My cat wants to live in the kitchen

by Alfreda Martinez
(Taos Pueblo, NM)

I have an elderly cat, who used to hate the litter box, but used it properly when she had to. She always wanted to go outside to relieve herself.


Within the past two or so years, she has claimed the kitchen as her territory. She will not use the litter box using instead one area of the kitchen. I have a covered litter box, with a swinging door for privacy and when she won't use the box, I took off the door thinking maybe that it scared her. She still won't use it. In addition she has begun passing blood in her feces. I try to take her out side but she is so terrified she'll streak back into the house.

I am wondering if it is something serious or maybe that she is just senile. It has gotten so bad, that I am considering having her euthanized, which I hate to do, but as many cat lovers know, cat odors are hard to get ride of. I am wondering if anyone has experienced this with their cat and what they did to resolve the issue.

My Thoughts:

Passing blood is a medical issue that needs immediate attention from your veterinarian. In addition, medical urinary problems can create litter box issues.

First, take your cat to the vet and take care of the issue of passing blood. At the same time, your vet can see if there is urinary tract problem as well. As an older cat, she should be seeing the vet twice a year according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. If she's passing blood, she needs to see the vet as soon as possible.

Then, once all that is settled, deal with the inappropriate elimination problem. I have written at length about how to deal with those issues (after taking care of any medical problems). Start with this page...

Litter Box Problems Guide

Read all the pages that link from that page. If you need additional information, then follow the links on all of those pages as well.

In extreme behavioral cases, isolation is sometimes recommended. Nancy Wigal is one of the most knowledgeable people I know on this issue. Please read her litter box retraining article here.

I hope everything works out ok.

-Kurt

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