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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
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Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat who is 22 is soiling all over the house. If she is on

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My cat who is 22 is soiling all over the house. If she is on the sofa she just stands up and as a wee. She never did this when she was younger. She also urinates and does her bowel movements in her bed. She does have a cat tray next to her bed. Is it time for her to be put to sleep?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

 

Does Tabby appear to be aware that she has soiled where she was laying?

 

Have you noticed any increased thirst?

 

How is she otherwise? Enjoying life or depressed/lethargic?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No Tabby does not seem to care if she is lying in the wet. She has always drank a lot of water.


 


All she does these days is lay in her bed and just move to get drink and food. She had her ear removed a few months ago because she had an infection due to sun burn. Not sure if it is cancerous. But her ear as healed well.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Jeanette,

My apologies that I didn't catch your reply before I had to be away to see my own patients. Still I hve read your further details about Tabby and it does sound like she may have a few different issues affecting her in her advanced age.

First, if Tabby drinks a lot this does raise a wee red flag to whether she does so abnormally or excessively. The reason is because due to the feline kidney being very good at concentrating urine our cats never drink large volumes (as compared to dogs or even people). Therefore, when we see cats drink a lot, it can often be a sign of disease. Namely, we can see increased thirst in cats with kidney or liver troubles, sometimes with heart disease but also with diabetes or overactive thyroids. And in these cases, we can see the second issue I am about to discuss, lead to this increased thirst causing accidents if she is taking in so much water that the bladder is overfilling and then leaking when she sleeps. So, we do have to consider an underlying health issue with wee Tabby.

Further to this, the second issue that is likely at the root of her accidents in her bed (despite the litter box being just "next door") is arthritis and joint pain. Often we see elderly animals refrain from getting out of bed to go to the litter box until the last minute because its too much effort and discomfort to do so. In moderate cases, we sometimes see them delay until there hitting the litter box can be fraught with near misses. But as their joint discomfort progresses, they can get so sore that the least painful option is to go where they are. And if Tabby has a condition that has lead to increased thirst and thus increased urination and more trips to the litter box (or leaking is a frequent part of her life now), Tabby may have gotten to the stage where its all too much and just goes where she is instead of trying to make it to the box.

With all this in mind, euthanasia (as you have noted) is something we have to consider. This would be especially something we'd have to consider if you feel that Tabby is not enjoying life as she once did. Or if she isn't doing those things that made her kitty life worth living. Because if life is just soreness, the constant need to drink and urinate, then life isn't going to be pleasant for her anymore. And in that case, euthanasia would be a consideration.

Otherwise, if she is still enjoying life and interacting with you, then you could consider trying to pinpoint the cause of her drinking/urination to see if you can manage it and you can consider kitty safe pain relief to try and help her ancient joints feel like getting up to use the litter box (which would may also want to consider a lower lipped box and finer litter to make going easier on her). In regards XXXXX XXXXX to help her, you may want to consider having her vet check a blood sample. This can tell you which of the above could be to blame for her signs and give you an idea if you can help her. As well, you can have her vet check her joints and give you an idea if arthritis is present and how severe. If there is arthritis present (and to be frank at her advanced age it would be a miracle if there wasn't any), then there are cat safe pain relief options that could be tried. Depending on their findings, it may be that there are some aids that can help support her and keep her going for you.

Overall, I do suspect there are multiple issues getting Tabby down. Therefore, we have to consider her life on the whole at this moment to help guide our decision. If she is still quite vibrant and well in herself, then you may want to consider a blood sample and trying treatment to keep her going. That said, if she is miserable and laying in her own waste and not able to do the things she loves, then we'd have to consider that this is her time and that letting her go would be kindest for her.

Take care,
Dr. B.

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