The below is a guest submission from Maureen in response to our recent post on Urinary Disease in cats. As this is such an important topic we of course had to share this:
How to Spot a Urinary Blockage and Save your Cat’s Life.This is Mittens. He doesn’t have a fancy name. He was a little kitty in 2012 when we got him and his mommy to come in the house. They were the very first cats I ever had in my life.A few years (and a few cats) later when Mittens got sick I barely even caught on to it, not really knowing much about cats.The first signs were smaller pees in the litter box. His were never the really large ones, but these were definitely smaller. Then smaller still.Then we would see him spend a lot of time in the box and there would be no pee or maybe a penny sized spot.STOP HERE! Take your cat to the vet right now!I was very ignorant about cats and didn’t know the emergency had already started.
Next there was a day of not peeing; he became lethargic and didn’t want to eat. Lots of licking himself, didn’t want to curl up.
I called my vet the next morning and asked him to come over, told him he would probably have to euthanize my cat.My vet – truly a wonderful, wonderful guy, Dr Eric Griffin, a mobile vet – came that afternoon, diagnosed him, was able to push on his bladder and force the obstruction, gave him subcutaneous fluids, medications. Saved him.My vet told me if they don’t urinate for a day it is already too late and don’t wait.We started keeping a calendar/journal for Mittens, recording size and quantity each day.
We changed his diet to Hill’s Science Urinary.
Two years later, it happened again. My vet came out, but it was more serious this time, a larger blockage or scarred from the last time. Mittens needed to be inpatient to get IV’s and be watched. My vet advised us to go to emergency hospital, but we really had no way to get there, so he rearranged his appts and took Mittens back to his place. He was there a week, had some stones removed, had IV’s. He came home a new kitty.We are still vigilant about his litter box, still mark the calendar every day. He is still pretty skinny.Remember: small pees, straining to pee, get to the vet. No pee for a day, go to the emergency room vet.Throw away the old food or give it to the birds. Slugs like it too.I didn’t know how serious it was when it first presented. I could have lost him. He is the only one who sleeps in my bed, on my pillow, in my arms.
Thanks fromMaureen Sheehan