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Crying in litter box

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Why would a 14 y.o. cat cry when she is using the litter box?  

 

Her litter box is in the closet so I can't observe her when she's in there to see what's going on.

 

My vet thought she might be constipated and told me to give her Miralax, which I did but she still cries.  She had a recent urine test that was fine.  Her poo looks the same post-Miralax..still hard little pebbles.  He said for me to check it out when it first comes out to see if it is soft at first before it dries.  But I haven't managed to do that yet.  I guess I have to be more on top of this.

 

She eats dry food and takes prednisone daily for IBD.  She absolutely refuses to eat any food but Science Diet dry.  I know she should be on novel proteins or raw but she just won't eat anything about the Science Diet dry.

 

He also thinks she may have pancreatitis.  Could that be causing the crying in the litter box?  She also walks around crying sometimes too but she's always done that.  

 

He gave me some oral buprenorphine "shots" to try out on her, but these are opiates and I worry about her getting addicted.  I gave them to her twice and they seemed to make her more active and happy and seem to last several days although they aren't supposed to last more than 6 hrs.  Then I read that a side effect of the drug is stimulation, so I don't know if she's really more happy, but just stimulated.  Obviously this is not a long-term solution and these shots are very expensive.  He told me to call him and tell him how she does and he'd come up with something cheaper.   I just wondered if this whole situation brings us any advice from you all.  He wants to know her reaction to the buprenorphine because he is trying to judge if she is in pain.

 

Also, is there a thread for sick-kitty caretakers?  I feel my constant fear of her pain, encroaching death, etc. is taking its toll on ME too.  She's been sick for 8 mos. now and I feel it taking its toll on me, too.  I'm getting kind of stressed out from her long illness and unhappiness.   Don't get me wrong....I adore this cat more than any creature on the planet.  IBD is a horrible condition.  

post #2 of 3
It sounds like you are working pretty closely with your vet on this issue which is a very good thing. The only thing that we can also offer is some ideas to bounce off your vet to get to the root cause of this problem. The first thing that came to my mind after reading your post is that she may be suffering from arthritis. She changes her posture while in the litter box and the movement might be causing her some pain. You might want to pull the litter box out of the closet for a little while and watch her movements while in the box. That might tell you a whole lot about what is going on with her. When mine are ill, I start to watch their every movement to try to piece it together. It's a shame that they can't talk to us.


The folks from this site have very big shoulders to cry on or to just vent frustration. I'm not sure if there is a support thread for kitty caretakers specifically, but I do know that when things start getting bad for me, I'll open up a thread to just talk through my frustrations. Sometimes just knowing that others are going through the same thing or have gone through what you are going through is enough to help.
post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesmom View Post

Why would a 14 y.o. cat cry when she is using the litter box?

So, bluesmom, you've hit on two of the most common reasons for a kitty to cry in the litterbox: constipation and urinary problems.

 

First, the constipation...if, with the Miralax on board, her stool is still "hard little pebbles", then you need to use more of the Miralax. It's a "dose-to-effect" thing, the more used the greater the effect. Generally, the recommended dose is 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoonful...if, after a few days of 1/4 tsp dosing the stool remains the same, speeak with your Vet about increasing it.

 

I'm curious about how you're giving the Miralax...she's only eating dry food, so how do you administer Miralax?

 

The second issue that could be causing pain in the box is something urinary. You said "She had a recent urine test...". Just what kind of test was that, and, what did they look for in the urine?

 

There is a third possibility which might be causing her discomfort in the litterbox - and, it relates to her age. Arthritis can make it difficult for a cat to position him/herself when "doing their business"...(and, if the stool is hard, the pain is compounded). It's very interesting that the pain med buprenorphine seems to be making her 'happier'.....BUT, did it stop the crying in the litterbox?

 

I wouldn't be worried about her becoming addicted. There is a possible side effect with buprenorphine - urine retention (as seen by many of us whose cats use it) - and that can make for murkiness when it comes to diagnosing a litterbox issue. Just something to be aware of.

 

I also think that, if I were faced with this, I'd gradually move the litterbox so that after a few days it would be far enough outside that closet so as to allow me a better view of exactly when she crys in there (when she goes in/when she's digging/when she's squatting/when she's expelling urine/stool) - that could be really helpful with a diagnosis.

 

 

Quote:
Also, is there a thread for sick-kitty caretakers?  I feel my constant fear of her pain, encroaching death, etc. is taking its toll on ME too.  She's been sick for 8 mos. now and I feel it taking its toll on me, too.  I'm getting kind of stressed out from her long illness and unhappiness.

There sure is. Well, not a thread exactly, but...an online group of people who provide both excellent medical information and great emotional support. Caregiving to a chronically challenged kitty does take a huge toll on us. I belong to one of these online groups and I've seen so much of this firsthand. I've also seen the real support provided by group members to help people through these tough times. So, if I were in your shoes, here's where I'd be: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/felineibd1/ OR http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FeIBD/

 

Just noticed Momofmany's post....so, a couple of common thoughts here.

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