My elderly Aunt left her 18 year old cat with me who urinates everywhere

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CarlyRose

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Hi all, to make a long story short I let my 91 year old Aunt move in with me and my Mom (I am a full time caregiver for my 94 year old Mom). My Aunt decided to move out (that's another story) and she refuses to give me her address so I don't know where she lives.

I have her cat Silver (18 year old female) for 4 months now. Silver is a sick cat as she urinates all over, ruined my piano, my couch, and the list goes on. I suspect she may have diabetes and/or kidney problems as she drinks water constantly.

I also noticed on and off blood when she urinates. Bright red blood.

I also have my own cat since he was a kitten and Silver has attacked him (he doesn't fight back as he's a very mellow cat). Silver is adding so much more stress to my life and I can't deal with this cat anymore. When my Aunt was living with my Mom and myself I noticed how much water she drank and how much she urinated. I said to my Aunt that Silver needs to see a vet and that I would bring her. My Aunt said "I don't have the money"...

So I am left with Silver and because I'm at my wits end I am going to make an appointment with my Vet. This is going to sound terrible but I hope the Vet says that Silver should be put down.

I live in a very small town in Vermont and there is only one shelter.

Any input would be appreciated. By the way Silver eats good and can be affectionate when she wants to.
 

fionasmom

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I certainly get that you are caretaking to the max and feel that going any further is impossible. I was caregiver for my dad who passed at 92 and his 19 year old poodle whom the vet refused to put to sleep because he was afraid it would kill my dad.

Making an appointment for Silver is the best first step. Just take that one and see what the vet says. I suspect diabetes (had two diabetic cats myself) and end stage kidney disease but the blood is worrisome and if Silver is in pain the behavior might change if she is given antibiotics for what might be a serious UTI. Bright red blood can also be kidney or bladder stones...another discussion.

If it is a treatable infection that would tick off one box. Administering insulin to a cat is not a big deal and is much easier than pilling in my opinion.

My guess is that at 18 none of this will go on for long, even if it is a condition that you can manage.....and you certainly have the right to include yourself in the equation as to what your limits are, how time consuming your mom's care is, etc.
 
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CarlyRose

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I certainly get that you are caretaking to the max and feel that going any further is impossible. I was caregiver for my dad who passed at 92 and his 19 year old poodle whom the vet refused to put to sleep because he was afraid it would kill my dad.

Making an appointment for Silver is the best first step. Just take that one and see what the vet says. I suspect diabetes (had two diabetic cats myself) and end stage kidney disease but the blood is worrisome and if Silver is in pain the behavior might change if she is given antibiotics for what might be a serious UTI. Bright red blood can also be kidney or bladder stones...another discussion.

If it is a treatable infection that would tick off one box. Administering insulin to a cat is not a big deal and is much easier than pilling in my opinion.

My guess is that at 18 none of this will go on for long, even if it is a condition that you can manage.....and you certainly have the right to include yourself in the equation as to what your limits are, how time consuming your mom's care is, etc.
Thanks for you reply. When the holiday weekend is over I will make an appointment with my Vet. I can afford antibiotics but insulin is another story since I'm on a budget. I forgot to add to my original post how angry I am at my Aunt for abandoning her cat that she had for 15 years. I don't understand how people can do that.
 
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CarlyRose

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Yes an urgent trip to the vet is the first thing. And if she survives that, could you confine her in a room to minimise the damage and stress on you?
I had her confined to the spare bedroom and she made so much noise that it kept waking up my Mom. Silver is happier when she's around me and/or my Mom. Thanks!
 
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CarlyRose

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Hi!
Cat music might help her, and you could possibly consider cat diapers.
I never thought of cat music but I have thought about cat diapers. Silver is probably the smartest cat I have ever known (I have had cats/kittens since I was a little girl). Silver can open door handles so she would probably take the diaper off. I put down towels where she likes to lay down because she "leaks" urine even when she is sleeping. Her tail is always wet.
 

jefferd18

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With the bright red blood being present it sounds like she might have a bacterial urinary tract infection going on and a round of antibiotic ought to not only clear up the infection but probably take care of her urinating all over your house as well. A UTI also can contribute to the leakage that you mentioned.

I would imagine though that she is suffering from anxiety and stress, the two main culprits involved when cats use everything but their litter-boxes to urinate in.

I agree with the others that a vet check is in order.
 
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white shadow

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Hi CarlyRose and welcome to the forum !

I also wondered if she might have a urinary infection. These are common in older cats.

Now, most of these are caused by the E coli bacteria. I want to give you a reliable, plain-language reference about a popular holistic treatment which has been effective for some cats: D-mannose.

The D-mannose is not a replacement for antibiotics.....a careful read of that piece will explain how it works and how it can prevent reinfections. It's amazing how it can 'grab' the bacteria and carry it away!

If the incontinence were thought to be the result of age-related physical deterioration, there are some drugs that can help to better control her 'plumbing'. There's a little on that in the last paragraphs ("Treating the Incontinent Patient") right here.

Feline diabetes is most often diet-related (and, btw, there's another, specialized forum of knowledgeable and informed folks in case you should need it - they've been called 'angels' by other TCS members). Diet-related means that often it can be reversed/controlled with diet changes/adjustments. What is she eating? (the more specific you can be, the better)

I know (well, really, I hear) how this has driven you almost batty, while at the same time I'm hearing you speak about her intelligence, her preference for being around people vs isolated and, too, her 'issues' with the original resident cat - this cat isn't 'ready' to go anywhere, I'd say.

Do you have a pic.........so we can put a face on her name? :lol:
.
 

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CarlyRose

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Thanks everyone for your advice. I was wondering if it's possible for a cat to have a UTI for almost 2 years? When my Aunt moved in (which was almost 2 years ago) I had no idea how much water Silver was drinking and how much she urinated. My Aunt slept in the spare bedroom where my piano is and I had no idea that Silver was urinated on my piano but my Aunt knew yet didn't tell me.

My Aunt kept Silver locked inside the bedroom with her (my Aunt only came out to use the bathroom and other rare occasions) so I didn't see much of Silver then. It was when I noticed how much my Aunt was filling up Silver's water dish that I noticed how much she drank.

Anyway, Silver eats Fancy Feast Pate (she likes chicken and turkey).

Oh, funny that D-Mannose was mentioned since I give that to my Mom daily mixed in juice to prevent UTI's. And thanks for the link to the organization that helps with treatment costs. I'm nervous about how much the vet will charge.

And here are some photo's of Silver (she likes laying on my Mom's walker seat when my Mom and I play cards). She looks like a Russian Blue to me. My cat Rocky is also shown.
 

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white shadow

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Thanks for the pics !

I laughed with the first one - of course, you'd know that she'd want to be right in the middle of anything and everything :flail:
Did she draw a good hand paw that time?:crackup:

The second picture there, the one you've labeled "Silverthin"....is that the most recent? It immediately struck me then just how thin she was. How do those other pics relate timewise to the first.....what's the time difference? That looks like a huge difference in weight/'body condition'. How quickly did she lose weight? Most important, of course, is 'how she looks' today - so, if you could speak to that, it would help.

As to your question about whether/not a cat can have an UTI for two years........that's where things can get 'complicated', because there can be a lot 'at play' there. The plumbing system and its functioning are affected by aging. When people speak about "infections" like this, they're often making generalizations, often inaccurate. The link I gave you about the D-mannose comes from a most reliable site whose focus is kidney disease (really, kidney function insufficiency) - in there, there's a 'chapter' that covers the whole realm of urinary issues. It might at first glance appear lengthy, but it is thorough and easy to read and understand, I think. I wouldn't recommend ploughing through it, but maybe small portions at a time. It will certainly show you how complicated things can get. Now, while that site's focus is kidneys, I'm not suggesting Silver has kidney "disease".......the info in that site is applicable to cats in general. You'll find that section here.

The Fancy Feast pates are great for diabetic cats, so if that's a factor here, she's well-positioned for diet.

FWIW, there's something else that could be at play with her, and behind a rapid weight/body condition deterioration. That is thyroid disease, Hyperthyroidism. It is controllable with medication. Lots of folks here have Hyper-T kitties.

I'll just mention one thing about Veterinarians.....especially where it comes to senior/geriatric animals, some Vets will take their cues from their clients ("What does she want/hope to hear?"). I have had this happen to me with my deceased mother's dog. I say this just/simply as a "heads-up" for you because I have no way of knowing if it could apply in your case, but how you frame/present Silver's case to the Vet could mean all the difference for her.

My head's hurting:lol:
.
 
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CarlyRose

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You're welcome for the pictures and I'm happy that made you chuckle. My favorite is of Silver laying on the seat of my Mom's walker. When we are done playing cards Silver stays on the seat as my Mom walks to her bedroom so Silver enjoys rides too, lol! Afterall, she is a senior.

Those pictures of Silver were all taken in the last 2 weeks so yes, she is very thin. I guess she looks heavier because she's curled up.

I will read the links you gave me later as my Mom needs me.

Real quick, I just want the truth from the Vet. I have bittersweet feelings toward Silver: I feel really bad for her and I actually have grown to care about her so much. If she could be helped that would be best.

Back later!! Carly
 

cataholic07

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Its very possible for a cat to have a UTI for 2 years if its never been treated. It might not be bad enough for a blockage, but bad enough to cause severe inflammation in the bladder wall. If that cat lived in a room for 2 years.. yah it can be stressful. Cats are territorial so if she's only lived in a room with not much enrichment I feel so bad for that cat. Given her age rehoming her would be next to impossible and it would be cruel to add that extra stress to her. I hate to say it but you really are her only hope. At 18 years old, that's 88 in human years. Any shelter would just euthanize her.

What kind of litter do you have? Soft litter is best for seniors and low entry litter boxes as arthritis is very common in geriatric cats. It's to painful to step in the higher or normal sized litter boxes and top entry types would be a hell no lol. Dr elsey's has a soft litter you could try or okocat soft litter is good to. She might need gabapentin for her arthritis.

Your aunt is horrible for just abandoning her. Whether or not she could afford any vetting it's still cruel.
 
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CarlyRose

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Thanks again for the article which has a lot of good information. In the past years I have seen a couple of different vets and I prefer one over the others (I had to have Rocky's sister put down due to cancer). I will call my vet tomorrow and get Silver in to see him ASAP.

Silver has been through a lot of stress in the past years as my Aunt who owned Silver for about 15 years sold her house in New York and my cousin (her daughter) rented different apartments so they moved around a lot. Then my Aunt's money was gone (from enabling my cousin and 2nd cousins - her grandsons) so my cousin found a horrible place in PA that had no heat, hot water, etc. That's when my Aunt asked if she could come live with my Mom and myself and I said okay. Of course Silver came with her. I had "assumed" Silver was in good health as my Aunt was always an animal lover so I don't know what happened to my Aunt.

Then my Aunt's grandson got kicked out in PA so he had no place to go so I let him come live with me (that was a huge mistake) as he felt at 29 years old he didn't need to get a job (he never worked because my Aunt enabled him). We didn't get along because I told him the rules (one of them being he had to get a job) and after a year I had to evict him. My Aunt got upset and said if my grandson is moving then I'm moving with him and left me with Silver. They told me the place they moved to didn't accept pets.

Bottom line: Silver was moved around quite a bit after living in the same home for at least 13 years. As I said before I knew there was something wrong with Silver after she came to live with me as I couldn't help but notice how much water my Aunt was giving her as well as all the clumps of urine in her litter. I think my Aunt knew Silver was sick but didn't say anything or more importantly didn't do anything. Maybe Silver's problems could have been caught early, again, I don't know.

Yes, I think my Aunt is a horrible human being for not taking care of Silver but also abandoning her after owning her for so many years. I still can't wrap my head around that. My gut instinct tells me that her grandson is controlling my Aunt as he is that type of person as he tried to control me as well but I refused to be manipulated by him.

Well, I guess the short story became a long story.

In answer to your question about what type of litter I use I have 2 types (one for my cat Rocky which is Clump and Seal) and Tidy Cats for Silver. Both cats switched boxes and now Rocky uses the Tidy Cats and Silver prefers the softer Clump and Seal.

I don't notice any arthritis so I think she may be hard of hearing. She jumps high and she's fast.

Well, let's see what my Vet says. I know this is going to cost quite a bit but I can't put down Silver. She's a good cat who's been through so much at no fault of her own and not only needs medical help but lots of affection which my Mom and I have been giving her.

Thanks again as everyone who has replied has helped me through this more then you know. I went from being extremely frustrated and feeling lost as what to do and now I know what to do which is the right thing and find out how to get her better. It's not her time to go.
 

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If the vet is saying lots of negative things, the next question to ask is, "What would you do if this were your cat?" You'll get to the deepest truth that way. Then, ask additional questions from there. Be very frank about your financial ability to handle things, ask about alternatives to anything beyond your reach. There often are less-expensive treatments and therapies that can work.

And thank you for caring for this old gal. She deserves far better that what she has had, and it sounds as if she is finally getting it!
 
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