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Why Does My Cat Use The Litter Box As Soon As I Get Home?

If your cat is rushing to use the litter box when you get in you may be wondering why this is happening…

Why does my cat use the litter box as soon as I get home?

Your cat may use the litter box when you get home because it has been woken up by your arrival. Also, there is a chance that it may be waiting, seeking your praise when it finishes using the litter box. The latter is applicable if you have used positive re-enforcement to train it.

So, now you know. But, why do some cats persist in using the litter tray while you use it? How often should your cat be using the litter tray?

Why does your cat poop when I poop?

Your cat may poop when you poop because you may coincidently overlap with its schedule. Also, if it tends to follow you all the time, and you disappear to poop, it may use this alone time to use the litter tray.

If this is happening, take it as a compliment. It may sound weird, but your cat is closely watching you for a reason, meaning love.

Why does my cat use the litter box while I clean it?

Why do cats poop when you get home

A cat in its litter tray.

If your cat goes to use the litter tray as you go to use it, it may have been waiting for it to be cleaned and felt it was too dirty to use. This may be a hint that you need to clean it more regularly.

If you are finding it hard to keep it cleaned regularly there are other methods such as self-cleaning cat litter trays (Click here to see my best one). This will make it effortless to keep on top of it.

Can you train a cat to use a litter box?

You can train a cat to use a litter box. This can be as simple as positioning it near, on on the litter box immediately after waking up or following a meal. Most cats will use it instinctively from there, so that should be enough.

The reality it most cats just naturally use litter boxes because they are programmed to hide their poop after and the litter tray is the ideal location for them indoors.

How often should your cat use the litter box?

It is normal for a cat to use the litter tray several times per day. For example three to five times per day. So, it can be challenging to keep on top of the cleaning.

But, the cat’s litter (Click here if its messing with the litter liner) needs to be kept clean or you may find that it will avoid using it. And, if that happens, your home may become a litter box (click here if it is laying by it), if you get my point.

Do cats  feel secure pooping when you are home?

Cats feel weirdly secure pooping when you are home. It’s similar to dog psychology. Basically, they rely on you to feel that they are safe because they trust you. When they poop they are vulnerable, hence their caution during this time.

Now that you understand why this is happening, it may make you tolerate the smell and irritation this causes a bit more (If not click for my guide on the best Air purifiers (Winix Air Purifier vs Honeywell vs Envion (for Cat/Odor/Dander).

Let me now go on to explain how “SAS” is linked to this (and what it is), how cat anxiety can cause-related issues, how you can deal with this, and more. Keep reading…

How is SAS linked to Common poop-related issues?

As well as finding your cat waiting for you to get home and pooping (Click here to see my 3 Best Cat Toilet Training Kits), you may have already noticed (or may soon see) occasions when your cat eliminates (poops) in random places. Basically not in its litter tray, are you with me?

For this reason, I am going to explain why this happens, to help you understand this.

What is “SAS”

SAS is an acronym for Separation Anxiety Syndrome. It’s a posh word for your cat feeling homesick. In particular missing mummy. This is caused by unnecessarily early separation from your cat’s original mother.

This separation anxiety causes this mischievous behavior. I use the term “mischievous” loosely because in your cat’s head it’s not really naughty. It is just an inconvenience to you.

What other things do anxious cats do?

If you have seen some of this misbehavior, you may be wondering what else may happen, just so you can prepare yourself, or find a way to stop it. Let me explain.

Excessive Grooming

cat excessive grooming

Another related behavior associated with anxiety is excessive grooming. And let me clarify, this is not like us humans looking in the mirror obsessing on our hair and clothes. This is more intensive, and painful for cats.

What do I mean?

Well, Obsessive grooming for them means pulling out clumps of fur due to frustration. In extreme cases, it can get really bad. When I say bad, it can result in entire areas of their body, e.g. their entire belly, are you with me?

How can you help a “needy” cat?

Now that you have heard some of these horror stories, you may be anxious yourself, wondering what you can do to help your cat, before it spirals out of control, right?

The reality is, anxiety can be quite broad, it could be related to friction with another local cat, or your cat feeling neglected. So, there is no one size fits all remedy, unfortunately.

However, there are some basic things that you can do to help that are just good practice anyway. So, even if it’s not the full solution, it won’t waste your time.

Quality Time

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Top 10 Cat Breeds

The best thing you can do is to make your cat feel wanted and NOT neglected. So, the objective is to spend more quality time. Such as scheduling some playtime sessions and making her feel wanted.

Treats

Another technique could be surprising your kitty with some lovely treats. This can be given directly or cunningly hidden around the house so she gets random treats throughout the day or working week.

Why might stop your cat stop using their litter tray?

Earlier we talked about anxiety being a major factor why you may see unexpected poop in places. But, this is not always the issue. For that reason, I am going to explain other things that can make this happen.

Physical issues

Sometimes your cat may have genuine physical problems that prevented her from getting to the litter tray. This could be things like joint-related pain. These problems could slow them down making it difficult to get to the tray in time.

Even issues such as diarrhea could be a factor. Why? Simple, because they may find it hard to get to the tray in time if the diarrhea is really aggressive, are you with me?

The best way to get to the bottom of this is to consult your vet to clarify your theories. Once you know for sure you can make a move to improve the situation.

Related Questions:

In this section, I will answer some questions related to cats and eliminating poop. If you feel there are questions unanswered in your head, please feel free to drop a comment below.

Q: Why does my cat not cover his poop?

Could be two issues: displaying dominance or she is unhappy with the actual litter (Click here to see why I like these clumping litters the best). Let me explain…

Dominance

Instinctively cats will cover up their poop. So, it is weird to see the feces left uncovered. However, in some cases, this can be a deliberate and strategic move by your cat. This is based on dominance. Basically, they will leave it like this to send a message to the rival cat that they are in charge.

Not happy with the litter

This obviously speaks for itself. You may find that the fact that your cat has not covered its poop, is actually nothing to do with dominance. It could be as simple as she does not like the litter anymore.

Maybe you have changed the litter recently? Simple things like the texture of the litter could actually turn her off from using it.

Q: Why do cats eliminate then run from the feces?

This typically points to a health issue. They could literally be running away with pain or discomfort. If you have seen this, it’s probably quite confusing. It may even look like your cat is scared of the poop, right?

Well, as I briefly mentioned. There is a good chance it’s linked to some kind of pain or discomfort experienced while she is pooping (What if it’s in your carrier? Click here). Unfortunately, there are a few potential issues that you will need to look into or get advice from your vet.

These issues can include infections of the urinary tract, colon, or rectum issues. It may even be as simple as a bad case of constipation. Either way, best to get it checked out with your vet.

Q: What makes a cat use a litter tray?

This is instinctive (Click here for my article on how cats know how to use a litter tray) cats do this by nature. It’s almost like me asking you, how do you know how to use the toilet? It just happened, right? Same for cats.

This stemmed from the wild when they were keen to cover their tracks from predators. So, a clever way to do this was to literally cover their poop (Click here to see why there are poop nuggets in your home), so their predators wouldn’t smell or see evidence of them being there.

Q: What causes a cat to make a noise near the litter tray?

This is usually a health issue (Click here for my article on why cats meow before pooping). Typically your cat is feeling some form of pain during elimination and this causes the noise. It’s best to get advice from your vet to confirm because there are many potential issues for this.

Q: How can you get rid of unwanted cat smells?

Using an air purifier (Click here to see my top selections) or even adding more litter boxes can help (Click here for my article on ways to stop the smell is apartments). Obviously, there are many ways to do this, but these things will help a great deal depending on your particular issue.

Lindsey Browlingdon