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Dr. Ann M.
Dr. Ann M., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4894
Experience:  ER and general medicine Veterinarian since 2005
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Our nearly 17 year old cat has used the litter without problem

Resolved Question:

Our nearly 17 year old cat has used the litter without problem since we've owned her. Over the past 4 months she's been taking on lots of water and had very runny stools. In the past month she was vomiting a lot but we've changed her feed to the senior version of the same brand and used hairball remedy and the amount of vomiting has reduced (seems to be linked to her gulping down dry food).
At Christmas she decided to use the spare bedroom instead of the litter box. We put this down to arthritic back legs so put a tray upstairs to make life easier (which she uses).
The problem is that she seems to be coming out of the litter tray having used it and then using any quiet area she can find to deposit another load. This is happening with a clean litter. The brand of litter hasn't changed (although we've tried different types to see if it will help), the litters themselves haven't changed and are still being used (more frequently). She demonstrates no pain in the abdomen or back region other than her hips that we know about. One other "symptom" is that whenever she sees me she cries for food-even if I just fed her. We've got in a water fountain that she uses to cater for thirst.
She's a very nervous traveller, and at her age, the panic attack of taking her to a vets may not be good. We're running out of ideas at this end and could do with a little advice.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Ann M. replied 3 years ago.
Hi there and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a licensed, internship-trained veterinarian with 9 years of experience in general medicine and emergency and critical care medicine and I would be happy to assist you.

Based on what you are describing, it sounds like your cat has hyperthyroidism. It can cause cats to eat a lot and drink a lot and vomit, and because they often feel ill it can also cause them to urinate or defecate outside the litter box. At age 17, though, Katie may be defecating or urinating outside the litter box due to the onset of some dementia or cognitive dysfunction. There isn't much you can do if that is the case. But with the suspected hyperthyroidism, a simple blood test an diagnose it, and then you can either give her pills, a prescription diet, or ear gel to treat it and the symptoms can resolve. It might be worth the stress of one trip to the vet. Cats do not have heart attacks like humans do, so unless she is already in heart failure (doesn't sound like it), then stress should not be a major issue that you would need to be concerned about with a vet trip.

I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly. If you still have questions, please reply. If you feel that I have provided anything less than excellent service, please reply to me first before rating my service and let me know how I can better assist you. Thank you for your question; it has been a pleasure being able to provide assistance. Best of luck.
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