well. Because cats who
are middening are trying to send a message, they usually deposit their
midden in very prominent locations so it’s not easily missed by other
cats, (aka the competition): in hallways or the frequently walked paths
of household cats, near doorways leading outside or to favored rooms
in the house, on elevated locations, and near other important pieces
of real estate about which a cat may feel competitive. Cats may defecate
(rather than mark) in these prominent listed locations as well,
but it’s more common for them to defecate in less prominent locations
like the corner of a dining room. Typically middening is done
away from the core territory of the nesting area’s food and cat beds.
However, a dominant cat who wants to deter other cats may even midden
territorially in front of litter boxes or food bowls.
You’ll know your cat has tried to cover the stool if you find it buried
in clothing or bed linens left on the floor, or if you see claw marks on
the carpet near where he left the feces. Cats will not cover a stool if
they’re leaving it for marking purposes. They want it to be seen! That
said, there are some cats that don’t try to cover their defecation even
when they are not intending it as a message. So when you find an
uncovered stool by the front door, it can be difficult to know for sure
what your cat’s intent was. This is when you need a behaviorist!