January 29, 2012

Uh Ooooooh!

Yesterday morning I took Kitten for an emergency visit to the vet. 

I'll start from the beginning:

You might remember from one of my posts this past spring, that Kitten has, from time to time, displayed some rather odd toilet etiquette. He also has a penchant for using the bathroom sink in lieu of his litter. I had always thought that this was just his way of getting payback for the times I tried to toilet train him.   

A couple of days ago, Kitten was doing his sink thing again. I didn't think much of it until I was heading to bed and stepped in a sizeable puddle. This has never happened before. While Kitten may be a jerk in many ways, he has never straight up peed on the floor. 

I began to worry.

I called Ex-Boyfriend (oh, did I forget to mention that?) in a panic. He did some quick research and let me know that it was probably chronic Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which is actually very common in male cats of Kitten's breed. 

Though I was worried, I tried to remind myself that this was simply a chronic condition that is best treated with a change in diet.

Well, two days later, Kitten was still using the sink. When I woke up yesterday he was in this weird squatty position and was clearly in some discomfort. I went on the internet, did my own "research" and was immediately convinced that Kitten was about to drop dead at any second.

I called my vet, booked an appointment for half-an-hour later, stuffed Kitten into his carrier, and power-walked right over.

Once there, Kitten and I had to wait in the room alone for probably ten minutes. 

Kitten did not like this. 

Anytime I take him to this place, bad things happen.

[In fact, he had actually been there just a few weeks ago for his first grooming. An experience that I will tell you about another day; suffice it to say, Kitten hated it.]

At first, Kitten kept trying to hurl his pathetic, flailing self off of the table. But after several attempts, he came to rest with his face in the crook of my elbow and stayed there until the vet came in.


The vet, bless her soul, listened very intently as I wove my story of Kitten's UTI into something probably more akin to a Spanish soap opera than a feline bladder infection. 

She told me that I was actually (somehow) probably right, but that she would need to do a few tests to confim.

Unfortunately, my hopes of a simple UTI were shattered when she started poking at Kitten's bladder: "Oh, this is much worse than I thought" she said.

I won't bore (disgust) you with the details, but essentially Kitten had a condition on the severe end of the FLUTD spectrum, where he was literally plugged-up with crystals. He needed to have a few procedures done to clear him out and an x-ray to make sure all of the crystals were gone.

I care about Kitten a lot, but I am not going to lie, all I could see was dollar signs adding up with each  word out of the vet's mouth. This is undeniably one of the major downsides of having a pet when you are a poor student.

As I suspected, $663.73** later, Kitten was all fixed and now has a very crystal-free bill of health. 

Well, relatively.

He is still recovering and because of the recent trauma his litter bladder has gone through, the vet said that he will probably have a few "uh oooh" moments; when he's gotta go, he's gotta go. 

The vet prescribed some medication along with Kitten's antibiotics to help with these "uh oooh" moments, but I have been having quite a difficult time administering both.

If you have never had a cat, you probably will not understand how utterly impossible it is to get a cat to swallow a pill, let alone two.

Dogs are easy. You roll it in cheese and they swallow it whole. Cats, are tricky. They investigate everything before they eat it, so sneaking it into their food is next to impossible. The only other option that I am aware of, is this contraption on the right.

Basically, you put the pill in the end, jam the thing in the cat's mouth and plunge 'er in.

I attempted this method this morning, after Kitten refused to touch his wet food that I had, oh so carefully, crushed his medication in to.

He started foaming from the mouth.

I think that part was for show, but let me tell you; it did the trick - I backed the F' off. 
So seriously, if you have any tips on administering pills to cats, please share them with me!

But aside from the fact that Kitten smells like pee and foams at the mouth when I try to give him his medication, there is really only one last chapter to this story:

Like I said, FLUTD is very common in cats like Kitten. The only way to prevent it in cats who are susceptible is to put them on a special diet for the rest of their lives. Lucky for me, I am already used to paying inordinate amounts of money for cat food. I have said this before: Kitten eats much better than I do.

While the change in food won't mean any change for my wallet, it will mean a pretty big change for Kitten, who is used to this:

And now has to eat this:
So far he hasn't touched his new food. Though I can't say I would want to eat something that has the word "urinary" on it either.

But I figure it's the same with children and their dinner; if you don't let them eat anything else, eventually they'll cave.

That's how you raise kids, right?

[** While I am less than thrilled with the price, I have only good things to say about my veterinary clinic, Downtown Animal Hospital. I have never been to pet clinic which such welcoming and helpful staff and such a warm atmosphere. The prices may be slightly above average, but in my opinion, it is worth it for the service and care that they provide.]


  1. Try wrapping kitten's pills in cheese... He likes cheese right?

  2. Our vet told us that you hold the cat down (sounds awful, but hey) by sitting on them just enough to keep them from running, then put pressure on the jaw joint so they open their mouth. Then you pop the pill in and rub their throat to make them swallow. My cat was super sick, wouldn't eat or drink, and this was the only way we could get him to take his meds. He hated it (and we never hurt him), but it worked. Give it a shot next time?

  3. wow!! lovely kittens, i loved to see them, i just want to catch them , they are looking amazing, thanks for sharing with us and all other information related to kittens, keep posting!

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