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Terri
Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32081
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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My issue is similar to that of one of your posts from

Customer Question

Customer: Hi. My issue is similar to that of one of your posts from several years ago. I have a 9-yr-old male Maine Coon cat who I adopted only just under 1-1/2 yrs ago. At that time, he'd been diagnosed with FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease). I'd been told he needs to be in as stressless of an environment as possible. He has been having issues consistently regarding urinating outside of the cat litterboxes. I've found fairly recently that he does also use the potty pads that are normally used for training puppies. I put a pad directly in front of the litterbox and he usually uses it about once per 24 hours (unfortunately, there is usually one of many other spots in the house where he pees in addition to on the pad).
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: This kitty is also a heavy cat. He's approximately 18 lbs. At the shelter before I adopted him, he had been even heavier by a couple/few lbs. but the shelter put him on a high-protein diet food and he lost weight from that. I've had this kitty on high-quality nutritious cat food with crude protein percentage appropriate for a senior cat (cannot be too high of a protein). When I'd had him on a food with even a little less protein and which was a prescription from the vet, the urinary behavior still continued and so the food didn't help. Since I could not financially afford the very expensive food (especially since I have 2 cats-- the other cat also being older and showing no such signs of issues), I stopped that prescription food and had to put my finances toward supplies to take care of the problems he was causing. The shelter had also treated him before for urinary crystals. I am concerned especially now because I noticed his urine is a darker yellow color. I am even more concerned because the homeowner where I and my kitty-cats reside has authorized major renovations to begin on the interior of the house. These renovations are set to begin within approximately a couple/few weeks at most from now. I am majorly concerned because I know these will overwhelmingly stress out my kitty with the urinary problems especially. I am also very concerned about exposure to chemicals and fumes. I unfortunately cannot financially afford to move somewhere else, even temporarily. So my heavier kitty-cat will need to become a daytime outdoor cat while I will try to keep my older and seemingly healthier kitty-cat inside but with some restricted access. Any suggestions or assistance you can provide as to how to deal with these situations would be greatly appreciated.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $19) to post your type of question to Cat Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: Yes. I only pay if satisfied with answers that are provided to me on this site.
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
This kitty-cat (the 9-yr-old with urinary issues) is also quite territorial. He and the other cat try to claim each litterbox or usually just one of the 2-3 litterboxes by not burying their business when they use the litterbox. I've noticed that anytime the environment changes, usually one of them will engage in middening-- where they leave a single deposit somewhere directly by or in front of the litterbox. I also notice that the 9-yr-old Maine Coon with urinary issues will use the part of the carpeted floor underneath the Christmas tree as a litterbox for urination. He especially is drawn to bathroom rugs and bedding, unfortunately. As such, he is not allowed into either bedroom of the house. I have recently (finally!) learned that there is often a scent in the rubber of rubber-backed throw rugs/shag rugs and that this scent unfortunately attracts cats. Even more unfortunately for me and for this Maine Coon cat with the urinary issues, when the renovations are made, 2 of the largest rooms in the house will have their old carpeting replaced with hardwood floors. And that means rugs will be down on the floor. I am almost convinced that this cat will pee on these rugs several times per day. I have been giving him Pet Rescue Remedy now for approximately 1-1/2 weeks and this seemed to help a little at first, but he still pees at inappropriate places every time there's any change at all in the environment-- of which there will be an awful lot of in the coming days. Feliway diffusers and calming sprays didn't do much for the situation either. Since he was already at the shelter 2 times already, I've been told that if I were to bring him back to any shelter he'd be put down. But this problem either needs major fixing immediately and absolutely completely or else (homeowner's orders--who actually prefers the "or else" option at this point, unfortunately). Help!!
Expert:  Terri replied 11 months ago.

Hello and happy New year,

I am sorry you are having so much trouble with your boy.

Cats that seek a soft surface to void often have a burning sensation caused by interstitial cystitis:

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_interstitial_cystitis.html

Many times this is caused by a dry food diet:

www.catinfo.org

Add a few drops of cranberry juice to his water eery day to lower the PH of his urine and stop the burning.

A UTI is characterized by straining, going in and out of his box with little or no production, pain and sometimes fever. This can be very serious in males and needs immediate evaluation by a vet.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/urinary_tract_infection.html

I understand renal food can be expensive.I can give you two recipes that were formulated by Hills and distributed to vets before Science diet was on the market. Royal canin makes a very palatable renal food as well.

C/D or H/D recipe - feline (also known as Feline Restricted Mineral and Sodium Diet):
1 lb regular ground beef, cooked
1/4 lb liver (beef, chicken or pork only) cooked
1 cup cooked white rice without salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 t (5g) calcium carbonate (Tums)
1/8 teaspoon potassium chloride (salt substitute)

Also add a balanced supplement which fulfills the feline minimum daily requirements (MDR) for all vitamins and trace minerals, and 250 mg of taurine per day. This would be available from a veterinary clinic.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Keep covered in refrigerator. Yield: 1+3/4lbs

Feeding Guide - feed sufficient to maintain normal body weight

Body wt Approx Daily Feeding
5lb 1/5lb
7-8lb 1/4lb
10lb 1/3lb

_____________________________________________________________________________

K/D recipe - feline

(also known as Feline Restricted Protein Diet):

1/4 lb liver (beef, chicken or pork only)

2 cups cooked white rice without salt

2 large hard-cooked eggs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 t (5g) calcium carbonate (Tums)

1/8 teaspoon potassium chloride (salt substitute)

Also add a balanced supplement which fulfills the feline minimum daily requirements (MDR) for all vitamins and trace minerals, and 250 mg of taurine per day. This would be available from a veterinary clinic.

Dice and braise the meat, retaining fat. Combine all ingredients and mix well. This mixture is somewhat dry and its palatability can be improved by adding a little water (not milk). Keep covered in refrigerator. Yield: 1+1/4lbs

Feeding Guide - feed sufficient to maintain normal body weight

Body wt Approx Daily Feeding

5lb 1/4lb

7-8lb 1/3lb

10lb 2/5lb

I am hoping the cranberry juice and homemade food will stop the burning and the out of box soiling.

Please let me know how things are going. Reply here or if you prefer we can speak on the phone.

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; that is the only way I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, at no additional charge.

Kind regards,

Terri

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Terri:I did get a chance to check out your answer here over the New Year trip I took a few days ago.I will plan on doing a positive review soon, especially since I am very impressed with the detail of your answer and your help, along with your included link on interstitial cystitis.I have studied human nutrition as part of a curriculum I completed in an area of natural health care, but I do not yet have nearly enough education about pets. I plan on going into animal care at some point, but I have quite a long way to go to even get to the starting point on that. But just my little bit of knowledge about human nutrition does help me quite a bit in understanding some of the more technical details of advice and answers as to how to help my kitty-cat/s. I wish I knew a lot more already, as I am finding just how knowledge-deficient I really am regarding some of the finer details of pet care.Again, thank you so very much for your answer. I have not yet had the chance to try out all your recommendations as I am still out of town for the New Year, visiting family. There is someone who is with my kitty-cats at home and who is taking care of them while I'm gone. I'm very thankful for this since this way I get to miss my kitty-cats but I don't have to worry about them.I have contacted my kitty-cat-sitter with information about the cranberry juice, and I plan on completing as many of your other suggestions as possible once I return back home in the next couple of days.Thanks again, and in case you need to know the name of my Maine Coon "sweetheart with issues" (because he is really a VERY affectionate kitty-cat so it makes these issues all the more challenging), his name is simply "JJ". I have a middle name and several nicknames for him (all friendly and upbeat, of course:)), but for now, "JJ" should suffice ok.Thank you again and until soon when I update you as to how things are going,--Kris
Expert:  Terri replied 11 months ago.

Hi Kris,

You are more than welcome.It is my pleasure to help such a wonderful person.

I do appreciate your kindness in planning a positive rating.

Please write when you get home and let me know how things are going.

Have a wonderful, happy, healthy new year,

Terri