Problems with older cat - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
Kitten
 
don383's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 4
Problems with older cat

Charlie is a 15 year old male who was rescued by friends as a kitten (mama and kittens were living in a storm drain) and we adopted him at about 4 months. He has always been indoors and is very timid. Always been good with the litter box and affectionate to me and my wife. We adopted a new kitten from shelter about two years ago. The new Kitten - Fred - is very animated and friendly, but constantly attacks Charlie. We finally separated them with Charlie inside and Fred in basement and outdoors. This was over a year ago. Stairs to basement are in the garage so I put cat doors in the basement door and garage door so Fred was free to come in and out as he pleased and he seems to like this arrangement.

This worked well up to 4 weeks ago and Charlie stopped using the litter box. I cleaned and bleached the box, then bought a new one and he refused to use it. I then put Charlie in the basement (and locked the cat door) and have Fred inside. I will go to the basement 2 or 3 times a day to check on Charlie, but he is always hidden. However, he is eating very well and using the litter box in the basement consistently.

I feel badly that he is not getting any attention. Is it possible he just prefers it this way? I would appreciate any insights available from the forum.

Thanks
don383 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 03:39 PM
Cat Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,830
Are you using the same litter in both boxes?
Any way that Fred did have contact with Charlie recently?
cat owner again is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 04:04 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 19,364
The most common reason a cat suddenly stops using a litter box is urinary tract issues...infection, crystals etc. He needs a vet visit to rule this out.

I'm also betting he doesn't understand why he's been banished to the basement, which creates stress which then lowers his immunity even further. The fact that he's hiding is an indicator that he is stressed and/or doesn't feel well. He needs the vet visit immediately.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Holly, Misty & their friend, Jake, the dog.
Onyx, Callie May, Maggie & Kobi forever in my heart.
Yes, I know I need a new signature pic...someday...
doodlebug is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 06:17 PM
Cool Cat
 
Mandy and Ellie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Dayton, Ohio area
Posts: 1,247
I fully agree with Doodlebug's comment - my first thought is a health issue, most likely a urinary issue. Cats don't just stop using the litter box for no reason... it is almost always a medical reason. A vet visit is definitely needed to pinpoint what's causing the issues.
Mandy and Ellie is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
Kitten
 
don383's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 4
Thanks for the input - I should have included vet info in my initial post. I have had him to the vet twice to be checked since the behavior started. They do not show any infection or UTI - also ran a scan for any blockages and that turned up negative
don383 is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 02:31 AM
Premier Cat
 
spirite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Roanoke, Va
Posts: 8,324
Is he not using the box at all - for pee or for poo? If you haven't changed the litter or the placement of the box, I wonder if he has arthritis. That might make it hard for him to use the box.You could try a low-sided box, and have x-rays taken.

The fact that he's hiding isn't good. If he does have arthritis, it could be causing pain (I know it causes me pain...). The vet would be able to prescribe pain meds.

Putting him in the basement seems like a major, possibly upsetting, change for a 15-year-old kitty. What some people have done, with success, for kitties not using the box is to put puppy pee pads inside the box without any litter. Maybe that would work for Charlie?
spirite is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 12:59 PM
Cool Cat
 
maggie23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,267
poor charlie. i'm just guessing he is unhappy because of the new situation. it does sound a bit like the new kid on the block is getting preferential treatment unfortunately. if anything, charlie should have the run of the place in his golden years and the young guy should learn to respect him and learn his boundaries. he may still be impressionable enough to train better. i'm probably dreaming on that one, but one can hope!

we have unfortunately decided after our own bad experiences of bringing in younger (actually ANY other) cats into a home with a senior kitty, that it's not a good idea. it really upset the older cats and their quality of life went downhill. i don't think i will ever do it again.

i hope you are able to make it work eventually. but i would definitely give charlie a LOT more love and attention so he doesn't feel slighted in any way.
maggie23 is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 02:11 PM
Premier Cat
 
Marcia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 8,096
I can't imagine he is happy in the basement - no family - except an occasional visit from you, no warm bed to sleep with his people in. It all sounds very depressing to me. Of course when I think of basements, I think of rat or mouse infested **** holes covered in spider webs like what I had as a kid and I was terrified of going down there. I realize many people's basements are not like this and yours may be heaven on earth, sans companionship.

Maybe making the place more wonderful for him would help. Cozy perches up to a window to look out, soft comforting cat music during the day, warm places (near a heat source maybe) to take the chill off his old bones. Or you could move him to your bedroom where he can at least spend the nights with you. I agree with Maggie - Charlie deserves to live out his senior years as the preferred cat resident - not the banished old man.

Cat owners' prayer: "Lord help me be the person my cat thinks I am"
Marcia is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 03:45 PM
Premier Cat
 
10cats2dogs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 13,061
Hi Don,
I think, like Spirite, there may be some arthritis issues going on...
Was he still trying to get close to the litter box (same area)??
A lower cut out box, he can get into may solve that issue.
Also x-rays of his hips and spine would be good, as he could have further injured something, and you wouldn't necessarily know it, but it could certainly keep him from moving easily...

Agree with Marcia...
He needs the areas he's used to, in the house, not the basement, you need to be able to keep an eye on him, and he needs to be as comfortable as possible at 15 years old!
The stairs are a nightmare for a cat with arthritis, or spinal injury...

Wishing you all the best!
Sharon

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
10cats2dogs is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
Kitten
 
don383's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 4
Thanks to all for your responses. The basement is clean, heated and dry with plenty of cozy spots to curl up on - but I do agree that Charlie deserves the preferential treatment in his senior years. What is confusing me the most is that ever since he has gone to the basement he is now using the litter box exclusively. This is the same box that Fred used when he was in the basement.

Is it possible that he is just a grumpy old man who wants to be left alone ?
don383 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome