Loaf and Flat to the ground positions meaning?

solomonar

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My 4 years old tomcat (integer) used to be a moderately active cat to the moment vet discovered he suffers from gastritis (frequent vomiting and pee outside the box).

Gastritis was successfully cured (very rare vomiting - once in three months and pee in the box).

I replaced the supermarket wet pate he loves by high grade wet food (Applaws and Schesir).

But now the cat is far less active now. He adopt loaf position and lay flat on the ground (paws beneath) much more frequently than in when he was sick. He pees once a day only.

True that now is a pretty hot time and he gained one lb (half kilo) after the cure.

My search returned contradictory results: some say that those positions are a sign of relaxation and/or an attempt to cool down the body - other say that they are sign of heart failure or fluids building up. My vet said not to worry but keep an eye on his behavior.

I certainly need a fresh, neutral opinion to help me evaluate the situation. Thank you very very much!
 

ArtNJ

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Well, let me say I can't be 100% sure I'm interpreting you correctly, but if I am, many cats do it a lot as their normal "this is comfy to me" position and I reject the notion that it signifies anything. Now changes, ok, we always have to look at changes. However, it doesn't strike me as weird that a cat that is now 4 and has gained weight seems less active. A lot of 4 year old only cats are very inactive, and even those with a buddy sometimes only play for like 10 or 20 minutes a day.

The part of your post I'm not sure about is the pees once a day thing. My general impression from scooping litter boxes is that my cats pee a lot more than once a day. However, I have always had 2 cats, don't scoop daily, and just don't pay enough attention to that issue, or have the medical knowledge to be the person to address that, so hopefully some of the more knowledgeable folks will address it.
 
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di and bob

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It may be because he is hot, so he doesn't move around as much. My cats often are in the 'loaf' position and are OK, but it often can mean not feeling good. But most cats 'sprawl' out to absorb the cooler ground. If he has reduced the amount/number of times he pees, he may be severely dehydrated and feels sick, or may be retaining fluids. As long as he is eating and drinking, and not hiding, that is a good sign. I would offer him cool water several times a day or set several cups around to tempt him into checking them out and drinking. A pound gain is not too alarming, it may be because he is not moving as much or he is feeling better and retaining the food he does eat. Fluid retention is best gauged by a big weight gain, so I would try to weigh him and see if he is gaining more then acceptable. Check with your vet to see what he figures to be too much. It doesn't sound too alarming yet, but keep observing him and watch for any big changes, like hiding or complete loss of appetite.
 

ArtNJ

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Dehydration is one of the things vets can pretty reliably spot on visual exam, but I dont know how long its been since your last visit. Even for the owner, there will usually be noticeable signs if that is going on -- I don't think you'd have to speculate based on changes in the cat's position when relaxing. So definitely worthwhile to read the following link. If you are sure the urine is decreased, I'd go to vet regardless.

Cat Dehydration: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
 

FeebysOwner

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You can check your cat's dehydration level yourself as well, if you are concerned. Gently pinch the skin on the back of his neck and then release. If the skin 'pops back' quickly, he likely isn't dehydrated. If the skin goes back into place more slowly, that would indicate some level of dehydration.
 
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solomonar

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Thank you all!
I will schedule a vet visit next week to double check. The bloodwork one month ago indicated "cat who does not drink sufficiently" but vet was not worried much.
From your answers, clearly, the behavior alone cant tell much about health status or depression (if it might be the case).
 

ArtNJ

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Sometimes when my cats dont want the moist food that sat out a bit too long, I add a little spray of water and mush the food up. Makes the smell pop and they invariably are happy to eat it, and get a little extra water to boot.
 
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