My 15 year old calico won't use her litter box

by kaitlyn
(Comox Valley B.C)

My cat is a 15 year old calico who is domestic... but she can be a little bit of a bitch at times! My cat is refusing to use her litter box and my dog is now eating her poop and we think it may be making her sick.

We recently bought a kitty litter that will help attract her to the box and stuff to put in her food to make her poop taste bad. Hopefully they work.

Is there anything else that anyone can recommend? My mum is threatening to put her down if we don't get it figured out.

My thoughts: I'm sorry to hear that your cat is having problems. My site is filled with reasons as to why this happens, but there are a few major categories of problems. I've said this many times...

Many litter box problems are caused by either medical problems (see the vet), stinky litter boxes or poor placement/quantity of boxes, or stress.

If your cat isn't using the litter box, she's not being a bitch, she's in some sort of distress. She's crying out for help.

Chances are, either she's ill or not feeling quite right, she doesn't like the litter or the litter box for some reason, or she's being stressed by something.

Without more to go on, I can only take a flying stab at it and say that she probably has a medical condition, or
perhaps some traumatic event (traumatic from her point of view) has triggered her problem. If she has a medical problem, you can't fix this until you get her well.

At 15 years old, she's elderly, and subject to many of the same problems that elderly people are... kidney problems, bladder problems, arthritis which makes it hard to use the box, and so on.

Has she had blood work done? If not, it's time to do that so her overall health can be assessed. It's time to find out what shape her kidneys are in, whether or not she has hyperthyroidism or other common ailments.

Here's a thought... how long has the dog been eating her poop? If the dog has been going into the litter box, that may have caused your cat to stop using it (surprisingly, it can be that simple). If your dog has pica, and that is why she's eating cat poop, then your dog may need treatment for mineral deficiencies or behavioral issues as well.

What I recommend is reading through all of the pages I have linked from this page which outline what you need to know in order to work with your cat to solve this.

Once you've tried everything (vet, isolation retraining, animal behaviorist, etc.), you might try to re-home her in a low-stress environment.

I hope you'll work with her to fix this. Please let us know how it goes.


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Oct 30, 2014
older cats and litter boxes
by: Anonymous

Perhaps kitty is lame and it's too hard to get in and out of the box? I went through this with a senior kitty. Find a box with one lower side for easy access.

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