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Dr. Jamie
Dr. Jamie, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 759
Experience:  Have worked with large and small animals, including cows, horses, goats, dogs, cats, birds, ferret
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Our male cat is eighteen and is diabetic. He has had two insulin

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Our male cat is eighteen and is diabetic. He has had two insulin injections each day for the past five years. We are very proud of him. He has always gone to the toilet in the garden never in a litter tray. To do this he has to climb a flight of stairs from our basement kitchen up to the garden level. Lately he has been using the concrete area outside the kitchen door and around the corner just out of site as a toilet. I even found some poo on the tile kitchen floor this weekend. I thought because of his age he might be doing this to avoid climbing the stairs. There has been a very aggressive female cat coming to the garden. Reading the article on the page made me think she might have something to do with the problem. My first idea was to disinfect the area outside the kitchen and spray it with cat repellent to encourage our cat to go back to the garden but
this may not be the best plan. Your help would be much appreciated. Chris & Ian, London

Dr. Jamie :

Hi, I'm Dr. Jamie. You should be proud! To be diabetic and 18 years old your cat has put forth real effort to potty in the garden until now. I would agree that the reason L L has stopped using the garden is either because he smells the aggressive cat nearby the garden or he most certainly has arthritis (as most 18 year old cats do) and it is just too uncomfortable for him to make the trip.

Dr. Jamie :

I would suggest offering him a litter box near the kitchen while you sort out the other possible issues. For the possible arthritis a glucosamine supplement can be very helpful in making cats with arthritis more comfortable. I have personally seen good results with this one called arthrimaxx:

Dr. Jamie :

You might also talk to your vet about trying a pain killer to see if it makes a difference. There is one called Metacam sometimes used in cats. Secondly, if there is anyway you can keep the other cat from coming around, that would be helpful. You might also try spraying a product called Feliway in the area. It is a cat Phermone that causes cats to feel calmer. you can see it here:

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your help. A few years ago we tried using a litter tray when the weather was particularly bad but Little Cat didn't seem to know how to use it. Is there anything we can do to encourage him to use one now?


When the aggressive female cat comes to the garden LC makes a very

loud throaty sound that we have never before heard him make. She is very forward and sits in the sun on the bench L loves. Would spraying the

fence help repel her? Are neighbors with cats are complaining about her too.

You might try filling the litter box with dirt similar to what L C uses in the garden or soft sand. There is also a product called "Cat Attract" that you can add to the litter box and it encourgaes the cat to use it. here is a link:
You could try spraying the fence or even spraying her with a water bottle if you catch her there. The water bottle might discourage her from coming around.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'd just like to ask one last question about this throaty, loud growling that we have never heard before in these past 17 and three quarter years. We didn't even know Little Cat could make a sound like this.