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Male not using litterbox...owner wants to put to sleep!!

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ok Here's the story: I met one of my friend's grandmother Virgie. I noticed a litterbox and asked how many cats she had..she said one that she wanted to put to sleep. I asked why..she said that he used to use his litter box and now all he wants to do is spray the back door and other doors around the house. Now he wont even poop in the box and goes on newspaper she keeps by the back door to collect the worst of the spray. She said he just stopped using it for no reason and that she's sick of cleaning up his mess. If he doesnt start using it soon she's putting him to sleep. I tried to get her to give him away instead and she said that people now days are cruel and will not treat him good. I tried telling her about moving the box, covered vs uncovered, different litter, and etc. She said she's tried most of this and that even the vet said that he might as well be put to sleep (what kind of vet says that without testing him first!!!!). This cat is healthy and normal acting. He's just slightly overweight and several years old.

Can anyone think of what to tell her about her cat? I hate to see him be put to sleep if there is a fixable reason that he suddendly stopped using the litterbox...Thanks
post #2 of 34
Look at the top of the list of threads here on the behavior forum. You will see a thread on stopping inappropriate pooping and another on stopping inappropriate urination.

The first thing both threads say is that inappropriate potty problems are most often medically based, so taking the cat to the vet should be her number one priority. Usually a couple of weeks on antibiotics or other medications cures the problem.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
I read those threads...she told me the vet had said to put him to sleep if it didnt stop. She's really old and doesnt have much money...truthfully I think it's best she give it away...but she said either I make it stop peeing and use litter box or she will put it to sleep. Since I have only met her once...I dont really have much say in it. I just wanted to know what everyone thought...like what would suddenly cause him to change his habits if he looks and acts healthy...
post #4 of 34
What the hell kind of vet would tell someone to put their cat to sleep because its spraying??!! This makes me so mad!! Is the cat neutered??
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
I know! it pissed me off too ...that's y I wanted to find out something to discourage Virgie from putting him to sleep just because her vet said it was Ok if she wanted to since she couldnt stop the behavior and he was unsure why also.
Yes he is fixed.
post #6 of 34
Sounds like a medical problem to me. If the woman isn't going to have the animal medically evaluated, I don't believe there is too much you can do to stop the behavior.
post #7 of 34
Man I just cant believe that. There are many reasons why a cat wont use the litterbox. He could have a UTI or other kind of medical problem. The litter box could be dirty.. some cats are really picky and wont go in a dirty box. The vet sounds like a complete idiot, so probly didnt even run any real tests. Maybe suggest she get a second opinion from a different vet before she makes any decisions. I hope you can convince her not to put him to sleep. At LEAST give him to a no-kill shelter. I feel so bad for him.
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
Her vet is the same one she's always had so I doubt I can talk her into another vet...since she never changed the litter or the location, does that mean it's a health problem not a behavioral one???

This is what doesnt make sense...she said it used to go no problem and then just stopped using it and she hadnt been doing anything any different...I am hoping I can find out every possible cause of it...maybe then I can talk her into keeping him and giving him a chance since she wont give him away. oh and unfortunately all the local pounds arent no-kill...that's a problem I have. I'm in the process of giving away alot of cats since I am moving and cant take them with me. I wish there were no shelters that killed :crying:
post #9 of 34
Well, if she "never" changes the litter, I would say that is one good place to start. My Squirt once pooped outside the box. I hadn't scooped it for several days because I was laid up after an accident. The minute I cleaned out the box, he went right back to it.

The problem I see is that she has obviously let this go on by putting newspaper down at the door where the problem is. If he never had a problem before, there is a good bet that he has a UTI, though. A thorough exam is always the first way to go inorder to eliminate a medical cause and focus on a behavioral one.

I just don't see you having a whole lot of influence over someone you met once.
post #10 of 34
The one thing that catches my eye is that he is doing this by the doors. It could be that he has been smelling or hearing another cat and is marking his territory.

But I do agree that he seriously should get checked out by another vet. If she is unwilling to take him to another vet, can you perhaps intercede and take him yourself? I know that's a lot, but that might be the only thing that will save him. Any vet that recommends that a cat be put to sleep for something like this is either a quack is withholding information about a more serious issue.

It saddens me greatly that anyone would put down an animal for something like this. Especially when they say they won't give it away because people are cruel...wait, putting a cat to sleep because it isn't using the litter right isn't cruel? *rolls eyes*
post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 
Oops what I meant was that she never changes the litter brand. I meantioned that sence some cats ive heard wont use a new litter. This is the same litter he's always used.
About the paper...do u think she should stop??? If she does that will make more of a mess and most likely piss her off more. A UTI is the only thing I can think off to explain it...is there symptoms with this so I can ask her about them to show that it's not been the cat's fault? I know i've only met her once, but her grandson is my fiancee's best friend...if she wont listen to me...(although she saidd she'd give me a chance) I'm sure she'll listen to her grandson. I just want to do something.....poor kittie...if it's UTI there's no telling how long he's had it or the pain he's in...he acts like a feral around others..maybe he's in pain!!! :O

That is what I told her..then she told me that it wasnt just the back door..it was all of them..he even ruint a pair of her shoes! Since I dont have to right to order her I cant make her take him...she told me she'd give me a chance finding out what i can first then she's gonna put him to sleep....Personally I have never liked the local vet...but the next closest is too far away in an emergency. Most people here have to make due...it just pisses me off that all vets cant be good vets...our pets need our help! As for her being cruel, I tried to respectfully tell her that the cat didnt deserve to be put down since he could have a reason for it and if she didnt care if he was alive or not(put to sleep) why cant she just give him away and give him a chance! She said no that people wouldnt take care of him and that she's just gonna put him to sleep so she doesnt have to worry about the spraying. Grrrr...I only wish I knew her better and could tell her how warped she's being over this...poor kittie!!
*frowns frustrated*
post #12 of 34
Won't this lady let you help her find a home for the cat? I've seen a comercial spray in the pet store that is supposed to discourage Cat's from peeing and pooping where they're not supposed to. Has she tried that?

Actually I've heard of a lot of Vets that tell people to put their cat or dog asleep when they have behaivior problems such as this. Makes me mad too. I hope you can figure out how to help this kitty.

Tammie & Peaches!
post #13 of 34
A UTI can eventually be life threatening if it isn't dealt with. I'm not vet, or even close to an expert, but that it what I would look at first.

Maybe this article will be useful.
post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 
She wont let me give him away because she claims people are too cruel and he wouldn't be taken care of. I doubt she's used that spray..I mentioned it to her though.
Vets like that (not trying other options) should be fired!!
I hope I can help him too!

I hope it's not too late for him...if it was a UTI it would be good only because it would be treatable and his life would be saved...I just hate him having to be in pain and suffering if it is a UTI.
Thanks for the link.
post #15 of 34
Incidentally i was just putting new sheets on our bed after zooey peed and i remembered your post and thought that maybe....
you could call an animal welfare organisation and explain the situation to them....

not in a bad way, as i'm sure Vergie means well, but just to sort of make sure that the cat does at least get to see a vet.

like you said it's not easy to tell someone you just met what to do... so why not let animal welfare do it for you?

you could also try discussing this (calling animal welfare) with the friend to whom vergie is a grandma.

maybe they can do something

or agree to let you do something

but it can be quite difficult with people who are little senior
they tend to have their own views

good luck
post #16 of 34
I agree about calling animal welfare. It might be tough since this is your friends grandma, but this poor kittie doesn't even have a chance with old gramps! I'm super pissed at the vet. It is a sad thing when a layman can think of a better solution than an expert. How can we justify killing our pets just becuase they don't act within OUR standards!?! This vet should be fired, I bet he/she is an old fogey too! I really don't mean to affend anyone and I'm sorry if this post does, I'm just steaming mad...

I would call animal welfare....

post #17 of 34
yeah... just give them a call if only just to see what they say and what the options are
post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 
Problem is she does like the cat, but is old and is fed up with cleaning up after him. She said it's either fix this problem or she will put him to sleep. If the problem is fixed she will keep him.

Actually the vet is a old guy....that's y she trusts him. I tried to get her to go to one of the newer ones and she said he is the one she's always had and trusts him. He mad me mad...Felix's balls had got ripped open and it was scary to me not knowing what caused it and he had to be fixed. I was crying scared and he didnt let me say good bye or nothing and took the cage emptied it and left I think that was rude and I deserved to say goodbye to my baby especially since I had to leave him for a day (meaning money for them) since I couldnt come and get him before they closed.

NEW STUFF UPDATE: I went to see her today to ask if he may have (or if had been tested for) a UTI. She said he had one and it had been treated. She also said this all started alittle before he was fixed. He is about 4 years old(not as old as I thought). Maybe this new info will help.
post #19 of 34
alot of times uti's don't clear up with one treatment. He might still have it and should be tested again.
post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 
That was my thought...She told me that she feeds him some kind of UTI food that's suspossed to prevent them. Since I dont really know nothing about a UTI, I dont know what she was talking about or if it exists....I just hope I can figure out something soon...I feel sorry for him.
post #21 of 34

This stems from my personal experience with my male neutered male who was at risk of UTI.

I had transported him 1600 kms, roughly 1000 miles, a trip that was meant to last 6 hours total, turned into a 12 hour marathon for the little guy. Anyway, from that night, I noticed that something was amiss.

He strained to do his business in the litterbox. (I am an attentive kitty momma and I monitor EVERYTHING.) I then noticed that he preferred to only urinate in the shower where it was tiled. I took him to the vet two days later which was the soonest that they could fit me in.

In the meantime, I was advised not to change his diet and to provide plenty of water and to keep everything as normal as possible. (Near impossiblity since he had just moved!)

Still two days later, Russell was still urinating in the shower. I was given an antibiotic in an effort to combat a possible UTI. The vet did not want to take any chances with him as he could not even manage to get a sample of urine from Russell and each time he tried Russell became more stressed and made up his mind and refused to stand and sat there glaring and growling.

A week later we returned to the vet and this time a sample of urine was taken for urinalysis with the reult being all clear. But to this day I keep an eye out for symptoms of UTI. Cats don't urinate in inappropriate places for no reason.

And as for food, all cat food went through reformulation in the 1980s and 1990s to prevent alkaline urine which promotes struvite crystals forming in the urinary bladder as these were thought to be the main cause and irritant. So in my opinion, although cat food does not promote alkaline urine from forming, it does not mean that a cat will become immune to the condition which can be life threatening. In extreme cases it can be urinary tract cancer, but this is in very extreme and rare cases.

I really do hope that Vergie goes to another vet for a second opinion. And it is not uncommon for cats at around four years of age to develop UTI.
post #22 of 34
PrincessPur is right. UTI's don't always show up right away. That's true in humans as well. There are Cat food's that claim to "promote Urinary Tract health." But I'm not sure how effective they really are. I wonder if this cat food would give a false negative test??

Tammie & Peaches
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
I wonder if he is getting a negative test...
is uti the only cause of male spraying if shes tried everything with the box and if she's even left it how it was when he used to go??
Would being fixed have anything to do with it???
post #24 of 34
So any luck with convincing vergie that the kitty needs to go to a vet?

I took zooey to the vet the other day, and pretty much INSISTED that they check for a UTI and true enough she had one. The reading wasn't very high but she did have one and since she's been on antibiotics the bed has stayed april fresh!!

Can you call the vet? Or get your friend to call the vet to find out EXACTLY what he said?

I agree.... just like with people uti's don't clear up forever. They can come back.

Just a thought: Does cranberry juice work on cats?
It works on humans...

And another thought:
like xastion said do you think maybe some stray cat is peeing on the other side of the door and thus causing him to pee on the inside of the door?

or maybe a dog?

maybe the answer is simpler than the problem...

maybe you can get one of those black lights and look for urine... inside and outside the house....

while waiting for the vets next opinion it might be worthwhile to rule out all the other possibilities.... just so IF it isn't a UTI and you go and have all the uti treatment done and he's still peeing she's probably not going to be too happy and you might loose your credibility with her.... and that might be the end of kitty.

Nok Out?

Maybe animal welfare can hook you up with a different vet...
They usually have an inhouse vet right?

Pretty please your fiancee... he'll pretty please his best friend and he'll pretty please his gran.... sugar, cream and cherries on top??? but i'm sure you're already doing that...

I really hope it all works out....
post #25 of 34
Being neutered doesn't cause a male cat to spray. The procedure is reccommended if a male cat is spraying, though it takes about a month for the testosterone levels to subside in order for the cat to feel that there is less need to spray.

suraya_putra brings up a good point. Are there any other cats in the area that he may feel threatened or feel that he needs to mark his territory?

And just how long ago was he neutered?

Has Vergie taken him to a vet for a thorough check up?
post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'm VERYYYYYYY sorry It's taken so long for me to respond. I am in the middle of a very painfull proccess of giving away my cats and kittens. I am keeping 6 of the 32...*major crying*

I saw Virgie on Sat...she says he's still doing it and that I better figure something out cause she doesnt want to keep cleaning it up. If only she would give him away...someone else would be more patient with the solution instead of killing him the way she wants to!! I dont know if the vet would tell me anything since Im not her or a family member...I've figured that maybe it has to do with other cats since he mainly sprays the back door and poops on the newspaper she keeps there. Problem with Virgie is she doesnt want to mess with anything...she wants a quick fix and has no patience...*thinks in head*:sounds like a common elderly thing...my grandma wants to take my cats to the pound instead of letting me give them away. *rolls eyes* atleast Ive gave 5 away..that's 5 that wont die. This spray deal is a good mystery..but one that I wish I could hurry and solve...each day she gets more mad.

hmm..not from neuter...guess that makes sense. She said that was y she neutered..I was just curious.
This town is small and there are alot of alley cats...atleast from what my friends that live in town said.
Im not sure the exact date he was neutered...I'll ask the next time I see her. I'm trying to talk her into taking him to the vet for another UTI test or just a check up. I just hope if I do she doesnt let them put him to sleep instead....
post #27 of 34
Insist on a thorough check up, not just your ordinary exam. An ordinary exam will not pick up on UTI or other more serious conditions.

In my opinion, the cat needs a new home if Vergie isn't willing to have patience and work with you in finding a solution.
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
I went to her house yesterday since My fiancee(Lyle)was over there with his best friend(Brandon). Virgie said he was fixed about 2 years ago. He stopped using the litterbox about one year AFTER he was fixed.
Does this help any??
Oh and I told her how UTI's come back and how sometimes the test is negative and that he should be taken back the vet. I hope we can solve this mystery. The cat came up to me last night and looked at me. He's not tame with anyone but her...and he only sniffed my fingers and walked off. The same as always...I've only got to touch him once or twice and that was only because he didnt expect it. Could him not being used to people affect his UTI test if he was too nervous???
post #29 of 34
Please, take that cat to a vet. He's stopped using the litter box for a reason. He did use it for a year. But something has happenned after a year of using the litter with no incidents. If all environmental factors, (presence of other cats, been spooked, unhappy with a change etc), have been ruled out, then it is highly possible that there is something medically wrong with Vergie's cat. It really has to be made clear that a vet visit is in order and insist that a thorough check up be done.

I have heard of cases where stress in cats have caused different readings in urinalysis resulting in a positive reading. I am not sure of how true this is, and this should be no reason that Vergie's cat does not see a vet as soon as possible. Blood tests are usually best as a wide variety of tests can be performed in order to pinpoint a wide range of medical problems.
post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 
Can a UTI test at all show up if she does a blood test?? Or does that test only work as a urine test (if not maybe the blood wouldnt show as negative.)
I think that he has a UTI again and it just came back as a negative test. So there are 3 possibilities: Another UTI, Stray cats outside, or something else. I agree that he needs to be examined thouroughly. My truck tore up, but when I get a chance, I will tell her.
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