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

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CarlyRose

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I spoke to the Vet's office this morning and explained all of Silver's problems to an assistant who works there and she told me she would talk to the Vet that I like and call me back which she did. Silver's appointment is Wed. Sept. 16th (that's the earliest the doctor could see her). The appointment will cost about $64.00 and I forgot how much the tests are but they weren't overly expensive. The Vet will test Silver for a UTI first and take it from there. They have their own lab which is good.

Because of Covid-19 they told me I have to remain in my car and a technician will come and get Silver and then they will talk to me on my cell phone to let me know what is going on.

This Vet really made an impression on me when I had to put down Rocky's sister a few years ago as he showed me the x-ray of her cancer and explained to me in depth why she couldn't eat as her cancerous tumor filled up her stomach and there was nothing that could be done. Then he gave me time with her to say goodbye and he was so gentle, caring and compassionate.

Anyway I also explained to this assistant that Silver has a good quality of life, she eats well, active, and happy.

I have a question for everyone? Let's say Silver gets better with treatment (which is what I am hoping for). What if my Aunt wants her cat back in the future? I don't think she has any right to Silver after neglecting and abandoning her.
 
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CarlyRose

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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!
As I wrote just now this Vet is the most compassionate caring doctor I have ever met. He looks to save animals not put them down unless it's absolutely necessary. I was frank about my financial situation and was given prices already and so far they are affordable. I will learn more next week.

Thanks for the nice words, they mean a lot of me.
 

Furballsmom

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About your aunt, hopefully she doesn't change her mind. Family can get complicated, and it's smart on your part that you're mentally preparing for the possibility. What you might be able to do, if she does, is list out all the major positives of keeping Silver with you. Keep the conversation as absolutely positive as you can. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that your aunt doesn't.
 
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CarlyRose

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About your aunt, hopefully she doesn't change her mind. Family can get complicated, and it's smart on your part that you're mentally preparing for the possibility. What you might be able to do, if she does, is list out all the major positives of keeping Silver with you. Keep the conversation as absolutely positive as you can. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that your aunt doesn't.
Legally I don't think she can because I'm the one who is bringing Silver to the vet for the medical attention she needs when that was her responsibility not to mention taking care of a pet that she abandoned.
 

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I agree that trying to be pleasant to your aunt, at first, is the best advice. If that does not work, I think that you can mention abandoning a sick cat, the fact that you have paid for medical treatment, and that she was neglectful. Depending on where you are, abandonment and neglect may be misdemeanors and you can bring that up.
 

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I completely agree with fionasmom fionasmom . Try to keep this pleasant, but reiterate, if necessary, that due to the cat's neglected medical issues, and her abandonment, it is not in Silver's best interest to go back to her. It sounds as if you are the only stable thing in Silver's life right now. When she moved out, left Silver, and cut off contact with you, she made, in my opinion, her decision. Having vet bills that you incurred is certainly in your favor, should she attempt to regain possession (not that a cat can really be "possessed"...except by occasional mischief imps) through legal means. Frankly, I doubt that she will. Unless her son sees a profit in it.
 
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CarlyRose

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I researched the laws in my state (Vermont) and by not giving Silver the medical care she needed when my Aunt was living in my house is considered animal cruelty.

Animal cruelty is associated with or identified by intentional cruelty or abuse or neglect. Associated human behaviors might include knowingly depriving an animal of food, water, shelter, socialization, or veterinary care; or maliciously torturing, maiming, mutilating, or killing an animal. To learn more about Vermont’s animal cruelty laws, click here.

Thus, my Aunt doesn't have a leg to stand on. Once I bring Silver to my Vet I will have proof that I am giving her the medical care she has needed and still needs.
 

moxiewild

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I only skimmed, so sorry for any repeats.

This cat is very likely in pain. UTI, possibly cystitis. I would suspect those two things well before diabetes or kidney disease (especially with the healthy appetite). One thing I might consider in conjunction with that though, is hyperthyroidism, given the weight loss and appetite.

Either way, a cat this age is LONG overdue for a senior wellness panel. So in addition to checking for UTI, I would get that done too if you’re able to swing it. This will identify any other issues like diabetes, CKD, hyperT, etc.

Is she a anxious cat? Can you elaborate on the relationship she has with your cat?

It seems like she’s probably gone through a lot of isolation and change. Stress can cause the sort of urinary issues you’re seeing.

Thank you for getting her to the vet. You shouldn’t have to since she’s not your cat, but I do think, given her symptoms, that odds are good she has something potentially treatable that will resolve most or all of these issues.

On an additional note, what are you using to clean up the urine?

In the mean time, if where she pees is somewhat predictable, try utilizing pee pads.

If she has a habit of peeing on upholstery, there are plastic covers and mattress covers you can use in the meantime if you can afford it.

Also, your aunt forfeited ownership of Silver when she abandoned her. This can be easily supported by the fact that she willingly moved into a place that does not allow pets.

Save the receipts for anything you buy for Silver, like food and litter. Once you have your vet appointment, your relationship with a vet is then established for this cat, and you’ll have a solid case legally (though I highly doubt your aunt would pursue charges over Silver).
 
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CarlyRose

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I only skimmed, so sorry for any repeats.

This cat is very likely in pain. UTI, possibly cystitis. I would suspect those two things well before diabetes or kidney disease (especially with the healthy appetite). One thing I might consider in conjunction with that though, is hyperthyroidism, given the weight loss and appetite.

Either way, a cat this age is LONG overdue for a senior wellness panel. So in addition to checking for UTI, I would get that done too if you’re able to swing it. This will identify any other issues like diabetes, CKD, hyperT, etc.

Is she a anxious cat? Can you elaborate on the relationship she has with your cat?

It seems like she’s probably gone through a lot of isolation and change. Stress can cause the sort of urinary issues you’re seeing.

Thank you for getting her to the vet. You shouldn’t have to since she’s not your cat, but I do think, given her symptoms, that odds are good she has something potentially treatable that will resolve most or all of these issues.

On an additional note, what are you using to clean up the urine?

In the mean time, if where she pees is somewhat predictable, try utilizing pee pads.

If she has a habit of peeing on upholstery, there are plastic covers and mattress covers you can use in the meantime if you can afford it.

Also, your aunt forfeited ownership of Silver when she abandoned her. This can be easily supported by the fact that she willingly moved into a place that does not allow pets.

Save the receipts for anything you buy for Silver, like food and litter. Once you have your vet appointment, your relationship with a vet is then established for this cat, and you’ll have a solid case legally (though I highly doubt your aunt would pursue charges over Silver).
Thanks for your reply. I'll wait until Wednesday to see what my Vet tells me and will inquire about the cost of giving Silver a senior wellness panel.

She's not anxious at all but very loving, playful, purrs a lot when I rub her head, etc. She also likes to poke me with her paw and let me know she wants to rub heads with me so I bend my head down and we rub heads together.

She's a bit on the bossy side as just 2 nights ago she started sleeping on my bed and my cat is sleeping in another room! She kicked my cat off my bed and he listened. I don't know what to think now. I tried getting her off my bed so my cat (who is used to sleeping with me every night) but no luck. She would get off but immediately jump right back on. She wants to be really close to me.

My cat Rocky is a very laid back cat and in the 13 years I have him I never once heard him hiss, growl, etc. When Rocky's sister was alive she wasn't nice to him because she wanted all of my attention and would chase him away and he would take it.

Basically Silver and Rocky ignore each other or just put up with each other. Silver was hissing at Rocky when he got near her but after I yelled at Silver a couple of times she stopped that.

As far as cleaners I'm using a couple of different cleaners. I have an old formula of Nature's Miracle that works really good and then I made a mixture of white vinegar, baking soda, and soap in another spray bottle.

I don't have any carpeting, it's either hardwood floors or ceramic tile. My couch will have to go in the garbage after I know exactly what's going on with Silver from my Vet.

Silver tends to lay down on cloth, towels, and now my comforter on my bed. It's a good thing I have a mattress protector on my queen bed.

Anyway, yes, Silver has been through a lot of stress from moving around so much and being abandoned by my Aunt. Again, I don't know if Silver had this excessive thirst for water before she moved into my house. I don't know the last time Silver saw a Vet. The important thing is she will be seeing on next week.

Yes, I will keep all receipts from the Vet and I have all my receipts for her food, litter, etc.

Thanks!
 

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You are doing an excellent job taking care of Silver. I have a cat named Apollo that gets stress induced urinary issues. Apollo is on medicine for inflamation after his last UTI went away. We picked up one bottle of Dasuquen from the vet's office for immediate use. Due to our financial situation the vet suggested we get the Dasuquen online to save money. The new bottle we purchased online was half the cost but is exactly the same as what we picked up from the vet. This might be something to discuss with your vet if meds are needed longer term to to help you save money.
 
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CarlyRose

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Thanks. I won't know what Silver is suffering from until I bring her to the Vet on Wednesday. Thanks for the information regarding Dasuquen!
 
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CarlyRose

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Good morning, I just wanted to say that this morning I am bringing Silver to my Vet. I'm a little worried about getting Silver into the carrier because she doesn't like to be touched except for when I pet the top of her head. I'm going to grab her neck and put the carrier upward and gently drop her into the carrier. Is this okay?

Also, Silver has not been eating for the past 3 days, I have given her different flavors of Fancy Feast but she looks at it and walks away. She also fell off the seat of my Mom's walker yesterday. Even though I know my vet is about saving lives I'm still scared of what he is going to tell me.

Please send prayers for Silver, thanks!
 

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Oh, my!

IF you're going to drop her in, put a plush towel - maybe two - in the (then) bottom of the carrier. A young, agile kitten wouldn't have much of a problem being 'dropped' in, but she's no spring chicken....reaction timing and now, what you said about felling off the chair......

I'd be tempted to wrap her up in a towel, burrito-style, immobilizing her limbs that way, and "just" slide her in.

A towel on the carrier floor has helped me too - and the towel can be comforting to them.

About the inappetence, first question is about her 'output'. Has she been pooping? When did she last have a BM? With old cats, constipation is often a huge ongoing concern, and then, with constipation comes the bloated sensation that kills any appetite.

Another thing that happens with not eating is the buildup of stomach acid, creating nausea....another turnoff from foods.

If she is going to be dropped off, do make sure to stress to whomever takes her in, just how fragile she is. (This whole 'curbside' thing is just making me crazy, absolutely mad....cracked mad, that is!)

I'm a slow typist....let me think a little more......
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CarlyRose

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I can't wrap her in a towel because when I touch any part of her body except her head she attacks me by biting me, scratching, etc. She could be a vicious cat. I didn't mean I was going to drop her, I was planning on gently letting her inside the carrier and yes, I already put in a towel.

As far as her BM's she has been having diarrhea as well as vomiting.

First I thought she was angry at me because starting a couple of nights ago I have been keeping my bedroom door closed because Silver was sleeping on my bed (which is where my other cat Rocky sleeps) and wetting my bed all over. I can't sleep in a wet bed with a wet blanket. I tried carrying my cat Rocky in with me as since I have owned him since he was a kitten he has always slept with me but he doesn't want to be in a locked room with me at night which surprised me. I put another kitty litter box in my bedroom, food, etc.

Rocky is sleeping in my Mom's closet. Everything that is happening is really strange. Rocky is not happy about Silver where before Silver started to decline they both put up with each other.

Once I bring Silver to my Vet someone will come get Silver as I wait inside my car. Then I will speak to the vet on my cell.
 

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Wear some gloves then in any case. (and, I knew you said 'gently' :))

It could still be that she is constipated, though....sometimes it happens that small amounts of liquid can get around a (hard) stool blockage/obstruction and leak out, suggesting diarrhea as the problem. Vomiting often occurs with constipation. (of course, yes, it may be that she has 'plain old diarrhea')

I can't get a handle on some of the behaviors/reactions going on - what is clear though, is that her overall condition has turned your lives (if not upside down) on their sides.




this is what I had been writing in the meantime, before your last post:
Appointments like this are perilous at any time. This inability to be present (if it applies today) will only increase those dangers. You'll 'need your wits about you'.

The only overall and overriding tidbit I'll give you is that I was once put in a position where I felt I had only one choice (to have the cat euthanized on the spot). The reality, though, was that I also had the choice to take the cat back home where I could have thought through all the information I was given, perhaps done some research and most importantly, received 'impartial' feedback from trusted family/friends (these days, probably feedback from here). To sum up all of that, to make a decision under duress/pressure is to make a poor decision. (the most obvious exception being, of course, that the cat is actively dying/will immanently die etc)

Any irreversible decision is a decision that must be very carefully considered in a time and place which allows for that.



You may be given a lot of information when he calls. If your phone can record the call, that will help you later - and, make understanding what he's saying/said easier. You won't have to stress about remembering, you can have a more 'active' conversation asking questions and inputting. Then, it's all there later on for the pondering.


Everything said, it may be that this is her time. If you decide to let her go, whether that be today or another day, I believe it will be a wise decision and it will be made based on her overall best interest - and, I know we willl support you. All of us have faced this and many will - it's part-and-parcel of this thing called life!

You'll be in my thoughts today :redheartpump:
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CarlyRose

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Thanks white shadow, Silver went "gently" in the carrier. She did tried to fight me but I managed. There are 2 towels inside the carrier.

I do have a record button on my phone, thanks for reminding me! All I know is I want the best for Silver and if my vet can help her that's what I want to do. I have used this vet before and he doesn't believe in putting any animal to sleep unless it's absolutely necessary.

I have been to other vets in which I walked out of them due to various reasons, same as MD's. With my age came a sense of who's caring and intelligent and who's not.

Well, Silver and I are leaving in 30 minutes from now (her app't is for 9:30).

I'll let everyone know what the vet says.

Thanks again for everyone's help and advice as well as caring. Appreciation for what I feel doesn't seem like a strong enough word.
 
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CarlyRose

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Hi all, Silver was put to sleep (my heart is so heavy). The vet examined her and told me that she had an obstruction with poop the size of a baseball inside of her for a long time. I guess the diarrhea I saw earlier came from Rocky not Silver (it was on the floor). The vet also told me that Silver has been very sick for a long time and that she was suffering. He said the reason why she kept leaking urine was because of the blockage and that she was unable to poop. I guess the poop I was scooping out of the litter boxes came from my cat Rocky.

He told me there was nothing he could do for her and he also told me that her tail was fractured and that she could not feel her tail.

I'm still in shock as I was hoping for good news. The vet will write his findings from his examinations on paper when I go back to pick her up this afternoon. I'm so very sad.
 

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Doing the right thing is not always happy. Of course you are saddened and distressed. The only good thing I can see is that IF your aunt had taken Silver with her this would have dragged on and on and on, the poor cat suffering without end until she poisoned herself with the massive buildup of feces.

There is a bright light in the sky, crossing the rainbow bridge. It is Silver, free from pain, her coat lovely and soft. She stops to give herself a quick wash. Looks back towards you and meows, "Thank you. I'll be here waiting for you when, in the fullness of time, we are reunited."
 
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