Cat with renal failure going on carpet

by Kim Waters
(Liberty Twp, Ohio USA)

I have a 13 year old cat that has started using the carpet in front of our fireplace to poop, and he has only peed once there. I have taken him to the vet and the vet said he has Stage 2 renal failure, but said he has no infection.

We have a total of four cats in our home and they have all lived together for a long time (many years).

My boyfriend of 28 years has banned him from the downstairs. The poor guy is living in our guest room with carpet covered in plastic. I bring him out when I get home from work and he stays out until bedtime.

Please help me with any ideas of what else to do. I hate that he is shut up in that room away from his feline brothers and his humans.

Please help!!


Kim Waters

My thoughts: I'm sorry to hear your cat is sick. It's not uncommon for cats with renal failure to defecate and/or urinate outside the box.

Since your cat is ill, it may be hard to get him back on the litter box full time, but it's worth a try.

Renal failure can lead to dehydration which causes constipation. This can cause straining and pain when defecating. The pain causes your cat to associate pain with using the litter box to defecate, and so your cat avoids the box.

Ironically, cats with renal failure may also have diarrhea, and it may alternate with constipation. In addition, these symptoms can occur in older cats that are otherwise healthy, so it's hard to tell if the renal failure is the only thing at play here.

In any case, all this makes things tough on your cat with respect to his bathroom habits. If your cat's stools are at any time hard, dry, and/or pebble-like, that's a sign of constipation.

Fixing the constipation may not be enough, as once the association is there, your cat needs to work things out and get over the negative association to get back on track.

You're keeping him isolated already, so I'd say isolation retraining is worth a shot. I'd try setting him up for success in that room with all the amenities and a litter box, and see if he'll start using it regularly.

Once he's back to his regular box habits, you can try reintegrating him back into the household.

I hope that helps and please let us know how it goes.

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