Blocked male cat/urinary problems.

Cooper West

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Hi there,

I know there are quite a few threads on this matter but I have a couple questions. I have a 7 year old male flame point ragdoll. 2 years ago shortly after our move into a new home my cat got blocked for the first time. Unfortunately we were out of town and the friend watching him did not know the signs or his normal behavior. So when I returned home it was almost too late. Thankfully we have a great 24 hour emergency vet and he recovered. I switched to the hills c/d dry food and was good until recently. Just under the two year mark he blocked again. Thankfully this time I was home and knew what to look for. Immediately took him in before his levels were drastically out of range. He still had to stay 3 days but was much better when he returned home than the first time.

my vet recommended looking into PU. At this point I’ve spent $6k between the two visits and cannot afford the $4k PU surgery or another blockage to be honest.

Since reading some thread on here I have switched him to a full wet diet. We do have kibble out for my other cat that does not have urinary tract issues, but he is now almost strictly wet food. I also add a few tablespoons of water to each feeding. I’ve read on here that adding D-Mannose could be beneficial. What I’m wondering is this supposed to be a daily supplement added or only in case of a flare up. Unfortunately with him I don’t get much of a warning leading up to the blockage. My vet told me that there was not a significant amount of crystals in his urine either visit. This round had even less. She was at a loss because in her experience the food usually solves the problem. She also didn’t think wet food would make a difference but after reading more it seems that it makes a huge difference.

I’m looking for any advice on what I can do to try and give him the best chance at avoiding another blockage. He’s on hills c/d wet food now. I have fountains and clean his water daily. I attributed his first go round to stress from the move. He is a stress case in general and really doesn’t do well with change or any type of travel. We only moved 10 minutes away. Of course here we are again going through another move. We have started packing but haven’t actually moved anything major so I have a hard time thinking that’s what caused this but I'm unsure. For now I am giving him gabapentin to ease his anxiety for this transitional period to the new house. But this is in no way a long term solution for me because I don’t see him having a great quality of life essentially being “drugged”. I’ve read about prescribing cats that are generally anxious Fluoxetine. Has anyone had experience with this and if so do you think it would be helpful if the blockage is also contributed to stress? Thankfully we’re moving to a much quieter area and this should be long term. It’s the process of getting there that has be stressed out. Also the idea of going through this again and not being able to afford the hospital stay and having to make a tough decision. Any possible suggestions to give him the best chance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

silent meowlook

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Hi. I am sorry you and your cat are going through this.

I am not a veterinarian. I have worked in vet hospitals, feline only and specialty as well as GP. But I do not hold any license. So, the following is just what I would do if he was my cat. Obviously always check with your vet before doing anything new or making any changes to your cat’s treatment plan.

I am glad you have him on an all-canned prescription diet now. You should consider switching your other cat to a canned diet. If there is dry food available, I am sure he is snacking.

If you are not already, I would be using bottled water only. The fountains are a good idea to help encourage him to drink more. Adding water to his food, like you are doing, is also a very good idea.

When you think of the bladder, think of it like a fishbowl. The lower the water gets, the dirtier it becomes. Add water, and it becomes clearer. That is why hydration is so important. I have even gone so far as to do subcutaneous fluids on my cat that had allot of sludge in his bladder and was prone to blocking.

Stress plays a very significant role in cats like these. Using the Feliway plug ins can help. Calming collars are also sold, but I have never had much luck with those.

You have to try to think like your cat and make sure to eliminate any stress from his life. Cameras work well to allow you to see how the cats interact when you are not home. Loud music or TV can be stressful to cats, as can having other people around or other animals. The moving will stress him, so I would try to, if you can, keep one room the same until the cats are moved. This may not be possible, but if you can, it will help him to have some normalcy.

Making sure he always has access to a clean litterbox is good. The rule of thumb is one box per cat plus one. So, I have two cats and three litter boxes. Also best not to use the covered boxes as some cats really don't like them. They will use them, but it stresses them out.

Trying to keep things on the same schedule is important to cats. They like their routines and can be stressed out with change.

Playing with cats is very important. They need real play time where they can simulate hunting, stalking, and catching prey. A toy I really like is called Da Bird. Wand toys are good for this type of play. You should try to play with them at the same times each day until they get tired.

I have found cat tv to be interesting to my cat. But of course, this doesn't take the place of play time.

When you do move them, make sure to cover the carrier with a towel to block their view. A move will cause stress no matter what you do. So, the gabapentin isn't a bad idea to help take the edge off. Any anti-anxiety medications can be useful for some situations, but not all. And all medication comes with side effects.

Is your cat overweight?

Hope some of this helps.

I know it seems like allot of work to have a cat, but it won't be this hard forever. You just need to get him through this critical re blocking risk stage and although is always a risk, as you know. once you figure him out a little better, hopefully it won't reoccur
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. It does sound like your cat might have FIC (feline idiopathic cystitis), which means stress is considered the likely culprit for his issues. I've included a link below about it (if you haven't already seen it), just to give you some more information.

As far as pure D-Mannose, it would be given daily, like any supplement. I started my cat on it years ago due to her frequent UTIs. The primary benefit of it is to clear bacteria from the bladder so that it doesn't build up which can lead to urinary tract issues. But, there are a lot of folks, as you have seen, who use it for overall general bladder health. I'd say to give it a try, it can't hurt. I use pure D-Mannose and give my cat 1/4 tsp daily mixed in with her food. I've also included a link below to the brand I use.

I don't know a lot about Fluoxetine, but do know that the human form goes under the name Prozac, so it will likely 'drug' your cat just as much as gabapentin, at least until a proper dose can be established. However, the two meds work a bit differently, so it couldn't hurt to talk to your vet about it. If you cat comes across as drugged on gabapentin, perhaps a lower dose would be more appropriate? The other thing I have seen with similar cases is that often the urethra is inflamed which causes it to swell and can make it easier to have a blockage. The passageway is smaller, so crystals/sediment can more easily 'get stuck'. You might discuss this with your vet about trying an anti-inflammatory to help reduce any swelling that might be going on.

Another thing I have seen quite often on this site is the use of cat music to help soothe a cat. I can't believe how many people think it has really helped their cats. There are options through Spotify, You Tube, among others, but the one that seems to have the best results is David Teie - Music for Cats. You can check out some of his music on YouTube.

Lastly - another link - just in case it can give you any additional tips for when you move.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis - How To Improve Your Cat's Quality Of Life - TheCatSite
UTI Pets Pure D-Mannose Powder | WellnessPartners.com™
How To Move With Your Cat To A New Home In A Safe Way - TheCatSite
 

Alldara

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Hey! My last senior cat had FLUTD for most of his life.
We did the prescription diet for awhile and then went to non prescription urinary food. I also added glucosamine suppliments.
I had to switch my litter to non-clay, non-pine litter and non-clumping for actual dust free.

When it was a stressful time like moving, i basically made soup out of his wet food. As watery as he'd eat it!

I also had to add an extra litter to the home and that helped him.

Movement/exercise helps lower stress so ensuring they get a regular and consistent 20 mins of play (behind a closed door from the other cat if needed) is super helpful.

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis | VCA Animal Hospital | VCA Canada Animal Hospitals

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) | International Cat Care
 

Jabzilla

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I agree and also stress the importance of getting as much water as possible into your cat. One of my ragdolls has had two blockages as well. The first happened as the result of him refusing to eat, and thus also barely getting any fluids, as he dislikes drinking water. That was before I bought him a fountain. The second time was due to a mess all over his bottom with sticky dextrose from trying to follow instructions from the hospital to reduce the prolapse he was having at the time. My boy hasn’t ever had any crystals or stones.

Since the first blockage, I’ve been giving him Cosequin every other day since I’ve read that can be helpful for bladder issues. I also use Feliway diffusers, though not all the time. My cats have a fountain now as well. The main thing has been doing all I can to get him to drink more water. Both of my cats are raw fed and I add 1.25 cups of water to their weekly batch of food. I also try to sneak additional tablespoons of water onto his plate during meal times.

Using one of those square lickimats is another fun way of trying to encourage more drinking. I pour 3-4tbsp of water on there and sprinkle some freeze dried kangaroo on top to get him to drink. Sometimes he drinks all of the water and sometimes he doesn’t. But he always drinks some of it.

Water is key and our cats can always use more of it.

Editing to add homemade bone broth as another option for getting more fluid into your cat. If you want to try bone broth, I highly recommended making it yourself. Store bought broth is high in salt and almost always has things like onions, garlic, etc that are harmful to cats. Just water, a little apple cider vinegar (to help breakdown the bones), and whatever bones you decide (beef, duck, chicken, lamb, turkey, rabbit, pork, etc) is all you need for cat safe bone broth. Obviously strain out all bone matter before storing and serving.
 
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Jabzilla

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Another option for managing stress could be an herbal solution as well. The internal med specialist my cat sees recommended NHV’s Resp-aid for my cat when he was coughing a month ago. That helped and the coughing has stopped. NHV has an herbal product for anxiety too. I haven’t used it, but I figured it would be worth mentioning. Matricalm for Cats

Adored Beast also has an Easy Peezy II powder for bladder issues. It contains D Mannos, cranberry, glucosamine, and some anti inflammatory herbs for bladder support. Easy Peesy II | Nutraceutical Powder
 
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