Old Cat Messes on Floor, Not in Litter Box

by Dianne
(Duson, LA, USA)

I have a 15 year old male cat who does not always use his litter box. The box is clean and he continues to mess on the floor. What is the cause of this? Is he getting too old? Or is it some kind of illness?

Reply from Liz (Editor): It's hard to say wht's causing this cat behavior without knowing a lot more background, but I'll try to give you some pointers.

If he's suddenly and inexplicably started doing this, and nothing else has changed, it could be due to illness and it would be worth getting him checked over by a vet. One of the most common causes of cats suddenly abandoning their litter box is cat urinary tract infection. This is easily treated with antibiotics if it's caught early.

There are a number of other reason why cats may stop using their litter boxes. A lot of these are because of changes that have occurred that the cat doesn't like. Have you recently changed the type of cat litter you use, for example? Or have you changed the litter box, or the location of the box? The following section on the website goes through all the main reasons why a cat may stop using its litter box, and suggests solutions for each:

Litter Box Problems - Main Causes and Solutions

Best of luck with this and thank you for your question.

Click here to post comments

Return to Your Cat Behavior Questions.