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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Problem with 11 year old sick cat

Hi everyone,

We have an 11 year old female cat (she's spayed) who we've just found out has diabetes and UTI. We have treated the UTI with a prescription from the vet and have her on a diet for the diabetes. We are at our wits end regarding her behavior. She doesn't seem to be consistent in anything at all, one day she pees in her litter box, another in the tub, another on various parts of the carpet. She does this with pooping too.

A little background information. We have that cat, another cat, a dog and two kids. We've just moved into a new house in July. These litter problems have been going on for some time, before we moved, but in our old house it was almost always just a matter of she'd do her business in or around the litter box. Now it has moved to different locations, which makes no sense based on what we've read about cats going to the same place. We've put her litter box in a different location, in a nice quiet room all to herself, it hasn't made a difference. The vet recommended putting her in a room with her litter box and her food and her bed to get her retrained, but it hasn't made the situation any better. Sometimes she goes in the litter box, sometimes in the tub, sometimes she even pees and poops on her bed, yet she still sleeps on it. It doesn't seem to be something where changing the brand of litter would help because she does use it sometimes.

It's now to the point where we have to follow her around to see what she is doing, and follow our kids around to make sure they close doors so she won't go in to them and make a mess. Life is busy enough with two little ones, this is just another thing that is consuming our time and taking up space in our life. We've considered giving her away, but who's going to take a cat with diabetes and isn't housetrained anymore. We've tried numerous methods to clean the spots where she pees/poops and have tried to keep her away from the main areas as much as possible but it isn't helping. It isn't helping and it's keeping us from enjoying the use of our basement and toy room.

We really don't know what else to try and are open to suggestions. Please help.

Thanks,
Shana and Iann

*EDIT* We weren't sure if this should go in health and nutrition or behavior due to the various things involved. Mods, please feel free to move this to behavior if it is deemed it should be.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 02:21 PM
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Re: Problem with 11 year old sick cat

Hi...welcome to Cat Forum!

Both diabetes and UTIs affect a cats litter habits so it's kind of hard to tell if she's had these things brewing for a while and they're the cause or if something else is going on. So, I would suggest seeing how she's doing in a week or two when the meds have kicked in. You might find that was the issue.

In the meantime, you need to get a black light and a gallon or two of an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle and follow the process in the Sticky at the top of the forum called "how I saved my home". Make sure to SOAK all the areas that she's peed on, the cleaner needs to sink in as far as the urine did. Spraying the surface doesn't cut it.

A few things that could be going on...the stress of the move may have brought on the UTI. Were there cats living in the house before? If so, you may find that there are more pee spots than you thought and she's trying to mark over them.

How old are your kids? If they are under 5 she may be responding to having mobile, unpredictable, never know when they're going to screech little beings invade her nice calm life. Some cats take it better than others. You may need to give her a safe zone where the kids can't go, gate off a room for her or something.

Can you tie any of her litter box changes to the addition of the other cat or dog? Or the kids becoming mobile?

If it's not the medical issues, one suggestion might be to confine her to a small room, like a bathroom, with her litter box, food and toys. Replace her litter with Cat Attract litter and see how she does. If OK, put her in a larger room and see how she does.

I hope the meds do it for her, the behavior issues are much harder to address.

Oh yeah...and I assume that her litter box is scooped at a minimum of once a day? Since you have 2 cats you need at least 2, but preferably 3 boxes. And locating them in separate areas of the house may help. Your other cat could be guarding or chasing her from the box. But (s)he can't do that to 2 at once if they're in separate places.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Problem with 11 year old sick cat

Thank you so much for the reply, It's so nice to have a place to go and ask for help when it's needed.

We have finish the prescription for the UTI, it's been a couple days since the last pill, the blood in the pee is all cleared up, so that is one problem solved.

Our children are 4 and 2 so the cat has been around them for quite some time. The other cat has been around almost just as long, she is 10, and they get along great. There litter boxes are separate and in different rooms. The other cat prefers to be outside 3/4 of the day so there is not distraction when it comes to the litter box. The dog is outside as well, so there is no distraction from her either. In the old house where this all started the kids were never downstairs to interrupt and even at the new house they aren't downstairs enough to make that an issue.I don't think anyways and we do keep the litter box clean as well.

From what I understand there were no pets here before, this all started in the old house and now has continued to the new house. I am going to try the cleaning and also the litter, do you know where to find that? Do we keep her in the room all hours of the day? or what are the steps with that? and is there anything we can do to get her to not go in tub?

Could this be a problem with her diabetes? should we be going back to the vet?

Thank you so much for all your help!!
Shana & Iann
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 06:25 PM
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Re: Problem with 11 year old sick cat

Yes, you should be going back to the vet. Uncontrolled diabetes can make an animal VERY ill, and even mild illness can cause elimination problems in cats. Diabetes is not a one-appt, weight loss fix. It needs to be closely monitored and managed with diet, frequent glucose testing, and insulin, if necessary. You might find it easiest to learn how to do glucose testing at home so that you can manage her diabetes effectively. If your cat is currently volleying back and forth between hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, you won't be able to get her litterbox issues resolved while she's so sick. Stabilize her physical condition, and the litterbox problem may resolve itself.

As far as the UTI is concerned, don't be so sure you have it treated. Some UTIs can be extremely difficult to eliminate. Even if the blood in the urine has ceased, that may only be a temporary reprieve. The antibiotic may have knocked down the bacteria enough to improve her condition temporarily, but if it didn't wipe out the bacteria completely, the infection is still present and will return full force. Ask your vet to run a urine culture to make sure the infection is completely gone.

There's no sense treating this like a behavioral issue when it's almost certainly physically based.

I wish you and your cat all the best,

Laurie
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Problem with 11 year old sick cat

Hello Everyone,

Thank you so much for all the advice so far. We are still working with this every day, we have switched her litter to Cat Attract and that didn't seem to help, she just went back into the tub. I put her downstairs in the room each night and am starting to wonder if she needs to be in there more during the day as well? I am at home with the kids all day so we keep an eye on her and when she starts to head downstairs I follow...at those times she seems to use the litter box. Not sure if that way is a good idea or not. I find it hard to keep her locked in a room for long periods of time, but if that is best then that is what I will do. The only other thing is taking her back to the vet and I guess that will be happening shortly here if nothing improves.

Thanks again,
Shana & Iann
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 12:10 PM
 
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Re: Problem with 11 year old sick cat

Hello,
I had a cat whose problems sound exactly like what your are. The only thing that helped us was a medicated food. It relieved all her symptoms. I think that my cat was urinating all over the house to let me know she wasnt feeling well, the switching of the food was a miracle. Ill have to look up the name and get back to you with it
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Problem with 11 year old sick cat

Yes that would be wonderful if you could find the name of the food you used. We do have our cat on a special diet for diabetes, Purina dm I believe is what she is on now, but so far it hasn't seem to make a difference as far as the litter issues.

Thanks again.
Shana
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2008, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Problem with 11 year old sick cat

So just an update...our poor cat now has blood in her pee again so I guess it's time to head back to the vet. She is still not using the litter box and she is now throwing up and having diarrhea...not sure if its from the Puring DM or what, but either way its back to the vet we go.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2008, 10:23 PM
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Re: Problem with 11 year old sick cat

Oh, poor baby. It surely sounds like her litter box issues are medical in nature. Regarding diet...I would be inclined to get her on a grain free wet food. There are many low carb choices out there to help the diabetes and the moisture will help with the UTI.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2008, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Problem with 11 year old sick cat

Thanks again for all of your help...This is so upsetting and I don't like seeing my cat having any sort of problems so it's very nice to have a place to get some answers and a little bit of comfort and support.

I was just wondering, is UTI an ongoing battle, does it ever go away completely or is this something that we will have to be watching and dealing with now forever. And something that we will have to monitor through diet and meds.? And how bad can it be for cats? I am just a bit surprised that she just finished her pills 4-5 days ago and things looked good and now all of a sudden its seems to be back again.

Thanks again,
Shana
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