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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16852
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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My cat suddenly started acting very strange, growling, hissing,

Customer Question

My cat suddenly started acting very strange: growling, hissing, moving across floor low and slow as if "stalking something" like another cat is in the room. I picked him up to comfort him and he got very vocal with me. I noticed his pupils are dialated and his breathing seems shallow.  He is an indoor cat, but got outside 4 days ago and was lost over night for about 15 hours until I found him hiding in a bush...if this may have anything to do with it.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

Do you know if he has urinated in the last 12-24 hours?
If you put him in the litter box will he strain to urinate?
Is his breathing labored?
Press on the sides of his abdomen- is he painful?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He actually started acting strange as soon as he came out of his litter box...not sure if he did urinate. His abdomen did seem sensitive earlier, at the moment he is no longer acting weird except for the shallow breathing.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 4 years ago.
Check the box and see if he urinated. If not, put him in there and see what he does.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He sat in the box a couple minutes like he was trying to pee, but nothing ever happened and as soon as he stepped out of the box, started growling again and moving slowly.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 4 years ago.
Ok thanks that helps,


It sounds like your cat has a urethral obstruction (aka he's "blocked"). This is a condition where crystals that form in the bladder get stuck in the urethra as it travels through the penis obstructing urine flow. This causes them to have a large, hard painful bladder. Initially they are painful and strain in the litter box with no production. It quickly turns more serious as they get toxin build up in the blood stream. The biggest problem is Potassium that can raise quickly and will lead to death if not treated.

Diagnosis is made on exam as a large painful bladder is palpated in the back of the abdomen. If you press on the back of the abdomen you will likely get a pain response at home.

Treatment consists of unblocking with a urinary catheter under anesthesia. They are then placed on IV fluids for 24 hours while the urinary catheter is in place to help flush out the toxins (urea and creatinine and potassium). After 24 hours the urinary catheter is pulled and they are watched to make sure they do not re-obstruct.

My recommendation is to find an ER vet tonight asap. This is one of the few true emergencies that is life threatening when not treated.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16852
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
Dr. Gary and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so much! I took him to the ER, you were right...you saved my cat's life! I am so thankful for this service and you help.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 4 years ago.
You're very welcome, I'm glad he's on the right track now.

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