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cat 14 years, urinating, coughing

December 8th, 2005, 09:27 PM
I have 3 cats (14, 6 and 3). All females and all got along well until recently. I've had them all since kittens. The 14 year old has started messing everywhere (mostly on my bed, but sometimes right in front of me on the carpet, for about 4 months now). She also messed in her own cat bed, which was her favourite place to sleep. I wash all my bedding in soap and bleach immediately. She cries at my feet and when I take her to her food dish, she stops crying and eats. I think she forgets where her litter box is and where her food dish is. The other 2 cats have started to pick on her, but I think because of her messing. They chase her off my bed and down to the basement where the litter box is. I lock her in the basement and she'll go to the litter box there as long as its close but the other 2 get distressed because they don't want to be locked up too but they won't go to another litter box if I place it elsewhere in the house. They insist on going to the regular box in the basement and cry at the door if they are not in there. I have 2 boxes and I clean them regularly. My 14 year old mostly just sleeps and looks miserable. No blood in the urine. The last week I noticed diahrea in the litter box but not sure who it is yet. I think they are all getting stressed now because of the messing and being locked up. My 14 year old was also giving a dry cough tonight but not productive - not coughing up a hairball. I'm at the end of my rope and have to consider quality of life for all the cats. If my 14 year old is on her last leg, then perhaps its best to put her down to put her out of her misery and let my other 2 cats have a normal life again because they have been really distressed lately. My youngest is a Bengal and very high strung and has been crying constantly for the past several weeks because of things not being 'normal'. She cries to get in the basement and cries to get out and doesn't know where she wants to be and is not used to the closed doors. I am at work all day and only let them all out in the evening when they are supervised. My 6 year old sleeps with me all night while the others are locked up because she is more calm and has never had an accident even when being away from the litter box for 12 hours.
Help ???? Shall I put my senior cat down ? Vet thinks she might be going senile.

December 8th, 2005, 09:36 PM
What else has the vet said? Anything medical?

December 8th, 2005, 09:42 PM
I should add that all my cats are indoor cats and never go outside. They are all purebreds: Himalayan (14), siamese (6), bengal (3). None have ever had health problems. My himmy had a bladder infection about 11 years ago but there was blood in her urine and she went everywhere. I have had them on the same food (prominence) for about 10 years (dry food only) and never had any other health problems. They get a small tin of fancy feast wet cat food as a treat about once every 2 months. No people food. No changes in our house or food.

December 8th, 2005, 09:58 PM
Nothing physically wrong. Vet says may be going senile ? and that she might be getting finicky in her old age and I should clean the litter box more regularly. I am now cleaning the boxes daily and even bought another new one yesterday that I put out in the hall. Yesterday she went poop on a mat that was sitting on top of the water heater in the basement. She sleeps there sometimes since I started locking her up. Its like she just woke up and decided to poop right there on the spot.

December 8th, 2005, 10:10 PM
Has she been tested for worms? Even though they are inside cats, you never know.
Did the vet do a blood panel?
Have you thought about trying her on a different food? Sometimes older cats develop sensitivities.
I would get a second opinion on this; cats don't poop where they sleep unless they can't help it.

December 9th, 2005, 07:30 AM
I agree with Badger,there HAS to be a medical or phsycological reason why your cat behaves this way.
She is being punished by being locked up and it will only add to the problem.
At 14,she is a senior cat and some problems do often occur(I know:D )but she should not have to die because of it,or to upease the younger cats,it's hardly fair.IMO

December 9th, 2005, 04:07 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I have decided to get a second opinion and so I'm taking her to the Cat Hospital on Monday. They specialize in only cats so perhaps they will find something other than 'she is going senile' and 'suffering from old age'. My regular vet could find no other medical reason but perhaps a cat specialist will.

December 9th, 2005, 04:15 PM
Karencarr,that is a great idea,I also don't like the answer"she's going senile" because 14 is not really all that old,she is elderly but not old.
Usually cats urinate in the wrong places for some reason,if UTI has been excluded,it's usually because of changes in her routine or maybe a new person in the household.
It could also be because the younger cats are bothering her..
Good Luck with your kitty! Please let us know how it goes:fingerscr

December 9th, 2005, 04:15 PM
I have found that when a cat is old and is ill. The other cats sense it. Even before we humans do. And sometimes even when the vet can find no problems. They will pick on the ill cat ..Bully it hiss and all that.It sounds like your cat is having a major illness starting. Or just old age type illness. Your cats sense it.
Last fall I have had two brother cats who where best buddies they were 10 years old. One developed what the vet thinks was cancer. His brother all of a sudden would avoid him. If we tried to get him to be in the same room with the ill brother he would howl and hiss and frantically want out and away from him. Which at 1st had me so confused as they grew up together and hadalways been the best of friends. In the last few weeks of his life he wanted to be no where near his brother. And the other two cats I had who had all gotten along with him great acted the same. Looking back I realize they knew he was ill.

December 10th, 2005, 12:04 AM
When I first read this, I thought OMG, this is no reason to put down a kitty! Then I saw you would get a 2nd opinion and was highly relieved!!! Do you follow the cardinal rule - one litter box per cat plus one.h 3, you have 4 right? If this cat is changing her habits, there is definitely a medical or behavioural issue. Especially when the other cats picking on her may indicate a medical issue. Also , never use bleach since it smells to cats sort of like iurea so they think they need to go whereever that smell is. Clean everything thoroughly and get her her own boxes now- maybe she needs one for each now- some cats are like that,esp as they age. Please do not isolate her for being ill - it is not her fault. I am glad she is getting help tho!!! I hope it is nothing too serious!!!! Good luck!

December 10th, 2005, 10:34 AM
I am also suspicious that it might be an undiagnosed illness based on her total lack of energy and enthusiasm and the other 2 picking on her. She only wants to lay about and sleep and needs to be carried to her food dish to encourage her to eat and drink. These 3 cats have slept together all their lives and now the 2 younger ones are hissing and chasing her, which is why I lock her in an enclosed room when I'm not home, to protect her and give her rest, and to keep her close to her litter and food so they are in easy reach. I only let her out in the evening when I can watch her. Not a happy life for any of the 3 cats. The other 2 are confused by the shut doors and my youngest is high strung and cries constantly these days. They used to all sleep with me and now I can only handle the 6 year old sleeping with me because the youngest cries all night at the door. There has been a lot of confusion for a few months now so hopefully this cat vet will find the root cause. I presently have 3 litter boxes. I keep them clean every day. Thanks again for all the feedback.

Lucky Rescue
December 10th, 2005, 11:22 AM
She only wants to lay about and sleep and needs to be carried to her food dish to encourage her to eat and drink.

Considering all this - the peeing, coughing and the above, I would say there is definitely something wrong with her. As Chico said, 14 is not really old for a cat, and her age alone wouldn't account for her symptoms and behavior.

You need to get to the bottom of this so you can decide what to do. You're right - she's no doubt miserable and something must be done.

December 10th, 2005, 08:07 PM
I agree with Lucky. 14 is not old.

My local newspaper had an article about a couple who has a 24 years old cat. He's still healthy now, though he cannot climb much as before.

I will try to find that article and post here.

Please looking for a 2nd opinion, from an EXPERIENCED, OLD vet.

Also don't forget hollistic vets. They may help when regular vet can't.

December 12th, 2005, 06:30 PM
Well, $385 to repeat the blood tests and urine tests. (Much more expensive than my regular vet). Hopefully they find something this time. In addition to the blood tests they did last time this cat vet is checking for feline lukemia and aids. Other than that, I think all the tests are the same. She also did a doppler blood pressure measurement which the last vet did not do. Her blood pressure is high, which might account for her being confused and disoriented all the time but high blood pressure is usually only a symptom of an underlying disease. So still waiting for the results. Since they know I'm getting a 'second opinion' they have decided to keep her over night and into tomorrow so they can monitor her and await the results. Her Momma only lived until 16 and I believe she died of congestive heart failure which is why I would be surprised to see her live to 20. Even this cat vet used the words 'advanced senility', but we'll see what she says tomorrow when I go back. At a minimum they can treat the hypertension if its nothing else.

December 13th, 2005, 12:10 AM
Sorry to hear that you have to spend that amount of money. But thanks for taking care of the cat.

14 years is a long time. He/she becomes a family member. When you are old, probably you don't want your beloved ones abandon you as well. Just try the best you can.

Someday, I probably poll forum members to find how people prepare for a rainy day. Buying pet insurance or save small amount of money monthly.

It's painful for pet owners to have to make a choice, between giving up their loving pet (and then later, feel remorsefully, thinking what if I try this, what if I try that, I didn't do enough, ...) or have a financial hard hit (even that don't know if it will work).

December 13th, 2005, 06:58 AM
Yes,money is too often an issue,vet-bills can amount to thousands,but how much is a life worth??
Your love for this little life??
My hubbie just bought a plasma TV for a lot of money,would we spend that money to save the life of one of our cats?
Yes we would,if there was a chance he would be cured of whatever ails him..
I realize,money is often tight,especially for young families(been there,done that!)but in taking responsabilty for a cat/dog,you have to assume the good with the bad,including vet-bills,they are family.
Cats are often to some people disposable,one gets sick,get another cute kitten until he gets sick,get another's unfortunate for the cats,but it happens more often than not.
Karecarr,I certainly am not talking about you and I am hoping your aging kitty will have a chance at many more good years.

December 13th, 2005, 06:39 PM
Well Chico, it cost $490 when I picked her up today and still no answers. They say the only thing that stands out is the blood calcium level is high and they suspect kidney stones. If its kidney stones there is no treatment, surgery is not recommended because its too traumatic for cats. They cannot confirm the stones without doing further blood tests and xrays, which they gave me an estimate of $425 for. Its unfortunate vets don't consider your income when handing out estimates as I can understand why people in my income situation would hesitate to take their family pet to a vet, never mind to 2 vets to get a second opinion. This will take a while to pay off. Not sure I want to pay $425 to confirm something they cannot treat either. I said I would not do anything further before the new year as I'm still not sure how I'll pay for the bill today. Let's hope for small miracles. And the poor baby is traumatized as it is for her 2 day visit with the vet and has not left my side since getting home, plus the other 2 have been relentless in picking on her since her return, so I must guard her every minute. I have decided to treat the hypertension for now and put her on a low protein diet with potasium citrate as suggested for now. They said this is all they could do anyway if it was discovered she did indeed have kidney stones so what is the point of confirming the diagnosis. They couldn't explain that one, other than to say 'well at least you'd know'. They would not do the surgery if it is kidney stones and there is no other treatment except diet. Not sure why my regular vet did not say anything about the calcium in the blood, surely this did not just occur in the past 6 weeks. We'll see if things improve with the hypertension medication and a change in diet. Perhaps that will make a world of difference to her and the rest of the family will accept her once again. I'll let you know if there is improvement over the next couple of weeks. This has been a chaotic few months for all of us.

December 14th, 2005, 12:40 AM
And the poor baby is traumatized as it is for her 2 day visit with the vet and has not left my side since getting home, plus the other 2 have been relentless in picking on her since her return, so I must guard her every minute.Well, I read somewhere here this past week that after staying at the vet, cats can come home smelling like other cats (and other animals) and end up getting negative reactions from the other cats at home.

I'm sorry you feel somewhat constrained by money, but I have to say, if you read some of the threads around here, you'll find that most of the regret around pets comes when money makes all the decisions the heart should be making. I think if you ask for a second opinion, you should just get your current vet to send over all the test results, and just pay the new vet a consult fee. There's no need to have all the tests redone. A second set of eyes and a second brain interpreting the results may be enough.;)

December 14th, 2005, 07:18 AM
Karen,I am not 100% sure,but I do not believe kidney-stones is a death-sentence,depending on the cats over all health.
I could be wrong..
I know it is a very painful condition in humans,but definetly treatable...either with surgery or meds to pass the stones.
But of course,it all costs money..
Good Luck!!