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I have 19 year old cat that has stopped using the litter…

Customer Question
I have 19 year...

I have 19 year old cat that has stopped using the litter box.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the cat?

She cries out a lot more and louder lately

Veterinarian's Assistant: The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. What is the cat's name and age?

We tried two different meds for bladder infection oral and liquid. This did not make a difference.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the cat?

Autumn.19 years old

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/23/2018
Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,049
Experience: DVM
Verified

Hello. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand Autumn is not using the litter box. I am sorry to hear about what is happening. Is Autumn urinating and defecating outside the box or is it one more than the other?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
everything outside the box
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Twice she cried out and I picked her up and put her in the litter box and she did urinate And another time she Defecated for me in the box.She did however urinate in the box today.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
on her own
Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Thank you for that information. This can happen for a few different reasons. The first one that should be considered is pain, which is usually from arthritis. However, bladder pain or colon pain can cause it too. If the urine appears red tinged or if the stool is softer than normal then that can give a clue as to pain in one of those areas. The other reason can occur in a cat at any age, and that is a preference to other materials such as rugs or carpet.

Treatment for pain in cats is most often given with an opioid. There are no safe over-the-counter remedies for pain in cats. Buprenorphine, gabapentin, and Adequan injections are all commonly used to treat pain. A urinalysis should also be taken just to make sure there is no pain caused by an infection or crystals in the urine.

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Does that help to answer your question?

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Just checking in. Are we still connected?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
She does not have any signs of arthritis. she leaps up to acquire her food and travels up and down the stairs regularly.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
She had a urine sample takin about four moths ago and it showed slight kidney failure but some what normal for her age.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
she will lay on my shoulder at times and I can hear noises in her rear end. along with occasionally twitching in her leg after getting comfortable repeatedly
Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Ok, that is good to know. If she is jumping primarily with her rear legs and not pulling with her front legs to reach high places then that is supportive that she does not have arthritis. Other signs would be muscle atrophy on her spine and hips, which hopefully the veterinarian was able to assess. If that is not the case then the urine or colon would be the most likely reasons for pain. Otherwise, we are talking about behavioral reasons, which would be unusual after so long of normal litter box habits.

Since she has a history of kidney disease, it might be worth having the urine examined again for signs of infection or crystals. If none are present then looking at the intestines would be next. Any kind of pain can cause a cat to not want to use the litter box, but these are the most common reasons.

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Her history of kidney disease seems like that could be the most likely factor, which predisposes them to infection because the urine is less concentrated.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Is it common to her fluid noises in the cats rear area?
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
She did try two different antibiotics for a possible bladder infection but no difference in behavior.
Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Fluid noises are likely intestinal sounds that you are hearing. That can be normal if it is 1-2 per 30 seconds, but if you are hearing increased fluid sounds then that can indicate intestinal inflammation.

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

If they looked at the urine and no evidence of inflammation was observed (i.e. no blood, white blood cells, etc.), then the issue is not likely with the urine. I would look at the intestines if the urine is clean.

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

You could try some over-the-counter kaopectate to see if that helps, but with the higher rates of intestinal disease in cats, it would be a good idea to consider an ultrasound of the abdomen. That way the intestines and the bladder will both be looked at in more detail.

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Does that help?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Is kaopectate An Anti-inflammatory? What is the average rate of an ultrasound? She is 19 years old but still quite active.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
with the twitching and the noises I believe she is having discomfort back there
Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

It's not an anti-inflammatory directly like we think about with aspirin, but it is an adsorbent that binds for toxins, which are inflammatory signals. So it will help decrease inflammation. The average cost for an abdominal ultrasound is likely between $200-400. It depends on who is performing it and what part of the country, so that is why there is a range.

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

I think you are likely correct about the location of the discomfort. Treatment with a pain medication may also be a good idea for her.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
What kind of pain med do you suggest? Are they over the counter meds?
Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Sorry for the delay. Buprenorphine, gabapentin, and Adequan injections are all commonly used to treat pain in cats. These are the safest to use.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Are they over the counter meds?
Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Unfortunately, none of these are available over-the-counter. They all require a prescription. None of the over-the-counter medications are safe to use for cats.

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Just checking in. How is Autumn doing?

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Would you please mind giving an update of Autumn? Experts like myself do not get credit for answering questions unless the customer indicates that the animal has been helped. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

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