C17: Day 123 – Sorry, Grabbity

by Suw on May 3, 2017


Last summer, we noticed that Grabbity was having a problem with her waterworks. She was peeing blood, peeing outside the box, washing herself a lot and had little to no control over the bladder. We whipped her off to the vet, who did a urine analysis and discovered she had a slight infection and crystals in her bladder. This isn’t a hugely unusual problem, and we managed to deal with it after two rounds of antibiotics, some painkillers and a special diet to help dissolve the crystals.

A few weeks ago, Grabbity decided that she no longer wanted to eat the special food, and Kevin was away so I couldn’t get a new bag from the vet, so back on to normal food she went for a week. When Kevin got home, we went and got another type of urinary food, but within 3 days, we had a new and different problem: Grabbity was, not to put too fine a point on it, wetting her pantaloons. For reasons we still haven’t worked out, when she went for a pee she was managing to get it all down her leg, from about mid-thigh downwards. I’d have to pin her down and clean her up, which wasn’t huge amounts of fun for either of us. I took her off the new food, worried that it was making her drink so much that it was overwhelming her system, and made another vet appointment.

This time, there was no infection, nor was she suffering from diabetes, which was my main worry given her apparently unquenchable thirst and the amount she was peeing. But she did have more crystal fragments in her urine – not a good sign.

We went back to her original food, which she’s now decided she likes again, and the problem seems to be clearing itself up. We’ve only had one wet pantaloon incident in the last week, and hopefully that is now the end of it.

So what was the problem? We don’t really know, but my theory is that she had bits of crystal in her plumbing that were either getting in the way and making her less neat than normal, or causing her discomfort and altering how she squatted. The vet wasn’t able to give us a diagnosis, so that’s our best guess (though it is just a guess).

I do feel a bit bad though – the correlation between the wet pantaloons and the second type of urinary food was just that, a correlation, it was almost certainly not causation. And maybe had I not stopped her from eating it, her problem might have cleared up sooner. It’s also unfortunate that we weren’t able to get a vet’s appointment faster.

So, if your cat is getting their fur wet when they pee, take her straight to the vet and ask for a urine analysis, and ask whether a urinary diet is appropriate. I was aware of the signs of a urinary tract infection – the bum-washing, the blood, the peeing outside of the box, and the loss of bladder control – even though cats do a damn good job of hiding it when they are poorly. But I had never come across this problem, where urine gets on the cat’s own leg fur. So I hereby add it to the list of reasons to seek your vet’s advice if it happens to your cat. Don’t let your cat suffer with a soggy bottom.

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