In my last blog I mentioned that we had to take Bobby to the vet on Saturday and now I’d like to tell you why.
When we got home from the craft fair she greeted us as usual with her delightful chirruping voice, but not long after, she started to show some odd behaviour. She went to the litter tray, tried to wee, then stormed outside – squatted again to wee, but couldn’t, then she ran back into the house. This went on for quite some time – her back fur stood up dinosaur-like – until we realised that she obviously couldn’t wee at all. We rang Valley Vets, a surgery which is thankfully not far from where we live, and were advised to bring her in.
The vet was really nice and carefully examined Bobby while gently talking to her –she was quite impressed with her too, because she didn’t hiss or scratch but endured patiently her examination. The vet checked her temperature in a different room and examined her vulva. While Bobby’s temperature was normal, her vulva was inflamed and the vet told us that it could be Cystitis, which is quite common in cats. She was given a painkiller and we were instructed to stop feeding her dry food for while, add water to her wet food and administer some anti-biotics. Not easy when your cat is addicted to her crunchies! And initially we didn’t hide away all her dry food – so the little sod managed to paw some out. Until Monday we made sure that we mashed up her food with a bit of water and then sprinkled her meds over the food. And sat next to her to make sure she ate it! And we also ordered a mini food processor for future cat food mashing purposes.
On Monday I rang our own vet Michael from the Cardiff Cat Clinic, whom I can highly recommend, because he takes a lot of time explaining things and never talks talk down to owners. We still had some meds so were advised to bring her in the next day to see how she is doing.
Bobby is surprisingly calm not only in her basket when we are driving, but also when waiting at the vets. Our vet told us first that because of her age she was more likely to be suffering from Feline Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) which covers a range of conditions associated with the feline urinary tract including cystitis and crystalluria / urolithiasis, a condition where crystals or stones are formed in the bladder and Cystitis, the inflammation of the bladder. Cystitis usually affects cats aged 10+. However Bobby is coming up to 6 this year. After he examined her he said that her bladder is fine and obviously the meds and the change in her diet must have helped her getting back to normal.
Typical causes of FLUTD are stress (changes in the home and cat’s territory, new cats in the area or home), not enough litter trays, too much dry food high in magnesium and ph and not enough water intake. Obesity is also a risk factor.
FLUDT affects both sexes but can be more dangerous in male cats as they are more susceptible to blockages in their Urethra which is longer than in female cats.
So how do know if your cat is suffering from FLUDT?
If your cat tries to wee in places she normally uses, but can’t, it’s a good sign she/he’s suffering. If your cat goes to the litter box or outside to wee a lot, squats for a some time without passing urine or only few drops (it’s easier to check this with indoor cats) or when she/he passes blood in the urine. If your cat suffers from urethral obstruction you will notice that your cat becomes very distressed and will howl in pain, because of the bladder filling up with urine which causes painful bladder distension. It’s important to see the vet immediately as this can lead to kidney failure and eventually death if not treated promptly. Other symptoms your cat would show if suffering from urethral obstruction is protrusion and constant licking of penis (in male cats), lethargy, vomiting, avoiding food and water, hiding and eventually it will fall into a coma as a result of toxins passing into the bloodstream.
It’s very important to know your cat and his/her habits well, so you can act as soon as possible when you notice unusual behaviour.
You can read more about FLUDT here :