Our kitten caught us out by coming on heat before we had a chance to spay her. We are awaiting for her to come out of heat to get her spayed. In the meantime she is defecating anywhere but the cat trays. (Yes we keep them clean, away from noise and in areas where she can't be cornered). She uses the cat trays to urinate, but is leaving piles of poo elsewhere for us (bed, sofa's, bedroom floor).

Will spaying get her back to using the trays?

  • It might. On the other hand, my male kitten went the reverse direction and picked up a litter problem after spaying.
    – Oldcat
    Dec 16, 2014 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


Do you use a covered litter box? Covered litter boxes are generally disliked by cats and can lead to litter box avoidance.

Spaying usually helps with middening and spraying outside the litter box. However, if it has become a habit the chances that spaying will help can go down.

Is your kitten declawed? Declawing can make the paws extra sensitive to some types of litter, resulting in pain when using the box. This can cause box avoidance as well. If your kitten is declawed, you could try using a different type of litter. Most "natural" (corn, wheat, walnut, etc) litters are easier on a declawed cat's paws.

If the kitten is not declawed, and has an uncovered box, you could try "retraining" your kitten to use the box. Basically, this involves confining the spaces the cat is allowed to a small room (such as a bathroom) with access to the litter box and everything else the kitten needs. Eventually she should re-learn to use the box. As the box becomes more frequently used you can expand the area she has access to gradually as you see she's using the box.

You could also try using loose soil or sand in the litter box, as some kittens are naturally more inclined to prefer those kinds of textures. As the kitten gets into a habit of using the box, you can gradually replace the soil or sand with regular litter.

  • Open boxes (5 of them in 3 locations). All de-pooped/pee 2-4 times a day. De-clawing is outlawed in the UK, so no. Dec 18, 2014 at 10:18
  • @SimonFeatherstone I would recommend placing the kitten in a litter box after she wakes up from naps to give her guidance on the preferred place to go. Trying other kinds of litter could make a difference as well. Dec 19, 2014 at 4:06

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