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Pooing outside the litter box - 15 year old cat

(20 Posts)
piperchapman44 Mon 14-Mar-16 21:01:54

So for the last few days my elderly missus has been pooing outside the litter tray, right next to it.

It's not because its dirty, as I changed it after finding a load of poos across the floor - she did it even when it was clean. also when it is dirty she tends to go in the bath (!).

Now that i think about it she has been crying after each poo as well, so presumably in some pain. I didn't take too much notice as a few months ago she was crying when she couldn't find me in the house - so much so that I had to get my ex husband to come and live in the house when I went away as I thought she would get completely distressed. But that seems to have stopped for the main part now - so the crying is mainly after a poo.

I've enlisted Dr google and it seems like two main possibilities?

Arthritis - the litter tray is quite high. I've taken off the lid for now but I can see it's high on the sides. She's had arthritis in her shoulder before which has caused a limp but been ok for a few years.

IBS or some other digestive issue? Has had problems in the past with fur balls which made it difficult for her to eat - until said ex h came to stay and brushed her furiously each day, Im not as good but i try and keep her as groomed as poss and she's been fine on her food. I give her science plan dry food during the day to graze on (breakfast onwards) and that seems to really help.

We are seeing the vet tomorrow anyway, but I'm worried. What should I be looking for?

In herself - happy as larry. Her litter tray is in the loft bathroom so she climbs a lot of stairs - and she seems to do this quite happily. She's also eating ok.

LittleCandle Mon 14-Mar-16 21:11:35

My old cat started doing this and it turned out her kidneys were not good. She wasn't very tolerant of the drugs prescribed and in the end i had her PTS. Broke my heart, but kinder for her. I do hope it is just arthritis.

piperchapman44 Mon 14-Mar-16 21:35:30

I have to carry her up to bed actually (when I remember ,otherwise she does come up eventually!!), which I guess could be down to arthritis. Makes sense since she's had problems before.

Can anyone recommend a litter tray for an elderly lady?

piperchapman44 Mon 14-Mar-16 21:36:33

sorry about your cat littlecandle. I think I;m in denial that I'll ever lose her . She's been through a LOT with me. Most constant relationship in my life!

cozietoesie Mon 14-Mar-16 21:42:10

Seniorboy had that and his vet - who was very strong for older animals - immediately said 'arthritis'. Meds sorted him out for a good while. (Meloxicam and lactulose.)

As far as the tray goes, it's not orthodox but I've actually bought him a 'potting tray' from Amazon. You have to watch their sizes - they can be huge across - but they have a really low lip on one side and are just tough plastic.

I'll try to post some links if I can get to the other machine where they're easier.

Veterinari Mon 14-Mar-16 21:43:34

At 15 its very likely that she has arthritis of some sort - definitely worth a metacam trial

XanderHarris Mon 14-Mar-16 21:48:56

Our cats quite often get in the tray and poo over the edge, presumably just to spite me.

Lauren83 Mon 14-Mar-16 21:53:20

I have a 16 year old boy who is a nightmare for pooing, he has done it on the bed twice but he had the runs, had to bin the duvet and bedding. Then for a year he only went in the bath despite there being 3 big litter boxes, he does use them when he feels like it. He then had a few months of in front of the front door (on the carpet wee and poo) now it's the cooker, no joke! On the actual gas hob! He does have 3 legs and suspected arthiritis so it's quite high up but he still does it. He does strain a lot when he poos and it's often streaked with blood

cozietoesie Mon 14-Mar-16 22:02:23

Here's one of the links ICC arthritis guidance which you might find useful to read before tomorrow.

I'd be seeking some meds from the vet for her if she's OK for them. (The vet will likely want to do bloods beforehand if she hasn't had them done real recently.)

The lower lipped tray is helpful but when you think of the effort on the frame required to do that high poo squat, you can imagine that just the act might be painful when you have arthritis and if she's sore doing that, she might be sore doing other things. The guidance talks about various environmental assists that you can try.

I'd be recommending meds and heat right away though.

By the way - my own old boy is still going and happy so I hope I didn't give the impression that he had popped his clogs. Makes your girl look like a teenager!

isamonster Tue 15-Mar-16 01:14:50

We have this one
My elderly gent loves it!

piperchapman44 Tue 15-Mar-16 10:49:14

Thank you all v helpful. Yes I suspect an element of arthritis as I took the lid off the litter and she went in it last night so presumably was having problems crouching under the box.

The vet examined her and said her poos are very solid. So she may be a little constipated which would explain the meowing after a poo. Bloods have been done to check kidney function, and I'm going to place an extra water bowl by where she sleeps. I've also got some laxative drops. She said to change the litter every day (!) , at the moment i use the hugely expensive catsan lined litter cos of the amount of wee but I reckon I can use the cheaper catsan and put less in and change more frequently.

I'm liking the look of that litter tray ! I've also ordered a dog crate plastic liner to put the litter on to try and stem the flow of litter throughout the house!

cozietoesie Tue 15-Mar-16 12:51:51

Is the vet considering her for meds?

cozietoesie Tue 15-Mar-16 12:57:02

PS - you might find it interesting to read this thread and the older thread it links to.

cozietoesie Tue 15-Mar-16 12:58:31

Lone - as you'll recall - is a very experienced vet who posts here on a voluntary basis. smile

Veterinari Wed 16-Mar-16 19:32:47

FWIW I completely agree with lone on the great cozie linked to.

She really dies need pain relief if she's struggling to crouch. Please don't leave her in pain

piperchapman44 Wed 16-Mar-16 20:05:38

i think it is hard poo making things difficult. She;s had some laxative drops and now they are much softer. Blood test showed some failure of the kidneys too but it wasn't conclusive so they need to also test her urine. I am currently hoping she will wee in that special non absorbent litter so I can collect some for testing - But I very much suspect she won't and Im going t o wake up in a damp bed later! Really hoping it's just a partial decline of the kidneys as expected with age and not anything drastic. She hasn't been meowing with her poos either and watching her I don't think she's massively arthritic although I am making a few changes to make things easier for her around the house.

cozietoesie Sat 19-Mar-16 12:55:40

How is she doing?

piperchapman44 Sat 19-Mar-16 13:16:27

Thank you for asking! She is great. The vet tested her urine and said that she was borderline, so she will now have blood and urine tests regularly to check her kidneys.

I am putting the laxative on her food once a day and her poos are now soft. I've also kept the lid off the litter tray (put it on a big dog crate liner to avoid litter hell!) and I am changing it more or less daily - and she is now pooing and weeing in it and no more crying.

Very relieved her kidneys are ok.

cozietoesie Sat 19-Mar-16 14:02:27


RubbishMantra Sat 19-Mar-16 16:28:30

Doesn't Catsan have quite large and spiky particles?

Perhaps try her on World's Best, better for sore paws, especially if she has to spend longer in the tray straining. (I don't know if Arthritis can affect in this way, just an idea).

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