Poop Outside the Litter Box!

Litter box issues are a cat owner’s worst nightmare! I’ve never experienced issues until this past week when I found poop just next to the litter box.

Possible reasons for poop outside the litter box:

  • health issues
  • cat doesn’t like the litter
  • cat doesn’t like the litter box (too small, too enclosed, too hidden)
  • cat had a bad experience in the box
  • territorial issues with other cats or neighbor cats
  • box is too dirty
  • stress

I know it was Cornelius who did this because of the size of the poop. I believe the reason to be two fold. During warmer months the cats have access to the terrace and they frequently go in the plants outside. Therefore I cleaned the box less often because they went outside more than they went in their box. Now that its cooler they are kept inside more  and I therefore have to clean the box more often.

DIY Wood Pellet Litter Box

current DIY sifting litter box 23×15 inches

So he did this 1. because he likes to have different options of where to go and 2. because there was already poop in the box that he did not approve of. There could also be an element of territory between the two cats. The golden rule is to have a litter box for each cat plus one. I knew this, and in retrospect I should have accommodated for this right away. I was just going off of past experiences where my cats used the same box with no problems.

We use wood pellets, which I love. But this does not cover poop like clay litters do. I scoop the poop out daily anyways but with two cats there are times when Elizabeth poops and then Cornelius won’t go in there if he sees her poop.¬† I can respect him wanting a clean box to use.

So I’ve ordered a new box and it should be here in a couple of days. This should solve the problem! Having two boxes gives them the option of where they would like to go and if one of the box is being occupied they can use the other one in peace.

Thank you Cornelius, message received!

Check out our new box here.



  1. October 30, 2015 / 11:21 am

    My rascals have 2 litter boxes between the 3 of them. I couldn’t possibly have any more than that, simply because I don’t have the space in a 50 sq/m one-bed apartment! I have to clean them at least twice a day, morning and evening, not because of the poop – as you know, when fed raw they only poop every 2 days or so – but because of the amount of pee they do (due to the high moisture content in raw food)…

    • October 31, 2015 / 7:24 pm

      Yes I understand! I am so grateful of the low quantity of poop with a raw diet but even more so that it is hard and dry. Wet sticky poop and long-haired cats are a terrible combination!

      • October 31, 2015 / 7:26 pm

        You forgot one very important fact: NON-SMELLY!!!! :)

  2. PawesomeCats
    October 29, 2015 / 7:15 am

    This happens on really rare occasions in our house… it usually means the poop has got stuck to the fur on somekitty’s bottom and they’ve shaken it off. PS. You can always rely on cats to tell us mere mortals when there’s a problem. :)

    • October 31, 2015 / 7:23 pm

      Yes that’s true, they will tell us. And its our job to listen. We’ve been using a second litter box now for about a week and the poop outside the litter box has stopped. :-)

  3. October 26, 2015 / 8:26 pm

    That’s really bizarre. You just have two cats? And 4 litter boxes, are they next to each other? Does it make a difference if the boxes are covered or uncovered? It’s only poop? I’m sorry that’s really frustrating.

  4. Robin
    October 26, 2015 / 7:51 pm

    I have had this problem ever since I picked up my two ragdoll kittens from the breeder in June. The female is fine but her brother constantly poops right outside of the box. He’ll pee then jump out next to it, start “digging”, turn around and then poop.

    I have a small apartment but do have 4 litter boxes that I clean 2x per day and have tried all sorts of litter. He seems to like the litter I use now and has really used all the ones I have tried, but alas, he continues to do it. The breeder claims ignorance to his behavior.

    At this stage the only thing that I can think of is that he had a bad experience or felt bullied and this enables him to have more freedom as he is not a dominant cat. His sister is the dominant cat, so I have no idea if he feels uncomforable with her in this way. They normally get on well, so I don’t know.

    I have gotten used to it but really would like him to stop, so I think that I need to have him see a behavioral vet because none of the classic recommendations have worked.