Q: My CleoCatra is going outside her pan...for pee and poo. She goes in different places..at first I thought my adult daughter might be intimidating her (she does)..then I did slightly relocate her pan, and even bought her a larger one ( she is over weight). I also thought maybe the fleas like to bunch around her tail base and "activate" a potty trigger. HELP PLEASE, Aledra..thank you very much.

AND this answer is also for:

My 6 year old cat sometimes poops on a hardwood floor, even though there is a clean litter box nearby. At other times she goes in her litter box. Totally random. It is almost like she wants me to see what she has done!

This is a good question, to which there are so many answers. I’ve literally seen this as the cause for different cats:

  • I don’t like my litter box, even though I liked it before.
  • I don’t like having just one litter box, even though I did fine most of my life with just one.
  • I don’t like my other partner using my litter box, even though before I was ok with it.
  • I’m a litter box diva. You better get my toilet situation set up just right.
  • You put my litter box so far out of site, far away through a maze of stairs and rooms so I either forget or it’s too inconvenient to pee or poop there.
  • I don’t like the room where my litter box is, even though I was fine with it before.
  • I don’t like when my pee touches my poop and vice versa.
  • I have an medical issue with my plumbing.
  • It hurts when I pee or poop, and I’ve associated this negativity with the box, and I’ve been searching for a good place to go ever since.
  • I’m arthritic, and it hurts to go where my box is.
  • I’m arthritic, and my box is too small for me to make a three point turn to get out once I walk in.
  • You’ve fixed my medical issue, but haven't retrained me yet.
  • The new person, child or visitor to my home made me stressed, and inflamed my bladder.
  • The cat outside the door made me stressed, and inflamed my bladder.
  • The food I’m eating made crystals and my bladder got inflamed.
  • The change you did to our furniture made me stressed, and inflamed my bladder.
  • My bladder iust got inflamed. No reason to be found.
  • I don’t like your boyfriend, he makes me anxious and you should get a new one.
  • I don’t like change.
  • Not enough has changed…I’m bored and anxious.
  • I had an accident. I occasionally do that, but I mostly use the box.
  • I’m older and a bit senile.

Of course we can break down the medical stuff even further. The fleas would count as a medical issue - it would more irritate her than anything else so treat her for that. Then get or make new litter boxes to evaluate her for the first few things I have listed.

P.S.  - I like how you say “pan” instead of litter box. I might start saying that!

Good Luck,

Dr. Kris.