How to keep an elderly cat with explosive diarrhea clean and any tips on making her more comfortable

meganskye

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Hello,
I have an almost 20-year-old cat named Rosie, She has stomatitis, chronic explosive diarrhea, hyperthyroidism, and mild arthritis. The vet and I have been working on diarrhea for all 4 years we have had her and he has come to the conclusion that it is either IBS which we have tried just about every medication out there, a food allergy/sensitivity which she will not eat any other food except people food, lickable treats, and Friskies (we got her at 16 and that's all she had been fed up until then and she is too underweight to "starve her out"), or cancer (which we cannot treat because the vet said it would be very hard on her system and wouldn't give her more "quality time"). So needless to say we can't really treat her there. Her stomatitis is well controlled with cortisone shots every 2-3 months. We are working on finding a good dose of thyroid medication so she can gain a little more weight but eats like a champ (She is about 9 lbs she used to be 16 but we would like to get her to 11-12 ideally). And the vet said that she is not in much pain from arthritis, more stiffness she doesn't fuss much just can be a bit "wobbly" if she stays in one position for too long and at this point doesn't want to treat it *just* yet but will be reviewed in 2 months when she goes to her follow up. Otherwise, the vet was happily surprised at how good her labs were, and she is a very happy cat. We are not considering putting her down yet, we will consider it when our vet recommends it. (We have a very good relationship with our vet and my mom has been with the practice since before I was born and we have been seeing this vet with all of our animals for over 10 years, we also got a second opinion from another vet and they have said basically the same thing that our vet says "as long as she is comfortable to keep doing what you are doing")

But onto the big problem, keeping her clean, between the stomatitis (anywhere she grooms smells awful depending on how far out she is from her cortisone shot), and the chronic explosive diarrhea, she just can't keep herself clean anymore no matter how much she grooms herself and we are going to have to start taking more of an active role in her grooming, she is a long-haired cat so feces goes everywhere on her behind, and I was wondering how often should she get a "butt bath" we have been doing full bathing every other week with butt baths on alternating weeks but can I give her daily butt baths so she stays clean and feels better (while she is vocal going into the bathroom once she starts getting cleaned she is surprisingly relaxed). And if so may I ask for recommendations on what cat shampoo is very gentle to do more regular baths.

Finally, does anyone have any other tips and tricks to make her as comfortable as possible, she gets whatever she wants when she wants it (pets, food, etcetera) and she has tons of spots to sleep (since that's always been one of her favorite activities apparently since before she was given up to the shelter.

I do apologize for the lengthy post, I just care about her so much and want her to feel as good as possible. She was my first cat and really made me fall in love with cats after being afraid of them as a kid. So absolutely any advice is very welcome. Thank you so much for sticking with me!
 

crystal dawn

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Would it be possible to trim or shave her back side so it's easier to keep her clean. The shorter fur may allow you to simply wipe off her backside with a warm disposable cloth instead of having to constantly bathe her butt. Either way, you would need to be careful not to strip her skin to much. I know for my dog that had allergies and skin issues and needed baths often we used a super gentle oat baby shampoo and body wash and that helped her skin some.

I totally understand. I live with my mom and her cat is quickly approaching 25, and we're doing everything we can to make her last days as comfortable and happy as possible.
 
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meganskye

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Would it be possible to trim or shave her back side so it's easier to keep her clean. The shorter fur may allow you to simply wipe off her backside with a warm disposable cloth instead of having to constantly bathe her butt. Either way, you would need to be careful not to strip her skin to much. I know for my dog that had allergies and skin issues and needed baths often we used a super gentle oat baby shampoo and body wash and that helped her skin some.
Ah, that's a great idea, I think I am going to try that, I have previously shaved a couple of matts off of her when we first got her but never thought about shaving her behind, Thank you!
 

misty8723

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Ah, that's a great idea, I think I am going to try that, I have previously shaved a couple of matts off of her when we first got her but never thought about shaving her behind, Thank you!
You might want to have the vet do it. When we had to do this with out kitty, vet told us it's a sensitive area and probably not something we should attempt ourselves.

As for keeping her clean, our RB kitty Cindy had stomach cancer, successful surgery for the cancer, and chemo, but they had to remove part of her colon. She also developed what was probably IBS. In order to keep her clean we got a small basis and would sit her in it. I don't think she liked it all that much, but I'm sure she did appreciate being clean. She was very fastidious with her bathing otherwise.

I think you might also get some wipes, I know they sell them for use on pets because we had some, just don't remember what they're called. They work pretty well too.

And thank you for not rushing to have her put down. We had our Cindy for 2 years after the surgery and up until the end she had a good life. We gave her strong pain medicine at the end and she passed at home on her favorite blanket with us there with her. We did call the vet but it was weekend and she was out of town, so that was the best alternative and I'm not sorry we didn't have to put her in a carrier and drag her somewhere she was so scared of.
 

tarasgirl06

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You might want to have the vet do it. When we had to do this with out kitty, vet told us it's a sensitive area and probably not something we should attempt ourselves.

As for keeping her clean, our RB kitty Cindy had stomach cancer, successful surgery for the cancer, and chemo, but they had to remove part of her colon. She also developed what was probably IBS. In order to keep her clean we got a small basis and would sit her in it. I don't think she liked it all that much, but I'm sure she did appreciate being clean. She was very fastidious with her bathing otherwise.

I think you might also get some wipes, I know they sell them for use on pets because we had some, just don't remember what they're called. They work pretty well too.

And thank you for not rushing to have her put down. We had our Cindy for 2 years after the surgery and up until the end she had a good life. We gave her strong pain medicine at the end and she passed at home on her favorite blanket with us there with her. We did call the vet but it was weekend and she was out of town, so that was the best alternative and I'm not sorry we didn't have to put her in a carrier and drag her somewhere she was so scared of.
KittyWipes. They're widely available through petco.com and just about anywhere cat supplies are sold.
My heartfelt condolences for your loss of precious Cindy! and I certainly empathize and agree 100%.
 

CindyH66

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Let me add my voice to those already voting here ..same thing ! my kitty Bella had chronic bowel issues and was on daily laxatives. keeping her bottom clean was a challenge. Having the vet shave her backside , and then I cleaned her with pet wipes I got at PetSmart or Target whenever she went. they are mild to skin , and smell pleasant. She didn't care for it at first , but got used to it . they are gentle , and so much nicer than a dirty butt ! she did the rest of her bath, I got butt duty :)
 
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