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petdrz., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7311
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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I rescued a cat when my friend died of cancer. No one else

Customer Question

Customer: I rescued a cat when my friend died of cancer. No one else would take him, so I did. First day in my apartment, he was chewing on an electrical cord, I reacted instead of acted and rushed at him, he panicked Bit me and scratched me up terribly. The next night I had to go to the emergency room because of the redness and swelling--ultimately the next day I had to have surgery on my hand because of cellulitis and blood poisoning. Anyway, I did not want to give Zorro up. I was in the hospital for 8 days. When I got back home, I noticed he was not going potty in his box. (I've another cat I've had for 14 years so this too was a stresser. His person-mama had died, he was placed in a strange situation, another cat is living here (both of them have been the only cat before Sally's death) Now here he is, in mourning. Doesn't know me, another cat to deal with. And then I noticed there was blood in his urine because he was peeing up the walls, he turned my hallway into a Pee sation (although he continued to pee in the box and also poop, he would still pee outside the box. I'm 74 years old, facing $$$ in surgical bills from my hand surgery and a cat with a bladder infection and I'm afraid of loosing him. He is still eating and drinking. I've been putting Organic Cider Vinegar in his food and he eats it. I dip his paws in vinegar water and he licks it off, but I know he isn't getting any better. He is the most gentle, loving, cuddly cat, (2 years old) and I don't want to lose him, but I can't afford to take him to a vet to get proper care because I am on disabled. But can get around--Very very limited monies. WHAT CAN I DO?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I've had the cat for three weeks. I love him and I don't want to lose him or put him down. He's too gentle and loving. HELP ME PLEASE?
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Customer: Yes.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  petdrz. replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response. I recently just logged onto the site and noted that your question hasn't yet been answered. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years’ experience and would be happy to work with you if you are still needing assistance.

Bless you for taking this guy in and I am sure it is stressful for all. It is very possible all of his urinary tract signs are due to the stress of the move and the new environment, and I am going to discuss with you what you can do to possibly help that situation, but if it is not improving, unfortunately you will need to seek veterinary intervention to rule out other causes. . Cats can be affected by a condition called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) which is the name given to a set of symptoms from various causes that can affect a cat's urinary system. The causes are varied and the age of the cat partly influences the likelihood of the cause. (ie older cats are more prone to bacterial infections than younger cats). Other common causes include bladder stones, crystals, tumors, and sometimes just inflammation from an unknown cause (more common in younger cats). Unfortunately, the all can show the same symptoms, no matter the cause and all are treated a little differently. This inflammation from that occurs due to unknown cause is referred to as feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) and it is very likely that is what Zorro is experiencing as it is a condition that is definitely shown to be precipitated by stress. Here is an link to more information about FIC in cats. LINK HERE The good news is that many of these cats will improve on their own regardless of what treatment we provide. Usually we try to give them something for their discomfort until it resolves and make sure they don't obstruct. It is not uncommon for their symptoms to return again later and can come and go periodically throughout their life. In the short term, the very first thing that you can do is to increase his water intake. You can do this by adding warm water or broth to his food. If he is not eating a canned food, I would try to transition him over to that. I would stop with the apple cider vinegar as that will only serve to acidify his urine which can make him more likely to form crystals. Next you need to work on decreasing the stress all around.

I am not sure if you have been confining him or not at this time, but when bringing in a new cat, it is best to give him his "own room" for a short while. From a behavior standpoint, it can be a little less threatening to the other cat(s) in the house if his living space is somewhat restricted to start versus being allowed to have full run of the house right from the start. Cats do not really have a hierarchy in the household, like dogs do, but they are somewhat territorial and may be upset if all of a sudden someone takes over their favorite spot or favorite litterbox.

Even when confining him, the others will know he is there and they will be able to get used to his sounds and smells through the door, before he is allowed to mingle full force. Even when you start letting them mingle, I would do it slowly and only when you are there to observe at first. If they are left all out on their own, there may be altercations that occur that you are not even aware of. Depending on what the set up of your house is like and where the other cats like to hang out, maybe you could alternately confine them in specific areas of the house and let him roam around some also. Eventually, the goal is to allow everyone to be out at all times, but it is often best to build up to that gradually.

Most cats do not like to live with one another right off the bat so we have to strive to provide an environment where all cats are able to find a place where they feel "safe". That begins by creating an environment of "plenty." There should be plenty of litter boxes, food bowls, climbing towers, toys and resting areas in multiple locations. All the litter boxes and food bowls cannot be clumped all in one place because that forces the cats together, something they don't want to do.

One other thing I would suggest is a product called Feliway®. Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that mimics the natural chemicals that a cat secretes. It creates a comforting, reassuring feeling that has a calming effect. It is calming to cats in stressful situations such as transport, hospitalization, veterinarian visits, boarding, new environments, pets or people. Feliway® is a product that can be sprayed or used as a room diffuser. It can be purchased through veterinarians and pet stores. In your case, a few room diffusers may help low the tension. LINK HERE

I am also including a link to a website about environmental enrichment for the cats. The Ohio State University has composed this to help cat owners structure the environment to provide adequate physical and mental stimulation. There are numerous medical conditions in cats that are precipitated by stress and multicat households are often those with more stress, even if not perceived by the humans in the house. Hopefully there are some ideas there that you can incorporate to help keep the stress levels under control

OSU Indoor Pet Initiative

After trying these, if he is still exhibiting the bloody urine or the spraying, he at least needs to have a urinalysis to try to identify any underlying medical problems.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

My posted replies are for general education only and not meant as a diagnosis. Only after a thorough veterinary examination can a diagnosis for your pet be made and specific treatments be advised or medications be prescribed.

Dr Z

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for replying to my questions and concerns, even tho Zorro is a cat. Your right about the stress levels in this apartment right now they are running super-high, although you say there is no hierarchy among cats, I watched it. Tigger came into the living room, Zorro was in the middle of he room...they both stood and looked at each other---then Zorro laid down, rolled over on his back with front paws resting on his chest and he just looked back at Tigger who was all pushed up tall, all fluffed out, Tail expansive...and he then proceeded to walk all around Zorro's body until he was at the head again and then he sat down and just looked at him. Then he got up and walked away, back to his cat cave (my bedroom) where his bed, litter box, food and water are all kept. HE WILL NOT ALLOW ZORRO IN THE BEDROOM. They do pass each other in the house. Tigger's hissing has dropped by 80% in the three weeks I've had Zorro in the Apt. but he is still very protective of the bedroom. Zorro wants to play withTigger but Tigger has no time for him. Zorro's box is in the Bathroom and his food is in the kitchen. I am trying to find a Vet that will take Zorro on a free or sliding wage scale.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The above came from Mary Lou *****, *****@*****.com
Expert:  petdrz. replied 1 year ago.

You are most welcome. Good luck.

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