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Adopted elderly cat - pooing on floor

(14 Posts)
CheshireSplat Mon 20-Jun-16 17:58:41

Hi

Please be gentle with me!!! I'm looking for some advice about what people with cats do in this situation.

My elderly next door neighbour died suddenly at Christmas so we agreed to take her elderly cat which no-one else wanted, and she would have been put to sleep otherwise. She's 18 and we are in the semi-detached house which joins our deceased neighbour, so we thought at this time of life, she'd be happy being able to get back to "her" garden.

She is a lovely cat, really friendly. Has taken to being hugged and stroked (you can imagine!!) by a toddler and pre-schooler amazingly well. She loves attention.

She is great at using the litter tray for wees. Every time. She never uses it for poos. This was okay because one of us would go down and put her outside about 5.30am and she'd spend most of the day outside. She would poo on the floor 2 or 3 times a week, which I could cope with, putting it down to her age. Her back legs are very stiff - they'd buckle if you pressed gently on her back. She does seem happy though and not in any pain.

However, the poo's getting worse. This morning it was on the settee she sleeps on - she must have done it in her sleep. The last 3 mornings I've got downstairs to poo on the floor, and it's been quite diarrhoea-y. It's foul smelling of course, and with two little ones is one more thing to try and fit into in a busy morning.

I'm not a cat person particularly - I like all animals which is why we took her in - I didn't want her to be put down. However, this is all getting too much - it's making me cry, it's disgusting, I worry about the children. We keep her in the kitchen, playroom and downstairs toilet, so she's not pooing on carpets. But it's making me miserable.

My question is when is poo on the floor too much? As I say, she seems happy, but I don't know how much longer I can cope with it. What do people put up with - 2 poos a day?

The reason I asked people to be gentle is that I really don't want any replies saying "why did you get her if you just want to get rid of her once she gets old"? I took her in because I felt sorry for her (and being honest, as she's 18 I didn't think I'd have her this long). We've had her since January. I'm presuming I won't be able to rehome an elderly incontinent cat.

I think the plan should be to take her to the vet, to see if there is any physical reason, but if there isn't, how long should I put up with poo all over my floor until I have to put her down? It sounds awful, I know, and I avoid killing any living creature if I can, she's so sweet, but living with her is disgusting.

Thanks.

MsMims Mon 20-Jun-16 18:04:19

Is she not on any pain relief at the moment for stiffness?

Definitely best to have the vet give her the once over either way.

I'm afraid it may not be the answer you're looking for but I wouldn't have an animal put down for this, as long as they were happy and eating etc. Hard flooring so it's easy to clean up hygienically, limiting where she can access in the house when you aren't around would be my approach.

Have you tried different cat litters/ trays?

cozietoesie Mon 20-Jun-16 18:31:36

It sounds as if she has a combination of bad arthritis and age (etc) related loss of muscle/ muscle tone. She knows what she's supposed to use - hence the peeing in the tray - but just can't manage the poo squat when required. (It's generally a lot easier to pee than to poo and if she can't use the tray, it's just coming out when/where it does.)

(The consistency may be a separate matter.)

I'd vet her and see if they can give her something easing. See if that works and if so, for how long. Cats are incredibly good at hiding pain or discomfort so she may actually have pain etc even though you think not.

CheshireSplat Mon 20-Jun-16 20:17:09

Thanks both of you.

We've tried lots of litter but she's so good with her wees I haven't thought that's the problem.

I hadn't thought that she may be in pain - I assumed she'd be grumpy if she was
Bless her if she is, she's such a sweet old girl. I'll take her to the vet and get them to check her out.

Thank you.

cozietoesie Mon 20-Jun-16 20:22:16

You might be better off getting a second tray in for her - preferably one with a low profile lip. My own old lad - like many cats - much prefers to pee and poo in separate trays. It's a cat thing.

Good luck.

cozietoesie Mon 20-Jun-16 20:24:17

PS - sorry. That would be .... better than dealing with the actual litter. She ought to see the vet in any case.

CheshireSplat Mon 20-Jun-16 21:41:39

Thanks. We have litter trays scattered through the kitchen!!! She doesn't quite seem herself tonight, so definitely vets for her tomorrow. Thanks for your helpful words.

cozietoesie Mon 20-Jun-16 22:01:50

Let us know how the vet goes.

CheshireSplat Tue 13-Dec-16 13:37:02

Hello everyone. Revising this as it was so supportive last time. I took her to the vet after your advice and he gave me some drops that didn't seem to do much . The cat had a lovely summer lying in the sun on the lawn and being petted by the toddler.

However, her back legs are getting worse and she can't groom herself at all, meaning that she has dried poo down her back legs (so she's banned from the lounge until we've cut that fur off, which we do every couple of days). She's also lost 100g and is drinking lots, so she's being tested for kidney disorders and diabetes....

So we may be getting near the end of the road. Thanks everyone for your help in the summer.

Oh, and she's a boy!

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 13-Dec-16 16:59:05

She's a boy? It sounds like the end. Poor sod can't be happy with dry poo all down his legs.

cozietoesie Tue 13-Dec-16 17:05:50

Well - he had a lovely summer but now he's 18/19 and his body is failing from the sound of it. It's not just the likely arthritis which might be a problem but the muscles. They become weaker with age - and that's the internal ones as well - so that the cat (like humans) can't function in the way it used to.

He had a good summer though.

Weedsnseeds1 Tue 13-Dec-16 20:17:04

It sounds like decision making time, I'm afraid.

CheshireSplat Tue 20-Dec-16 00:08:28

Well, the results came back and his kidneys are failing. With this and the inability to clean himself and the weak back legs, we are having him put to sleep tomorrow. I feel really sad, even though I'd be the first to curse him when he'd wake us at 6 am on the rare occasion the DC hadn't or when he'd poo on the floor one minute after coming inside.

I hate killing anything, wasps, ants etc and he's such a good-natured trusting boy. He won't complain in the way to the vets in the car - I feel so guilty. Thank goodness I'm at work tomorrow and DH is taking him.

The vet has been very kind in assuring us we aren't bad people.

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 20-Dec-16 00:21:11

Ah I was going to post about my old cat. In his last 3 months at 20 he started pooing in the kitchen. It was very much the beginning of the end. His kidneys were troublesome and when they finally blew I had him down the vets and pts within 90 minutes of it happening. I have no regrets. He'd have died in agony within a day or so. I'd had him from 8 weeks old.
I have no regrets. He was happy the night before pts. I had the luxury of taking away his pain. I held him and stroked his head as he slipped away. I could not have done more for my pusscat. I would like that life and death.

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