My 2 year old neutered male cat started acting a little strange recently. A few days ago I noticed that he was acting weird by licking his penis area a lot more than usual and going to the litterbox a few times in quick succession. Right before I noticed this, I had tried to change his food from Royal Canin Indoor Light (RC) dry food to Blue Buffalo (BB) (weight control one?). I had mixed the RC with the BB at a ratio of about 1:4 which he didn't like so then I added more RC and kept adding until it was more like 1:8. He still wasn't really eating it but I didn't think this was anything abnormal as he is picky about food. This made me more sensitive to his bathroom habits and I started to get worried and did some online research. I thought it sounded like a urinary tract issue so I started to massage his abdomen to see if I could feel his bladder (he has no complaints and just sat there letting me feel around). By this time he had stopped going in and out of the litter box and was just relaxing on the bed (around 12:30 midnight). I stayed up all night with him but he seemed fine other than the occasional licking of his penis. As soon as the vet's office opened I tool him there (we'd never been to that vet before) and described the symptoms. The vet said that his bladder felt small and ok and that if anything it was a urinary tract infection. He took a sample of urine and gave him an antibiotic shot. That was yesterday.
Today I noticed that in addition to him licking himself more than usual, he wasn't going to the litter box to pee that often. I'm not really sure how often he peed before but it seems like he hasn't peed in the last 2 days. There is a caveat to this, I have a cat genie which is filled with little granules made from a pvc material and it is hard to tell when he pees because it doesn't clump. It is possible that he is peeing and the liquid just passes over the granules into the reservoir beneath. However, I don't think this is the case because 1) I stick my hand in there to see if anything feels wet and it doesn't and 2) it doesn't smell bad (and I try to run it every time he uses it so I can monitor his bathroom rates). He still lets me feel around his abdomen and his bladder feels ok but I'm not a vet so I'm not even sure I'm feeling the right stuff. The vet told me to take him to the ER if his bladder got the size of a tennis ball and was really firm. It doesn't seem like that at all but like I said he hasn't peed in a while and he keeps licking himself. I'm just worried that he's hiding his pain really well but it seems like cats tend to scream and in general voice their pain and he's not really doing that and he's letting me squeeze the heck out of his abdomen so if he had an issue like blockage he would probably not be ok with that right? Sorry for the long question but I'm worried that he's just gonna die while I sleep so I'm being super paranoid! Any advice would be really helpful!
I hate it when Vets give out antibiotics without doing a culture to be very sure there IS an infection present.....its not common to have an infection, only abt 5% of cats. what male cats usually suffer from is crystals these can be very painful its a condition called FLUTD. these crystals can build up especially in the urethra of a male cat and BLOCK the passage of urine, than its an emergency b/c the bladder will burst.
If his bladder isn't filling its likely he is peeing somewhere else besides his litter box...do some checking. cats will refuse to use a litter box when in pain b/c they associated the litter box with the pain they are feeling...its also a way of them communicating to us that 'mommy I hurt'
its absolutely crucial that you NEVER feed dry food(Vets don't tell you this enough)...especially to a male cat...!!!!
I have one also with FLUTD and found this out the hard way after he was diagnosed. they HAVE to be fed a canned diet. the lack of moisture in dry food is what causes these crystals and the blockages. they are in a constant state of dehydration and NO amount of drinking water is enough to compensate.
Please read this link over very carefully and switch your kitty asap, this Vet also has tips on how to get a kitty that is a dry food addict transitioned over to wet food...just follow her links......and yes also keep a very close eye on the size of his bladder to make sure he isn't obstructed.
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