Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Cat not using the litter tray

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Leanne Jones, Sep 12, 2019.


  1. Leanne Jones

    Leanne Jones PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all,
    My cat is 19 years old and blind. Over the last 6 months she's been using her litter tray less and less. I don't know if her being blind is causing confusion or whether it may just be her age. I have taken her to the vet's and they couldn't find anything immediately wrong with her, they said they could do blood tests. She was traumatized by the trip to the vet's. She's always been a house cat.
    Has anyone any thoughts before I take her for a blood test? I'd rather avoid putting her through more stress but I'm running out of options.

    I tried a bigger litter tray and one with lower sides but neither has helped. She doesn't seem to struggle getting in or out and the tray has been in the same place for years (since before she went blind).
     
  2. TabbyMama92

    TabbyMama92 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2019
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    34
    Bless her.

    It could be confusion - was it within the last 6 months that she lost her sight? Is she going to the toilet near to the tray just not in it or is she peeing in random spots over the house? Could you maybe try a bit of basic retraining like you would with a kitten? Like if you catch her sniffing/crouching put her in the tray? Hope you get things sorted!
     
  3. Leanne Jones

    Leanne Jones PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know, she's so stressed when she's gone to the toilet outside of her tray, she paces around and returns to the area, that's normally how we know.

    She was confirmed blind in January by the vet but we've suspected it before that, I'd say she's been blind for about 12 months. She seemed to be coping well with it but not in the last 6 months. I wondered if she was partially sighted and she's now fully blind. She now goes behind the sofa and gets stuck, I thought maybe she's looking for somewhere to hide because she's stressed.

    Sometimes the pee is near her tray as if she's missed but then others it's in random places.

    I try to take her to her tray regularly, if I sense she's looking for somewhere to pee. I even give her treats on the odd occasion she does use it.
     
  4. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Messages:
    23,442
    Likes Received:
    18,413
    Is she using her tray to poo in or is that being done out of the tray too?
    If it is just the pee she may have a urinary problem such as cystitis and is associating pain when trying to pee with the litter tray so is avoiding it.
    I know you say she was stressed by the vet trip but I think it would be best to have a full health check done including blood and urine.
    I hope you can find out what is causing her problem , please let us know how she is getting on.
     
    chillminx and lorilu like this.
  5. TabbyMama92

    TabbyMama92 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2019
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    34
    Oh the poor little thing - it could be a combination of stress/confusion. If the vet can't find anything physically wrong with her immediately it probably is just a behavioural thing. You could always try talking to Cats Protection to see if they have any advice - they might be able to suggest something. I think with vets they tend to just go straight to running loads of tests rather than looking at the behavioural side of things which isn't just stressful for the cat but costly too.
     
  6. Leanne Jones

    Leanne Jones PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    She is pooing outside of the tray too, it actually started with her just pooing outside of the tray, she continued to use it to pee but now rarely uses it. It'd say maybe once a week.

    Yeah I think you're right, they take the blood from under her chin so I got a bit scared, she's my baby. She seems ok apart from the stress of her toileting outside of the tray though.
     
  7. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    10,186
    Likes Received:
    10,941
    But cats hide pain and illness. It's things like avoiding the litter box that are sometimes the only clue we have that a cat is unwell. I agree with @buffie, she needs blood work and a urinalysis. Blindness can be caused by other issues, did the vet not suggest blood work when she first started losing her sight? What was the cause of it?

    I know it's terribly stressful for you both, but what if she's suffering? High blood pressure, hyperthyroid, kidney disease..these would be my concerns.
     
    chillminx likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice