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Why Does My Cat Leave Poop Stains?

If your cat is leaving poop stains around your home you may be getting annoyed and wondering why this keeps happening…

Why does my cat leave poop stains?

The most common reason that this occurs has to do with feline obesity. When your kitty gets a little on the big side and they are the only cat in the house, then proper grooming becomes either quite difficult or downright impossible for your cat. 

So, now you know. But, could this be to do with their dirty litter box? How can I prevent this from happening? What about the poop stains themselves, how should I clean them up? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

Can a dirty litter box cause poop stains?

A black cat.

A black cat.

Alternately, if the litter box is quite dirty then this may cause your cat to find different places to go for their potty break, but if your cat is not obese and the litter box is clean then poop and urine stains may be a big red flag – a visit to the vet for a checkup would be advised at this point.

Finally, a change in diet may also be the culprit, so if you’ve just changed your cat’s food then this might be the reason for those stains!

If it is obesity, as discussed earlier, this results in fecal deposits and often in small spots of urine in areas that your cat likes to frequent.

How can I prevent my cat from leaving poop stains?

This will depend largely on the cause. If your cat is obese and unable to groom themselves properly, then you’ll want to adjust their diet and you will need to help them to stay clean during the time that they are losing weight.

If the poop stains have to do with tracking litter in the house, then putting a mat next to the litter box can help to stop this. Your cat doesn’t like tracking litter either, as they are generally quite clean creatures, and your cat may use the mat to help ensure that their paws are cleaner when they’ve finished with the litter.

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If the poop stains are occurring on your carpet, however, then your cat may have a problem with its anal glands and a quick trip to the vet is going to be the best course of action.

How can I clean up poop stains left behind?

To clean up any poop stains that your cat has left you can mix something up with some handy home ingredients to get the job done. Take 2 cups of water and add in one tablespoon full of white vinegar, along with a tablespoon of bleach-free dish soap. Mix it up well and be sure to test it on a small area of carpet that is not easily seen.

This will help to ensure that your mix is indeed bleach-free and won’t discolor your carpet, so don’t skip this step! Once you’ve tested it out, you can use this solution with an old, clean rag or brush to remove the stains cleanly and safely.

How do you get poop stains off a cat?

Cat being groomed.

Cat being groomed.

When your cat gets poop stuck in the fur then the best way to deal with it is to gently clip at your cat’s fur around to get the fecal matter out of the affected and surrounding area. After this, you can bathe the area with dog shampoo, and to dry, use a soft, clean towel and gentle patting.

If your cat has diarrhea, then you can wipe the area with a damp towel and use baby wipes in order to help clean and soothe away soreness for your cat. Note: Diarrhea can dehydrate your cat quickly, so a vet checkup might be a good idea at this time.

Why is my cat not cleaning her bottom?

Cats are fastidious groomers, so if your cat is not cleaning their bottom then it is because they having difficulties or simply unable to do this at all. If your cat is obese, then you’ll want to help your cat to clean and some dietary changes are in order to get your cat back to a healthy weight so they can groom again naturally.

If you have an older cat, then it could be arthritis. When a cat grooms their bottom, they really have to stretch, and arthritis pain may prevent them from this and you won’t even know. Cats tend to hide when they are feeling unwell, so if your older cat is no longer grooming properly then have your vet give them a thorough checkup.

Arthritis in older cats is quite manageable, it’s just hard to notice when your cat is being so secretive.

How do you punish a cat for pooping outside the litter box?

Punishment is not the way to go with cats. First off, it will give your cat some bad associations with the litter box and they may start avoiding it completely. Secondly, your cat may become distrustful of YOU, and this can manifest in a number of ways that will be much worse than the nasty glare you’ll get right away.

Rather than punishing your cat, when you see your cat going potty outside of the litter box, then gently pick them up and place them in the box. As long as the litter is clean and there is the right amount of it, your cat will quickly get used to the litter and stop going outside of the box.

Do cats get dirty paws after burying poop in their litter tray?

Cats are actually quite fussy about cleanliness and their paws are probably cleaner than most human hands at any given time. You’ve probably noticed how they bury their poo in the box and this is accomplished by flinging clean litter over it, definitely not dirty litter.

While accidental contact can occasionally occur, in most cases your cat is very careful to avoid this so if the litter box is regularly cleaned, then the odds are your cat will have very clean paws.

Why does my cat use its litter box after I clean it?

While this could be a case of your cat simply enjoying the litter the most when it’s nice and fresh, this is more likely an issue with the territory. Cats like to mark their areas and your standard litter, while it absorbs odors, always leaves a definite bit of scent once your cat is done with it.

The most likely reason that they sit and watch you change it out is so that they can immediately ‘lay claim’ to the newly fresh litter box to mark it as their own.

If a cat steps in poop, will it lick itself clean?

Normally this is not something that a cat will want to do, but if they do step in poop and get it on their fur and other methods of dislodging or cleaning it do not help, then your cat will likely go ahead and groom themselves.

Cats are very good at avoiding this scenario occurring in the first place, so if this is happening you will want to check the litter box. If it seems dirty, then it will need to be cleaned more regularly, as your cat will have trouble using it and may even decide to leave you a ‘present’ somewhere else in the house!

Why is my cat leaving poop stains on my bed?

If your litter box is being kept clean, then this might be a sign that you need to try some new food with your cat. Some cat foods or occasional treats that we like to give our cats can make them gassy or even cause the occasional bout of diarrhea.

If your cat has been eating the same food for a while and this is a new thing, consider what you’ve eaten recently that might have been shared with the cat. If you rule out food and treats, then bring your cat in for a vet checkup, as this could be a sign of impacted anal glands or other issues with your cat’s anus that need to be addressed.

Lindsey Browlingdon