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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3844
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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I have a 16 y/o female cat with trouble going in the litter

Customer Question

I have a 16 y/o female cat with trouble going in the litter box consistently 3 or 4 months ago. Not unable to go, just using the box irregularly. Feces was sometimes soft or runny. Vet prescribed Lixotinic Syrup w/Dextramethasone 4 months ago. Condition improved. She was going in the box or standing at the edge and missing the box. I put a large flat pan around the litter box to catch the "near misses." Last 2 weeks or so reverted to going in random spots (feces and urine). Urinating away from box is highly unusual. Vet prescribed Clindamycin (Clindacure) 1 ml bid. Doesn't seem to be helping much. Cat has lost weight over past 2 years despite VERY healthy appetite (food and water) -- eats like a horse. Last 2 weeks, however, appetite seems way down. She has lost 1/2 pound since March (7.8 to 7.3 pounds and had weighted over 12 2 years ago) despite great appetite until recently. Other than arthritic left hip cat is ok otherwise. Blood work negative for thyroid problems. Vet mentioned blood sugar not elevated enough for concern. Suggestions? What is normal sugar for a cat and should I consider insulin?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 4 months ago.

Hi. Welcome. My name is***** I'm sorry to hear about Shemp's situation. AS far as the normal blood glucose levels for a cat, they are typically in the range of 90 to 130 mg/dl. The trouble with a spot check on a cat that goes into the clinic is that they can temporarily have their blood glucose levels spike and they have a stress hyperglycemia. So in cats, I typically don't get concerned unless the blood glucose is greater than 200. Screening a urine sample for glucose can help to rule out diabetes as if there is no glucose there, they aren't diabetic. I wouldn't consider insulin in Shemp at this time as it hasn't been proven that diabetes is there. Again, a urine sample can be used to help determine this. As far as the urination / defecation things, it sounds like there is some litter box aversion going on. What can be done for that is to make the litter box as appeasing as possible to use. I would make sure it isn't covered as this lets it air out better. I would scoop it daily. I would get one bigger that gives her more room in it to hopefully find a good spot in it.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I will get some glucose testing strips and check her urine. Nothing about her litter box has changed. Based on her ability to jump, I know she can still get in the box, but she's urinating in random spots, something she never did prior to the last few weeks. Is there a neurological component I need to consider, for example a loss of control over her ability to "hold it" or some kind of brain issue where she's unaware that she is even doing it? The vet thought the Ab would help (ClindaCure) but I'm doubting now that it's a UTI. Any other thoughts?
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 4 months ago.

That glucose test strips for the urine is definitely a good idea for owners to have to use at home. It wouldn't be very suspect to be a neurologic issue that is at the heart of this. Physically some can become less mobile and they can't get into the box as well. What you may do is make it where she can walk into it and not have to jump into it. It could still be a UTI that isn't sensitive to the clindamycin. The best way to totally rule that out is to do a urine culture on a sample obtained by a cystocentesis.

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