Cat is pooing and peeing in dining room on carpet

by Marilyn
(Queens, NY)

My 16 1/2 year old cat is suddenly pooing and peeing on the dining room carpet. Put a shower curtain down and now she goes on that every night.

I have cleaned it with Nature's Miracle and shampooed it like crazy. She has been to 2 vets several times and I have her on Adequan shots and now canned food has been added.

Antibiotics did not help and a vague cystitis diagnosis ensues. For a while, my dog was staying at my moms and when she came back it seemed to start. Please help.

My Thoughts:

I'm sorry to hear that your kitty is having issues, Marilyn.

If she's got a physical ailment, cystitis, stones, some type of infection, etc. it may not be possible to attack this from a behavioral angle, but here goes...

I'm assuming the Adequan is for arthritis pain? I believe it's approved for dogs but is used in cats "off-label?" Perhaps it doesn't agree with your cat.

If she's gone off the box completely, perhaps she's still having arthritis pain and is finding it painful to get into or out of the litter box. See if you can make it easier on her by getting a lower box, and/or perhaps setting up stairs or a ramp up to the box.

Try placing a low litter box right on the spot she's been using. If she's developed a location preference, she might use it.

Once she's using it regularly, you can move the box, inch by inch each day, to a better location. Leave the other box in place as well.

Your dog left and then came back, and then your cat went off the box? Perhaps this was a stressful experience for her.

Any change in household routine or family members can throw a cat off. Abrupt changes can cause stress.

You can buy Feliway diffusers that may help reduce stress levels. Some cat owners have reported that their litter box problems stopped after using it. For some cats, it may have no effect at all.

You can also try isolation retraining in a sunny room with all her toys, food and water, and a box (far from the food and water).

Combine that with separating her from the dog until she gets back on track. Then do a slow re-introduction of the two animals after she's using the box regularly.

Give her plenty of attention and praise. If your veterinarian agrees that increasing her exercise level would be good, then I would do that.

Try 15 minute play sessions morning and evening. This is good for any cat, but consider her age and normal activity level and adjust accordingly. Increased activity is said to be good for arthritis patients, though, unless the vet says no.

I hope that helps some, and please keep us updated on her progress.

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