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Cat won't pee or poop.

Species: Cat
Breed: DLH
Age: 8-11 years
Hi there,
I have a nine year old DLH female cat. For 5 years now she has had difficulty going to the bathroom. I have to take her to the litterbox on a daily basis. Somedays she will go, other days she will not. She will hold her poop so long that eventually she ends up running around the house hissing at herself as she releases gas and poops as she is running. Sometimes she is constipated other times she has very bad diarrhea. She can sometimes hold her pee for up to three days! Other than those times she is generally a happy cat; happy to do her own thing, go outside, and sleep in favourite places. Two days in a row now she has peed on beds. First on our bed by my head, and then on the guest bed that SHE sleeps on... in HER spot! I have taken her to the box several times but she refuses to go. The box is always kept clean, quiet, in the same location, and we have not switched litter types.

When she has her episodes she is very stressed. At those times I am at a loss and sometimes wonder if putting her down would be the best thing for her :( My vet has run $1000 worth of tests and there is nothing wrong with her. We have tried antibiotics, changing food etc... This has been five years!! What do we do? She is part of our family but is also ruining our house!!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Goodness, I am sorry to hear that Daisy is having these problems. This is a tough question for me to answer, especially considering that your vet who has done lots of tests can't give you an answer.

I have a couple of suggestions for you that you can talk to your vet about if you haven't gone over these already.

The first is the possibility of inflammatory bowel disease. IBD can cause diarrhea or constipation and can cause pain as well. Unfortunately the only way to diagnose it is with intestinal biopsies. However, if I am thinking a cat has IBD I will sometimes try them on a course of prednisone which usually really helps.

The next possibility is to ask your vet about lumbosacral syndrome. This is a condition where a cat has arthritis at the end of the spine where the tail joins the body. This arthritis pain is very uncomfortable, especially when a cat is trying to squat in the litter box. If this is suspected they may try her on a course of anti-inflammatory medication to see if there is improvement.

You may also want to try adding a brand new litter box in a different location in case for some reason she has associated the previous box with pain.

If the above things don't work then if this were my case I would likely try an anti-anxiety medication such as amitryptiline.

I really hope she does better soon!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.