Categories: Cat Health

Vestibular Disease Causing Inappropriate Elimination?

by Kathy
(Louisville, KY)

Our 13 year old cat was diagnosed with vestibular disease about 5 weeks ago. She has made substantial improvements, but continues to take medication for motion sickness.

She can do most everything she did prior to the onset of this disease, although she has begun to urinate in various places, including the litter box.

This was never a problem prior to the disease. What can we do to ensure she ONLY uses the litter box or can we expect this to continue as a result of the disease?


Hi Kathy.. thanks for visiting and asking. I cannot find one piece of information on this specific topic from any source including some first class books that I have. And I am good at finding things!

It seems that the vestibular disease which causes loss of balance and disorientation has caused her to lose her bearings in relation to the position of the litter tray and she is gong wherever she can.

There is just the faintest possibility that she has a urinary tract infection as well as she has the classic symptoms of that disease (for example, cystitis). It might be wise to at least check this out.

There is also the unlikely possibility that the drug is having an effect on orientation rather than the disease.

I don’t think there is an easy fix or eureka answer. One thing that might help practically is to get another litter tray and place that in a good position (where she has gone before perhaps). This would at least increase the chance of using a litter tray.

Going back to basics might also help: Stopping inappropriate elimination (new window or tab).

I am sorry that I can’t provide something more enlightened. A visitor might have a better answer. The disease is meant to fade in which case things may or should get better anyway.

Good luck

Vestibular Disease Causing Inappropriate Elimination? to Cat Health Problems

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Vestibular Disease Causing Inappropriate Elimination?

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Aug 24, 2010 To Kathy
by: Ruth

Michael is right in all he says.
Also I think it would be wise to at least phone your vet and let him/her know about this, it may well be a urinary tract infection or the drugs. Your vet will have a record of your cats illness and treatment and can best advise you.
Advice by phone is free !
Then your mind will be at rest after a chat and maybe a vets visit if they think it’s necessary.
Your cat should improve with time, meanwhile you just need to be patient and kind and resign yourself to mopping up for a while.
I hope she is better soon.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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