Why Does My Cat Poop In The Sink?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

Let’s uncover the mystery behind “Why Does My Cat Poop In The Sink?” so you can regain a clean and peaceful home for both you and your beloved feline friend.

For all the cat owners out there, we know how much our feline friends bring joy and companionship into our lives. However, every now and then, they can exhibit some puzzling behaviors that may leave us scratching our heads. One behavior in particular is when cats decide to use the bathroom sink instead of their litter box. As a concerned pet owner, you may wonder why your beloved cat would choose such an unconventional spot to do their business. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into this curious behavior and provide possible explanations as to why your cat prefers pooping in the sink over their designated litter box area. Let’s solve this mystery together!

Why Does My Cat Poop In The Sink?

There could be several reasons why your cat might be opting to poop in the sink:

  • Medical Issues: Your cat might be dealing with a health issue that makes it uncomfortable or painful to use the litter box. In this case, they might associate the discomfort with the litter box and try to avoid it.
  • Cleanliness: Cats are known for their cleanliness. If the litter box is not cleaned regularly, your cat might seek out a cleaner place to do their business, like the sink.
  • Stress or Anxiety: Changes in the environment or routine can cause stress or anxiety in your cat, leading them to alter their behavior.
  • Preference: Some cats might just prefer the cool, smooth surface of the sink over their litter box.
  • Attention Seeking: Sometimes, cats behave unusually to grab their human’s attention, especially if they feel neglected.

In any case, if your cat repeatedly poops in the sink, it’s important to consult with a vet to rule out any potential health issues.

File:2020-06-19 08 24 38 A tabby cat in a bathroom sink in the Franklin  Farm section of Oak Hill, Fairfax County, Virginia.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

What Should I Do If My Cat Poops In The Sink?

If your cat starts pooping in the sink, follow these steps:

Consult a veterinarian: This unusual behavior might indicate a medical issue. Your cat might be suffering from a urinary tract infection or other discomfort that makes it hard to use the litter box.

Clean the litter box more frequently: Cats are extremely clean creatures. If their litter box is too dirty, they might find somewhere else, like the sink, to do their business.

Move the litter box: If it’s in a noisy or high-traffic area, your cat might feel stressed or scared. Try moving it to a more private, quiet location.

Try different litter: Some cats are particular about the type of litter. Experiment with a few different types to see if this resolves the issue.

Limit access to the sink: Whenever possible, keep the bathroom door closed. This might encourage your cat to use the litter box instead. 

Positive reinforcement: When your cat uses the litter box correctly, reward them with a treat or petting. This can help associate the litter box with positive experiences.

How Can I Prevent My Cat From Pooping In The Sink?

Preventing your cat from pooping in the sink can be accomplished through a range of strategies:

Monitor Health Regularly: Regular vet check-ups help identify any health issues in their early stages, before they lead to behavioral changes such as pooping in the sink.

Maintain Cleanliness of Litter Box: Cleaning up cat litter and keeping it odor-free encourages cats to use it. Aim for daily cleanings.

Provide Privacy for Litter Box: Cats prefer quiet, calm areas for their litter boxes. If located in a noisy or high-traffic area, consider moving it to a more secluded spot.

Experiment with Different Litters: Cats can be finicky about the type of litter they prefer. Try a variety of formulations and textures to see what your cat likes best.

Restrict Sink Access: Keep bathroom doors closed and cover sinks when not in use. Cats will seek out alternatives, ideally the litter box, if their preferred spot is inaccessible.

Use Positive Reinforcement: Reward your cat with treats or praise when they use the litter box. Positive reinforcement can help establish good habits.

Add More Litter Boxes: Some cats prefer to have multiple options. Providing more than one litter box, especially in multi-cat households, can help reduce competition and territorial behavior.

Is There A Specific Type Of Litter Or Litter Box That May Help Stop This Behavior?

While it may seem strange, some cats develop the habit of using sinks in place of their litter boxes. This behavior could potentially be discouraged by making the litter box more appealing or by adjusting the type of litter used. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Litter Attractants: These products can be mixed into your cat’s litter to encourage use of the litter box. They typically contain natural herbs that cats find appealing.
  • Smooth Litter: Some cats prefer a litter that resembles the smooth surface of a sink. Try using a finer, sand-like litter.
  • Large, Open Litter Box: A sink is an open, spacious area. Your cat might be more inclined to use a wide, open litter box, which could feel more comfortable and less confining.
  • Frequent Cleaning: Cats appreciate cleanliness. Regular scooping and litter replacement could make the litter box more appealing.

Remember, patience and consistency are key when adjusting your cat’s behaviors. You may need to try a variety of strategies before finding the right solution for your feline friend.

How Can I Properly Clean And Remove The Odor From The Sink After My Cat Has Pooped In It?

To clean cat poop and remove the odor from your sink, follow these steps:

  • Wear Protective Gloves: Always wear rubber, latex, or disposable gloves while cleaning cat waste to avoid contact with harmful bacteria.
  • Remove Solid Waste: Carefully remove any solid waste and dispose of it properly. 
  • Use Enzymatic Cleaner: Spray an enzymatic cleaner, which is designed to break down pet waste and eliminate odors, generously on the sink. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Scrub the Sink: After allowing the cleaner time to work, scrub the sink thoroughly with a brush or sponge. 
  • Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the sink with warm water to remove any residual cleaner.
  • Dry the Sink: Use a clean towel to dry the sink, as moisture can add to the lingering smell.
  • Disinfect the Sink: Apply a disinfectant that is safe for your sink’s material (porcelain, stainless steel, etc.) to ensure that all bacteria are eliminated. 
  • Rinse and Dry Again: Rinse the sink one more time and dry it thoroughly. 
  • Use Odor Neutralizer: As a final step, use an odor neutralizer to get rid of any remaining smells. These products can be found in pet stores or online.

Remember, it’s crucial to remove the smell completely, as cats have a keen sense of smell and may be tempted to use the sink again if any odor remains.

Read more: What Should I Do If My Cat Poops While Standing?


In conclusion, there are several reasons as to why your cat poop in the sink. Whether it’s due to a medical issue or simply a behavioral habit, it’s important to address this issue and find a solution that works for both you and your furry companion. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian to rule out any medical concerns and then work on implementing positive reinforcement techniques to modify their behavior. Don’t get discouraged if the process takes some time, as every cat is different and may require a unique approach. With patience, consistency, and love, you can successfully train your cat to use their litter box once again. Remember not to punish them or shame them for their actions, as this will only deter progress and harm the relationship between you and your pet.