Do Cats Poop Out of Spite?

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One of the reasons cats are so beloved by pet owners is the fact that they are so low maintenance. They practically take care of themselves as long as we give them 4 things; food, water, attention, and a place to go to the bathroom. Cats are great because they use the litter box and then cover it up, it’s so much easier than having to walk a dog 3-4 times a day. However, what if a cat is pooping outside of the litter box? In this article we’ll look at some of the reasons why cats poop outside of the litterbox or perhaps “forget” to cover their poop in the litterbox and more specifically answering the question; do cats poop out of spite?

Are cats capable of pooping out of spite?

Just for fun, we sometimes like to pretend that our cats are little mini-assassins that are always plotting our demise. But that’s all it is, fun. Our cats love us and that’s the furthest things from their minds.

Having said that, a cat would also never poop outside of its litter box out of pure spite nor would it poop in a way that stinks up the joint on purpose. It’s ridiculous… but funny at the same time because as cat assassins that would be a calculated distraction from their real motives.

Sometimes a cat will not properly cover up its poop with litter in the litterbox, causing an overwhelming poo smell to radiate from the box. In this case it’s almost the same smell as if the poop were sitting in the middle of the floor. That’s why it’s important to have a cover on the litterbox and have it in a closing room if possible.

If you notice this terrible smell coming from the litterbox, you may want to just do your cats job for it by cover up the cat poop with a bit of litter. This way you and your family can breathe again.

If your cat is suddenly pooping or peeing outside of their litterbox then it’s not a good sign. It means something is wrong, not necessarily medically but that is a possibility.

Below are some reasons why your cat might be pooping outside of its litter box… other than spite!

Reasons why your cat is pooping outside of the litter box

1. Health problem

It could be a health problem. As a pet owner you may even want to rule this out first and take your cat to the vet. However if they’re acting fine otherwise then you may want to try a couple of the other items on this list first.

2. Too much stress

Cats can get stressed out easily. Especially if there was a recent change to their routine. If you just moved or got back from a vacation, whatever it may have been, allow the cat to settle back into its routine and see if their restroom habits normalize.

3. Litterbox too small

If they can has trouble fitting in the litter box they may just refuse to use it, so this is a possibility if you’ve recently change the box for another or it’s a new cat.

Check out this jumbo sized litter box on Amazon. 

4. Too few litter boxes

If you have multiple cats in the home then their may be some territorial stuff going on. Sometimes cats will protect litter boxes and not let their roommates use them without a fight. In this case get 1-2 more litter boxes and place them in various locations around the house.

5. Litter box location

It’s possible that your cat simply doesn’t like where you’ve placed the litter box. Try moving it around the house to a few different places and see if that makes a difference.

6. Litter box needs cleaning

Are you scooping the litter and changing it out with fresh litter often enough? With one cat you should be doing this at least every other day if not every day, with multiple cats you should be scooping twice a day or more depending on how many boxes and animals you have. Cats may refuse to use a dirty litterbox, some animals are more picky than others.

7. Bad litter

Maybe your cat is a diva and doesn’t want to use your peasant-quality generic litter. Try another brand, preferably a name brand that is popular with cat owners.

8. Try a covered box

All of our boxes are covered. The cats seem to love the additional privacy, and honestly so do we. It’s awkward to walk by your cat while they’re doing their business and then you make eye contact with them. Offer them some more privacy and see if they like that.

Here’s a very popular covered litter box on Amazon. 


To wrap this up, cats do not poop out of spite. If your cat is pooping outside of its litter box it’s not doing it to spite you. There’s likely a problem of some sort and it’s up to you as the pet owner to figure out what it is and help your friend. If all else fails you can take them to the vet and get a professional opinion. This is often something that can be fixed at home, but there could be an underlying health problem.