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Sphynx pooping or peeing outside the litter box


Staff member
Jan 13, 2009
Over the years Sphynxlair has heard many stories of pooping and peeing outside the litter box so we thought we would compile all the scattered information into one clean version. :D

Is it my litter or box?

Should I change litters? Does my Sphynx cat like his/her litter? Is she allergic to it? He pees or poops outside of the box, is this because she does not like the litter?

This is a question we have heard too many times here on the Lair so I thought I would put some information out there for everyone to help understand, when, why and how to change your kitty litter brand.

How do I know if my Sphynx does not like his/ her kitty litter?
  • Your Sphynx places two of his paws on the edge of the box and the other two in the litter while going to the bathroom.
  • Your Sphynx does not dig a hole first or she does not like to cover her pee or poop
  • Your Sphynx shakes his paws after stepping out of the litter box
  • Your Sphynx scratches the floor or carpet just outside of his litter box
  • Your Sphynx pees or poops just outside of his litter box
If you see your Sphynx showing any of these signs of disliking his/ her litter, it is your job to figure out what he/ she does not like about the current kitty litter brand you are using. This is a process of trial and error, and could take a few weeks. So patience is a virtue.

Also just because your Sphynx exhibits one or two of these acts, does not mean he dislikes his kitty litter, if she is going in the box, leave well enough alone!

Here is an easy test, Just put another litter box next to the one he is currently using but put a different type of litter in the new litter box. If he uses the other kitty litter, you know which one he likes best. Leave both litter boxes in place until he gets used to using the new litter, then discard the old litter and fill that box with the new litter.

If your Sphynx does not like the new litter, then you will have to try another litter product. Keep doing this until you find one your Sphynx prefers best.

If you want to change litter brands for your own personal reasons or you feel your Sphynx does not care for your current brand, this is simple, first start by adding a little of the new litter into the litter box containing your current brand, then approximately over a course of about a week, gradually add a little more of the new to the old litter while eventually eliminating the old litter completely.

Try to stick with similar types of litter, for example clumping with clumping litters and so on. Also, a lot of cats like softer, finer litters.

If your Sphynx begins avoiding the litter box at any time during this transitioning process, add more of the old brand back in and change the percentage of old and new brands more gradually.Again this process can take time so have patience.

On another note, if you have more than one cat and one litter box this could also create problems which never existed before with urinating or pooping outside of the box. If changing litters does not work the other question is, do you have enough litter boxes in the home? A good rule of thumb is 1 box per cat.

* Also removing the lid or hood can make a difference in peeing or pooping outside the box.

* Location~location~location ~ Try another room, or area. He may not like tracking into a basement or even a dark "chilly" room! Loud noises like washers and dryers can deter your sphynx from using the litter box. Be sure they are in satisfactory places, NOT near the food and water dishes. Be sure the litter boxes are not in hard to get to spots (obstacle course), or heaters or boilers that become warm or hot and make the smell more prominent, it can deter the cat from using the box.

* If the cat is pooping in one particular room, as long as its not the room with a litter box, put a room deodorizer with a flowery or citrus smell, cats dislike those types of fragrances. If it he is pooping in just one spot of a room, put a welcome matt or some type of matt, bottom side up with the prickly material exposed. They don't like strange discomforting objects touching their paws and will stay clear of that spot. If it's in a particular spot, put a food dish their for awhile, they generally will not eat wear they poo.

* Another issue some folks have with peeing and pooping outside the box with their sphynx is with a declawed cat (which we never reccomend). The cat can have a very "sensitive" feeling in their paws which a hard gritty type litter can be painful walking in or uncomfortable to say the least. Changing to a "softer" "sandier" litter will help with keeping them going in their litter box.

* Also note that sometimes peeing out of the box is a sign of a possible UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) which usually be small dribbles of pee or even just droplets - a vet visit is needed in this case. Here is a photo if using clumping litter which will give you tell tail signs of a possible UTI or other medical issue with the urinary tract.


* Scooping and cleaning too often or too little can cause pooping and peeing outside of the box behavior as well. Check out this video by jackson Galaxy ~ "The Politics of Litter."

Multiple or NEW Resident Issues

Well, first things first, you need to see your vet and rule out a medical problem like a UTI (urinary tract infection) once it is confirmed that your sphynx kitty is healthy you need to find if the problem may be another existing cat resident issue perhaps.

First off, you should have the same number of boxes as you have Sphynx cats, sometime even more. It is also very important to strategically place the litter boxes throughout the house and not have them all lined up in one room or area sometimes.

A newer sphynx resident may not feel comfortable crossing the path of the existing cat resident. This could result in the new guys or gal cat holding his or her urine for a long period time thus causing him or her to urinate outside of the box in an area where he or she feels safer.

Some existing resident cats can intimidate the new guy by displaying an almost guarding like behavior in the litter box area, so by using this information you may stop or deter either the new resident sphynx cat from "peeing outside of the box" behavior which can be smelly and messy and hard to control if let go too long!

Giardia Bug

Another VERY common issue we have seen over the years, especially bringing an new kitten home is the Giardia bug.

What is Giardia you ask?
If your Sphynx has these symptoms, chronic diarrhea, horrible smelly poop, soft stools, bloody diarrhea, and sometimes even vomiting it's quit possible he or she has Giardia. The parasite lives in the intestinal tract and causes damage to the intestines. Giardia is commonly seen in young cats confined together in groups, such as a cattery, kennels, shelters, and pet stores.

Diarrhea is the most common sign of infection. Some cats may vomit in addition to the diarrhea. Weight loss may occur secondary to the diarrhea. The cat may still have a good appetite as well but still have the diarrhea. In many instances, a cat may be infected with Giardia, but show no clinical signs at all. So when you tell your vet after days and weeks of chronic, smelly diarrhea that you think it may be Giardia, and he or she shakes their head no, insist he or she prescribe treatment for your sphynx which generally would be Metronidazole (Flagyl).

There are several ways to diagnose Giardia infection. The most common methods involve analysis of a fecal smear. Direct analysis of a fecal sample may lead to a quick diagnosis. A fecal sample can also be sent to a diagnostic laboratory for more sophisticated testing. Many vets misdiagnose Giardia because sometimes it takes several samples to show positive! So do not take no for an answer!

Metronidazole (Flagyl) has been used extensively to treat Giardia in dogs and cats, as well as in people. This drug has an added advantage of being effective against other protozoans and some bacteria that might also be contributing to the diarrhea. Side effects involving the nervous system have been reported in some animals, although this is uncommon. Cats with Giardia need to have their prescribed medication administered faithfully. High fiber diets often provide additional help in controlling the diarrhea along with natural pumpkin (not the pie filler type). If you have other pets, all animals should be treated to prevent reinfection or transfer back into the home. Bathing all animals infected is recommended before introducing them into an uncontaminated environment which allows for removal of feces and infective cysts from the hair, coat or in the Sphynx case skin.

Decontamination is recommended in multiple pet households and in crowding situations (kennels, a cattery, shelters, or pet stores), proper sanitation is key to prevent cross contamination from one animal to another. All fecal material needs to be removed from cages, runs, and yard. Kennels and cages need to be cleaned with proper disinfectants and let totally dry before allowing animals back into them.

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Jul 14, 2015
This was very helpful. Thank you for putting all of this info together in one thread. I've been having issues with my kitty, Marley, and I now realize that it's probably because she doesn't like the litter I've switched her too. :confused:


Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Dec 19, 2010
When all else fails and you can't figure out who in your multi cat home is going outside the box invest in a Petcube or other video device that can catch the culprit in the act.


Mar 14, 2019
When all else fails and you can't figure out who in your multi cat home is going outside the box invest in a Petcube or other video device that can catch the culprit in the act.
I will add that there are some free apps for apple devices etc that you can use for this purpose (I have used Presence before) that turn an old ipod touch or something into a remote video camera which you can then connect to your smartphone to view live footage or recorded footage.


Jun 12, 2021
i have tried everything and cat used to use toilet and letterbox now he goes everywhere.
i need help