The saddest example is that of elderly cats not using the litter box
Even though the initiating factorsof a house soiling problemmay start out as medical,the next step in treatmentafter the medical issues have been addressedis behavior focused. This usually means making the litter box situationas pleasant as possible by tailoring the litter boxto the individual needs of the cat. (). For the past four years,the Zimmer Foundation has housed and hospicedtwo groups of 'retired' elderly catsat separate cage-free facilitiesin the area of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The majority of cats in this geriatric grouphave medical problems ranging from arthritis to hyperthyroidism.
Animal behaviorists note that cat owners can play a significant role in delaying the progress of feline senility and its accompanying disabilities. Among their suggestions: feed an aging cat a diet rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, substances that are believed to retard the effects of aging; avoid bringing another animal into the household whose presence might be stressful to the cat; and make sure that litter boxes are conveniently accessible, with low sides for easy access. If the elderly cat is having trouble going up and down stairs, provide ramps as needed throughout the house. And be sure to take the cat to a veterinarian for routine checkups so health problems are identified in their early stages, when they are most treatable.
Dementia- Cognitive function disorders in elderly cats can occur just as it does in humans. Although a true "kitty Alzheimer" disorder is not currently recognized, other types of dementia from vascular disease, hypertension, cancer, parasite migration, and certain viral and bacterial infections are seen. Some cats will avoid the litter box completely, while others may occasionally get lost in the house and are unable to find the litter box. Controlling the cause of the dementia where possible is ideal. Often, confining the cat to a smaller area such as a spare bedroom can be helpful as they are less likely to become disoriented. Some cats may benefit from cognitive dysfunction medication or The saddest example is that of elderly cats not using the litter box. As frustrating as it is you can’t blame them. They are in the twilight of their years where their body and mind just aren’t what it used to be. It is hard to teach an old cat new tricks so if an older cat is not using the litter box then you will have to have a little patience. It isn’t pleasant but as they get nearer to the end of their life there is a good chance your pet will develop cat incontinence.A few years ago, I got lucky and managed to buy, second hand and cheap, a large wooden box full of legos. My kids loved, spending hours rifling through the box and letting their imaginations fly. A few months later me and my husband decided to get my eldest a pet, to teach responsibility. Of course we got a cat! Not so mysteriously, about the same time little patches of cat pee started turning up around the house. The final straw was when my son came to me, a disgruntled look on his face and his little hands full of lego blocks. He held them up, wrinkled his nose and said “My legos smell funny..”. I looked in the box and to put it as nicely as I can – The cat was not using litter box to pee. The cat had decided this was its new litter box. Needless to say I clean that child thoroughly. It wasn’t fun explaining to my children why the Legos couldn’t be played with… My elderly cat may look like young kitty but when she walks her advanced age is quite evident. Her hind legs just don't bend like they used to and it takes obvious effort for her to jump up on a chair. She has always used a standard, covered litter box and just recently it became difficult for her to get her back legs up over the edge, into the box. We resolved the issue by sawing off the front edge of the cover, thereby lowering the height a few inches and it has been working okay now.