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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My 13 years old female cat refuses to use the litter after I

Customer Question

my 13 years old female cat refuses to use the litter after I cleaned the box and placed a different litter. She is peeing on the bathroom rug, which she folds to cover up, but she has not defecated in 3 days.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 16 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

I am sorry to hear Latte is doing this. Before we decide this is a behavioral problem and since this is new, it is important we give her the benefit of the doubt. There are many possible medical causes for this which may make going in the box undesirable for her right now such as urinary tract infection, bladder/kidney stones, idiopathic cystitis (bladder inflammation not due to infection), organ problem (liver, kidney) which causes increased water consumption and therefore increased level of urine to eliminate and the list continues. The fact she has not defecated, if she normally goes once daily may indicate she is dehydrated for some reason or may not be eating as well as we think. This is another indication she may have a true medical problem.

The absolute best first step is to take her to be seen by her veterinarian as soon as you can arrange her to be evaluated with a physical exam, urinalysis +/- lab testing.

I regret that I can't be more specific for you but I, too, would need to perform the physical exam and testing to be able to know what's troubling Latte.

At home, cleaning her box is excellent and continue to do this daily. If you have not replace all the litter in a while, then do this. Remove the hood, if present, as many cats do not like the gas chamber effect it creates. If there is more than one cat in the household, then you need to be sure you have enough boxes (one for each cat plus one). Restrict her access from the bathroom where she seems to prefer to go right now. You could even consider keeping her in a contained environment with her food/box to control where she may eliminate.

Cleanse anywhere she inappropriately eliminated with an enzymatic cleanser. And, be sure not to punish her when you find the inappropriate eliminations (she doesn't remember and it dramatically increases her stress level which can worsen urinary problems). You can consider use of FEliway which comes as a spray or diffuser to use in the area she is going. If we can inspire her to mark (with the Feliway) with her mouth instead of urine, then she should stop urinating in this area. It helps, but is not a cure all.

I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please let me know if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Joey

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