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Why Does My Cat Poop In The Sink?


Why Does My Cat Poop In The Sink?


This post was updated on January 19th, 2024

Cats are known for their cleanliness, but sometimes they exhibit a perplexing behavior – using the bathtub as a litter box. This post is all about answering the question, why does my cat poop in the sink?

I have written articles on similar topics such as, cats struggling with depression, why do cats purr and then bit you and mmmmmmaaaaannnnyyy more. You see, my cat Finnegan struggles with anxiety, plus I had two kitty cats with FIV. From cat introductions to feline stress, I have experienced it all!

Without further ado, let’s pounce in! 🐱

If you’re a cat owner who’s dealing with this issue, you’re not alone.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why cats might prefer the bathtub, as well as some of the treatments and deterrents that can help put an end to this behavior.

Read on to learn:

  • Why does my cat poop in the sink?
  • Treatment for a cat that poops in the sink
  • Deterring the behavior
  • FAQ

Kritter Kommunity loves the ModKat litter box. Finnegan uses this litter box and I especially love how I can flip the lid up, fold it over, and keep it down; depending on his preference.


Why Does My Cat Poop in the Sink?

If you’re a cat owner, chances are you’ve experienced the unpleasant surprise of finding your feline friend’s feces in the bathtub or sink. 💩

This behavior can be frustrating and unsanitary, but it’s important to understand why your cat is doing it before you can work to stop it.

Litter Box Issues

One common reason for this behavior is that your cat may not have access to a suitable litter box.

This tends to be a primary reason could be that your cat is experiencing litter box aversion. This could be due to several factors such as location, cleanliness, or even the type of litter you’re using.

Make sure you have enough litter boxes in accessible places for your cat. A general rule of thumb is to have one more litter box than the number of cats you have.

Another reason could be that your cat has a preference for smooth and cool surfaces. The bathtub might provide a smoother and cooler surface than the litter box, making it more appealing for your cat.

Cat Litter

Although my cat has never pooped in the sink, Finnegan has had multiple challenges with pooping outside of the litter box. One of the reasons is cat litter. He will only use unscented.

Find out which cat litter your feline prefers and stick with it.

Your cat is not being finicky.

A feline has instinctual needs you should meet, including territorial.

Cat litter can be a cause of feeling exposed to predators. For Finnegan, scented litter or pine shaped litter is not an option. He feels way too at risk of a predator finding him.


Another possibility is that your cat is experiencing stress or anxiety. This could be due to changes in their environment, such as a new pet or person in the house, or even something as simple as a change in routine.

RELATED: Keeping Dog Out of Cat Litter Box

Try to identify any potential stressors and work to eliminate them if possible. Providing your cat with a quiet and safe space, such as a cozy bed or cat tree, can also help reduce stress.

I consider this a primary cause of cat litter box issues. A simple change in furniture can flip a cat out. Again, not because they are finicky; because they have feline instincts, especially territorial, that can easily stress them out.

Medical Issue

If your cat continues to defecate in the bathtub or sink despite having access to a litter box and a stress-free environment, it may be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Inflammatory bowel disease, parasites, and other health problems can cause cats to have difficulty controlling their bowel movements. Consult with your veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions.

Why Does My Cat Poop in the Sink Prevention Tips

  • To prevent further accidents, consider blocking off access to the bathtub or sink when you’re not using them.
  • You can also try placing a litter box in the bathroom near the bathtub or sink to encourage your cat to use it instead.
  • It’s important to clean any affected areas thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner to eliminate any lingering odors that may attract your cat to the spot again. Make sure to clean the litter box regularly and consider switching to a different type of litter if necessary.
  • Another prevention measure you can take is to make sure the litter box is in a location that is easily accessible to your cat and away from any loud or scary noises.
  • Additionally, you can try using a pheromone spray or diffuser to create a calming environment for your cat.
  • Another option is to cover the bathtub with a plastic shower curtain or aluminum foil to make the surface less appealing.
  • You can also try placing citrus-scented items in the bathtub, as most cats dislike the smell of citrus. Another option is to provide your cat with an alternative litter box in a different location that is more appealing to them.

These are only a deterrents while you are identifying the cause for your cat’s behavior.

Stopping your cat from defecating in the bathtub or sink requires identifying the underlying cause of the behavior.

Ensure your cat has access to a suitable litter box, eliminate any potential stressors, and consult with your veterinarian if necessary. Taking these steps can help prevent further accidents and keep your home clean and sanitary.

How Do I Keep My Cat Out of the Bathtub?

Cats are naturally curious creatures and are often attracted to the cool, smooth surface of a bathtub. It would not bother me at all if my cat still liked to play in the bathtub. He does not anymore, but when Finnegan was a kitten he loved to jump in and out; hiding behind the shower curtain.

Your cat may love it.

Your cat may enjoy drinking from the faucet or playing with drops of water.

You may not want your cats to play in the bathtub or hang-out in there for a number of reasons. For one, they may accidentally slip and hurt themselves. Additionally, they may scratch the surface or leave behind fur and dirt.

To keep your cat out of the bathtub, there are a few strategies you can try.

Firstly, you can provide them with an alternative source of water, such as a fountain or a shallow bowl. This can satisfy their curiosity and reduce their desire to drink from the faucet.

RELEVANT: The Purr-fect Amount: Uncovering How Much Water Your Cat Needs

You can also make the bathtub less appealing by placing a textured mat on the bottom or covering it with a towel. This will make it less smooth and less comfortable for your cat to hang out in. Alternatively, you can use a deterrent such as double-sided tape or aluminum foil, which cats dislike the feel of.

Finally, if your cat is persistent in trying to get into the bathtub, you may need to keep the bathroom door closed or invest in a cat-proof bathtub cover. This will ensure that your cat stays safe and your bathtub remains clean and scratch-free.


In conclusion, cats using the bathtub as a litter box can be a frustrating problem for cat owners. However, by understanding the causes behind this behavior and implementing the proper treatments and deterrents, you can help your cat overcome their aversion to the litter box and keep your bathtub clean and free of surprises.

My experience is, the cause is almost always anxiety or litter.

More content on your cat’s litter box:

How To Make Your Litter Box And Cat Room Smell Unbelievably Good

Making Your Litter Box Senior Cats-Friendly [2023]

🐾 Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC! 🏡 She’s got a dapper tuxedo cat who’s been her sidekick since he was a tiny furball. 🐱 Before Finnegan came along, Lisa cared for two FIV-positive cats for over ten years! 🌟 Their love inspired her to create a cat enclosure and a portable catio, giving kitties the purrfect spot to bask in the sun and feel the breeze. ☀️🌿

As a kid, Lisa shared her home with a Poodle and a chirpy parakeet! 🐩🐦

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