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. I’ve seen Pinkle do this, but Pinkle is a female and there is less risk of blockage (though I do still call the vet and treat her when it occurs). 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.

SeƱor 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.)