Ask the Veterinarian/pooing cat


QUESTION: My cat is 17 years old and keeps pooing in the kitchen she is cery thin and fragile her was quite runny so i wormed her but it didnt make a difference really and also when she as biscuits she struggles as she started grinding her teeth so i stopped the biscuits and replaced it with meat and it stopped her grinding her teeth and also made her poo more firmer but unfortunatly the pooing as now got worse ive got litter trays but still goes on the carpet every morning when i get up and also every day on my return from work i have to other cats and there absolutey fine please help me

ANSWER: First of all, your cat is 17 yrs old. That is the equivalent of a 110 year old man or woman. She probably doesn't have the strength in her legs any more to stand in a litter box in the position that she needs to to defecate.

I am not quite sure what some of your question says as it's one long sentence which makes it hard to figure out. What is fragile and runny?

A 17 yr old cat needs to be seen by your vet if she is having trouble eating. She is probably suffering from a lot of dental pain from overgrown teeth, or gum tissue getting into her teeth, or some other related problem. This is very painful and she really needs to be examined by a vet for this.

She should be on a more balanced diet as well. I don't know what you mean by "biscuits" for her diet but she needs a balanced diet that is made for senior cats.

Get her into the vets and have them look in her mouth. You can buy some top quality senior canned food for her there as well that will also help with her stools.

But it isn't uncommon for a very elderly cat to not be able to use a litter box. You might try a large flat baking tray with some litter in it to see if she could use that.

Call your vet tomorrow and make her an appointment.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: By runny i meant loose stools. Biscuits was go cat crunchies.
I have  not taken her to vets because she is a very happy cat and does not seem to be in any pain what so ever and if i take her they will want to take her teeth out and i am not prepared to let her go through an operation at her age as i feel it will do her more harm than good but the first sign of pain or cat being unhappy i will be there in a instant for sure. As for not being able to get in cat tray i dont feel that you answered this correctly as she goes in there to pee without any problems whatsoever ... and she is already on senior food but thanks for your response i really appreciate it .

You are assuming that they will want all of her teeth out but that's not necessarily true. She might have an overgrowth of gum tissue (common in old cats) that is what she is grinding on when she tries to eat. It's your decision whether or not to have anything radical done- they cannot force you.

And as far as peeing vs. pooing goes, it's a different posturing completely and we have seen this many, many times before. It's worth a try to accommodate her isn't it? She has to arch her back and stand longer to defecate, and elderly cats have issues with that for long, especially in the smaller litter boxes.

It's worth a try. Just get a pan from the thrift store.

I do hope you will have her mouth looked at at least.  

Ask the Veterinarian

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

©2017 All rights reserved.