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Senior cat-#2 issues

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have written about my soon to be 17 yr old senior Ox.
Last vet check in August went well.
Basically since we got him at age 2 he has been and indoor/outdoor cat.
Thinking back he has never really used a litter box. I would think it was cute when he would sit scratching by the door wanting to go outside to do his duties.
But now he doesn't do that hardly ever and also doesn't use litter box's either.
He poops in the kitchen either by the table or by (not on) the rug near the sink. Today it was both spots. He pees on the throw rug right by the door to the garage. Once in a while if I'm in the kitchen Ox will go outside. In the fall sometimes he will spend the night in the garage where he will poop on the floor. Neil is geting quite upset over this.
I have read several of the pooping threads for ideas.
Neil wants to confine Ox in the small bathroom in the basement at night w/ food and water. I think this might confuse him-I cannot shut the basement door as that is where the litter boxes are. I use to have a litter box in the family room under the laundry sink and did put one back there this fall but after several weeks removed it as no cat was using it.
I don't want to keep him in the garage at night either-esp in the winter.
The last try is a litter box in the kitchen at night as he doesn't do this during the day. I'm thinking a non traditional litter because he is used to soil outside?? There are some mentioned of a lower litter box also???
There isn't a problem with arthritis as he sits in the family room on the sofa at night and will jump on the kitchen counter to check for food (another issue)
The other cats don't really bother him that would be stress related. I'm thinking he forgot how to use a litter box.
Neil is to the point that if I do not solve this he wants him put down.
Any suggestions or thoughts on my line of thinking???
post #2 of 5
Well it depends on your situation, but my cat Diablo is EXACTLY
the same, in matters pooping.

He WILL NOT use the box to poop. Peeing is
okay. ?? Sigh!

Anyway this refusal to use the box (and he
has 2 so it isn't a matter of not enough
boxes!!) caused him
to develop constipation to the point that I had
to give Sub Q fluids and put on a
diet I invented (vet thought dehydration
a problem, but I thought lack of exercise was more
of a factor - since his arthritis and aging he hasn't felt
"confident" outside).

My solution was both dietary and behavioral,
as in I now "walk" the cat.

Now, 2 or 3 times a day, I get Diablo, pick him up, tell him "walkies walkies Diablo" and escort him out to poop/pee. He sniffs his fave places round the house/fenced yard and commons areas, I stand around
and freeze, we slowly stroll at cat speed. I pick him up and carry
him to his "known" fave spots for sniffing and peeing/pooping.. finally he picks
a poop spot and goes! Then he scampers back home.
If he doesn't go during the day, if not during am/afternoon
walk, then he usually goes during the pm walk.

He also does a bit of spraying/peeing
on the bushes that are "cat favorites". To spare the neighbors
I stay out of yards etc. as much as possible, and if he looks as if
he's gonna do it there, scoop him up and walk to a different
less conspicous area. I also "scoop" the
poop if it isn't hidden under a bush or tree that I can't get to.

I bring a flashlight at night to see where it is, during the
day much easier of course!!! This of course also lets me
see how the dietary functions are going - too much pumpkin
and oil? Too much milk?? More protein?

And if I need a stool sample,
its pretty easy!

Anyway, this has helped him sooo much. He is obviously
happier, gets a bit of exercise (which
incidentally both helps his arthritis and his constipation!!),
poops outside and feels "like a real cat Mom!!"

My neighbors think I'm nuts
in a nice way, and laugh over me "walking" him (Yeah,
we know I'm crazy)...but assuredly
it is the best thing for him!!

So could you try something like that? That would give the
cat a chance to be out and doing his poop, while supervised
and watched and so "safe".

Also, you could lock up the other cats inside while doing this with him?

I wait till Lexi is in asleep or down in the basement lounge - close
the basement door so she can't get out the pet flap, and get
out with him walking. That way, we don't get chased by her and harassed!
post #3 of 5
I know this might sound too obvious, but as he never used a box in the past, does he really know what it's for now? Stand him in the box holding his forepaws from behind and 'walk' his feet a couple of times in the litter. It's amazing how fast they get the idea once they know what's expected!
post #4 of 5
You may want to consider confining him to a small room with a litter box until he relearns to use it. He may possibly need two pans, as some cats like to pee in one and poop in the other. If he really has forgotten what it is for, you can help clue him in by putting some of his droppings into the pan with the litter. The scent will help him understand what the litter pan is for. Also, feed him at scheduled times, and after he eats put him right into the box and walk his feet like the previous poster suggested. Hopefully that helps.
post #5 of 5
Get a shallow pan and mix the litter with dirt from outside. Place some of his poop in it so he gets the idea that is what it is for. If he is going by the back door, place a pan there. Also the kitchen if you can handle it there, but perhaps start inching it over to a corner or a more appropriate place.

At 17, your cat might also be getting a cognitive disorder (like alzheimers in humans). These cats sometimes get forgetful about things like litter etiquette.

My Shep had a similar problem as yours as she aged - she was also one to go outside for her business her entire life until she got too old to go outside. It was a continuous challenge with her.

Good luck!
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