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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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I have a rather old male cat who has stopped using his litter

Customer Question

I have a rather old male cat who has stopped using his litter tray & started squatting & trying to urinate
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Scarlett :


Dr. Scarlett :

Can I get a little more info on Arthur? Is he urinating and defecating outside his litter box or just urine? Is he producing urine when he squats? Have you noticed any blood in the urine on the floor?

Dr. Scarlett :

Any change in his appetite or drinking? Is he still jumping up on furniture?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Arthur urinates a little when he squats andyes he jumps up on thefurniture, He does seem to be drinking more and has always wanted to eat

Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 4 years ago.
Glad to hear he is jumping on furniture. When I hear of older kitties not using the litter box well, the first thing I think of is arthritis. Most old cats have some arthritic joints, so the act of getting into a tall-sided litter box and squatting on potentially unstable litter can be painful. But if he is jumping, he is probably not too bad off.

If he is drinking more, then I think about kidney failure. This is also common in older cats. Cats with kidney failure drink more water than usual and then will urinate more than usual. Rather than seeing larger clumps in the litter box, you may be seeing just more little clumps. Younger cats have very concentrated urine, which is good for keeping bacteria away. But the more dilute urine is easier for bacteria to grow, so Arthur may have a urinary tract infection. They have pain when they have a bladder infection and often will stop using the litter box.

Another cause of increased drinking and increased appetite in older cats is hyperthyroidism. Usually these cats are also losing weight.

Because of the possible bladder infection, I would take Arthur to your regular veterinarian. They can get a urine sample to look for an infection and I would recommend bloodwork to check his kidneys, thyroid, liver, etc. I wouldn't put this off as it sounds like Arthur is in discomfort and it would be good to make him feel better soon!