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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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I 't know if something is wrong, but it looks a bit like my

Customer Question

Customer: Hi, I don't know for sure if something is wrong, but it looks a bit like my cat may have slightly bulging sides. He's around 10 and 13.5 lbs. His upper half looks normal width (below his shoulders) and his middle narrows in a little, then his sides seem to stick out a little, so his profile looks funny when walking, like he waddles from side to side a bit. He is eating normal and seems to be going to the bathroom normally. I wasn't thinking much of it, but my partner has commented about his sides looking like that a couple times over the past month and this evening my cat was extensively licking his penis..which initially I thought was poo stuck in his behind (oops!), which has happened before, but I have never noticed him doing that before. Since cats typically overly lick things if something is bothering them..I've started to wonder if maybe there is an issue going on? He hasn't been to the vet in a couple years or so.
JA: Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that. Did May have a fall?
Customer: He's also an inside cat.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about May?
Customer: I'm not aware of any significant fall that he's had..he really only climbs a cat tree that's a few feet tall and randomly a high stair railing, but I haven't seen him fall recently.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two. I'll let you know when it is your turn.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm sorry to hear that you're worried about May - I'll do my best to help.

From reading your description it sounds like May has some abdominal distention. It's not normal for their bellies to look wider behind their rib cage. Sometimes things like this can creep up over time and be difficult to have noticed because they didn't happen gradually. Sometimes I do see cats whose owners feel that their bellies are distended but the kityt is generally just chunky - but in an older cat, I wouldn't expect to see them suddenly gain weight like that and get a chunky belly. Since it's been a couple of years since his last exam and he's a senior pet, I would definitely recommend that you call the vet for an exam to check him out.

You are right that cats can lick at places that bother them. When a cat is licking around their bottoms, it's important to keep a close eye on their urinating and bowel movements. Some cats licking at their penis is a sign of urinary tract disease like an infection or inflammation. If he's doing any straining to urinate, this could be an emergency - so watch for that. You are also right to consider that maybe he's got something stuck in his fur back there, so if you can get a good look, definitely do so.

Please let me know what questions I can answer for you.

~Dr. Sara

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He doesn't have anything stuck in his fur. Yes, he's an older cat and his abdomen does look wider behind his rib cage than in front of it, which looks a bit odd. He used to be overweight but gradually lost 3 pounds over a year and a half, a few years ago. He's about 13 and a half pounds now, so definitely not overweight. It seems like the possible distention has been gradual, over the past month or so. He seems to be going to the bathroom okay, but I noticed that he was licking himself like that shortly after going pee, so that stood out to me as abnormal behavior for him. When he does pee though, just in general, he pees *a lot* each time and he also drinks *a lot* of water every day. For example, if I fill a small tupperware container with fresh water in the morning, if I don't actively monitor how much he drinks, he would likely drink the entire bowl by the next day (and throw it right back up because he can't keep that much water down in one sitting). Is it normal for a cat to regularly drink so much water and thus pee a large amount? He eats mostly dry food, spread out over a few times a day, with occasional wet food a couple times a week. He's been drinking water like that for quite a while, it's not a sudden change.
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the extra information - that's very helpful.

It's definitely not normal for a kitty to drink and urinate in very large amounts. In fact, this is a common symptom of diabetes and kidney failure. Both of these diseases can also come on gradually as well causing an insidious weight loss or sometimes more dramatic sudden weight loss. We call excessive urinations and thirst polyuria and polydypsia or "PU/PD" and it's a symptom that veterinarians almost always are going to recommend some blood work to investigate.

Let me know what other questions I can handle :)

~Dr. Sara

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My goal is to provide you with the most complete and accurate “five star” answer. If my answer isn’t what you were expecting, it’s incomplete, or you have more questions PLEASE REPLY to let me know what information you are looking for BEFORE giving me a negative rating! If my answer has been helpful to you, please show me by giving me a favorable rating. Thank you so much :)

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Doc Sara