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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20859
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My cat is acting strangely. He is walking around growling, ...

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My cat is acting strangely. He is walking around growling, crying and hissing at nothing. Also, he seems to slightly be limping off of his right hind leg. This seems to be happening just after he urinates (but may be happening at other times too). What is wrong with him?!? I'm very worried. Should I take him to a vet ASAP????
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 9 years ago.

How old is your cat?

Is he eating and drinking as usual?

Do you actually see him urinating, or just spending time in the litterbox and not producing much?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
My cat (Bailey) is three and 1/2 years old. He seems to be eating and drinking as usual, but I just returned home after being gone for two days so I haven't seen much yet. I have not seen him urinate, but I did check that there was urine in the litter box just after he left it.
thank you SO much for your prompt reply.
- Meredith
Expert:  Cher replied 9 years ago.
Hi Meredith, you're very welcome, and thank YOU for your additional information!

From your description, it's possible that Bailey hurt his leg, paw or hip, when jumping down from a height, in your absence. If you saw fresh urine in the box, that's good; I was going to suggest that he may have a urinary infection or blockage, but if he's eliminating, that's good. Thyroid problems can cause aggressive and/or 'angry' behavior, but I think he's too young to be experiencing thyroid problems. Another condition called feline hyperesthesia, or 'rolling skin syndrome' can also make a normally friendly cat act angry and aggressive. Try to notice if his back is twitching or the skin on his back, near his tail, is 'crawling' or 'rolling' at all, and if he's trying to bite his back or tail? These are some syptoms of that syndrome.

He's most likely acting the way he is, because he's in pain if he hurt his leg and/or if something else is bothering him. If you have a vet ER center nearby, yes, I would definitely have him seen, now, to get a diagnosis, and then he'll receive the treatment he needs to make him feel better.

Would you please keep me updated on his condition and the vet's findings after you bring him in? Thanks! I hope he'll be fine!

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank you for your quick answer. I really appreciate it. My prolem at the moment is that I live on an island and cannot leave the island until 8:30 tomorrow morning to get Bailey to a Vet's office.
He loves to climb to very high places and very well could have hurt his hip or leg in a jump. But it could be a blockage, infection or feline hyperesthesia. he has not been trying to bite his tail, but he has been licking his privates a lot while crying/growling/hissing. I have not noticed whether his skin was actually "crawling" or "rolling", but could this licking be a symptom of this syndrome?
He is sleeping now and looks comfortable. Do you think he'll be okay through the night?
Expert:  Cher replied 9 years ago.
Hi again, Meredith.

If he's licking his privates a lot, while crying/growling/hissing, it does sound like he either has a urinary infection or obstruction or may be constipated. Something in that area is bothering him. The limping may or may not be related. No, he wouldn't be licking his privates with feline hyperesthesia; he'd be trying to lick/bite his back, near the base of his tail, and would also be trying to bite his tail; his pupils might be dilated and he would run around the house like something was chasing him. In a male cat, a urinary obstruction, if he's getting rid of NO urine at all, is a medical emergency. Constipation can also be a medical emergency, if you don't know when he last defecated, but the inability to void urine is usually more serious. Toxins will build up in the bloodstream and cause severe illness (uremia). Have you seen him defecate since you're home? Does his tummy feel hard and/or look bloated at all? Can you approach to touch him?

If you can't get to a vet til tom'w morning, there's not much you can do, if he has a 'partial' urinary blockage; I say 'partial', because you said you did see fresh urine after he left the box, right? If he allows, try to gently massage his lower abdomen and apply warm compresses. Can you call your vet and/or a vet ER center off the island, at this time? If so, I'd do that and also let them know you'll be bringing him in in the morning.

If he has a reputation of climbing up real high, it IS very possible that he hurt his leg while jumping down, and landed badly.

If he's sleeping now and seems comfortable, that's a good sign. If you have no choice, monitor him thoughout the night, as you have been, and have him seen by the vet first thing in the A.M.

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