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Cats/neutered male cat refusing his box


We are a retired couple. Our 12-year-old neutered male cat started refusing to use his box (for stools only)about six months ago. We keep several boxes, always clean, and have not moved them to a new spot. He always does urine in the box, but rarely stools. The vet tried antibiotics with no luck.
Recent events: a year ago our 21 year old female tabby died, but they were no great friends. We left him alone at home in the care of our cleaning couple(who usually scare him with the loud vaccuum sounds)about six months ago while we were on vacation for three weeks. They came in daily(his first time with no cat companion)while we were away. Shortly after our return he began this behaviour. He cries as though he is in great distress and runs all over before he squats, always in a new spot and on our carpet. Afterwards he continues to cry for a while and runs away from his accident.
Have you ever heard of this? Any ideas?
Thanks, Carol Tynan

well this sort of behavior is known as middening, I have a web page all about what it is and what causes it. I will add the link at the end of this message for your information.

basically it is a form of communication which a cat uses when they are particularly upset by something, it is designed to say hey this is mine and helps to make him feel better. The real problem is knowing what is causing it and this can be quite difficult to discover.
Here is my page about the subject, it may help to provide you with some answers.


best wishes


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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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