Post # 1
Hello. I need some help. I have a 17 year old cat who has started peeing all over our house rather than in her litter box. It is driving my husband and I crazy. I called the vet to get some advice and they gave me a few different options. They said since she is older it could be her kidneys or her heart. Or it also could just be a UTI which can be fixable with antibiotics. (If it is kidney/heart, due to her age, we would end up putting her down.) Before she started peeing all over the house, she would go in her litter box but pee outside of it. So I have been cleaning cat pee up for about 2 months. She is also doing this strange thing where she will stand in our dogs water bowls to drink water. It is strange since she usually hates water. So there may be a little kitty dementia going on as well.
The vet gave me a few different options-
1) Bring her in and get complete check-up/bloodwork/urinalysis- cost between $210-$250- that will let us know if there is a serious issue that is causing the peeing.
2) Bring her in to just do an urinalysis and check-up- costs between $110-$140, plus cost of meds
3) Bring in a sample of urine (If I can collect one), costs around $70 for the test and have them test that for a UTI. If it is a UTI, bring her in for an additional check-up and get medicine prescribed ($110-$140) plus cost of meds
4) Put her down.
I asked the vet how long cats usually live for (on average) and her response was “If the cat is 17, she has lived a good long life.” I know it sounds awful, but putting a lot of money into a 17 year old cat isn’t something that we want to do. We don’t have a ton of extra money laying around, but we can figure out a way to make it work if that is what we need to do. I spoke with my mom who loves this cat dearly and she seriously advised us to just put her down. (She has spent thousands on medical costs for her cats in the past.) One one hand I feel that the guilt I would have by putting her down would be overwhelming and the other hand is, she is 17- she has had a good life, maybe it’s time?? (Just typing that makes me tear up.)
So my question is, what would you do? Have you been in this situation before? How did you handle it? We are pet lovers, we have 3 dogs. We also have a 2 1/2 year old little girl and I just found out on Sunday I am pregnant. (holy hormones.) We are also going to be putting our house on the market come the fall and absolutely cannot have it smelling like cat pee when it goes up for sale. Advice please!!!!
Post # 2
My 15 year old childhood kitty had kidney failure. She would drink barely any water but would pee a lot. She was going into kidney failure. We could have extended her life by giving her shots, but she was so skinny and so miserable.. we just put her down. If it’s a bladder infection, by all means, treat your cat, but anything more serious might be more than a cat can bear at 17.
Post # 3
Lolasmomma: Sorry to hear you are having to go through this. I would spend a few bucks to see if it was a UTI. If it was organ failure or a chronic condition, I’d probably opt to put her down. Seventeen years is a long time for a kitty cat to live.
Post # 4
I think you may need to put your cat down though, sounds like.
Post # 5
I’d check to see if it is a UTI first before putting her down. I’d hate to think that the problem could have been treated but the animal was put to sleep, if it was my pet
Post # 6
I think you may want to consider putting her down. The amount of money you spend trying to figure out what she has or is suffering from , you could have put it towards having her put down. She has lived a long healthy life and she would not have to suffer anymore.
Post # 7
I would vote for “none of the above”.
The easiest way to check for a UTI is to simply give the cat a £30 Convenia injection. If it works, it was a UTI. Simple. If the injection doesn’t work, I would get a CBC. There’s no point doing expensive bacteriology at this point, IMO, and there’s no point doing a urinalysis as the CBC will tell you a lot more…. although you could buy one of those urine testing strips from the internet for £4 and do a cheap and dirty test at home, in order to rule out protein in the urine.
If the CBC comes back clean, you know that it is probably a behavioural issue, which is quite possible, and probably fixable with a few changes in lifestyle. A Convenia injection, checkup, and CBC without bacteriology cost me about £100 recently, which I think is a small price to pay for a beloved long term companion.
Post # 8
Thank you for the responses. I’m so torn. Deep down, I am pretty sure I will go for the check-up with urinalysis, because I would feel awful for putting down a animal with a fixable condition. If anyone else has any experience with this, please let me know!
Post # 9
Rachel631: Hello Rachel, I’m not sure what a CBC is?? And I’m not sure where I would find a convenia injection as I am in the US. Is that something a farm store would have?
Post # 10
Lolasmomma: Whaddya know, I’m in the same position with a 16 year old dog. She keeps getting UTIs and am not sure it they haven’t given the right antibiotic or if it’s something worse. We are going back to the vet today. If there was some shot to take away a UTI just like that, I’d LOVE to know about it and so would millions of other women! (PS- I’ve never had one myself) Lol!
Post # 11
I would be going in for the full work up.
My dog was doing something similar (she is 14). Peeing randomly. When female animals get older they looe muscle mass/control meaning their bowels evacuate sometimes when they dont want them too. A simple fix could be medication. My dog was put on something and it fixed it within a week.
Post # 12
Lolasmomma: Convenia is an injectible, long lasting antibiotic. It’s only a broad spectrum antibiotic… but it will work for many common bacterial infections. You would have to take the cat in for a general check up at the vets, and they will feel their abdomen in order to rule out obvious obstructions before injecting them. A CBC is a complete blood count. This is where they measure the levels of various blood proteins and chemicals etc. This usually tells you where to look for problems next. You can also order bacteriology and stuff with the blood, but I wouldn’t bother myself. It takes a long time and is expensive. Besides, the CBC will tell you if there is an infection, because the white blood cell count will be raised. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, the CBC is much more cost effective than a full workup with bacteriology.
As far as urinalysis goes, the only thing they are looking for really is proteins and bacteriology. They probably won’t find any bacteria because of the high levels of ammonia in cat pee. And you can look for proteins yourself by buying those pee stick tests designed for humans online. So I would just do the bare minimum if you don’t have much money to spend… start with a broad spec antibiotic and a checkup, and if that doesn’t work, do a CBC. Once you get the CBC results back, you will know your next step.
Post # 13
I would do the urinalysis, and this is why – they can see if it’s a UTI, which is relatively easy to treat. With the urinalysis, they’ll usually do a specific gravity test (in house, instant). That will tell them how well her kidneys are concentrating urine. If they’re not concentrating urine, that indicates possible kidney failure. It’s not definitive for kidney failure on its own, but it’s enough for you to make a decision. If the spec grav is normal, but the urine has blood and bacteria, it’s easy to treat. If not, then you can decide if you want more advanced diagnostics.
Post # 14
I would do the urinalysis and the bloodwork if you can afford it, personally. I had a 20 year old cat in a similar situation. She was peeing right next to the litter box for quite a while, and then started going in the corner in our front living room. I was 99% sure she was in renal failure, but honestly the peace of mind of just being able to know for sure before I put her down was worth the money for me.
Post # 15
Lolasmomma: hi idk if anyone has said this already, but I have had many cats and one of the first signs that they are close to reaching their “time” is when they start going potty right outside of their litter box and then eventually around the house. May I ask what breed your kitty is?
I wouldn’t put your kitty down just yet, definitely have a check up first and then get an opinion from ur vet 🙂 just know if u have to put her down, it is probably for the best and will put her out of any pain she may be in.
My first kitty started doing the same thing and we found out she had a tumor and even after some treatment we still ended up having to put her down but I know she was in pain so it was for the best