15 year old cat has always urinated outside of her litter box

by Beth

I brought home a stray cat 14 years ago whom I love very much. However, I have always had issues with her urinating outside of her box.

For the first 12 years or so she would still urinate in her box but would also urinate outside of the box.

When I lived in an apartment I had to get rid of ALL carpeting, including the bathmat so she wouldn't go on it.

She would go outside her box at least 1-2 times a day.

Then I moved into a small ranch house and when we put the house up for sale we realized she had peed all over the carpet in every room that had carpet.

For the past two years she has basically totally given up urinating in her box, and does all of her urinating outside the box all over the house.

She is now confined to our partially finished basement, where we have laid thick plastic across the carpet and placed puppy pads all around.

I feel bad because now being confined to the basement, she is no longer allowed freedom of the house, sitting in windows, sleeping in bed with me, etc. but I have no other choice.

The basement is comfortable, with furniture to sleep on and is warm, but it's not the same as having her in the house with us.

I have tried EVERYTHING..... tests for illness, multiple boxes, different litter, changed box location, Feliway, medicine, etc.

I have come to the realization that nothing will change her behavior and her behavior has caused a lot of stress on my family, not to mention her
quality of life has decreased now that she is living in the basement.

I know she is not adoptable and I worry that if someone else did adopt her, they might abuse her if she behaves like this.

I also have a really hard time with the idea of giving her up to a shelter as there are so many unwanted pets out there, but I can't continue to deal with this.

Has anyone else heard of such an extreme situation and have any advice on an alternative solution?

My Thoughts:

Wow, Beth, I'm sorry to hear you've had so much trouble. I admire you for sticking with her through all of this.

It sounds like you've already tried all of the things that I might recommend. The only thing I would add is confinement retraining in a large cage, along with a combination of the other techniques (Feliway, anti-anxiety meds, etc.).

The longer these problems go on, the harder they are to fix. So, I think that in an extreme case like this, that perhaps the best course of action would be to work with a cat behaviorist.

Whether that's phone consultations or a personal visit to your home, I think that a customized plan from an expert, with follow up and adjustments to that plan, are the way to go.

I'm hoping someone else will come along and offer more ideas. Please let us know how she makes out.

P.S. I will repeat your question for those who did not catch it above...

Has anyone else heard of such an extreme situation and have any advice on an alternative solution?

Comments for 15 year old cat has always urinated outside of her litter box

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Nov 20, 2011
Pee towels!
by: Anonymous

I have a 14 year old cat who has always urinated outside the box. She really likes to go on cloth, such as carpets.

I have dealt with the problem by buying a bunch of old towels and putting them in a plastic box next to the litter box. She pees on the towel and I then replace it with a fresh one.

I have to wash the pee towels once a week or so. I figured this out about six years ago, after losing security deposits in several apartments b/c of her peeing. She hasn't had a problem since.

Oct 18, 2011
Cat urinating or pooping outside of his box at 14 yrs old
by: Anonymous

I found out it wasn't my cat's behavior at all. He was hyperthyroid. Diagnosed with a blood panel. Now he takes pills for it. You may want to see your vet. Hyperthyroidism can be fatal if left untreated.

Oct 10, 2011
In that same boat with ya
by: Anonymous

I don't have any advice, unfortunately, but I wanted you to know that we have a cat that is the same way so you're not alone.

She's also 15 years old and will not use the litter box. She has developed a liking to the grass outside, but now that winter is coming, that will end. Our's has peed everywhere--the carpet, the furniture, the bed, even if we are IN them.

She has destroyed 2 of our houses and we don't let anyone come over because of the smell (we can't afford to rip up the carpet yet).

We have also tried the confinement retraining, but she just peed or pooped on the floor and her blanket; skittered out as soon as the door opened. Wish I could help you, but maybe some one out there can help us both!

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