Cat Urinary Problems

Cat Urinary Problems

by Dorothy
(California, USA)

My cat, Bigfoot, has been to emergency with urinary problems. Bigfoot woke me up much earlier than usual this morning, begging to go out, fussing like mad. He was acting very odd. It was a puzzle, until an hour later, I went looking for him upstairs where he had zoomed and he was squatting on my sweater drying rack that had a freshly washed wool sweater. His pose was as if he was peeing.

big foot cat

Well, he was! At least, he was trying. His box was clean, except for one big clump…so I knew it was something more than fuss over a dirty box (which I learned here on PoC could be a reason for a cat urinating in places other than the box).

I followed him around, and he continued fussing and squatting every five minutes. Then I saw a drop of blood. I went straight to my friend Google, then to the garage for the carrier. Off to the very expensive 24 hour vet we went. Bigfoot was freaking out the whole time. My heart was breaking.

Well, many hours and $500.00 later, he’s home and we took a nap together. He slept on my head, purring the whole time. I think he is grateful.

He had crystals in his urine. The worry was potential danger of blockage.I guess it happens to male cats. The vet palpated his bladder with me there, and said it wasn’t blocked, but the drops of blood coming out were indicative of a problem. The doctor wasn’t Bigfoot’s regular doc. It was the emergency room for pets. I liked this guy. He used to work for a zoo. We had a long conversation about cat food. I groaned when he said I should switch Bigfoot to Hills C/D. I gave him my long litany about the big Hills hype, and my suspicions based on problems my dog has had with it, and he gave me an earful, and even though I was woozy from little sleep, it was an interesting perspective.

big foot cat 1
Bigfoot resting after his ordeal

He claims that Hills has spent the money on research, where others haven’t. He regaled me with stories of animal-food nightmares at the zoo. Where he would commission smaller ‘boutique’ food producers, and ended up with more trouble than not. He likens some of the small ‘boutique’ domestic pet food producers in the same category. He said that more than once, there was a small batch error in the food production and as an example, 15 hummingbirds died at once. Kind of a horror story really.

He said he feels very strongly that the Hills Company has done the research, and that cats do well on the C/D. I came home while they worked on Bigfoot, and started asking around. I have a friend who is a vet tech. She said that her cat of 20 years was on C/D for 18 of those years, and her mother’s cat also lived into his 20’s eating C/D.

Since Bigfoot refuses anything wet, including fish – I feel stuck between a rock and hard place. I’ve tried everything with him, almost to the point of caviar. Beluga! He wants none of it. What is an owner to do?

Meanwhile, I have three medications to give to Bigfoot over the course of the week. One med is a small pill, the other two in liquid form. I worry about the antibiotic because of another incident I’ll tell in another story about when Bigfoot got his teeth cleaned last month.

I would go to any length for the little guy. He chose me when he was homeless, and now it is my full responsibility to see him have the healthiest, safest life possible.

Another interesting note; the vet thinks Bigfoot could be nine years old. He’s “long in the tooth” as he put it. He’s the only person who had ventured a guess. I think he may be right. I always thought he was an older fellow, set in his ways.

Does anyone know about aging a cat? Michael? Any stories?


From Bigfoot has cat urinary problems to cat health problems

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Cat Urinary Problems

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Mar 14, 2010 Friends of Bigfoot
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi Dorothy. I’m a bit behind on POC so I didn’t see this until now. Yes, Bigfoot does indeed have many friends here and we all worry when he is not well. I actually think of him as one of the main characters of this site. Hope everything will work out fine. 🙂

Finn Frode avatar

Mar 14, 2010 Baytril
by: Bob

Yes, Baytril is definitely bitter, the vet told me so. That would explain the foaming, he’s salivating due to the taste. He may not like it, but he’ll appreciate the results. As for the sleeping, my Princess is only five years old and she sleeps ALOT. She always has. But when she’s not sleeping… look out. I guess it’s just some cats’ nature.

Mar 12, 2010 Gail, Bob and Tracey et al
by: Dorothy

Wow, I didn’t know I was getting so much support on this page from many of my favorite POC contributors. Cool. Thanks to you all. It really helps to have people who also love cats as much as we do, talk to you when things are both good AND bad.

Bob, Bigfoot is also on Baytril. I’m so glad the vet we went to was trust worthy. He palpated the bladder and was able to tell me immediately that Bigfoot wasn’t in danger, just infected. It is so hard to see the little guy in so much pain. I just wanted to scream “Do something NOW (please)” The medicine must be very bitter. If I don’t get the liquid far enough down his mouth, he foams for a while. Looking like a rabid wild man. I had torturing him, but he forgives fast.

Tracey, is James Well Beloved a dry food? I do look forward to however many years Bigfoot has. It explains him sleeping so much I think. I was worried he was bored, and spent as much waking time with him possible playing and snuggling, but I think he just must need the sleep.

Gail, I’ll keep working on getting him interested in the wet food. He didn’t go for the clam juice, and I’ll give the tuna juice a whirl as well as mixing dry with wet. Who knew a formerly homeless cat would be so finicky!

Thanks again all. How about those feet eh?


Mar 12, 2010 Urinary problems
by: Bob

My Zombie and Ozzy both have had urinary problems. I’ve told this story before, so I’ll shorten it. Zombie had the same symptoms as Bigfoot did, and I too took him to the 24 hour vet. They said he had crystals, and needed an $800 operation or he would die, as his bladder was inflamed. So of course I went down EVERY road to try to get the $800, because I didn’t get paid until after the time they had given him to live. I ended up giving them what I had to put a catheter in and drain his bladder to buy me a few days to get the money for the operation. But instead of going back to them, I went to a vet near my house. He said it was a good thing I didn’t get the operation done, because Zombie didn’t need it. He didn’t have crystals, he had a bacterial infection that caused his urethra to swell and close up. He gave Zombie Baytril as an antibiotic, and another medication to lower the ph in his urine and make it more acidic, so the bacteria couldn’t live in it. Two days later, he was fine. The emergency vet also recommended the Hills CD to me. I feed my cats Cat Chow indoor formula dry food religiously, and haven’t had a relapse of urinary problems in any of them for years. I had the vet show me how to check for an inflamed bladder, and I do check them, but never find anything. My cats also have one of those kitty water fountains, I keep it clean and change the filter, and they definitely drink from it alot. There is never a shortage of clumps in their boxes, so whatever dry food leaves, they’re flushing it out.

Mar 11, 2010 James Wellbeloved
by: Tracey

Hi Dorothy

So sorry to hear your poor Big Foot has been poorly. (by the way he’s so handsome!)

As soon as I read the first few lines I knew he had Cystitis.

My Benji (who passed away over a year ago at the age of 18)had a few bouts of Cystitis with exactly the same symptoms, he was in so much pain, yowling and stooping.

My vet said to stick to wet food as the dried he was on was the cause of his problems. He loved his dried food but took to the wet with no problems at all.

The lady who’s cattery they always went to swore by Hills C/D as she’d had the same problems with her cats yet they were fine on the C/D.

I never really tried it because I was too scared of him being sick again but she said he had it when he stayed with her.

Some years ago I discovered ‘James Wellbeloved’ which is quite expensive but excellent. Benji ate loads but he was never ill again.

By the way even if Big Foot is 9 it really doesn’t matter! He’s only half the age my Benji was! He’s a good few years to go yet, so just carry on enjoying him and giving him the love and security he deserves.

Mar 11, 2010 Mr. Bigfoot – edit
by: Anonymous

Little by little he increased the wet to a point where it was 50/50 in the same dog and the dog eventually took to it.
This should have said: 50/50 in the same dog DISH and the dog eventually took to it…LOL!

Mar 11, 2010 Another suggestion for Mr. Bigfoot
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Have you tried giving a bit of (people) tuna juice (water-based) in a bowl for Mr. Bigfoot? If he only wants to eat dry, what about taking just a couple drops of tuna juice and rolling the dry in it? Perhaps that will entice him and eventually he may decide to try wet…eventually.

Mar 11, 2010 Switching Dry to Wet
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Hi Dorothy, Have you tried putting a little wet on the dry? I know we had to do that with a dog, when I was a little kid, who only wanted dry.

My uncle started very slowly taking a smidge of wet and mushing it in with the dry. The dog tried eating around it, but to no avail. Little by little he increased the wet to a point where it was 50/50 in the same dog and the dog eventually took to it.

Who knows? Perhaps it would work for your Mr. Bigfoot?

Mar 11, 2010 Thank Michael
by: Dorothy

A friend also suggested putting clam juice, diluted with water out for him to sip. Well, Mr. Bigfoot will have nothing of it.

Does anyone out there have experience switching a cat from dry food to wet? If I take away the dry food, will he eventually eat the wet food? I’m not sure I can do that. I am a person who loves to ‘feed’ and can’t imagine starving him. But he won’t touch any wet food at all.

It is a worry. He’d doing better, and doesn’t seem to be in pain any more, but he hates the medication. This morning he was foaming at the mouth trying to get rid of it. Poor little guy.

Mar 10, 2010 Bigfoot
by: Michael

There are some posts on this site about urinary infections and food.

Urinary Tract Cat Food

Low Magnesium Cat Food

Hills C/D is for struvite related Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). FLUTD is a condition often associated with the formation of crystals in the urinary tract that can cause numerous painful symptoms for your cat.

My cat got cystitis through eating too much dry cat food. This was ten years ago now. The vet advised the food. I feed more wet food and fish with added water now. Stress can also be a factor.

As to age gauging, I think these are factors that indicate old age or relatively old age:

Some grey hairs on the face

Eyes in which the iris (the coloured part of the eye has blobs in it, dark marks.

A bit of a belly

A coat that is not as bright

Tiredness – sleeps more

Jumping ability less good

Walking that is less fluid

Good luck to Bigfoot. I went to the vet today. I took Timmy, a stray, as he had an abscess. I met a person there who said his cat had blood in his urine. This is a common problem and some vets put the prevalence of it down to the dreaded dry cat food and cats not compensating enough by drinking more.

Placing water in different containers in different places might help. Cat Drinking Water

Michael Avatar

3 thoughts on “Cat Urinary Problems”

  1. I would never give my pet Baytril! It is a Fluoroquinolone and should be a last resort antibiotic. It can cause so many issues down the road…including blindness. Next time request Clavamox or something else.


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