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Elderly cat issues

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Tony Gussin, Oct 25, 2020.


  1. Tony Gussin

    Tony Gussin PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone, new to the forum but I’m trying to get a little advice for my elderly cat Kitty, who is 18 and five months.

    She has multiple health issues. Thyroid (under control with medication), and her main problem is some undiagnosed neurological issue that causes either back leg to flail as if she’s scratching, but she never reaches her ears.
    I know, you’re thinking an early issue. Well, about two years ago there was an infection but it was cleared up. No leg waving for two days then it was back.
    The vet thinks possibly inner ear issue or neurological but a CT scan is more than we could afford and the bet said the treatment would be the same. She’s currently on gabopentane. I’ve probably spelt that wrong.

    She’s very skinny but eats a lot. Thyroid level at last check was good, so were kidneys.
    Her mobility is poor but she still gets about, just about.
    Anyway, I digress but wanted to give an idea of her health.

    The latest problem is she has mostly stopped grooming effectively and in recent days has taken to weeing on the floor, although she does have time to go out if she needs to.
    As a result she’s getting pretty dirty and I gave her a nominal wash tonight but have some non water shampoo to try tomorrow.

    I tried putting a litter tray in last night and she immediately began to eat the litter ‍♂️.
    Obviously that wasn’t a good idea, so took that away and put newspaper in the tray. She’s now using it as a bed ‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️

    I’m guessing there’s some dementia issues going on.
    She’s fairly content on sunny days and spends hours outside sleeping on a step, coming in for food occasionally.
    Wet days she hates and always seems at a loss as to what to do as her routine is disrupted.
    Another oddity is when indoors she now spends most of her time in the kitchen, if sleeping, just laying on the lino.
    She has the fun of the house and any number of comfy spots if she wanted them, but mostly chooses to stay in the kitchen.

    I’m under pressure from others in the house to take the final step, but I’m not ready. If she had stopped eating or was clearly terminal or list mobility completely of course I would, but I don’t feel it’s justified for a bit of pee on the floor.
    We wouldnt do that to an elderly human member of the family so why should we do it with a pet that’s been with us 18 years?

    Can anyone suggest a form of litter that she wouldn’t try to eat and any tips on how to encourage her to use the tray? Until now she has gone outside and has always been a clean cat.

    Also, any advice on cleaning and ways to keep her clean? Does it matter how often you use the ‘no water cat bath’ stuff? I assume it shouldn’t be that often?

    I’m willing to do what it takes but caring for such an elderly cat is new to me and obviously I want to make her remaining time as comfortable as possible but at the same time keep the rest of the household happy.

    Sorry for the first post essay!
     
  2. Tony Gussin

    Tony Gussin PetForums Newbie

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    Can no one offer any advice? ☹️☹️☹️
     
  3. Pixie_Tinker_Bell

    Pixie_Tinker_Bell PetForums Senior

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    Hi there, I'm afraid I'm no expert at all but I would say possibly another vet visit to check kidney function if the weeing on the floor is a new thing, there's a good chance she has some sort of uti. Has she never had a litter tray before? Was it a corn based litter you tried? You could try a non-clumping clay litter like catsan or a wood based litter. Do you know where she normally goes to the toilet? If she's used to soil then I guess a small layer of soil in the litter tray might encourage her but I imagine that could get quite dirty if tracked around the house and you'd probably have to change it frequently.

    I've also got a slightly older cat (15) with an undiagnosed neurological condition, we decided not to have further testing as it would be a distance away and very stressful for her with the likelihood of not finding anything specific or any different treatment than the steroids she's currently on.

    Afraid I can't help with the cleaning problem as it's not something I've ever had to deal with. My best advice would be to see a vet and get further advice from them.
     
    Tony Gussin likes this.
  4. Tony Gussin

    Tony Gussin PetForums Newbie

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    Many thanks. Yes saw the vet today and as soon as I can get a sample (shouldn’t be difficult!) they’re going to check for a UTI.
    Current thinking is kidneys and/or possibly dementia.

    Will get the test results then depending on what needs doing, take it from there on the litter issue.

    She normally goes outside either on the flower bed or the lawn, usually whichever is closest it seems.
    She has used litter trays in the past but now seems to like to get in them and sleep instead ‍♂️

    Obviously picking a litter that she won’t try to eat is also a major consideration!

    Clearly multiple health issues and I know she won’t be with us much longer but I want to make her last days comfortable and not be defeated by pee on the floor.

    Thank you for taking the time to reply, I will update when we get the tests back.
     
    Pixie_Tinker_Bell likes this.
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