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Elderly cat advice please

(27 Posts)
SantasLittleYelper Sun 17-Dec-17 21:57:28

DC is 15, and been an outdoors cat all her life.

This past year she’s been displaying signs of cat senility. We’ve had her checked at the vet and there’s nothing obviously physically wrong, and we’ve opted not to put her through invasive tests and treatments - she’s simply old. Vet did discover she is fully blind.

She’s not used a litter tray since she was a kitten and never had household accidents. However, she’s peed in the house three times in the past week or two.

She sleeps most of her time now and show no inclination to go outdoors - we put her or several times a day for toileting.

Given the accidents, is it worth trying to remind a senile elderly cat how a litter tray works? My thought is that if she is not choosing to take herself to the door she won’t remember to take herself to a tray.

She is not otherwise distressed, and her senile wailing has calmed in the past week and she’s just sleepy. She still eats.

Any thoughts on what we should do for the best for her and for us?

MrsZB Sun 17-Dec-17 22:01:22

Get her checked for a urine infection.

Yes my 16 year olds have a litter tray. Worth a try.

SantasLittleYelper Sun 17-Dec-17 22:02:20

She was checked after the first pee incident.

So, worth trying a litter tray and hoping she remembers?

Cariadd Sun 17-Dec-17 22:04:17

If she is fine then try and toilet train her again. Read up on best places for tray and litter type as outdoor cats need to have soil from outside used first so they know what to do in the tray. Put her in it and show her how to pay and cover by holding her paw and doing the action. When she does something give her lots of praise. Eventually start adding some clay litter (think this is the closest thing to real soil) until she gets used to that and hopefully get her onto litter alone eventually. If she is fully blind then maybe she doesnt know where the cat flap is anymore and is confused and wees inappropriately. Inappropriate weeing is generally a behavoural thing or a bladder thing but usually they are trying to tell you something.

What about using a cat lead and taking her out to her favourite wee patch etc talking to her and stroking her so she feels reassured.

MrsZB Sun 17-Dec-17 22:04:46

Yes. Def. sorry I'm lying in bed typing!

Yes my elderly lady weed in the house and now uses a litter tray no problem. We use the crystals which are v good. No problems since.

Good luck x

chocolatespiders Sun 17-Dec-17 22:05:17

We used a cat litter tray with my 20 year old and she had not used one since she was a kitten.
Keep putting her in the litter tray and hopefully she will get used to it

cocoboots Sun 17-Dec-17 22:07:30

Yes id get a litter tray and as pp said keep putting her in it.
Her paws will feel that it is the right surface for her to dig and go toilet .

chocolatespiders Sun 17-Dec-17 22:08:25

We also used the crystals- cheap from Wilko and Home Bargains.

SantasLittleYelper Sun 17-Dec-17 22:08:59

Thanks everyone, will try that from tomorrow.

StillMedusa Sun 17-Dec-17 22:10:52

I have a similar 18 year old cat... (not blind tho) who over the last few months has started peeing all over the place, even though she has always had a litter tray. She no longer wants to go outside.

Had her checked at the vets who think she is in kidney failure and gave her steroids to perk her up ..she is thin but happy and purry still. Does a bit of the senile wailing if she can't find us, or wants something.

We have tried various techniques.. taking her to her tray if she looks like she needs to pee (she stalks off towards the bathroom and pees on the mat a lot!) We have also changed the litter..we usually use woodchip but I think it hurts her feet now, so we have bought the finest litter we can find (Pets at Home fine stuff) and that has helped a bit.
But... mostly we clean up puddles and accept that she is very old, couldn't care less, and we have to deal with it until it is her time to go! It is frustrating, but cleaning wipes, cleaning spray goes a long way!

SantasLittleYelper Sun 17-Dec-17 22:12:49

And that’s the next question, when is the time to let go?

SandAndSea Sun 17-Dec-17 22:13:45

I would keep on trying. Maybe try putting a few litter trays around?

You could also maybe look into better foods too? (No offence meant - I obviously don't know what you use but in humans, there's said to be a strong link between dementia and diet and also dehydration. My old cat lived to 20 with the help of good quality, wet food and supplements.)

SandAndSea Sun 17-Dec-17 22:14:59

I think you know when it's time. If you're not sure, it isn't time.

SantasLittleYelper Sun 17-Dec-17 22:16:13

Sand and sea - I have genuinely never seen her drink! Always plenty of fresh water around, but she’s never had an interest. I suspect she secretly drinks from the dog bowl or th shower when we are not looking!

Magstermay Sun 17-Dec-17 22:24:04

Definitely try a litter tray - it always amazes me that people would rather spend time clearing up urine than spend a few pounds on some litter.

I don’t know where you live, but we have had snow and temps down to -11C in the last week. It doesn’t surprise me that an elderly, blind, senile cat wouldn’t want to go outside to toilet. Has your vet checked her blood pressure? High BP can cause blindness and generally make them feel rotten. Was her urine checked?

In terms of when to let her go - sadly it comes down to her quality of life which is often a very difficult thing for anyone outside the family to judge. Can she get up and about when she wants for food/ water/ toilet? Does she seem pleased to see you and greet you?

SantasLittleYelper Sun 17-Dec-17 22:32:15

She doesn’t tell us she needs the loo any more, we just out her out regularly.

Food, she still is definitely enjoying her food, so that is good.

She just moves like a very old person now and is very slow at everything.

SantasLittleYelper Sun 17-Dec-17 22:32:49

And please do to see us? Not really, but then she has always been a grumpy cat.

MsMims Sun 17-Dec-17 23:03:43

Are you putting her outside by herself when she’s blind? Can she get out of your garden?

SantasLittleYelper Sun 17-Dec-17 23:29:17

Yes, but she doesn’t choose to leave it.

AND to fair, vet reckons she’s been blind for a long time, we only found it out last week.

SandAndSea Mon 18-Dec-17 09:36:18

OP, my old cat never drank either (apart from soily, plant pot water); many don't and are chronically dehydrated. Maybe add water to his food.

SkyIsTooHigh Mon 18-Dec-17 09:59:36

We had some success with ours at putting a litter tray outside the back door and putting her on it a few minutes after meals.

GoldenGumballs Mon 18-Dec-17 10:23:20

Hi op did the vet do any blood tests? I know you said you didn’t want to put her through tests but it’s sometimes helpful in making the difficult decision when there’s a certainty things are deteriorating fast. As for toileting try a tray but a stressed cat will not wee so keep things calm and put a tray in her favourite wee spot. I didn’t use litter at all towards the end just a towel, she liked the softness and could still ruffle it. Hope you’re ok, the balance between quality of life and a difficult decision is really hard I’ve been there twice in last 4yrs.

maddiemookins16mum Mon 18-Dec-17 10:31:02

Our cat is now 17. She's started the yowling and is (on occasion) pood over the edge of her litter tray.
We were at the vets last Friday and she had full bloods which show her thyroid levels are up. She's now on a pill a day.
Until Oct she never used her litter tray all summer but started again (we just left it out anyway).

SantasLittleYelper Tue 19-Dec-17 21:26:21

Clever kitty has used her litter tray today and no accidents so far!

MrsZB Wed 20-Dec-17 07:17:01

Oh yay that's great news! Well done little kitty!

Mine have had their litter tray back for around 3 years so they were about 14. one was weeing in inappropriate places and the vet suggested we try a litter tray and it solved it.

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