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Need support: caring for senior cat

Need support: caring for senior cat

Postby 914 » 29 Nov 2012, 14:38

Our cat is 20. She is losing her bodily functions. We also have three young children who require a lot of attention and clean up. Our cat's kidneys are failing and has been sustained with antibiotics. She will get better for a few months, then have a relapse.

Last week she relapsed. We gave her a few pieces of turkey (her favorite food) and the next day she urinated all over the kitchen. Last night, I looked in the foyer where we keep her and she pooped on the floor, and on her sleeping rug. There was urine all over the floor and on her bench. It was the kids' bedtime as well, so needless to say, it was frustrating. As I was on my hands and knees wiping and disinfecting, I felt so sad and mad. A few days ago my husband had to clean up a foyer full of poop and pee before he left for work.

We just got some antibiotics (again) and a new bladder medication from Dr Yang. Bless him. Feliway didn't work, enzymes don't work, I have had to throw out two nice down blankets and a bunch of mats and towels because of her urine smell. My husband and I are really considering putting her down. But as I was cleaning her shit, I realized that would be no different than Ah Tsai throwing his imported husky on the mountains of Wulai when it was no longer a cute puppy. It is so frustrating to clean after her. Now we are afraid to let her sleep on our beds, or even leave her foyer. She meows through the glass door when we are all inside and I feel so bad she can't join us. She is not in any pain that we know of. She sleeps like a baby, eats and drinks normally, and just wants to be with people. But the inability to get to the litter box in time is taking a toll on our sanity.

Need some support here. Thanks.
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Re: Need support: caring for senior cat

Postby *monkey* » 29 Nov 2012, 15:59

Cat diapers? They do exist, but don't know if they are available in Taiwan.
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Re: Need support: caring for senior cat

Postby finley » 29 Nov 2012, 16:17

914 wrote:My husband and I are really considering putting her down. But as I was cleaning her shit, I realized that would be no different than Ah Tsai throwing his imported husky on the mountains of Wulai when it was no longer a cute puppy

No, it wouldn't. I'm not suggesting you should do this, but 20 years is old for a cat. I realise this is an awful thing to face (we've had pets reach this point) but she is either at or near the end of her life. She might make it to 21. I think the idea of a cat diaper is a fantastic one - if they don't exist, I'm sure you could figure out a way to make one. A roll of cheap fabric and safety pins might do the trick, although I suppose she'll need hosing down after a change. Nevertheless, there will come a point where even that doesn't work, and it would be as well to start to discuss this with the kids. Although it is a sad thing to lose a companion who has been with you for so long, part of your responsibility to her (as a human with infinitely greater powers) is to decide when it's time to say goodbye. In a way, its our final gift that we can give to them. To leave peacefully, surrounded by people who love you, is something that we humans hope for, but which most of us are denied.
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Re: Need support: caring for senior cat

Postby Ex Animo » 29 Nov 2012, 16:49

Actually, cats can live well into their thirties. I'm with the diapers if she's otherwise happy. And here's a great recipe that is fantastic at getting rid of cat urine smells (from http://www.ehow.com/how_5579530_clean-pet-urine-stains-couch.html):

Mix two cups three percent hydrogen peroxide, two teaspoons liquid dish soap, two tsp. baking soda and one tsp. of lemon juice. Rub this formula into old pet stains to eliminate lingering spots and odors.


If you can find oxygen bleach instead of the hydrogen peroxide, it's basically the same thing.

Alternatively, if you can wait a few months until we have our cat sanctuary built, we could take her in.
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Re: Need support: caring for senior cat

Postby Icon » 29 Nov 2012, 18:15

I am sorry to hear about your cat. I think it is a hard decision, adding to your already stressed and busy life. It is a pity we do not have gardens here, then the kitty would be OKish.

One more thing, are you sure she is OK, that the poop is not related to seizures or anything? When my Toto has accidents in the house, it is mostly because he had a seizure and I did not notice, rather than the fact that he is 17 years old.

Is there some way to make the litterbox more accesible? Cats are really clean, she can't be happy spilling her stuff on the floor, so you got her on your side for that.

I use vinegar for urine spills on clothing/linens -I soak the offended cloth in water and white vinegar for a while, voila- and I buy an organic cleaner at CitySuper/my local pet store that is absolutely fantastic with pet smells/stains/spills on the floor. One spritz and it is gone. And I have this impossible vinyll flooring which absorbs dirt and soaks up urine. I am also quite concerned about dissenfecting, if you'd like to try my steam cleaner you're more than welcome. Just remember not to use Clorox or bleach. I use baking soda for hairball removal.

here this one: http://www.simplegreen.com/products_pet_cat.php
On a personal note, it is difficult to tell when enough is enough. I wish my Mom would have put my cat down at 22 years old, not because she was old, but because she had a brain tumor. Muy Mom did not have the guts and had the cat ended up dragging itself around and agonizing for 3 days. Not what she deserved after being such a faithful companion but my Mom is not someone you could argue with.

Another friend had a cat also with a brain tumor nad had to make that choice. he was weak and miserable, even though he was younger, his quality of life was compromised. Even afterwards, she second guessed herself, as another vet told her there could be still more treatments to be tried. But those were a long shot. Kitty deserved to be gone with dignity and in peace.
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Re: Need support: caring for senior cat

Postby 914 » 02 Dec 2012, 16:08

Thanks, guys. She is not in any pain. In fact, I would say she is fu$kin havin the time of her life what with sleeping on our bed, napping by the bay window in the sun, having her litter box cleaned 4 times a day, fresh food and water daily, butler service during medicine time...I am going to fashion some kitty diapers out of our stash, that would be a fun craft project for the kids, no?

When she goes we will be sad, but she has had a great life living all over the world with my husband since he adopted her in grad school. But alas, as long as her litter box takes up my foyer, I've got one restroom out of commission. We made her her own special litter box because she had been peeing outside of her old one for the longest time.

Well, now I'm just rambling. Gosh, can they really live into their 30s? :doh:
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Re: Need support: caring for senior cat

Postby Icon » 03 Dec 2012, 10:14

Depends on how good you take care of them. Which seems to me yours might make it to 40. :lol: Just kidding.

Asked my vet about your case. He said, in general terms, if they just squirt spurts of pee, it is more likely an infection. Big puddles or big messy poo poo? More likely to be old age. Mentioned the diapers. He laughed a lot, as he thinks putting diapers on a cat would be a tad difficult.
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None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.
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Re: Need support: caring for senior cat

Postby mukashi » 03 Dec 2012, 14:53

Hmmm, sorry to hear that. I think 20 years is a lot so if you want to make a decision it is of your own. But if the cat is otherwise feeling ok, I think it's worth giving it a chance for improvement. I read a lot about litter box problems, and apparently there might be so many reasons. Even the fact the cat gets the extra attention (even negative) when you find the accident might be a sign for her to be like "hey, at last they take care of me! Me me me!". But hey, that is one of options, and a pure guess just to give you some directions to consider it.

The diapers... I know there are dog diapers in Taiwan, since many small dogs here doesn't go out at all. Saw them in any bigger pet store. Not sure how the kitty would feel about it... kitties are also more flexible so might be able to get it off.

I think it's worth to try some new litter box arrangements first, if you haven't tried them yet:
- adding a box
- litter change (or have you changed it recently and that was the reason? maybe as the age is bigger the previous type is too irritable for a senior kitty?)
- low entrance to the box (apparently due to arthritis kitties might not be able to get in or it's painful for them, so books suggest to buy a plastic container and cut the entrance low on one side).

and so on... kitties love to be clean, so I think it's not because the cat suddenly wants to do that. Just figuring "why" might be hard. I hope you won't give up yet~~ good luck~~
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