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Elderly cat urinating in corners !

(26 Posts)
notonmywatch28 Tue 31-Dec-19 08:16:26

Despite being given, and using a litter tray, my 15 year old cat has continued to use corners of our bedrooms to wee in. I have tried many things to get rid of the smell in the hope of stopping him doing this, and keeping him shut out of the rooms he favors, although this is hard in a busy family home .
He saw the vet last year, who took bloods, all was normal apart from his amylase level, which the vet thought was linked to his weight ( he's a large cat who has become very inactive). He has been on a urinary care diet, is no longer overweight, but still not very active.
Would it be morally wrong to have him put to sleep, and would a vet think I was heartless ? He is a rescue cat ( have had him for 3 years), so although I do love him, I'm not as attached to him as I could be !

OP’s posts: |
makingmiracles Tue 31-Dec-19 08:25:00

Has he been to the vet recently? When my elderly cat started doing this a trip to the vet revealed he had high blood pressure which had made him go blind. We opted to pts as it was unmanageable and the vet said he would probably continue to do it.

Mammyofonlyone Tue 31-Dec-19 09:14:41

Our cat is the same age and has started pooing on beds or occasionally in the corners of certain rooms. Oddly it's only the guest bedrooms, never the ones we use every day. If we keep the doors to the guest bedrooms shut she uses her tray. We've been to the vets with her several times and there isn't a lot we can do about this as far as we know. She is sadly coming to the end of her life I think, she has lost a lot of weight and is losing hair rapidly but there is no sign she is in discomfort or distress. Over the last week or so we have noticed occasional blood in her poo so I don't think it will be long until we have to put her down. It's rubbish, I feel for you.

Mammyofonlyone Tue 31-Dec-19 09:15:41

And no I don't think a vet would think that you are heartless. We have discussed it with ours on the last three trips and they were very understanding

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 31-Dec-19 09:25:55

Are you using wood chip litter? It can be hard on paws.

Ultra clumping litter is what a lot of cats prefer, in a big tray not a standard one.

notonmywatch28 Tue 31-Dec-19 14:18:20

We do use wood pellets at present , have used other litters in the past though. He does use the litter tray several times a day,, but also the carpet ! He saw the vet 10 months ago, and I assumed the blood test would show renal disease, as he drinks and wees a lot, but apart from his amylase levels, everything was normal.
I suspect he might be a bit senile , as he does howl sometimes in the day and night.
I think my issue is he does still have a quality of life (unlike my carpets hmm).

OP’s posts: |
Pannalash Tue 31-Dec-19 14:28:28

Take him to the vets to be checked there may be a reason for the change in behaviour. Why did you get an elderly rescue cat as it seems that you’re possibly looking for an excuse to PTS due to inconvenience? Apologies if I have got the wrong end of the stick.

LittleLongDog Tue 31-Dec-19 14:39:46

Is it the same place each time? We put a bowl of food in the corner our cat weed in. Could you put a bit of food in the corners?

notonmywatch28 Tue 31-Dec-19 15:38:45

I've tried blocking off corners , will try putting his food there . Will try changing his litter too, and will speak to the vet again if that doesn't help.
My previous cat lived until he was 19, so I know the perils well of older cats , although he wasn't ever incontinent . We adopted this one as pair, then unfortunately the other one developed nasal lymphoma a few months later and was a put to sleep. Much as I love cats, I also love my house not smelling of urine. His self care is not brilliant either , he needs help with grooming, and his claws need clipping otherwise he gets hooked on everything .
Things were definitely better in the summer, as although he rarely went outside voluntarily, if we put him outside he would quite happily stay out, at this time of year he's straight back in !

OP’s posts: |
LittleLongDog Tue 31-Dec-19 17:31:53

If you’re adamant that you don’t want to care for him then I would speak to the rescue before I had him put down.

Aloe6 Tue 31-Dec-19 17:35:03

I wouldn’t PTS for this no. Definitely try a softer litter with a low entry side to the litter tray. Repeat bloods & a urine test to check for a medical cause. If you still want to euthanise him, offer him back to the rescue you had him from.

OrSomeSortOfWokAtTheVeryLeast Tue 31-Dec-19 17:38:07

Our old cat started doing this and the only way we got her to stop was making sure the litter tray was clean all the time. It was like one day she decided she wasnt going to use it if it had any wee in at all.

Mia184 Wed 01-Jan-20 07:48:18

I don‘t think any vet would put down a cat because of the reasons you stated. It would probably be illegal to do so.

Have you cleaned the areas the cat peed on with an enzyme cleaner? If not, that could be a reason for the cat continuing to pee there.

notonmywatch28 Wed 01-Jan-20 09:57:00

The carpet in my son's room has been cleaned with everything we can think of over the last year (enzyme cleaner, biological washing powder, vinegar , Bissell pet carpet cleaner, fabrize, Jeyes deodorizer, a keep off spray , dettol,). The carpet cleaner ( machine ) actually makes the smell worse. Yesterday we bought a cheapish carpet off cut , and it's a bleachable carpet, so I'm going to give that a go. Hopefully starting a fresh ( and keeping the door shut ) might help.

OP’s posts: |
HoHoHolly Wed 01-Jan-20 15:54:58

We lived with this for many years. Our adopted cats were outdoorsy and our solution was about containment really. They were only allowed in the kitchen or utility unless supervised. We locked them out for half an hour after meals. They also had a cosy outdoor cat shed, insulated, with lots of perches etc. However I got a strong impression from the vet that cats do get put down for this sort of thing. We never explicitly had that conversation but she said we were unusual in working with it for so long. Anyway if he hasn't been to the vet in 10 months then your first step is back to the vet. At the very least he needs checking for a UTI even if the problem's been there a long time.

Is his prescription food a dry food? If so it might be worth changing him to all wet food.

LazyDaisey Wed 01-Jan-20 15:59:07

Yes I think it would be morally wrong to kill an animal because it pisses on a wall. Why did you get a 12 year old rescue cat to begin with? So you didn’t have to commit to it or get “too attached”?


SpeedofaSloth Wed 01-Jan-20 16:05:52

Our 14yo DCat was put to sleep following similar behaviour, but it was part of a wider picture of dementia and she was desperately unhappy, constantly scared and didn't recognise us any more. Her no longer being clean in the house was part of the whole, and her quality of life wasn't OK any more. So yes, I would consider it. My vet was extremely caring about the whole thing.

HoHoHolly Wed 01-Jan-20 19:23:15

Also put him on his litter tray a few mins after meals. But I would start with that vet trip. Cats hide pain well and if he does have a UTI he will be very uncomfortable.

notonmywatch28 Wed 01-Jan-20 22:40:59

Spent this morning with a Stanley knife cutting out the worst bits of contaminated carpet, underlay and gripper rods , and bleaching the floor boards . For the first time in months my son's bedroom doesn't stink 😀. As the whole carpet will be going, I've tested some with bleach , and it appears not to affect the colour, so I might pluck up the courage to bleach the patches in my own bedroom, which has the same carpet fitted. Bleaching carpets could be a game changer, can't believe I've reached middle age without knowing synthetic carpets could be bleached 😯.
To the posters who thought I was horrid for adopting older cats and then bothered about "pissing up walls" I find it hard to believe you would happily put up with rooms reeking of urine . It's horrid. And rescue centres don't have queues of adopters willing to take on elderly cats. Both cats I adopted came with health problems and their associated vet bills ( hernias, cysts, a heart murmur, both were obese ) which I have happily taken on. Six months after I adopted them, one was diagnosed with cancer ( bill £600) and sadly had to be put to sleep. There is no way I would return an elderly infirm cat to a rescue centre ( they had been in rescue for months and he hated it ). He is much loved and cared for, and hopefully will carry on that way. Looks like bleach and a change of cat litter will see us through 😊.
Thank you for your helpful advice , and a Happy new year to you all 🐱

OP’s posts: |
HoHoHolly Thu 02-Jan-20 01:49:19

Glad the smell has improved. We were told not to use bleach because to cats, it smells like cat wee. Surgical spirit is ok though.

I agree with you on the rehoming front btw. Good luck.

MrsArdvark Thu 02-Jan-20 09:37:14

Oh goodness, don't use bleach! Holly is right. The ammonia in it smells like wee to a cat, it's basically an instruction to the cat to pee there! Anything citrus-scented is good, cats generally hate citrus scents and will actively avoid them.

cosytoaster Thu 02-Jan-20 11:26:38

I came on here looking for inspiration because I have the same problem with my 15 year old cat. Unfortunately the downstairs is open plan and a corner of the lounge is her chosen spot.
Don't know how to tackle it, the carpet stinks (wee has gone right into the underlay) but am worried if I replace it (which I can ill afford to do) she'll just do the same on the new one. She still has a reasonable quality of life but at 15 this could go on for a few years more.

Beamur Thu 02-Jan-20 11:32:50

It is really tiresome if your cat starts doing this. But there is usually a reason!
I've heard the tip about putting food in the places that they keep toileting as they don't like to eat close to where they eat.
Difficulty or aversion to the cat litter tray also worth considering as is senility.

FlashingFedora Thu 02-Jan-20 11:42:53

First thing you need to do is get more trays, you can get corner litter trays. If he's using his only tray several times a day then unless you're cleaning it several times a day he's going to go elsewhere as most cats won't use a tray unless it's clean. And yes a vet check, elderly cats should have regular check ups, at least 6 monthly, once a year isn't enough, a lot can change in a short space of time when they're elderly.

WeGoHigher Thu 02-Jan-20 12:02:13

My cats are coming up 16 and 15 years old. We recently changed to two extra-large litter trays - they are huuuuge - in a kitchen corner, which has been a big help.

They also benefit from zylkene (a calming protein for cats, available online or via your vet). The younger cat tends to pee in rooms when she's stressed - zylkene really helps with that. In fact we now start her on it before the firework season starts, or before any other stressful thing (e.g. visit from plumber). Even a shopping delivery can set her off into anxiety.

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