Hyperthyroid cat pooping on kitchen floor. Why?

Janice Turner, columnist and interviewer for The Times newspaper, tells us in the Thursday edition of the newspaper that she is having ‘pet problems’. Specifically, her previously fastidious, 15-year-old cat, who has hyperthyroidism, started to poop on the kitchen floor when he used the garden before. She says that every morning he leaves a deposit in exactly the same place on the kitchen floor and questioned whether he has become senile.

Janice Turner

Marking Territory?

I don’t think the problem is to do with hyperthyroidism or senility. I’ll presume that the cat flap is in the kitchen door. If those two assumptions are correct then the likely reason is that Janice’s cat is pooping on the kitchen floor as a form of marking territory. It probably takes place near the cat flap which is significant because it is a boundary between the indoors and outdoors and a potential thoroughfare for another cat to get into the house.

I’m not going to presume that another cat is getting into the house via the cat flap but it may be the case that Janice’s cat is seeing another cat outside and in response is marking territory with poop rather than pee. This can happen. Faeces can be used as a marker but
far more commonly it is spraying with urine on vertical surfaces.

Stranger Cat?

If I was Janice I would check for stranger cats outside to see if they can be prevented disturbing her cat. In addition, once a cat starts pooping on a certain spot on the floor she will begin to consider that spot as a toilet. Accordingly, I would move the poop and place it in the spot outside where she normally poops and ensure that the area in the kitchen is thoroughly cleaned to remove any scent. It’s important that there is no vestige of scent of her poop that the cat can pick up.

She should then return to pooping outside.I would hope that both these courses of action may result in success.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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