FLUTD: Urinary Problems in Male Cats

This weekend, I decided to sleep late. Louie came into the room and gave me some snuggles. I got up, cleaned the litter boxes, and watched Louie be the first to use the big one, not uncommon for him to want to be the primo pee-er after a scooping. Then he used the kitchen one. Then he went back to the big one. This was concerning.

The Louie in question.

I crept up on him and saw that he was only getting a few drops of urine out at a time. Female cats can also get this and it should be also treated, but vets tend to see the issue in male cats as more urgent. In male cats, it may only be a few hours before their urethra gets blocked and they go into kidney failure. I called my vet.

Since it was Saturday, both vets I keep on hand were closing soon. Neither would see him. They said it might turn out to be a hospitalization and he was going to have to go to the ER. And so, we packed the little guy up (me and “the dude”) and drove him to the ER in Indiana. Slightly farther but better care. (This is where I discovered the Humane Indiana Resale shop I wrote about in my minimalism post)

After a brief exam (his bladder was small and not hard), they concluded that he was not yet blocked, but that he did have blood in his urine and was at risk of blocking in the next few weeks.

Señor Pantalones has been stressing Louie out with his extra energy, high-speed attacks, so I needed to minimize this since stress could be a cause of idiopathic FLUTD in young cats (Idiopathic being there is no known cause). I was told to keep Louie stress-free (a tall order for a former feral) and hydrated.

Knowing that my blogger friend Connie over at Tails from the Foster Kittens has had this experience several times with her similarly-furred friend Jack, I reached out to her to find some possible solutions. She asked him what his urine pH was. Well, I had no idea so I called the emergency vet. They said it was 5. Normal is 6.0 – 6.5. So, too acidic. It seems that could have been caused by diet, except Louie is on a raw diet, high in protein, which should balance his urine pH appropriately. I did notice his fur was a bit flaky lately and Connie mentioned it could also be caused by dehydration. I noted that I had given him some extra dry food the last two days in a row. Perhaps that was it, since that seemed to be what caused it for Pinkle on her last occurrence. Connie also suggested Corn Silk, something I hadn’t heard of prior. Upon some research, it seems it is used to calm irritated bladders, as a mild diuretic, and to stop dogs from wetting the bed. I grabbed some from Amazon for a few dollars. The vet also recommended Cosequin, also available from Amazon, for slightly more dollars.

So far, Louie seems to be doing ok. He did not want to be sequestered, but I did keep Pants away from him while I wasn’t there to supervise. He’s been getting his corn silk and soup for meals (I like Honest Kitchen Prowl with extra water added) and making me feed him by hand. I am also giving him extra helpings of Answers raw Goat’s Milk. It’s their favorite.

The vet told me to look for signs of blockage that include yowling, pain, lying on his side, lethargy, or a hard bladder. Seeing as he’s been playing tag with he laser pointer, I’ll assume he is OK for now.

And, per usual, my favorite vet Dr. C. called us on Tuesday to make sure Louie is ok and doesn’t need further help. (If you find a vet like this, keep her.)

If your cats, male or female, are showing signs of distress in the litter box and it has never happened before, it’s worth a call to your vet, especially if your cat is a male. It could be a serious emergency. I am not a vet and do not play one on TV, either. Please always consult your vet about anything you read here before trying it out on your pets.

Love and Healthy Pee,

Alana.

Further reading:

Tails from the Foster Kitten’s piece of Jack and struvite blockage

AVMA article on FLUTD

An Honest Kitchen piece on natural urinary remedies

(This article was not sponsored by anyone. Any brands mentioned here are mentioned because we use and like them.)

Glyphosate and Your Pet: Another Reason To Go Organic

You Guys,

Crepes in the woods

Down with herbicides!

 

Being a family of organic urban gardeners here, MomFOD has been on the alert for this nonsense called “Glyphosate” finding its way into her garden. It has now been brought to her attention that it is also getting into pet foods and, when mixed with certain other ingredients (think preservatives) in the pet foods, it may be causing major issues for pet health. Here’s the lowdown:

What is it: Glyphosate is a chemical manufactured by Monsanto and marketed as “RoundUp,” an herbicide or week killer. Monsanto is also genetically modifying crops to be more glyphosate tolerant or “Roundup-Ready” so they don’t get murdered by the herbicide as they’re doused in it. It is the world’s most widely used herbicide and a suspected carcinogen, meaning it may cause cancer in people and other mammals.

Where do we find it? Pretty much everywhere, particularly in GMO corn and soybean crops. It might also be in your garage and possibly in your pet food. Several common pet foods tested positive for the presence of glyphosate (see article linked below.)

Why is it bad? In a recent article by TruthAboutPetFood.com (I highly recommend this site if you don’t already follow it), a pair of doctors suggests that any glyphosate remaining in pet food may be a serious health risk to pets. In addition to being a possible carcinogen, GMO foods may be linked to IBD, allergies, and skin and organ problems. Worse yet, the presence of glyphosate, when mixed with sodium nitrate (a common pet food preservative) can be deadly to animals. All the details and links to studies can be found in the article cited above.

Scary, isn’t it?  Always read labels on your pet food and, whenever possible, go organic. I know it’s more expensive, but if you have a pet that’s at particular risk for IBD or other illnesses, it may save you a lot of heartache and vet bills in the long run.

For more information on Glyphosate in general, visit:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/150422-glyphosate-roundup-herbicide-weeds/

Live long and stay healthy. Knowledge is power.

Love,

Crepes.

 

Nature’s Variety Instinct® Raw: My #InstinctRaw Experience, Your Coupon

This post is sponsored by Instinct® and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Instinct Raw but CatInTheFridge.com only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Instinct is not responsible for the content of this article.

Me and the product. I feel like I could really nail being their new model.

Me and the product. I feel like I could really nail being their new model.

Dear Readers,

Many of you may know by now that my FODs keep me on a raw food diet. Sometimes I grumble, sometimes I find a food that pleases my delicate palate. In either case, the FODs are pretty set on raw food for a variety of reasons. For instance, did you know that when I was adopted I was super sick with upper respiratory infections and herpes outbreaks? The doctors said I’d never breathe normally again. MomFOD put me on a raw diet and within two weeks, I was looking good! I mean, I always looked good. Great, really, but the raw definitely put me over the edge and those stump modeling contracts really began pouring in But, I digress.

This is from my "Sexy Raw" photo shoot.

This is from my “Sexy Raw modeling photo shoot.

Ponder this: can cats in the wild cook their dinner? Have you ever seen a wild animal constructing a fire of twigs and tinder bundles so they can delicately sear their recently snared vole? You haven’t? That’s because they don’t. Raw diets are what nature had in mind for cats and we felines have all the right digestive enzymes for being able to eat raw. We are also obligate carnivores meaning we MUST eat meat. Therefore, when one of our favorite food brands approached us and asked us to share our experience with our readers, we were all for it! So, without further ado, please have a look at:

 

Nature’s Variety Instinct® Raw Bites

::Cue exciting music::

Nevermind. Nature’s Variety didn’t send us any music. They did send us this fabulous picture though:

The bites in action. Or inaction. Whatever. This is what they look like.

The bites in action. Or inaction. Whatever. This is what they look like.

So, let’s look at this scientifically, shall we?

Let's do this.

Let’s do this.

What is it:

Instinct Raw is made of 95% meat, organs, and bones, 5% fruits and vegetables, and 0% grain. It’s made in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

The Hypothesis:

I volunteered to try Instinct Raw Bites because I’ve already tried it and know it’s delicious. We believe that raw is the way to go for most cats and we hypothesize that we will eat and enjoy this food.

Oh, what's this? Could this be for me?

Oh, what’s this? Could this be for me?

The Test:

Four out of five cats were used as testers on the rabbit and chicken flavors. The dog also eats this food but she’s away on holiday at the GrandFODs’ place. Since we already eat raw, we did not have to transition slowly and ate is all by itself.  The bites are cool because they are really quick to thaw and, since MomFOD often forgets to plan ahead, it only takes a few minutes before we can chow down.

I didn't trust this cat. I think he was there to take my food.

I had to whip my head around because I didn’t trust this cat. I think he was there to take my food.

The Conclusion:

It was delicious. Four out of four testers ate the food.

Four out of four testers enjoyed the Raw Bites.

Four out of four testers enjoyed the instinct Raw Bites.

 The Benefits of A Raw Food Diet:

Some of the most-oft cited benefits of feeding raw (and those we’ve noticed here) are:

  • Healthy skin and coat
  • Optimal Digestion
  • Healthy teeth and gums
  • Relief from food sensitivities
  • Ideal Body Weight

I’d also like to add:

  • Poop smells better
  • Anal gland expression issues in dog have resolved (thank goodness)

Tips:

  1. If your cat has never tried raw before, start slowly with small amounts to make the transition. Many raw companies advocate mixing your cat’s current diet with some raw. This can work for some, though in our house, some of the more sensitive stomachs are unable to handle raw and cooked at the same time. You know your cat’s stomach. Choose wisely.
  2. In addition, we often get tired of the same protein source, so it’s helpful to rotate to make sure we’re getting as much nutrition as possible and don’t snub the food.
  3. Raw doesn’t have a strong smell, so if your pet doesn’t like it right away, keep trying! Sprinkle hated the idea of raw the first few times and her tummy got a bit grumbly. We stopped trying to give it to her and a week later, she was stealing Louie’s (and my) raw food all on her own.
Raw matches Sprinkle's digestive tract and her eyes.

Raw pairs well with Sprinkle’s digestive tract and her eyes.

Where to find it:

While we only used to be able to find our raw food in Chicago health food stores, we are now able to find it at PetSmart! Please be aware, though, that it’s not in ALL PetSmart stores yet and was only in 50% of the two we visited. In addition, the cat variety was hidden in the dog section way up on the top. You may have to ask. Here’s what the display looks like:

instinct petsmart

I circled the cat section for you way up there past the dogs.

 

Try It:

Now then! If our experience has made you curious, Instinct is kindly offering a $3 off coupon on their website, which you can use towards a trial size or a larger bag. Larger bags tend to be more cost effective, and we hope that they come up with a “We have five cats” size bag soon.

Safety concerns:

Those are addressed here! We make sure to keep our bowls and hands clean, and haven’t had any problems! For more info, visit: http://www.instinctpetfood.com/quality-and-safety

You can also discuss on their Facebook page.

That’s it! We are really pleased to have participated in this campaign because we feel diet is THE MOST IMPORTANT HEALTH ASPECT of pet care. We always advocate using species-appropriate, healthy foods to keep your pets healthy and we are huge advocates of the raw diet and have been for years.

What do you think of raw? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Let’s discuss!

Love,

Crepes.