I could use some help from you cat folks out there.
My big gray cat jumped on my head last night and started crying. Four in the morning and I knew I had an emergency on my hands, because this is one of those cats that will come get me if he’s got a problem–and he was clearly very unhappy. Usually he’s only insistent when he’s got a dirty butt and he wants me to help clean it off (yes, I know–but I crossed the line over into crazy cat-ladydom a long time ago).
Otto was in so much pain he was panting, and he growled at me when I tried to check his back end–in fact he looked so upset and was staring at me so intently with such dilated pupils that I scrambled out of bed (I was afraid he was going to go after my head). He let me press up into his abdomen, and I could tell his bladder wasn’t distended (thankfully) but it was obvious he was really suffering. Finally got him to settle down and we both tried to go back to sleep–not easy since he’d rolled over on his back right where I wanted to put my feet, his back legs kept twitching whenever he’d have another spasm, and I was worried that if I moved I’d incite a bobcat-style attack.
We drove the forty miles to the vet so we could be there as soon as they opened at 7 a.m., and of course they couldn’t squeeze pee out of him, so I had to leave him there and then drive back to town later (160 miles? For a cat? Just another fringe benefit of living out in the boonies and being a crazy cat person).
Otto had this same kind of trouble last month, but they told me back then that they didn’t see any crystals, and his urine PH was great. They guessed he just had a bladder infection, and since he improved rapidly on antibiotics, I thought that was the end of it.
This time, his urine was full of blood AND crystals, even though I haven’t changed his diet–and it’s only been a month. And he’s on steroids and antibiotics and on a canned SD (dissolution diet).
The vet can’t tell me. I really don’t like the Science Diet CD “maintenance” dry food for urinary cats–for one thing, it’s hard for Otto to digest (and I really do have better things to do than wash off the butt of a 17-pound cat off every day) and for another thing, one of our other cats pops us with food-related skin allergies whenever he eats it.
So I have been feeding everyone the Wysong “uretic” dry food for months, even though I know you’re supposed to feed urinary syndrome cats canned food.
But apparently that’s not enough. The vet said to try Royal Canin, since they have a brand of dry food for “stony” cats, but I bet you that will bother Notch as well.
Could some of this problem be due to the fact that our water is harder than snot and has a lot of dissolved calcium in it? I haven’t asked the vet yet, but I’m wondering. We have a softener, but I water the animals with water from a tap that isn’t salted–same water that that we drink to avoid upping our sodium content. I’m wondering if I should try distilled water to see if that helps.
And if you happen to have any more tips, lay ’em on me.