Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When Kitty Gets Sick

Today, I saw a post from a woman, a fellow sweeper, whose cat developed crystals in his bladder. She asked for suggestions on how to bring in extra money to pay for his medical care. I know where she's coming from. A few years ago, when Quinn had his heart attack, I had the good fortune to win a Playstation game system. I'm not a big gamer, but I would have kept the system, if we weren't trying to pay off the credit cards we'd just run up at the emergency vet, our vet, and at least two other animal hospitals that could run tests our regular vet wasn't equipped for. Not to mention the meds he was on. Buying special foods and baby foods to try to get him to eat. Lucky for me, someone bid near retail for it, and getting that payment was a real blessing when we needed it.

This woman's cat's issue hit close to home, too. Several years ago, my cat Indy (left) developed crystals that blocked him from urinating. He's 11 now, and it's been at least 6 or 7 years since he had to have the crystals surgically removed. We started using an over-the-counter Urinary Tract dry food and Friskies Special Diet can. Over the years, Indy developed diabetes, so we started mixing in Hill's Prescription Diet dry, then his younger brother Remy developed a sensitive stomach (which is probably linked to the liver problems he's having now), so we began using Iams Digestive Care instead of the UTI dry. We still use the Friskies Special Diet canned.


The most important part of keeping your cat healthy is to be observant. It's even easier if you only have one or two cats. We have 9 now and have had as many as 12 at one time. It's hard to tell who's doing what in their litterboxes (or outside of the boxes in some cases) without isolating them.
  • If your cat urinates inappropriately (outside the box), s/he may have a urinary tract infection.
  • If s/he drinks a lot of water, it could be a sign of kidney disease or diabetes (my cat Allie used to get a big drink in their room, then he'd follow me to the kitchen and get another big drink almost immediately; it turned out he was in the beginning stages of kidney failure).
  • If your cat urinates a lot (leaves a really big puddle in the box), that's another sign of diabetes.
  • When you pet them, see it as an opportunity to casually examine their bodies. My husband found Mah-mah's breast cancer because he was running her chest and belly and felt a small lump he'd never noticed before.
Those are just a few examples. Basically, you need to pay enough attention to what your cat does, how s/he acts when normal, so that you quickly recognize the abnormal. Just like in people, the sooner you realize there's a problem and get treatment, the better your chances of a full recovery (and sometimes it will save you money over treating an advanced condition).


Ginger said...

this is good information because it is common,thanks!!