Why is my cat pooping on my bed?
Original Question: I have 6-year-old Ragdoll cat. Once a month, for the last 5 months, she has been pooping on the bed. She is healthy and was recently at the vet for her annual checkup. She gets lots of attention and her litter box is cleaned each day. We are at our wits end and do not know what to do. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. - Erin
Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear you’re dealing with this.
Once a month is extremely rare for this type of behavior but I can understand that it is still annoying, nonetheless. Interestingly, the fact that it is so infrequent, in some ways, makes it more difficult to diagnose why this is happening.
I believe this is probably a behavioral issue since it is so infrequent. It’s always worth doing some general diagnostics, such as blood work and urine, to make sure that there are no underlying health concerns. It is unusual for behavior like this to simply develop out of nowhere without some type of stimulus, either behaviorally or medically. If the medical diagnostics are negative, then it must be behavioral.
You should try to look for a possible stimulus for this behavior of a cat pooping in bed. It could be something we can find and control, or it may be undetectable to us. We must remember that cats have senses beyond ours and there may be a noise or smell that occurs monthly basis that we can’t detect but she can. For example, a neighbor’s dog that walks by the window, a visitor to your home, or a particular device in your home that is used infrequently such as the vacuum or a cleaning product.
It’s possible that a stimulus like this could be creating stress and anxiety and so the first thing I would consider is eliminating something that could be causing this behavior and if that doesn’t work you could consider using an anti-anxiety supplement as a trial. If that doesn’t work, I would then consider an anti-anxiety medication but I recommend you discuss this with your vet before starting any medication. Should you decide to use a supplement, you could consider trying to reinforce the use of a litter box consistently by placing an extra one in your bedroom. Another way to correct this behavior is to restrict access to the bedroom altogether but I assume you would like to avoid this option. You can also try placing treats around the litter box to emphasize her attention on it. You could also modify the litter box to make it more attractive by buying a larger one or making your own that has a large area and very low lip around it. You could do this by buying a large plastic storage bin and cutting the bottom off, placing it in a garbage bag and sprinkling litter in. If your cat is overweight, this will be especially helpful.
Hopefully, some of these ideas are helpful.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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