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Senior Cat not using the litter box

Laura.28
July 29th, 2007, 05:48 PM
My 10 year old diabetic male neutered cat, has decided not to use his litter box anymore for his bowel movements. He uses the box to pee. He has an issue with diarrehea from time to time. and I had his feces tested and nothing was wrong, he has had full lab of blood work and nothing is wrong.
This is the issue I cannot understand. If I am away for a couple of days and my son looks after George (cat's name), he nevers makes a mess in the house, he uses his litter box faithfully for all his duties. But as soon as I come home, he resumes his regime of leaving me little piles all over the house. I have no idea what if going on with him. He feels fine, he has a healthy appetite, and drinks his water. I have changed his food with the vet's guidance, but nothing seems to work. Some days his feces are formed and hard, and in the next room I will find a mess that is mushy. I just cant figure it out. But what really baffles me, is that he uses his box when I am away.
If anyone has any suggestions as to how to get him to change his attitude, I would welcome anything.

Thanks,
Laura

sugarcatmom
July 29th, 2007, 08:19 PM
My 10 year old diabetic male neutered cat, has decided not to use his litter box anymore for his bowel movements. He uses the box to pee. He has an issue with diarrehea from time to time. and I had his feces tested and nothing was wrong, he has had full lab of blood work and nothing is wrong.

I have changed his food with the vet's guidance, but nothing seems to work. Some days his feces are formed and hard, and in the next room I will find a mess that is mushy.

Hi Laura,

Couple of things I'm wondering about, the first has to do with how regulated he may or may not be. Do you do any hometesting of his blood glucose at all? Is he on insulin? If so, what kind and how much? How long has he been diabetic?

As for the food, what is he currently eating? Dry or canned? What other kinds have you tried? It could be just some GI upset from a diet change, or perhaps his diabetes isn't under the best control. If you haven't checked out the Feline Diabetes (http://felinediabetes.com/) website yet, you absolutely must do so. Has tons of info and a really great message board. But do get back to me on some of these questions cause I'd really like to help you out. Pooping outside the litter box, especially if it's mushy, is no fun!

Laura.28
July 30th, 2007, 11:16 AM
Thanks so much for replying. Yes I do hometest and he is nicely regulated. I give him 2.5 units of Lantus twice a day. I take him to the vet every three months and have his bloodwork done,,, just to make sure everything is alright.
He does very well. He has been on insulin for 4 years now. He has never had any highs or lows. For the past 4 years I have been feeding him Fancy Feast Liver and chicken canned food. He gets 1 teaspoon in the morning and 1 at night. I had been giving him Purina dry diabetic formula. Now I have cut out the canned food and just give him Medi cal Dental dry food. He loves this new dry food. It must have a nicer taste than the Purina, cause he gobbles it up. He hasnt lost any weight.
I am a member of the diabetic message board too, and have received some helpful suggestions as well.
If I confine George to the laundry room with a litter box, he uses it faithfully, but the litter box is right there, so he has no trouble getting to it. If he has the run of the house, that is when I find the mushy puddle of poop everywhere. It seems to me, if he gets the urge he just goes where ever he happens to be at the time. He has always been a clean cat, so I know there is something going on with him.
Please let me know if you can give me any suggestions. Thanks again.

Laura and George

krdahmer
July 30th, 2007, 04:54 PM
how many boxes do you have? Maybe he just needs more places to be able to go.... like he can't make it to wherever the box currently is. (I have diabetes too and find that when I gotta go, I GOTTA go:o , maybe he gets the same feeling.) You could try adding a box or two in different locations throughout the house (especially if you have multiple levels.).

sugarcatmom
July 30th, 2007, 07:24 PM
He has never had any highs or lows. For the past 4 years I have been feeding him Fancy Feast Liver and chicken canned food. He gets 1 teaspoon in the morning and 1 at night. I had been giving him Purina dry diabetic formula. Now I have cut out the canned food and just give him Medi cal Dental dry food. He loves this new dry food. It must have a nicer taste than the Purina, cause he gobbles it up. He hasnt lost any weight.


Have you ever tried feeding just canned food, no dry? The Medi-cal dry food is just so high in carbs that it's really not a great diet for a diabetic, plus the fact that, well, it's DRY. It's important for cats, and diabetic ones especially, to get as much of their water intake as possible in the food they eat. What about trying a different wet brand, like some of the Wellness grain-free flavours? I'm sure you're familiar with Janet & Binky's (http://www.geocities.com/jmpeerson/canfood.html) food charts, maybe you can pick some low-carb varieties from the list and rotate them around.

Now, if you do eliminate the dry, absolutely positively make sure you do lots of hometesting (good for you, by the way!) because George's insulin needs will quite likely decrease. When I took Aztec's dry away (very gradually, over the course of a year - he was an addict!), he went from needing up to 4.4u bid down to 1.5u bid.

The next thing you might want to try is adding some probiotics to his food. It could be that something is a little off balance in his intestinal microflora, resulting in diarrhea. A couple of reliable ones to try are FortiFlora (http://www.calvetsupply.com/browseproducts/FortiFlora-Probiotic-Supplement-for-Cats---1-gram-pouch.html) (from the vet) and Culturelle (http://www.culturelle.com/) (from the store). It certainly wouldn't do any harm to give them a try at least.

Other than that, I agree with krdahmer that it's probably a good idea to put a couple extra litter boxes around the house for now. At one point I had 4 going for Aztec (one in every room - yes, even the living room and bedroom :eek:) when he was unregulated and had pretty bad neuropathy in his hind legs. I'll bet that once the diarrhea can be resolved, so to will pooping outside the box.

Good luck with this, and let us know if you have any success.

Laura.28
August 1st, 2007, 10:02 AM
I am going to try George on the low carb FF fish varieties for now and see if that helps. I did look at Janet and Binky's chart. It is so helpful.
This Medi cal dry dental formula that the vet suggested is big and chunky, so I only give him 4 or 5 chunks at a time to eat, so that might be easier to ween him off.
He is a wonderful boy and he wouldnt poop on the floor unless he had to. It is amazing how nature works, it is one key communication skill that cats have to let you know they arent feeling well.
I will see how it goes in the next few days and let you know.

Thanks again,
Laura and George

sugarcatmom
August 1st, 2007, 12:06 PM
He is a wonderful boy and he wouldnt poop on the floor unless he had to. It is amazing how nature works, it is one key communication skill that cats have to let you know they arent feeling well.


Tell me about it. Aztec once had diarrhea on my BED! While I was in it! :eek: Poor guy must have felt so lousy, and my bed was his "happy place".

Anyway, hope George's digestive issues resolve themselves soon! All the best to both of you.