Thursday, July 1, 2010

Time for a cat update

I know what you readers like more than anything is the cat stories. And we've been distracted with other projects and the cats have taken a back seat here in the blog.

But they're back, here's an update:

On Monday Maya attracted my attention when I was sweeping the back terrace. She kept going into the little garden and squatting, every 5-10 minutes. I brought her in the house and she kept going to her litter box, but just a little button of liquid was expressed. I watched her throughout the day and she behaved normally otherwise - hungry as always, and running around. But the litter box was her best friend, and she was over-grooming.

Time to call the doctor to ensure she was not obstructed or in need of medication. Delfino came around 8 pm and verified that Maya had inflammation of the bladder and pain. But she didn't have a fever so he just said to make sure she ate moist food (no dry food at all), and drank purified water (which she doesn't like). I had already switched her over to canned food as I suspected bladder crystals or stones. On Tuesday morning we headed over to Ronco's for more canned food and hit the jackpot with a selection of three flavors of canned food that all the cats like.

On Tuesday I was hoping that Maya would be better, but she still only produced buttons until later in the day, when the buttons got bigger and bigger. I plied Maya with canned food, yogurt, and a piece of raw tomato (since I couldn't buy cranberry juice, and I'm sure she wouldn't drink it anyway, I figured tomato might have the acid too, and Maya loves tomatoes).

This leads me to a blog I never posted - the natural healing that takes place when we listen to our bodies. I believe that Maya steals our tomatoes because she needs something more in her diet, and tomatoes have it. She also eats the vine and a leafy plant on the pool terrace and she is never sick from eating those strange things.

While we've been monitoring Maya we've kept the other cats outside during the day so a) Maya wouldn't eat their dry food and b) I would know who produced what I found in the litter box. While Maya's bladder problem seemed to improve, I wasn't sure about the other elimination function. After watching Maya, I came to the conclusion that she must have hurt herself rather than have a bladder stone or crystals, something about the way she squatted and didn't produce anything but kept acting like she wanted to.

Yesterday I finally found what I'd been waiting for in the litter box, but...Cappuchina had slipped in the front door and so I was not sure who had been in the litter box. And today, I'm still not sure but since Maya is eating well and running around and acting perfectly content I have given up trying to monitor anything more.

Maya actually enjoyed her time alone in the house, and she really enjoyed being able to go upstairs and lie on the ledge over-hanging the stairwell.  For some reason this is Maya's favorite place to sleep, and if you cannot find Maya, all you have to do is stand in the stairwell and call her name, and Maya's little face will peer over the ledge to let you know she's there.

So thankfully everyone seems to be healthy again, and we're going to have Delfino come for the yearly vaccinations. That should be fun, because once the first cat freaks out, the next ones will be harder and harder to control and drag out from under the bed or wherever else they choose to hide from us. Maya used to be curious about Delfino's doctor bag, but I'm betting after his last visit, where he checked her temperature, she won't be quite so friendly.


Ann said...

Glad to hear everyone is doing well & that Maya's problems were caught early--the blockages due to crystal build up comes on quickly & can be deadly. We've always had male (but neutered) cats & it's a big problem with them. I feed them low ash food & it seems to help with the problem.

Kathy said...

Hi Sue,
Longtime lurker here.

I had a kitty with pee problems just like Maya's. Cats get inflammation of the bladder and uerethra---and it can be caused by stress or some other non-physical factor.
My vet would put her on a low-grade general antibiotic, which acts as an anti-inflammatory (and knock down any opportunistic bacteria) and I was instructed to give her half a baby aspirin every other day up to a week after the end of symptoms.

She lived with this problem for 7 or 8 would flare up every 6 or so months. She ended up going to the Bridge at 14 with pancreatic cancer...

You might want to give her a shot of baby aspirin. My vet said that Bailey was in discomfort--not unlike when we get UTIs...

And the other bit is you don't want her to get discouraged going to the box and feeling pain--she'll stop using the box even when she feels better.

Good luck! Hope this helps...

Sue said...

Ann - I am glad I was here to catch it quickly, not sure Miguel would have realized what was going on.

Kathy - Thanks for the tips, all good information. Maya really only had the problem for 1.5 days, and she improved without medication. She had jumped up to the top of our bureau, which she has done lots of times, but now we no longer have a chair there and she is crazy enough to have jumped all the way to the floor without going down the way she went up. That height is too much for a heavy cat, which is why I think she might have been bruised or something. Anyway, she is eating mostly canned food now and everything is working fine. She did enjoy her few days of being the only indoor cat during the day, so maybe stress was a factor too (Cappuchina being the new cat on the block, and Maya's mission is to keep Cappuchina subdued).