I have read this question, but no answer seems to help here.
My cat is an eight-year-old neutered male, and I have had it for five years.
He has always used the litter box, but sometimes defecated outside of it (always just in front). I figured that he didn't like the box (too small), and fixed it years ago. Also, I did some tests with different types of litter to see which he was comfortable with (the one I currently have is really efficient at neutralizing the smell).
Until then, when he did defecate in front of his litter-box, it was always related to one of two causes:
- He was not happy (we sometimes lock him up inside the bathroom when we clean up the flat; it is his way to say that he disapproved of it)
- Because the litter is dirty and/or smelled bad
But for the last month or so he refuses to use the box to defecate at all, even if the box is clean and the litter is new. He always defecates just in front of the box. Thankfully, urination has never been a problem.
I haven't changed the litter brand, the "cleaning stuff" brand, location of the box, or anything that could have disrupted him. I know cats can easily be stressed by small environment changes, but I can't see anything that could have stressed him.
I don't think my cat is doing this out of anger, but what my cat does really look like a "I show you I am not happy" behavior. Maybe he is stressed when we lock him up and stress leads to this behavior?
I will bring my cat to a veterinarian next week if the problem isn't solved by then. I didn't do it yet, because "health problem" seems like an unlikely cause (apart from that, his behavior didn't change at all).
Except for unforeseen health problems, do you know of anything else that could bring a cat to change this kind of behavior? Can a cat suddenly not like a litter brand anymore, for example?