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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 14 year old male cat that pees outside the litter box every few days. I think he's having neurological issues, but perhaps it's something else.
Anyone else have an older cat that does this?
 

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Have you had your vet check him for urinary and/or kidney problems? That can cause urination outside the litterbox, and should be ruled out as a potential cause as it can be quite serious.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I plan on taking him to the Vet in a few days.
I thought I'd get some feedback from others here first before the visit. This way I can enter the Vet office armed with lots of questions.
 

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Our Abby would put her two front paws in the box then let go right on to the floor. She was old and very sickly. Plus our Zipper (also old) steps in, lifts her rump and it usually goes over the side, too. I put a plastic sheet down on the floor about 2' all around the box (an old shower curtain liner works great) then lots of newspaper and paper towels on top of that. The paper towels absorb better and faster than the newspaper does. It wasn't Abby's fault, she was trying, just too weak or sickly to make it all the way in.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Our Abby would put her two front paws in the box then let go right on to the floor. She was old and very sickly. Plus our Zipper (also old) steps in, lifts her rump and it usually goes over the side, too. I put a plastic sheet down on the floor about 2' all around the box (an old shower curtain liner works great) then lots of newspaper and paper towels on top of that. The paper towels absorb better and faster than the newspaper does. It wasn't Abby's fault, she was trying, just too weak or sickly to make it all the way in.
Wow, what a mess.
Is it just laziness?
Our cats haven't gotten to that point, but it sure appears to be heading that direction in the next year or so...

I think we are done with cats when these guys eventually pass. They've been awesome, but we want our lives (and our house) back.
 

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Wow, what a mess.
Is it just laziness?
Our cats haven't gotten to that point, but it sure appears to be heading that direction in the next year or so...

I think we are done with cats when these guys eventually pass. They've been awesome, but we want our lives (and our house) back.
No, it's not laziness, Abby was just so old and weak it was the best she could do while Zipper is 16+ years old. She tries, but just is a little "over reaching" with her rump. I have to get higher boxes, but little Missy is so tiny (5 pounds with tiny little legs), that I don't want to upset them with high sides right now. I'll deal with the mess. It's not every time, just often enough to be a minor pain.
 

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We haven't seen him do it in action, but it's clearly not a mistake of "hanging" over the box. He picks a perimeter wall and does his thing. He's hit about 4 or 5 different spots along the wall. We thought he might be seeing cats outside and he is marking his territory, so we closed ALL of the blinds so he can't see out. We've done this for about 4 days, but this morning we woke up to pee on the floor near one of the perimeter walls. I think he's just losing his marbles. He's been pooping outside the box for almost a year. The Vets never figured out why he is doing that. We've been living with it. But, cat pee is a different story.

Not sure what else to do. Looking into the pro/cons of euthanasia now.
 

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Even though he's 14, which is getting up there, peeing outside the box is not a good reason to euthanize unless recommended by a vet (my opinion, of course). Are there new pets or new people in the house? Or some other change that could be stressing him out? This could also be the beginning stages of kidney or urinary troubles that your vet can test for. Some of these can become life threatening pretty quickly if left untreated.
 

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One thing I have heard of people doing is moving the litter box to the last place he peed and also putting a few in the other areas where he might go. This lets him know that he needs to pee in the box, then they move it a little bit every day until it is in the spot that they want it.

You could also try getting a couple litter boxes for him, since he is getting older. Maybe he is trying his best to get to the box, but it is too far from where he is, so he picks an out of the way spot close to where he is at the time.

Sometimes old humans don't make it to the toilet, that is why they have Depends!

I would definitely take him to the vet. 14 is an old enough age where you should get him checked out at least every year, in my opinion.
 

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We thought he might be seeing cats outside and he is marking his territory, so we closed ALL of the blinds so he can't see out.
Usually when an indoor cat is reacting to an outdoor cat, in my experience it's more the result of smelling (or hearing) the other cat than seeing it, so closing the blinds isn't going to do much.

If you're fairly sure it's a territorial issue, I think it would be best to try to discourage other cats from coming close to the house (easier said than done, I know) and move your cat to an interior room that isn't perimeter facing until he's going in his box consistently again.

Also be sure you're cleaning the areas he marks with an enzymatic cleaner - not just soap and water - because if any hint of urine scent remains it will encourage him to continue marking there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Test results were all negative.
Blood results were normal.
UTI results were normal.
Vet suggested we take him to a Neurologist. That route is too expensive.
Instead, we are going to try a few cheap alternatives.
The first thing we are going to do is change the litter to "Cat Attract".
The next step is to try a cat calming collar. "Good Behavior Calming Collar for Cats" by Sentry seems like a logical choice since it's only $12 and theoretically lasts for 30 days.
After this, we will try steroids (assuming he has brain issues). However the possible side effects of loose/runny stools doesn't appeal to us.
Wish us luck!
 

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I would recommend some even cheaper ideas too: He may be getting pickier about his litter maintenance. Starting at 12, my cat started refusing to use her box if there was anything in it (literally, she'd poo in the box, then pee on the carpet 5 minutes later if I didn't scoop it). I scoop the box 1-2 per day, and always ensure that there is at least 3 inches of litter in it (she won't use it with less starting at 14). Also, starting at about 16, she became sensitive to our messes. We try to keep our house perfectly clean, otherwise she will pee where there is a lot of other mess (ie, my dining room was really dirty after a huge family visit : games, meals, general stuff, well, the cat started peeing in there until I cleaned everything!). Good luck
 

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I would also recommend confining your cat to a smaller area of your house temporarily until you get the problem resolved. The further your cat is from the litterbox when the urge to go hits, the more likely they won't make it.

I'm not suggesting you lock your cat away forever, but in the short-term it can be helpful in fixing litterbox issues to keep the cat in a relatively small area near the box. It makes identifying accidents and cleaning up the mess easier too.
 

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Not sure what to think. He goes in the box. Digs around for a second or two. Then leaves the box. He'll walk around a bit, then return to the box, goes in and digs around and then walks out again. Eventually the 3rd time or so, he'll go back to the box and pee.
Yesterday, he pee'd on his favorite cat toy. Suffice to say, that toy went straight to the dumpster.
His days are numbered.
 

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Not sure if any of what I'm about to post is relevant to your situation. The quote below was part of a recent e-mail to an adopter of one of our shelter cats, "Chloe," who was missing the box...

Is the litter box covered? Many cats don't care for covered boxes. They might feel like they could be "ambushed" because they can't see anyone approaching. And they can get a static shock from rubbing against the entrance as they enter or leave.

What kind of litter is she using? Many cats don't care for scented litter. We use cheap unscented, non-clumping litter. She could try that, might be able to switch to clumping litter later. Or she could try Cat Attract, either the additive you mix in other litter or the litter that already has the additive built in.

Where is the litter box? If it's close to something that might start suddenly and make noise, like a furnace or washing machine, she could have been startled while in the box. Could a child have startled her? A quiet location, but where she can see if anyone is approaching, is best. And at least one on every level of the house.

How many boxes does she have out? Chloe might like to have multiple boxes, especially if she's particular about the cleanliness of the box. (Scoop boxes at least once a day.)

Having said all this, there's a good chance that Chloe was just nervous/scared the first few nights and will do better as she gets settled in.
 

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Do you have multiple litter boxes? Tried different litters (various types of clay, pine pellets, newspaper shredding?) and different amounts of litter?

Have you considered retraining him? Shutting him in a bathroom or other similar location with just his litter box? Only let him out if you know he's gone recently.

When you see him planning to go, place him in the litter box, don't let him leave until he goes, and give him treats once he does.

Something might have scared him away from the litter box -- associating it with pain is a common issue ... he may just need reassurance that the litter box is ok and safe to use.
 
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