Litter Box Strategies for Disabled Cats
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Cats that are blind, partially paralyzed, have a missing limb, or very old can develop litter box problems that affect you as well as them. Owning one of these special kitties is challenging, but you can develop solutions to work around cat litter box issues.
This article will touch upon some of the cat litter box issues and corresponding solutions you can implement for your blind, paralyzed, amputee, or very old cat.
If you have owned kitty for a long time and her vision fades, it is critical that you keep her surroundings as static as possible. She will continue to navigate her way around by memory, and it's vitally important that her cat litter boxes remain fixed in her memory. This doesn't mean there won't be accidents, but you can eliminate the possibility by maintaining her cat litter box location.
You can also develop a system where you keep her confined to a room with her food, water, litter box, and toys when you're out of your home. This way, she's in familiar surroundings with all her essentials. If she does have an out of litter box experience, it's confined to one room. When you're home and can monitor her wanderings, she has the freedom to travel around the entire house without getting into too many difficulties.
Please stay in close contact with your kitty vet if you have a blind cat. She can suggest more ideas and processes to help you and your kitty.
Partially paralyzed cats:
Some cat owners will opt to keep their partially paralyzed kitty alive. This is a personal choice made in coordination with the cat's vet. Paralyzed kitties have absolutely no control over their elimination functions, so the feline owner is faced with a constant task of cleaning up the mess and the cat.
Again, close owner supervision will be necessary. If the cat moves around the house quite a bit, the feline owner will need to inspect the home several times a day to discover and clean up cat urine stains and feces. Conversely, the paralyzed kitty can be given a room of her own, with her food, water, toys, and possibly some cat litter on the floor, contained by a very low box, or on a protective piece of plastic. It's possible the kitty will be in the vicinity of the cat litter if her system eliminates cat urine or feces.
Your vet and you can further consult on additional techniques and solutions. One such solution is learning to express your cat's bladder to cut down on the number of cat urine puddles you will find in your home.
Missing a limb:
Cats who are amputees will want to do the right thing by using the cat litter box, but due to limited mobility, may get frustrated and use the floor. They lose the ability to scratch at the cat litter to cover their production, as well as maintaining balance while eliminating waste.
You can find a plastic storage bin that has high sides. On one or both ends, cut a "U" shaped opening so that the bottom of the "U" is about two inches from the container bottom. This will help the amputee kitty get in and out of the modifiied cat litter box easily.
You may wish to consider confining your special kitty when you're not home to cut down the number of places to find cat urine and feces spots. Give her a nice room with her favorite food, clean water, toys, and a clean cat litter box that she can easily hop in and out of.
Consult with your vet. She may have experience with other feline patients and can pass on "lessons learned" to you.
Very old, or senior kitties:
One of the most frequent problems for senior kitties is they can develop confusion and dementia. The cat then forgets where her litter box is located, and finds the nearest convenient place to eliminate. Another very frequent health issue for old cats is stiffness in their joints, which can limit their mobility.
If their cat litter box is far away, or is in a now-inaccessible location, kitty will once again develop her own cat litter box location that is more convenient.
In these cases, keep more litter boxes available, and limit your cat's traveling distance. For example, if your cat starts voluntarily confining herself to one particular part of your home, put a cat litter box nearby. You may also have to change the type of cat litter box you're using, if it's too difficult for her to get in and out of.
Once again, your local kitty vet may will have more solutions to discuss with you.
If you have one of these special kitties, it's essential that you keep a good enzyme cleaner in stock at all times to quickly and efficiently clean up cat urine and feces spots. Good luck, and bless you!
About the Author
Nancy has successfully eliminated cat urine odor from her home, and kept the kitty that caused it. The Cat Urine Odor Advisor helps you save money and stop the damage in your household by offering solutions that work together to eliminate cat urine odor from your home.