Old Cat

by Kelly


My cat is 17 years old (short hair) and is starting to go to the bathroom outside of the kitty litter box. He is also losing his hair like crazy. You just have to softly stroke him and his hair keeps coming out. He also wonders around the basement as if he is lost meowing until we call his name. He usually stops when we call his name. Is it time to let him go? Have I let it get to far?

Hi, Kelly,

You can't be sure without a visit to the vet. The symptoms he has are classic for a couple of "geriatric" diseases which can be treated. You can find several other questions and answers here on my website that discuss the various diseases an older cat can get and what you need to do to find out if your cat has one and if it's treatable.

There are also many questions and answers and articles addressing the issue of cats not using their litter boxes.

Most of all, I would encourage you to make a vet appointment right away. I never want a cat to suffer if there's no hope. It's impossible, however, to know if he's suffering and if there's hope or not without an exam and possibly bloodwork.

Thank you for writing and for caring enough about your kitty to look for answers and not want him to suffer.

Dr. Neely

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