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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 7472
Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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My male cat (Pogo, 7 yrs old) was examined by his vet last

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My male cat (Pogo, 7 yrs old) was examined by his vet last Tuesday for possible bladder problems after I had observed (2 or 3 days earlier) that his urine was dark orange in color. The vet took a urine sample and tested it and told me Pogo needed to be on a low acidic diet of wet food only. I agreed to that and bought the necessary food.
Pogo liked the food ok but I noticed that after a day he was eating less & less and drinking less water. The label on the food said he should be hungrier and possibly thirstier. So I kept watching him. He gradually seemed to be feeling less and less energy. He is an indoor-outdoor cat and usually likes to be outside in the cool times of the day. But yesterday, he came back inside about 10:00 a.m. and he has not been back out since then. Then I have noticed also that he has not used his inside loiter box since then either. And he's not feeling well at all. Since early this morning he has eaten very little and is holed up on a window sill behind a dresser.
That vet is unavailable today and the nearest vet emergency room is about 50 miles away. I can take Pogo there if it seems necessary but I am wondering if there is anything I can give him at home. Or is it safe for me to keep him at home until I can get him to his regular vet on Monday?
Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your 7 year old boy Pogo who is currently being treated for some bladder issues. His current behavior of seeming a little lethargic and being a little off his new food is definitely a worry. The concern with male cats with this particular issue, is that if he has any crystals or stones in his bladder (which is likely if he needs to be on a urinary acidifying diet), then these can get lodged in his urethra and stop him from being able to pee (i.e. a blocked bladder). If this occurs, this is an emergency as a Vet needs to quickly unblock him to stop there being any effect on the kidneys due to a 'back up' of urine.

If you haven't seen him toilet all day, then I would be particularly worried about this. If you aren't sure if he has gone inside, then restrict him to the indoors only and assess him over the next 3 - 4 hours. He should theoretically be urinating more than usual if the diet makes him drink more than usual. If you haven't seen him go all day and he doesn't go in the next few hours - you are best off gettting him checked by your the ER Vet - even if they are 50 miles away. It is better to be safe than sorry in these situations, particularly as there is a relatively high chance Pogo could block in this particular situation if he does indeed have crystals in his bladder.

Try and encourage him to eat his food and to continue to drink well. If he seems particularly lethargic, then this is a potential worry again that he could have a blocked bladder.

Please keep a close eye on your boy and get him seen if he doesn't urinate at all. If he urinates and a lot of urine is passed, then this isn't such an emergency and you could wait to see your regular Vet tomorrow.

Best of luck with Pogo and keep in touch with his progress.

Kind Regards,

Dr Edwards
Pet Doc and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. XXXXX know he hasn't used his litter box in over 24 hours, I'm going to go ahead and take him to the ER. I appreciate your time.

No problem Customer and an excellent decision. If he is blocked - they will unblock him asap and keep him in the clinic for a day or two with a urinary catheter in until he is given the all clear to come back home and restart on the diet.

Best of luck,

Dr E
Hi Customer,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Pogo. How is everything going?

Pet Doc
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He's doing just fine. I took him to the ER on Sunday afternoon. The vet examined him, felt there was no blockage and hydrated him with a shot. Within an hour he was feeling much better and seems to be fine since then. I did return him to his own vet on Tues who discovered Pogo had an ear infection but did not indicate the 2 situations were related. He gave Pogo an antibiotic and washed his ear with ointment. At any rate, the vet recommended keeping Pogo on the restricted diet for right now with no dry food being required. He did not run a new analysis on Pogo's urine because Pogo did not have enough urine in his bladder to do the test.


What is your opinion on the dry food issue? Pogo loves dry food and I had been feeding it (plus wet food) to him for a couple reasons - 1) to help keep his teeth clean, and 2) for the fiber. Pogo loves the wet food suggested by the vet (the Hills c/d for bladder health) so he's eating it very well.

Thanks again for your input.

Hi again Customer,

Thanks for the update and I'm glad to hear all is well and what a relief that he wasn't blocked. Dry food is absolutely fine for cats - the issue is that cats may not actually drink enough water if they are only fed dry food. As you say, larger kibble seems to be great for dental health so that is a pretty good reason to feed dry food as well. Most of the premium foods have fiber in their wet foods, so dont' worry too much about that. Feeding a wet diet helps a cat get the daily water he or she needs. I personally feed wet and dry - this means my cats have the benefits of the dental aspects of dry food plus they are ingesting more water as a result of the wet food. I also encourage them with a water fountain and have 3 other water bowls around the house to make sure they are drinking plenty of water.

For Pogo - I think he should stay on wet food for at least the next month or two, and you could then work in the dry to feed a mix longterm. Or you could feed wet food and attempt to wipe Pogo's teeth every day with a cat microfiber toothbrush.

I hope this helps and best of luck with your boy.

Kind Regards,

Dr Edwards
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you! Have a great day.

No problem Customer - you too.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Pogo is still having on again/off again problems with his eating and drinking. Yesterday afternoon he was feeling really good, eating good, and drinking good. So I let him outside for a couple hours. While he was out, I saw him eating sand off the driveway. Now today he's back to his not eating real well, don't know if he's had anything to drink or urinated or had a stool in the last 12 hrs or so. What would cause him to want to eat sand? I saw him doing it 2 or 3 times before he came back inside for the night.

Hi Customer,

Thanks for the update. The eating the sand issue is a strange one, and this could be due to a behavioural issue or due to GI upset or nausea. If this behaviour continues your vet will need to X-ray his abdomen or carry out abdo ultrasound. Hopefully his appetite picks up soon.

Keep in touch!

Dr Edwards
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you!


No problem Customer,

Dr E