Bart’s inappropriate elimination ramped up. He is now 16 and hasn’t used a litter box for the past month. I don’t want to put him down for this! He is such a lover boy!
Diane in Minnesota
Sometimes when a cat gets to be Bart’s age the kidneys are starting to shrink and not function as they once had. Shrinking kidneys lead to various stages of renal failure, and it’s time to begin diet changes, and often sub-cutaneous fluids. But what we often aren’t told is that it can lead to behavior changes including avoiding the litter box. So have your vet examine Bart and run some blood work.
A few other medical conditions come into play as well. Arthritis is another big one for many cats as their back legs and lower backs become stiff and sore so that getting in and out of a little box can be painful – when that happens your cat might pee next to the box or on a surface like a bathmat. Or they can enter the box but they don’t squat – the urine flies out their back end and hits the wall or spills over the sides of the box.
The solution for this is easy pie: a box that’s shallower for easy in/out access. Or even better, get a large storage container and cut out an opening that’s low enough for easy entry. The high sides are tall enough to contain urine that might be sprayed out. See below – that’s some of our washable waterproof pads in front of the box opening. This box is from Rubbermaid. Another option is a semi-transparent box such as those from Sterilite – some cats may feel less closed in that way.
(click image to see it larger)
Another factor in renal failure is that cats often lose some or all of their hearing. This can lead to loud caterwauling both in the middle of the night and during the day. When a cat goes deaf their world can shatter and this can affect their behavior and out of panic or not understanding what’s going on with their body the cat could stop using the litter box. But the cat’s sense of smell is still very much intact, one of the many reasons we love Comfort Zone with Feliway so much. It works with your cat’s sense of smell. If your cat is feeling rotten from malfunctioning kidneys (it will feel like a hangover to your cat) or scared from not hearing well, Feliway will be soothing and comforting and allows that the negative behaviors can be corrected. You and your cat will be much happier with the smell of the Feliway pheromone wafting through the house. But don’t be concerned about the smell, only your cat can detect it.
Friend of Cat Faeries, Aldyth Beltane of All Creatures Healing Network in San Francisco places kittens in foster care until they are old enough or socialized enough for their forever home. Recently we talked about how those rambunctious kittens can drive older cats to a meltdown.
What to do?
Multi Cat Household to the rescue! It’s all about acceptance, tolerance (oh boy, you can say that again), giving space when it’s needed, not feeling your space is encroached upon, feeling that family bond, and chilling out from just about anything which annoys the modern housecat.
The other thing you can do is install as many Comfort Zone with Feliway diffusers as budget permits. The feline delighting pheromone spreads calm and friendship throughout the house as well as buys you insurance that someone won’t start peeing outside of the box.
Happy Spring! And hey: spay, neuter! Aldyth tells us that every year, it’s the same thing… far too many kittens are being born with few homes ready or able to take them and love them. Come on! Spay! Neuter! Donate to your shelter so they can help pay for spray/neuter for people who can’t afford it. Let’s solve this problem!
PS – you can tire out kittens with our cat toys and allow those older cats do get their beauty rest in peace!
“Hic non defectus est, sed cattus minxit desuper nocte quadam. Confundatur pessimus cattus qui minxit super librum istum in nocte Daventrie, et consimiliter omnes alii propter illum. Et cavendum valde ne permittantur libri aperti per noctem ubi cattie venire possunt.”
Here is nothing missing, but a cat urinated on this during a certain night. Cursed be the pesty cat that urinated over this book during the night in Deventer and because of it many others too. And beware well not to leave open books at night where cats can come.
Are you just a little worried that holiday guests will detect that “accident” Kitty had awhile back? Or perhaps keeping windows closed for winter has your home smelling a bit like a kennel or musty? You don’t want your friends talking about your home behind your back. So head ‘em off at the pass, and de-stink a multitude of sins with Anti Icky Poo, the urine cleaner that really works.
A few light mistings of Anti Icky Poo twice a day for a few days will do the trick! Invite everyone over for holiday cheer and feel completely secure in knowing that your home only smells of your good cooking!
It’s beginning to get chilly outside in some parts of the country. And when it’s cold outside mice want to come into our houses for warmth. So if your cat is suddenly staring at the heater grates or have even peed on it, mice who use the ducts as a highway could be the cause!
Anti Icky Poo cleaner is safe to use near or on a heater. And it will get rid of the urine and the urine smell. Just shut off the heater before you apply it.
Don’t use Feliway spray near the heater vent as it is flammable. Instead place a diffuser nearby. If there isn’t an electrical outlet there, use an extension cord and put a pea sized piece of Museum Wax under the pheromone bottle and attach it to the floor or a table.
We wrote about this a few years ago. The other day a customer wrote to say that her cat sprays urine while in the litter box. We decided it was time to resurrect the photo of what we use for litter boxes.
When our cats started getting really old and unable to squat to urinate their pee would fly over the walls of standard pet shop litter boxes. So we bought two plastic storage boxes and cut out an opening (you can cut the opening low for cats with poor mobility as we did here or higher for younger cats). The sides are very high which prevents urine from hitting the floor. And the box’s depth is great, the cat get step inside, easily turn around and get in a good position to do their business.
The high sides are also great for cats who like to dig their way to China and who scatter litter everywhere.
These storage boxes will save your walls, floors, and your sanity!