Big Cat Problems

Big Cat is unofficially seventeen years old. I say “unofficially” because I celebrate his adoption day in early March rather than his birthday. Every year, he gathers more old-cat problems.

His kidneys have been slowly worsening for a few years now, but the vet thinks it is still relatively stable based on his numbers. He has difficulty “concentrating his urine,” which, in our case, means he drinks more and uses the box more often.

Not too bad. We have an automated litter box, so I only need to change the bag out more often. At least, until I periodically start finding puddles in front of the box.

The mystery begins…

He is not spraying or peeing all over the house. It is just in front of the box. Also, while we think it is Big Cat, there is a chance Little Cat developed some inappropriate bathroom habits, so we decide we must identify the problem to find the correct solution.

Brilliantly, we move the indoor Ring camera I received for a work anniversary to dangle over the boxes, trying to catch the piddler in the process. Days pass and puddles happen, but the camera picks up only a few jumps in and out of the box, no damning evidence. Its sensor is not sensitive enough to trigger with their sneaky little bodies.

Time for the next level: we borrow my father-in-law’s nature camera, stringing it up with rubber bands and twist ties. We catch the piddler in the act not even a day later! Big Cat sticks his head in, sniffs around, and proceeds in no further. With his front half inside, Big Cat lifts a leg to make a horrendous mess on the floor.

I have a theory…

Little Cat had just gone, and the machine had not turned yet. I’m thinking he does not like to use it dirty. I shorten the time between going and turning. Then, today, we spent an hour dismantling and scrubbing that machine down to get it nice and clean again.

I bring this thing in, calling out in a sing-song voice, “kitties!” Big Cat comes running. He eagerly jumps in the clean litter box, all four feet in, his butt still sticking out… and pees all over the floor.

*Pained sigh* It looks like he also has arthritis. It can cause them to no longer squat when they pee.

The vet talked about some gummies many people are raving about working well for dogs and cats, so I will reach out about getting some of those. Mr. Picky Pants (Big Cat) will probably turn his nose up at them, meaning I’ll need to get creative.

I love him still, and I continue to hope I have him for many more years, but cleaning up cat urine is getting exhausting. Fingers crossed we have this resolved soon with meds and intensive remedial litter box training.

Hope you all enjoy the weather this weekend!

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