How Do You Litter Train a 14 Year Old Cat?

United States
April 5, 2016 4:07pm CST
Benta is now 14 years old. She was once litter trained and never had a problem with her. I believe that having relocated twice in a short period of time somewhat traumatized her. She did go in the litter box at the first home I moved to. The second move she also went in the box....for a while. Then she started wanting to go outside. She would always ask at the door to be let out. Sometimes she would stay out all day if it was nice weather. Other times she would go out, do her duty and come back inside. She hasn't used the litter box in 4 1/2 years. It started the weekend my husband and I married. It was in July, we left her inside, with a clean litter box, and plenty of food and water. We left on a Friday evening and returned Sunday afternoon. As I walked down the hallway I noticed that she had crapped along the wall all the way down the hall. At least she thought to poop off to the side. I called out her name, quite loudly. I heard her meow loudly at the door. I scolded her, she knew I was upset. She dashed out the door when I opened it for her. I cleaned the nasty deposits that she left behind. Got out the steam cleaner and cleaned the carpet. Of course there was a strong urine smell too. Couldn't have one without the other. I placed a long runner in the hall and put a plastic bag with newspapers on it for her to go on. That seemed to work for a while. I caught her peeing in the hall quite a few times, never used the papers. Called a visiting vet and had her treated for a UTI. Still no change. She refused to use the litter box or papers. Now we use doggie pee pads that are placed in an area where I often found a spot of urine or a few tootsie rolls. She has been using these consistently, although she often misses the pads. I am at my wits end. Don't know how to fix this. I have had a few that have said I should put her down. Not an option for me or hubby. She is an old gal. Thanks for reading. Any input would be helpful and I will consider all suggestions.
17 people like this
16 responses
@KristenH (25164)
• Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
5 Apr 16
Oh dear. Sounds like the same issue I had with my cats, specially Marshall, when I moved 1.5 years ago. He had uses with the litter box, when it turned out he preferred to have his own and not share with his brother. And then the litter was low. Now I'm stuck with a smell every time it's warm between spring and early fall, no matter what. I've used doggie pads too and now use newspaper in front of the box. Have you tried containing your pet in the room to force her to go?
3 people like this
• United States
5 Apr 16
That is the next step. I would have to cover the floor with plastic and place a litter box in the middle of the floor with a pee pad inside. She would probably just pee on the floor.
1 person likes this
@KristenH (25164)
• Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
5 Apr 16
@ElusiveButterfly I feel your pain. It worked with Marshall last year. Just have water and a litter box in the room and confine her for part of the day. Watch her drink water and go to the bathroom in the litter box. Stay in the room with her until she's done. Reward her if she does go. Fingers crossed.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Apr 16
@KristenH how old is your cat? Benta is 14. She doesn't like treats so I don't know what to offer her for a reward other than love. She doesn't go on the pee pads when anyone is watching. She is sneaky about it.
@irishidid (8734)
• United States
5 Apr 16
I'm afraid it may be something you will have to deal with. I had a cat that did that and nothing we did stopped it. You may be able to control where she does go by using a spray that helps keep them from going where you don't want them to.
3 people like this
• United States
5 Apr 16
I have tried something in the past, but it didn't work. She went outside an hour ago. Stayed out for about 15 minutes, I let her in and she peed on the floor next to the pee pads. Out of frustration I said to my husband that we just may have to put her down. I cried.
@DianneN (88397)
• United States
6 Apr 16
I am at a loss what to tell you. I feel badly for you and Benta. Twice, our Siamese cat peed on my husband's pillow when we returned from a weekend away. It was for spite. You may want to change your litter brand.
2 people like this
• United States
6 Apr 16
I have tried several types. One that was suggested to me by a fellow shopper in Walmart is the Feline Pine. She said it is softer on their paws. Friday is payday. I'll need to get a new litter box along with the new litter. Hoping to keep her in one of the spare rooms until she can retrain to the box. Not sure how she will like being secluded.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (88397)
• United States
6 Apr 16
@ElusiveButterfly We got Doodles unscented clumping litter. He sprayed when we bought him natural litter. The cat psychologist saved the day, and lots of problems.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 16
@DianneN I have tried the unscented clumping kind, the clay litter, yesterdays news, shredded newspaper, lined a box with newspaper, put a scatter rug she peed on in a box to get her to get a clue. Nothing. Well, the rug helped, until it stunk and I had to toss it out.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (71438)
• Roseburg, Oregon
5 Apr 16
I have never had that problem and I do not know what to tell you.I have a cat book but it is in Oregon.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Apr 16
Try searching YouTube is all I can think of Elusive..no help am I.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Apr 16
I am at my wits end. Seriously thinking we may need to put her down. So breaks my heart. However we cannot keep doing this. She will ruin the floor and the landlord won't be a happy camper if that happens.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Apr 16
@ElusiveButterfly Oh dear sorry to hear now it is that bad Elusive..Could someone adopt her or they would not be interested most likely.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 16
@TiarasOceanView She went outside when she asked to go out. Stayed out for about 15 minutes. Came back inside and peed on the pads, but only hit the corner. Most of it went on the floor.
1 person likes this
@Jessicalynnt (47879)
• Centralia, Missouri
6 Apr 16
different litter box, different litter materials maybe, cleaned out often, Ive had to rehome a cat who had decided she would ONLY go outside. or maybe a crate when you are gone, with pee pads on the bottom.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 16
She wouldn't do well with crating that long. I would have to do it in the night too.
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
7 Apr 16
@ElusiveButterfly need a pet psychic, if that was a thing I believed in, heh
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Apr 16
@Jessicalynnt Or kitty depends.
1 person likes this
@marguicha (104302)
• Chile
5 Apr 16
I wouldn´t know how to help I did have some problems (of another kind) with Misty, my dog, when I went for a vacation. The first time she greeted me happily and we both had a party. The second time she turned her back on me and would not accept food even from my hands. I had not behaved well and she was punishing me.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Apr 16
That is what we thought when we came back from our wedding on that Sunday. She was mad at us for leaving her inside for 2 days. LOL. It has been 4 1/2 years since that day though. She needs to stop holding a grudge.
1 person likes this
@marguicha (104302)
• Chile
6 Apr 16
@ElusiveButterfly When she is taken away from her normal habitat, she might remember it
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 16
@marguicha I guess I will have to put her in the spare room over the weekend to give it a try.
1 person likes this
@PainsOnSlate (20670)
• Canada
8 Apr 16
I can understand your concern, I have no advice. All my cats were clean and tidy. Have you asked your vet? there might be an answer there.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Apr 16
She said UTI a couple of years ago, gave an antibiotic. It didn't stop her bad habit.
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Apr 16
@ElusiveButterfly arrghhhh..you would think the vet could help.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (137666)
• Bunbury, Australia
6 Apr 16
I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions or a solution. I don't suppose age has made her incontinent?
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 16
She was about 10 years old when this all started.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (137666)
• Bunbury, Australia
6 Apr 16
@ElusiveButterfly Doesn't sound very hopeful that she'll change.
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (26816)
• United States
9 Apr 16
So sorry she did this. Hopefully she stops this behavior.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Apr 16
I hope so too. I would hate to have to consider giving her up or worse.
@Susan2015 (21966)
• United States
6 Apr 16
Dogs and cats when they get older I hear do that. I wouldn't put her down either. you could take her outside on a leash throughout the day and see if she does her business that way.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 16
we have snow on the ground again....ugh. I believe that is why she didn't go when she was outside.
@Morleyhunt (21474)
• Canada
6 Apr 16
I wouldn't know where to begin. If it was my cat I would consider having the pet put down. I realize that is t an option for you. I wonder if crating her would help.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Apr 16
I have thought about that too. She is an old goat and I think she would not do well with that. Would probably keep me up with her wailing.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (119896)
• United States
5 Apr 16
The location of a box is often part of the problem, but I am sure you have your cat's litter box in an out-of-traffic area and very private spot. We never left our cat for days at a time, so we never came home to surprises.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Apr 16
It is located in the far corner of the kitchen where there is no traffic. I clean it every day.
@1hopefulman (33808)
• Canada
8 Apr 16
I have no idea but I'm sure that some that have cats (I do not have one) will be able to help. All the best!
1 person likes this
@akalinus (22235)
• United States
6 Apr 16
I think it is time to take her to the vet. When cats start going in other places, it is a signal that something is wrong. Perhaps it is a kidney problem or some other old age cat problem. Good luck with her, sorry to have to suggest that to you. The vet can prescribe diet and medication that will help.
1 person likes this
@mom210 (6771)
• Atlanta, Georgia
7 Apr 16
Goodness I wish you luck, I do not have much experience with cats