Recently, my one year old female cat has become very lethargic and has been showing some odd behaviors out of the blue which she wouldn't show normally.

Since the past three days, she has started peeing in random places in the house, and recently even peed on the floor just outside her litter box, despite being completely toilet trained.

On top of this, my cat used to be very energetic, sprightly and active, meowing and hollering for attention, but since the week's start, she's stopped meowing and barely moves around the house.

She starts shivering whenever anyone tries to pick her up (which we could easily do before, albeit with some mews of annoyance) and eats very little of her food.

I've also noticed that she has started hiding under the bedsheets in my bedroom, and under the blankets in other bedrooms as well, which she would never do earlier. I've heard that this is a behavior that cats nearing the end of their life do, which confuses me as mine is only a year old.

She never leaves the house, and has been with my family for a year, without any problems. We've been trying for a vet appointment but it's taking some time. Is this just paranoia or could there be some larger issues with my cat?

  • 1
    In general, any break in litter box protocol (other than just missing over the edge of the box, or something very clearly motivated) should be taken as "I feel sick" and call for a vet visit.
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 2 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


Short answer: Go to the vet. Try to get an appointment as soon as possible. This doesn't sound life threatening, but the longer the problem persists, the harder it will be to get her back to toilet trained.

Long answer: What you describe are possible symptoms of a number of different health problems. It's impossible for us over the internet to diagnose her, that can only be done by a vet.

The peeing in inappropriate places is a typical symptom of an urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney stone(s). In that case, peeing hurts her, but she cannot tell you in words. So she tells you in actions that she has a problem peeing.

Everything else you describe - being lethargic, hiding, not wanting to be picked up - are all signs of her not feeling well and being in pain. That can be caused by the UTI, or something different. An infection makes us feel bad and achey as well, this is just her way of telling you that she doesn't feel well.

At the moment the best course of action I see is telling the vet about her symptoms and asking if they would prescribe some mild anti-inflammatory or pain medication until you have the appointment there. Do not give her any medication designed for humans! Give her room and time to rest. Don't pick her up or play with her when she doesn't want to. Maybe make sure her favorite places are accessible without having to jump (as that could possibly be painful right now).

If it is indeed an UTI, there are a lot of questions and answers already on this site you might find helpful. Try this search link.

  • We took her to the vet. The doctor said her kidneys were failing ); he prescribed some medicines but told us her passing was inevitable :(
    – Bongo Man
    Commented Apr 2 at 14:59
  • Sympathy. You may want to check with another vet, especially if you can find one who specializes in end-of-life care. There may be things you can do to make her a bit more comfortable -- saline infusions to give the kidneys more fluids to work with, anti-nausea medications to try to maintain appetite, foods that put less stress on the kidneys (or, on the other side, that she's more willing to eat despite not feeling well, see question about feeding only treats). B it sounds like you are basically looking at hospice care, trying to give her good quality while you can and then letting her go
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 2 at 17:49
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    @BongoMan That's bitter and I'm sorry you have to go through this experience. Maybe a small consolation: kidney decline is a silent ailment, so you basically had no chance of noticing and intervening earlier. You may find the information and advice given in this question helpful: pets.stackexchange.com/q/23762/12501
    – Elmy
    Commented Apr 3 at 4:46
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    There are some symptoms that can suggest kidney problems -- drinking and urinating significantly more than usual is one. But you really can't be certain without blood tests, and it's one of those things that can go on for years or become acute without warning. (My own cat is just starting to show persistently elevated calcium levels, which suggests kidney problems. But she's an old lady of 15, so I won't be shocked to lose her. We lost her brother at half that age.)
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 3 at 9:56
  • @keshlam The vet prescribed some medicines and wet cat food, so we've been giving her that. She has been drinking more water and urinating, which is a plus. I'm still trying to find proper palliative care to give her respite in her final days (bird feathers which she loved to play with, warm objects to rub against, cannabis maybe?). If you have any resources of the like I have in mind, please do share them.
    – Bongo Man
    Commented Apr 3 at 10:12

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