A cat suffers bowel leakage if its colon is unable to receive messages from its brain, or if its sphincter is malfunctioning, says the ASPCA. Cats are most active at dawn and dusk, so night time leakage could result when the cat is relaxed.
Often old age can be the culprit. Older cats have less sphincter control, so when they relax, bowel leakage may occur. The primary reason other than old age, according to Mercola, is that the cat's brain is unable to send the "go" command to the colon. The cause of this miscommunication is usually a lower back issue, and can range from a spinal tumor to arthritis or muscle weakness. An X-ray or ultrasound may be able to determine whether the cat is suffering from a lower back problem.
Cats can become constipated, which can lead to litter box issues and ultimately, as noted by the ASPCA, to fecal incontinence. When a cat has trouble with constipation, it might not be able to perform in the litter box. This could lead to a bowel movement occurring in a different setting, such as on the couch during a time of relaxation. The likelihood of this being night time is high, since cats do a lot of sleeping at this time.
Infection or the presence of parasites could also be to blame, so getting a full blood test and fecal analysis for the cat can determine if anything microscopic could be a contributing factor, states Mercola.