Hi there. I have a kitten who's 10 months old. She's been pretty healthy and active. Today we noticed her acting not quite right. She's been laying around all day. She tried to go in the cat box three times this evening but didn't go. She's been laying in the cat box. She's walking a bit stiffly it looks like with her back legs. She let us pick her up and hold her and even hold her on her back and she doesn't usually let us do that for long. She's just acting strange. I'm wondering if she might have a UTI? I'm also wondering if this is something that can wait or should we take her to the ER vet tonight? I'd rather wait if we can mainly because I know it'd be more expensive for an ER vet rather than my own vet and we aren't rich people, but of course I will do everything I can for this cat. This is my daughter's kitten and I don't want anything to happen to her. Any ideas of what could be going on? Any symptoms I should watch out for that would tell me to take her in right away?
Thanks so much.
I am very happy that you did not wait and took your cat to the emergency clinic!
You should begin by changing your cat's diet as follows:
Please eliminate all dry food from your cats diet. She should be fed only canned or wet food. The best canned food for your cat will be extremely low carb and grain-free, since cats have no requirement for grains. Cats have very high protein requirements. Good food brands are Evo/Innova, Wellness grain free, Orijin, Hills D/M and others as long as they are grain free. Also, please include a probiotic supplement such as I-Flora, Rx Biotic or Culturelle to your cats diet. Pumpkin is helpful, but, please use it with one of the foods listed above, and the probiotic.
If your cat still has a tendency toward constipation despite the dietary change and pumpkin please try one of the following supplements: Casacara formula, San Ren Tang, Xiao Yao San (Rambling Ease Powder), Xie Huang Wan, and others.
Make sure your cat is always well hydrated, even if you must give her clam juice and broths if she does not drink much water, and the moisture from the canned food is insufficient. You can leave dilute clam juice and/or dilute broth around in bowels for drinking. You can leave them out for several hours safely.
Lastly, you may have to have her anal glands checked often, since swollen anal glands can make bowel movements painful.
I took her in last night. They took X-Rays and said she was full of stool and gas throughout her intestines. He was afraid she had a blockage because the colon sounded quiet. It wasn't moving things through. He said there was three scenerios it could be, 1 - it could be she swallowed a foreign body, 2 - it could be a bacterial infection in the colon or 3 - it could be constipation. He said it was good that she didn't have a fever or vomiting. He wanted to keep her overnight and give her fluids and an emema and see if they could clean out some of that stool and get the colon moving things along again.
I called this morning and he said she was doing well. She was eating and drinking and had passed quite a bit of stool. He said at this point he didn't see any need for surgery (thank God!) He said to watch her today and keep her quiet. I asked what this could have been, then? And he said maybe she's not getting enough fiber in her diet and to try giving her a 1/2 tsp. of pumpkin with her food each day.
Could constipation really have caused all of this? Why couldn't she pass all that stool? Can it really make you that sick? She wasn't eating or drinking or playing yesterday. She was just laying around, etc.
They did give me Amoxicillin to give her to rule out a bacterial infection since they're not quite sure what caused all of this.
Anyway, that's the latest. I'm so glad she didn't need surgery!
Can anyone recommend a cat food with fiber to help her so she doesn't get constipated again? Thanks!
wow no surgery thats good!so glad she's doing better.....when my cats have had medical issues and needed a food with more fiber i on the advice from my vet used Hills w/d or i/d..these are rx only ....ur vet should carry them!this food has done wonders for my cats that needed more fiber!please keep u s posted!
Hey, thanks everybody for the advice and concern! It's much appreciated!
She seems to be doing ok. I'm going to look for these brands of food.
Dr. Chang, is this over the counter foods or prescription? Thanks so much for your advice! My own vet still hasn't returned my phone call and I called yesterday morning, so I'm not too happy. At least you helped me out and I really appreciate that.
To tell you the truth, both my cats are on dry food only. I'm wondering if I should or if it would be safe or better to put them both on the canned/wet food? I had a vet tell me a long time ago that a cat only needed dry food so that's all I've fed them. If the canned/wet food is better though, then I'll switch it. My older cat has had problems with UTI's, would this food be good for her too or maybe something else?
Well, anyway, thanks again everybody! I'm glad too that she didn't need surgery! Hopefully a change in diet will be all she needs. Take care all & God bless.
had 2 cats on Natural Choice dry and they developed blocked urethras-uti's...one other cat on NutraMax dry developed bleeding in colon.My vet sells....u can't get this over the counter.......Hills W/D and Hills I/D both wet/canned....stopped their problems immediately!this is all they could have....no grocery store cat treats either!u need to find a new vet who will return a phone call within 24 hrs.!or r u referring to Er vet?and not ur regular vet?
My own vet. She finally called back tonight and apologized and said she'd been real busy. She said she's still on the fence about whether canned/wet food is best for cats. She says it's still fairly new concept that cats should be on wet food only and that it follows their natural genetics since in the wild they eat only meat. It makes sense to me that they should be on a high protein canned food then. I guess one of the concerns is that it will make their teeth go bad or they will gain more weight that way. I don't know. I'm going to try it. I'm going to go and look in the stores tonight and see what I can find. I'm hoping I can find something over the counter rather than prescription. My vet said she thinks Purina sells a canned cat food that meets this need. I'm thinking of switching both my cats over. My vet said to do it slowly though, to add the canned food but still give the dry food for awhile. I guess I've got to use up the dry food anyway.
Wish me well on this (I say well because I don't believe in luck, lol!) Thanks!
Arrgghh, I can't find these brands that Dr. Chang was talking about. I tried four different stores tonight! I tried a regular supermarket, PetSmart, PetCo and an organic health food supermarket. I finally found one brand at the health food store. Where am I supposed to get this stuff??? If it's so great for cats and all cats should be eating this way, why is it so hard to find?? I only found the Wellness so far.
Dr. Chang, can you tell me where I can get these different brands you were recommending?
By the way, thanks again for responding. You were actually more helpful than my own vet. She seems clueless and is letting me do whatever I want. I'm thinking about looking for a new vet, to tell you the truth. I've been using this Veterinary service because it's a big chain but the overturn has been big too and I've lost about three vets that I liked. Oh well. Such is life!
Thanks again for the advice. Now if I could just find the food. :) Are you sure there's no over the counter food that would have these ingredients? I sure would like to try and keep the cost down if I could. I hope you see this. I'd love to hear back from you again.
In vet school, as in medical school, very little is taught about nutrition. I earned my nutritional knowledge and facts about food, Western and Chinese herbal medicine, and acupuncture (for which I have an additional Board Certification), etc. as a post-graduate, with 3000+ post graduate hours (and still counting) of study. Believe me when I tell you that in the next few years ALL VETS will eventually be swayed to my way of thinking about pet foods. The prescribing of dry food to cats will eventually become obsolete. As I have mentioned before in MedHelp: cats evolved originally as desert animals. The ancestors of the domestic cat derived the majority of their liquid intake from their prey. The ideal diet for a cats are mice, other rodents, birds and lizards (with reptiles included) and other small prey animals. Although cats are now house pets, the hypothalamus in their brainsof cats have not evolved as much as we would like. One of the many, very important jobs for the hypothalamus is to tell the body that they need to drink. This function has lagged behind in the cat, (even in the cat who does drink a lot, these are actually the lucky ones). Dry foods are very convenient for the owner's of cats and benefit the dry food manufacturer, but not most cats!
Without wet food, and excellent hydration your cat will continue to have bouts of constipation. The colon is responsible for eliminating water from the stool as well as absorbing nutrients. If a cat is even marginally dehydrated the extra water that the body needs, that is removed from the stool by the colon will cause a very hard, painful stool, that will cause pain as it is passed. Cat's are smart and will learn to associate the pain with passing poop (stool), eventually the cat will continue to hold in the stool too long, to avoid pain and the colon will continue to reabsorb water from the stool thus causing an fecal impaction, that will create a medical emergency, like the one you have just undergone with your cat!
You mentioned worries about obesity and problems with teeth. I will address these here: There should be no worry about obesity with an all canned diet since canned diets usually do not contain carbohydrates. Cats don't require carbs and carbs are the elements that cause weight gain in cats. Also, you have total control of how much your cat eats with canned food (more so with a dry diet that is left out all the time). The best reducing diet for cat's is an Atkins-type diet. Dry foods must contain carbohydrates, which your cat does not need. Carbohydrates and grains in dry food contribute to obesity. Secondly, you mentioned teeth problems. Dry food doe not eliminate tooth problems, since tooth problems can be hereditary. When dry food is chewed and mixed with saliva it leaves the same food particle residue that wet food does at the gum line, which causes a nidus for infection and tartar production. Therefore, dry foods have the same risk as wet food for dental disease. The best solution is for you to brush your cat's teeth or at least to wipe the gum line of your cat (as you would with a baby) every day. It takes 24 hours for calculus or tartar to harden or become permanent.
none of my cats had dental problems with wet RX Hills foods.I have found if ur trying to save $$$ going with over the counter foods that may not need your cats medical/dietary needs u will pay in the long run with more illnesses in ur animal and vet bills.
Thanks so much for addressing all of that! I will try the wet/canned food. I'm just having a hard time finding these brands. I may have to go with the prescription diet. I only found the Wellness in a health food store and the Hills brand is in the PetSmart store but I guess I need a prescription card for that. I'll look into all of that.
One more question, if you don't mind. I'm thinking about putting both cats on the canned food. Should they both be on the same, then? My older cat has had problems with UTI's from time to time. Will this be an ok diet for her too?
Ibizan, thanks for all your helpful advice too. I know what you're saying and you're right. It's just that money's been tight for awhile and we're trying to get out of debt. You know how it is!
How much canned food did you feed your cats? Is a half can twice a day too much? That's what I've started to do and they're not eating it all but then again I still have dry food out. My vet told me to ease into it and taper off the dry food. I'll give this all a try!
if a cat has uti's and another has fiber issues vet recommends what type of food and how much according to their weight.there are some RX brands of hills that petsmarts doesn't carry....some they do..but what i feed is only available from the vets!
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