Is my cat just punishing me, or is something wrong with her?
I have had my cat for a little more than a year. I never had a problem with her using the litter box before about 2 months ago. She has always been great about it, even when I have left her alone for weekend trips and the box doesn't get cleaned for a few days. There have even been a few times when I was gone for several days, and had a neighbor come feed her but not clean out the box. Despite it being totally disgusting when I get home, she has not failed to use it.
Normally, I clean the box out every day. However, sometimes I forget, or I'm gone all day, and it doesn't get done until maybe the next morning. This has happened probably five or six times in the last two months.
Each time, I have found one little pooplet (I'm not sure what else to call it) on the floor next to the box. She just did it again right in front of me. It seems like she goes and uses the box, buries it like normal, starts to walk away, and then poops one more time on the floor. Each time has coincided with the box not having been cleaned out for 1 day (it's never too gross though). Is she just telling me that she has become more picky? It's almost like she's forgetting that she still has to go, which is why I'm wondering if there's maybe something wrong with her.
She may be having some constipation issues, making her poops a little uncomfortable. Cats lack the higher brain function ability to do things out of "spite." When they do present for inappropriate urination or defecation, it's typically because they have some physical issue going on (constipation, UTI etc), the box is not clean enough, or they are experiencing some kind of psychological stress (different person feeding, mom out of town, new pet or person in the house etc).
It's best to clean the box twice a day and use a non-scented dust-free litter with a grain that is comfortable to kitty's paws. Some cats prefer two litter boxes (one for pee, one for poo), and some prefer a larger, deeper box. I'd suggest playing around with sizes/combinations of boxes, different litter etc. and you will most likely fix your issue.
How old is she? In addition to the excellent suggestions above, if she is old she could be having dementia-type issues. My little old lady won't poop in the box any more. At. All. And I've found pooplets when my other cats have been a bit constipated.
What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!
My youngster had a problem with this when his tummy was upset. He'd often exit the litterbox before the last bit dropped. I don't think it was spite or dementia, just a fairly stoopid cat. He's a sweetie, but he doesn't have too many brain cells rattling around in his noggin.
Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.
If the litter is a bit stinky it could be that your cat is rushing through his business and doesn't completely finish before he hops out and the motion of jumping out of the litterbox pushes out the last bit of poop.
or it could be she is a "walker" where the cat moves a little and the last bit she hangs her tooshie out the box while her feet are still inside. I had a cat that did that and solved it by using a tall sterlite container & providing a stool to jump down into the box.
I would also suggest giving her more than one box to choose from - and perhaps play with the kinds of boxes. I have 4 cats, and they have 6 boxes to choose from. 3 are covered, 1 with a clear plastic door, and 3 are uncovered. Every now and then I'll find a little "pooplet" outside of the box too, I figure the motion of hopping out of the box expels that last little bit.
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My cats sometimes get what we call "chaser poops". If there is too much hair in their system, sometimes they will get a "hanger-on-er" that chases them around the house until they can expel the next link in the chain. Whenever I find a stray turd, it is usually one of these linked poopers.
All sort of funny until someone steps on one
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Cats lack the higher brain function ability to do things out of "spite." When they do present for inappropriate urination or defecation, it's typically because they have some physical issue going on (constipation, UTI etc), the box is not clean enough, or they are experiencing some kind of psychological stress (different person feeding, mom out of town, new pet or person in the house etc).
I have known some cats capable of being punitive to people. Expressing this via excrement is among the cat's tools. I don't think they do this out of spite, rather some cats have a well-developed sense of justice. Oh, and they can wait at least hours for retribution.
But in general, this is right: You don't assume an a-hole of an animal until you have exhausted all other possibilities.