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Pooping outside the liter box, please help before he's put down!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have an older cat, he's around 18 years old. He is the only cat in the house. We have two litter boxes for him. One upstairs and one downstairs. He always pees in the one upstairs. He never uses the box downstairs. He poops anywhere he wants (up and down). We have a fenced in yard and we let him out for most of the day but it's getting cold here in NY and he won't be able to stay out much longer. My parents want to put him down because they are sick of him making a mess every 2-3 days.

Does anyone have any ideas of things to try before my parents put him down for good? I took the top off of the downstairs litter box and moved it but he still never uses it. I'm trying to think of things to get him using the box to poop again but nothing is working. Help me save my cat!
post #2 of 20
Has he been to a vet recently? He's an old guy, and so many things with this health could be going wrong. Peeing OR pooping outside the box are so often the only way kitty has to tell us something is wrong with their health.

It may be completely and easily treatable. Do you know if he's been constipated? Or have his stools been soft? Honestly - it may not even be a problem related to his digestion. Maybe his teeth hurt. We have a cat that pees outside the box whenever her teeth need attention - usually a tooth has to be pulled.

As he goes outdoors, it could be as simple as he's got worms - and a treatment with proper meds will solve the problem. (De-wormers that you can purchase at a store do NOT work - only prescription stuff from a vet works).

Pooping outside of the box when it is not health-related is usually a territory-marking issue - and there would be some consistency in where he poops, and something (like a new cat in the house or around the house) would have been the trigger.

But as an 18-year old, if he hasn't been to a vet since this started - and a sample of his poop provided, a sample of his pee taken while at the vet, and an exam with a look at his teeth and a blood work up - if none (or part) of that hasn't been done, it really should be.
post #3 of 20
Unfortunately I can\\t give you an easy fix until his health is checked out....LDG is right - a vet check is in order for your kitty. He is quite old and something may be going on that you can not detect. Cats are very good at hiding their illness. They usually tell us by pooping or peeing outside of the litterbox. A full blood work should be done and he should be checked for constipation or enlarged anal glands. And then you can come back to the group and we can help you out with more suggestions. I think your parents owe it to this sweet kitty to get his health checked out! It could be a multitude of things at your kitties age.

Where are the litterboxes placed upstairs and downstairs? Is the one downstairs located in a quiet secluded area? Cats like their privacy. Where is the one upstairs located? Could you not put the 2nd litterbox upstairs as well? Nearby? Are the litterboxes big enough for the kitty to move around in? And easy enough for him to get in and out of? What type of litter are you using?

How often is he passing a stool outside of the litterbox? Does he ever poop in the box upstairs? Are they small or regular sized poops? Soft or hard?
post #4 of 20
I agree, the first thing you have to do is get him to the vet and get him checked out. I'm glad you came here before your parents put him down. That is a VERY hard decision and should be based on the animal's health and not whether or not it is inconvient to clean up poo (nothing against your parents). At 18, he could very well be having health issues that are easily treated and give him a few more years of life. If it is something that can't be treated (or treatment would diminish his quality of life) then the question of putting him down comes up.

Good luck, and I hope your parents make an appointment with a vet. Good lord, if he was their child they'd be getting ready to send him to college about now.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
It looks like this is the end for him. He has until his food runs out which gives him another week or two tops.

I have moved the litter box and that has done nothing. He pooped twice today on carpets. Once upstairs (outside of an empty litter box) and again downstairs.

I am guessing it is more of a behaviorial thing. We moved into a new house 2 years ago. The former owner of the house had a cat. Also, we just started letting him go outside on his own recently because the yard is fenced in. It might be a territorial thing in which case my parent's patience will run out when his food supply does.

Are there any suggestions has far as doing something different with the litter box? Is it possible that the walls on the downstairs one are too tall for him at such an old age?
post #6 of 20
Is it an enclosed box? Some cats dislike that a lot.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukes View Post
It looks like this is the end for him. He has until his food runs out which gives him another week or two tops.

I have moved the litter box and that has done nothing. He pooped twice today on carpets. Once upstairs (outside of an empty litter box) and again downstairs.

I am guessing it is more of a behaviorial thing. We moved into a new house 2 years ago. The former owner of the house had a cat. Also, we just started letting him go outside on his own recently because the yard is fenced in. It might be a territorial thing in which case my parent's patience will run out when his food supply does.

Are there any suggestions has far as doing something different with the litter box? Is it possible that the walls on the downstairs one are too tall for him at such an old age?
Hi,

this is one of those posts that makes me very sad- how long have your parents had this cat?

Any chance of you keeping him in your room for the time being to prevent him from pooping in the house where your parents might find it and get angry?

Do you have any friends or relatives that might help you get your cat to the vets?

Does your cat seem disorientated or somehow weak?

I'll keep my fingers crossed for the old boy and you

regards,

Christine
post #8 of 20
This cat needs veterinary attention first. It may be as simple as he has arthritis and it hurts him to squat long enough to poop (which can also cause constipation) Relieving his pain, if that is the issue, will solve his problem.

Whatever his trouble, he blames the litter box for it, so he avoids the litter box.

Please heed us here. You came for advice. You are getting excellent advice. Your cat needs a complete check up, blood work, urine check, stool check, maybe even an xray to see if he's developed a megacolon.

He's old yes, but he's trying to tell you something is not right in his world. The vet is the place to start.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukes View Post
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Are there any suggestions has far as doing something different with the litter box? Is it possible that the walls on the downstairs one are too tall for him at such an old age?
Yes that is one possibility. Are the sides of the box higher than the stairs he goes up?

Please do get him to the vet.
post #10 of 20
We have given you some excellent advice on this thread....i feel sorry for this cat!!!

I'd suggest your parents do not get another cat! They obviously do not have the time or patience for these special animals....especially when they need it the most (in their old age)....this cat deserves more in his late life....
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denali View Post
We have given you some excellent advice on this thread....i feel sorry for this cat!!!

I'd suggest your parents do not get another cat! They obviously do not have the time or patience for these special animals....especially when they need it the most (in their old age)....this cat deserves more in his late life....
I totally agree!

On another note: I wish I would be so lucky to have all my cats live this long! Here are some good vibes coming to you and your cat. This breaks my heart!
post #12 of 20
Wow, so your parents are just going to kill your cat instead of taking him to the vet for possible treatment.

Hope you never get sick yourself with parents like that.
post #13 of 20
Honey, ho you have maybe $20-25 for a bag of litter and another box?
If so, grab a bag of cat attract litter at petsmart, and a go to a Big Lots and pick up a Sterilite storage box with LOW sides (the ones you put under the bed) - big ones.... make another litter box for your kitty....
Is there a room you can keep him for a bit, until he gets used to this box? just a few days?

If this doesn't help, you will need to see a vet....

Come on... your parents cant be this cold.... They had this kitty for 18 years and they will just kill it like nothing?
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Is it an enclosed box? Some cats dislike that a lot.
There was a top on the downstairs box. He never used it so I thought it would help if I took the top off. He still does not use the downstairs box.

It has the same litter as the box upstairs. The box upstairs has a lower front so it's easier to get in. The unused downstairs box has higher walls.

Do they make wider boxes with lower walls or would I have to make something of my own?
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjh27 View Post
Any chance of you keeping him in your room for the time being to prevent him from pooping in the house where your parents might find it and get angry?

Do you have any friends or relatives that might help you get your cat to the vets?

Does your cat seem disorientated or somehow weak?
I might try a new lower box and keep in one room for a while to see if that does anything.

He doesn't seem disorientated at all. I don't know if he is weak. He sleeps a lot more than he used to and he definately can't jump as high as he used to.

How much does it cost to take him to the vet? Is the check-up free and you have to pay for the treatment if something is wrong or does everything cost money?
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukes View Post
How much does it cost to take him to the vet? Is the check-up free and you have to pay for the treatment if something is wrong or does everything cost money?
Everything costs money, unfortunately. Check with some area vets. Some may be less expensive than others. My terrible vet was $45 just to look at you, and my current (incredible) vet is $34-ish.
post #17 of 20
Dukes

Go to this website - you may be able to find help with vet bills??
http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/tr..._your_pet.html
post #18 of 20
This thread is getting ridiculous.

At the very least you should convince your parents to take him to a shelter where they will properly evaluate him and get him the geriatric care he needs.

Honnestly... I don't mean to sound rude or anything because from what I read it sounds like your parents fault, but this is the wrong place to post if you want to talk about just putting your cat down because he poops on the carpet and how vet care is too expensive.

We don't really know how old you are, but if you are 18 or older you should drive your cat to the shelter yourself and sign him over rather than allowing him to be put to sleep out of sheer convienence. A cat (or any living creature) is not something you just get tired of and throw away with the rest of the garbage.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukes View Post
I might try a new lower box and keep in one room for a while to see if that does anything.

He doesn't seem disorientated at all. I don't know if he is weak. He sleeps a lot more than he used to and he definately can't jump as high as he used to.

How much does it cost to take him to the vet? Is the check-up free and you have to pay for the treatment if something is wrong or does everything cost money?
If you have a Big Lots close to you, they sell big Sterilite storage containers to put under the bed, with LOW sides, for about $6... they are very large, prefect for what you are looking for.
Get one of these to use as a litter box, and put the cat in your room for now on.... If you do that, move the old litter box into your room as well. Once she is consistently using the litter boxes, you can start letting her out slowly... and moving the boxes away, little by little.... But since she is an old cat, the litter boxes need to be accessible... As an 18 yr kitty, she is like a 96 or more yr old human.... She is your old pal!
Cats do well in one room, as long as they have what to do... Take her stuff in there, like her blanket, her toys, scratching post, etc..... and spend as much time as you can with her....
post #20 of 20
There are also little ramps you can buy and attach to a litterbox.
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