Sudden behavior change

Novus888

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Since getting Buddy from the SPCA in mid-February, I had only seen him drink water once, which I think was due to the appetite stimulant the vet had me rub on his ear. Since then the only water he has been getting is the 3 to 4 teaspoons I mix into each meal of Fussy Cat wetfood. The water fountain was rejected, various bowls was shot down, etc. My final attempt was a stainless steel saucer on a 5 inch square wood planter box a month ago, which was also ignored until three days ago. He is now drinking from it a lot, like 4 or 5 times a day. At first I was overjoyed. No more having to remember to dose his wetfood, or worry about struvite crystals...until I realized sudden changes could be a warning sign, and as a new cat guardian I'm ill prepared to spot early warnings. Opinions?

While on the subject, I was thinking of trying the water fountain again, but wary the addition could dissuade him from drinking out of the saucer. Should I leave well enough alone?
 

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I was thinking of trying the water fountain again, but wary the addition could dissuade him from drinking out of the saucer.
If this were me, I'd add the water fountain - keep in mind it needs regular cleaning (including taking the motor housing apart and the impeller out) to keep the slime/gunk/bacteria buildup at bay. You could also try a tall water glass in addition, or a mason jar. Filtered water would be good as well (a Pur faucet end or a Brita pitcher can work for this).

the only water he has been getting is the 3 to 4 teaspoons I mix into each meal of Fussy Cat wetfood
How are his litter box habits? Are the litter clumps larger, is he peeing more or less frequently? If you can, you might consider a wellness checkup.
 

Tobermory

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A sudden change like that is always something to keep an eye on. I agree with Furballsmom Furballsmom about adding the fountain. I have water bowls all over the house!

How old is Buddy? And another litter question: Do the clumps come cleanly off the scoop?
 
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Novus888

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If this were me, I'd add the water fountain - keep in mind it needs regular cleaning (including taking the motor housing apart and the impeller out) to keep the slime/gunk/bacteria buildup at bay. You could also try a tall water glass in addition, or a mason jar. Filtered water would be good as well (a Pur faucet end or a Brita pitcher can work for this).


How are his litter box habits? Are the litter clumps larger, is he peeing more or less frequently? If you can, you might consider a wellness checkup.
So he is still drinking from the saucer, and I'm quite happy about that. With all the fur flying I have to wash it out three times a day, but worth it. I've only used distilled water, after researching struvite crystals, finding out they are made of certain minerals, and some of those occur in regular water, but distilled water is free of them (well, supposedly free of everything). Haven't actually seen anything saying distilled water helps with the crystals....just assuming removing one source of those minerals is beneficial. I'll have to make room for the fountain,

Compared to when I had to haul him in to the ER, the litter box action is excellent. Big urine clumps 3 or 4 times a day. After that dose of Miralax over a week ago, good size dung too. No hairballs for maybe a week now, but I had to stop giving him the dried egg yolk (he pitched a hunger strike on the wetfood) so I expect the problem to return. I'm trying to find CatLax, Laxatone, and NutriVet Gel, but local sellers look to of been hit by the hoarders. I had to cancel the ultrasound for July, and substitute the second blood panel the vet wanted. The former turned out to be $800, which was $200 beyond my reach. The blood test was $300-$400 which I have. Hopefully I can choke the budget into doing the ultrasound by November.

Had a heatwave today, near 100F. Internet said to keep a fan on him, and keep his ears damp with cold water...so I'm on his doody list right now.
 
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Novus888

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A sudden change like that is always something to keep an eye on. I agree with Furballsmom Furballsmom about adding the fountain. I have water bowls all over the house!

How old is Buddy? And another litter question: Do the clumps come cleanly off the scoop?
SPCA said he was age 8 to 9. The urine clumps? No. He like to get it on the inside wall, so I have to scrape it off with the scoop, then scrape it off the scoop
 

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Is that a metal scoop you're using? Pee clumps stick to mine like crazy as compared to my plastic scoop, but it sounds like there's more to this sticky pee clumps issue than I knew.

About the type of water, I just wanted to mention you might want to be cautious. This is from Young Again's website;
For water, we recommend filtered tap water or spring water. Generally speaking if the water is good enough for you to drink, it is good enough for your pet.

Do not use distilled water as distilled water is acidic and could lower your cat’s urine pH below 6 which could cause stones or crystals. Reverse osmosis or alkaline water should likewise be avoided. The use of pH modified water should only be considered when your cat’s urine pH is outside of the 6.5 pH norm and should be done under veterinary supervision.
 
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Tobermory

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SPCA said he was age 8 to 9. The urine clumps? No. He like to get it on the inside wall, so I have to scrape it off with the scoop, then scrape it off the scoop
Does the urine seem sticky? Did they say what his blood glucose level was?
 
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Novus888

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Is that a metal scoop you're using? Pee clumps stick to mine like crazy as compared to my plastic scoop, but it sounds like there's more to this sticky pee clumps issue than I knew.

About the type of water, I just wanted to mention you might want to be cautious. This is from Young Again's website;
For water, we recommend filtered tap water or spring water. Generally speaking if the water is good enough for you to drink, it is good enough for your pet.

Do not use distilled water as distilled water is acidic and could lower your cat’s urine pH below 6 which could cause stones or crystals. Reverse osmosis or alkaline water should likewise be avoided. The use of pH modified water should only be considered when your cat’s urine pH is outside of the 6.5 pH norm and should be done under veterinary supervision.
I use this one:
...and no, it's not nonstick if you have to use it to scrape the clump from the inside wall of the litter box. I picked it because of the reviews, and looked like it was constructed to last forever. Its nothing that awful - I just soak it in a dilute bleach water for an hour, then use one of those ScotchBrite green scrubpads on what little is left.

I choose distilled water because of info from these sites:






Yeah, I don't drink the tap water. I use half distilled and half Nestle PureLife. It used to be okay like five years ago, then something changed and it turned gross. I keep wanting to have the water tested to see what is so bad about it (Lab Send-In Test Kits), but Buddy is keeping me broke!
 

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I had a chance to read through the links you posted, and I don't see enough evidence specific to cats --since their digestive system is different from humans to indicate that distilled water alone (not half and half as you described you're giving your cat?) is viable as a long-term source of water for felines. Granted, the other issue with it is the complete lack of minerals which you're saying is why you're using it, but commercial food manufacturers add minerals to the point of probably causing thyroid et al issues, so maybe it really is all academic.
 
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Novus888

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I had a chance to read through the links you posted, and I don't see enough evidence specific to cats --since their digestive system is different from humans to indicate that distilled water alone (not half and half as you described you're giving your cat?) is viable as a long-term source of water for felines. Granted, the other issue with it is the complete lack of minerals which you're saying is why you're using it, but commercial food manufacturers add minerals to the point of probably causing thyroid et al issues, so maybe it really is all academic.
I'm not a vet so I can't say anything for sure. Commonsense would suggest that if the minerals that cause struvite crystals is in the food and the water, then eliminating those in the water would at least cut the intake in half. I read what you read in the links. The most I gleaned from all that is:

1. Just like AMA doctors, the vets never agree on much of anything. When one squeals "TURN LEFT!" another one will howl "TURN RIGHT!", and on it goes.
2. Just like AMA doctors, I much suspect most is just their 'best guess'...or maybe they just flip a coin.

Frankly I fail to see "enough evidence" to prove distilled water is good or bad. So where does that leave us? Either follow commonsense, or flip a coin, and hope for the best. I started doing a half'n'half mixture after reading the comments here (and a past thread), but I'm not at all happy about adding Nestle Pure Life to the distilled water, as it clearly states on the package 'Enhanced with minerals for a crisp taste', and despite a lot of digging, I could not discover what minerals are used. I definitely need to find something better. Research indicates spring water has an abundance of minerals. The tap water here I don't even like to bath or wash dishes in. It may well be some time before I can afford a good enough water filter device to remove minerals. Yeah, I'm not liking the options!
 
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Novus888

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Does the urine seem sticky? Did they say what his blood glucose level was?
Not seeing any mention on the test results, but I have the second blood panel (the vet wanted for comparison) scheduled for July. If I can remember, I'll ask about it. Seems like the SPCA operates on the 'don't ask, don't tell' rule.
 

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Not seeing any mention on the test results, but I have the second blood panel (the vet wanted for comparison) scheduled for July. If I can remember, I'll ask about it. Seems like the SPCA operates on the 'don't ask, don't tell' rule.
I asked because sometimes increased drinking and urine clumps that seem sticky could be indicators of diabetes. But surely the vet will note it if the blood glucose level is higher than normal.
 
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I asked because sometimes increased drinking and urine clumps that seem sticky could be indicators of diabetes. But surely the vet will note it if the blood glucose level is higher than normal.
Buddy continues to drink a lot of water, at least compared to the pretty much none before. I learned he wants the water changed four times a day (and has to watch me do it), and expects cold water from the fridge. On the other front, he has cut way back on food. I had him up to 3/4 a can of Fussy Cat per meal. Now I'm lucky if he eats a quarter can, and will no longer touch it once it has been in the fridge, so 3/4 can is being wasted. He has also cut way back on both dry catfoods. Since that is the only three he ever ate, I'm concerned I'm going to start seeing weight loss. I'm hoping it's just a bout of extreme finickiness.
 
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