General Question

Capt_Bloth's avatar

What should I do about my cat?

Asked by Capt_Bloth (2699 points ) July 25th, 2009

My cat is about 12 years old. Recently she had an impacted anal gland that also became infected. She is fine now, completely healed, but ever since she has started doing her business outside of her box. This has never been a problem in the past. She doesn’t do it all the time, about 3–4 days in a week, but some days she won’t even use her box. I know cleanliness is not the issue, we scoop 2–3 times a day and change the litter 2 times a week. Does anyone have experience with this sort of thing

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

jbfletcherfan's avatar

My cat of several years ago got inflammatory bowel disease. She also started going outside the box. It was a useless fight. I was never able to break her of it. As she got worse physically, I had to have her put to sleep. She was my baby & it just killed me. But I think once they start not using a litter box, it’s all but impossible to get them back in there. I wish you luck.

Capt_Bloth's avatar

Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Yeah. Cats are very stubborn, too. That doesn’t help.

Jeruba's avatar

For one unforgettable and seemingly interminable period, we ran a plastic runner down the hall and kept it covered with layers of newspaper that we could just roll up and stuff into plastic bags. No one went anywhere in bare feet.

The family council on the putting-down decision was split 2 and 2 (one parent and one child on each side). I heard what sounded to me like the arguments my sons will make about us when our time comes. One said, “I can’t even stand being around him [the cat] any more. I hate him now.” The other said, “I can’t believe you want to pay somebody to kill our cat.” This was an unbelievably painful discussion. I cried. My husband and I loved that old guy an awful lot. He had been with us longer than the kids had.

So we waited a bit, taking the decision we knew was reversible and not the one that wasn’t. We did know he wouldn’t get better, but we had always pledged that we would not abandon our pets just because they had become inconvenient. The tipping factor was the fact that the cat, although obviously ill, still seemed to be enjoying life, eating, going outside, snuggling up, even still having playful moments.

After a time it was no longer so, and then we all knew the time had come.

Afterwards we all promised ourselves we would never let it go that far again.

wildpotato's avatar

@Jeruba, @jbfletcherfan Thanks so much for your sensitive and helpful answers (Capt_Bloth’s cat is also my cat). Cleo is my heart, and I would do almost anything for her – I’ve known her since I was 11 – and this situation is just killing me. I heard that when cats find it painful to go for a short period of time, they can begin associating the pain with the litterbox. I really hope that that’s what’s going on here, because we’re about to move and I think there’s a chance I can break the association with the new surroundings and 2 new litterboxes. The answers here are scary – I have been avoiding the thought about euthanasia.

Dog's avatar

I realize that this is a long shot here- but perhaps in your cats mind associates the litterbox was the cause of feeling bad- She knows it as a painful place.

Maybe if you were to not use litter- and use piddle pads in a different area without the box she could be persuaded to contain herself to one area again.

Not sure if this would work but it may be worth the effort to try.

AstroChuck's avatar

Is there any stress in your cat’s life? I have a cat that behaves the same way. Whenever we return from an extended stay she will go outside the box. Any major (and not so major) changes in the house will have her doing the same. We just got a 9 week old puppy and she’s at it again.
To be fair, the new puppy is a pretty major event in all our lives and of late I’ve been known to miss the toilet on occasion.

Lovey_Howell's avatar

The most common reason a cat goes outside their litter box is that something is wrong. Go see your vet. There are a number of issues that could be bothering your cat from imapacted anals (very treatable) to lymphoma (almost hopeless). Don’t diagnose your cat by hearing what other people have said about theirs in similar situations. You could be doing a grave disservice to your cat.

tinyfaery's avatar

@Dog took my answer.

Try putting the box in a new location. Change the type of box. If it’s covered, try an uncovered one, or vice versa. Try new litter. I always recommend The World’s Best Litter.

And of course, see you vet.

Judi's avatar

She is associating the box with the pain from the illness. It may help if you get her a new box and a new brand of litter and put it in a different place.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther