Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
Senile senior cat or other reason
An_250578 posted:
My cat is 15 years old. Her companion cat died about two years ago. Just recently my cat started using the litter box by sticking her head in the covered box and pooping outside it. I don't know if this is senile behavior but it sure seems strange.. I change the box every other day and have done the same for years. She gets into the box to urinate. Any ideas on what might be the cause of this behavior change?
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
There are several possibilities: she may be having difficulty defecating, she may have a urinary tract infection, it's possible she has arthritis, etc. It doesn't seem logical that she will go in the litterbox to urinate but not defecate, but cats are like that! It's a good idea to have your veterinarian examine her and perhaps run lab tests to see if there's a medical cause. If not, try using a softer litter (like corn or paper based) to see if that's more comfortable for her.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

Helpful Tips

Helping Hospice Patients Keep Their PetsExpert
Pets are an extremely important part of our lives. And this is especially true when we are at the end of our days. What could be more ... More
Was this Helpful?
35 of 47 found this helpful

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Learn more about the AVMA

WebMD Special Sections