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cat in the box all the time

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I was hoping I could get some advice on what to do for my poor kitty Monty who is always in the litter box these days squatting. This has been going on for a few weeks and I took him (and a urine sample) to the vet to be checked out. They said that he has struvite crystals.

They gave me some pain medication for him which I ran out of at the beginning of last week. He's also on amoxicillin which he will run out of tonight. He is also on Royal Canin prescription Control formula cat food.

After his first dose of pain meds ran out he was in the box all the time again and so I brought him back to the vet. They had him radiographed and found out that he has no stones in his bladder. We are also certain that he doesn't have a blockage, but rather just a LOT of crystals.

They put him on the pain meds again and so he was doing fine again. But, now he is back using his box all the time (he's in it more than not!). I don't know what to do. They just want to keep giving him pain meds and hope that it goes away but I am running out of money because I am preparing him (and Bootsie) to move to the UK (not cheap) in September. I would really like for him to be better by this time.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 25
Hi, I have no advice for you, only sympathy. My cat has the same problem, he also seems to spend half his life in the litter box. He was diagnosed with struvite crystals a couple of months ago and is on Royal canin s/o. His problem doesn't seem to be getting any better. He is not on any meds at the moment. I did phone my vet recently as he has started peeing outside his box again, but my vet said it was probably a behaviour issue and not because of his illness, I don't think so though. Hope your cats problem does improve before you move here. for Monty.
post #3 of 25
Coco did that with her Bladder Infections and Stones. Sometimes it takes 6 Boxes of Meds to get rid of the problem. Cocos last problem was last Nov -Jan. She was on Cephalexin because Clavamox makes her throw up. She had Struvite Bladder Stones in Aug 2006 and the S/D got rid of them. She also had a Bladder Infection with the Stones. Her Son Midnight gets Crystals too. He was staying at my Brothers in the Bay Area because my Sister lived in the Dorms and could not have him. He had Crystals two times. The 2nd time she got a call and we went to the Bay Area and took him to the Er Vet there. he stayed at my place for two weeks then we took him to my Vet. My Sister moved to her Apartment 2 weeks after he was sick. He was put on C/D and he has not been sick in two years.
post #4 of 25
Have you guys been getting the urine cultured to make sure there really are bacteria in the bladder? Only 2% of bladder "infections" in cats actually have bacteria as an underlying cause, so you may not be going the right direction with the antibiotics.

Do a google search on FLUTD, or feline lower urinary tract disease. The pain meds are helpful short term, and antispasmodics can also help.

With my own kitty, I've found that water is the magical cure, along with decreasing stress. Encourage your cat to drink by feeding canned food, using a water fountain, or even offering broth or canned food mixed with water on a daily basis.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cobbybear View Post
I did phone my vet recently as he has started peeing outside his box again, but my vet said it was probably a behaviour issue and not because of his illness, I don't think so though.
My cat ONLY pees outside the box when she is having issues with her FLUTD and her bladder is all inflamed. I'll start finding small puddles of red urine all over the house and it usually means I've been getting lazy about giving canned food and keeping the water fountain spotless.
post #6 of 25
Coco had the Infections. We did both Urine Tests. One where they grow it and Culture it. She has not had another Infection since Jan and I hope it stays that way. We were scared she would get another when she got the Depo Shot. I hope your Vets did the Cultures. It tells you what Antibiotics will help.
post #7 of 25
What do you feed him on? My vet recommends wet food only, more water and no stress. We also used something called Cystaid on my foster with stress related cystitis, it is glucosamine based which helps the bladder lining, and he had MEtacam for when things were really bad.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
I want to thank everyone for their wonderful advice and sympathy. Today Monty is actually doing much better. This

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskiwi67 View Post
With my own kitty, I've found that water is the magical cure, along with decreasing stress. Encourage your cat to drink by feeding canned food, using a water fountain, or even offering broth or canned food mixed with water on a daily basis.
is what worked for him. WATER!!! He doesn't seem to like it when I add a huge amount of water to his food but the little bit may help. Yesterday in desperation (he was so pitiful and I just couldn't afford another vet visit) I used one of the 5ml syringes (no needle) the vet gave me and filled the thing with water. He was surprisingly willing to let me to administer it to him (slowly) and drank it readily. In the end I got 50mL of water into him! Then he was actually fine for the rest of the day. In the evening he went back to the box routine so I did it again. And, for now he seems well.

I put a little more water in his wet food, which he tolerated well and ate all of it! I'm going to try out the broth idea as well. For a bit I was giving him Lactaid which he loves, but I decided to stop doing it because it is very alkaline which actually promotes struvite formation!

I was giving him dry food half the time and for now I have quit. I hope this will help him get better.

I think my tap water does not appeal to him because it smells a little like chlorine. He has always been more interested in the fish water which sits around to be aged for several days/weeks. This is necessary because the chlorine/chloramines in the water will kill the fish. I don't think the chlorine is harmful to the cats, but since I got a water filter I'm hoping that he will want to drink more!

I suspect that he doesn't have any bacteria in his urine but I don't really know for sure. I just know that the amoxicillin doesn't appear to be doing anything. I don't think the vet did anything to the urine other than determine that it has crystals in it. At least they didn't mention it.

I know that the Hills S/D works better at breaking crystals up, but my vet suggested that there is some new evidence suggesting that it might not be good to have cats on such strong stuff and I should just give him a control food. I don't know which is better of these but the Royal Canin Control Formula worked on my other cat.

It is weird that both of my cats have had this condition when they are not related. Also, while very young. Monty is almost 3, and Bootsie got it when she was 1.5. It exacerbates my suspicions that there must be something really unappealing about my tap water and it probably is the high amount of chlorine.

Maybe I'll try the fountain idea again. The last time I tried this he broke it open and shredded the filter and they didn't seem very interested in the water. But I think it will help that the water is now filtered.

Anyways, I'm very happy to have a temporary cheap fix I know that the water is only diluting the crystals so they pass through him painlessly and thus only replacing pain meds, but hopefully this will work while the control food does its thing. Well, it is now afternoon and Monty has only been in the box twice today!
post #9 of 25
I'd also suggest a cheap solution that might help: put water bowls all over your house. Observe which ones your cat uses most. In my case, I found that my cat would drink a ton of water if it was put in a certain place in the bedroom... he just didn't want to drink water in the kitchen, near his food. Once you've figured out the best spots, you can leave the water there and take up the extra bowls. (Though I still think it's a good idea to make sure water is available in each room of the house.)
post #10 of 25
I recently got a Drinkwell platinum fountain and my cats are drinking more - and, I wonder, fountain or bowls, whether switching to distilled water might not be a bad idea. I did in the fountain (also helps keep it cleaner). It's not that expensive - I get a house brand for about $1 a gallon.
post #11 of 25
Ruth was just diagnosed with struvite crystals as well. The vet took her off all foods containing fish. He prescribed Dasuquin (glucosamine/condroitin with avocado powder) capsules. I sprinkle the contents over her wet food. Ironically, it is tuna flavored! He also recommend omega 3 oil (fish oil tablets) and flax seed oil supplements. I'm taking it slow mainly to see what she tolerates. Hope your Monty keeps doing better.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the new tips! This evening Monty continues to improve. I gave him only wet food and watered it down as much as I thought he would tolerate. He ate all of it again! And there was no need to give him any water by syringe!

He has been using the box like a normal kitty again and I feel so relieved for his sake

I dug out the drinkwell fountain from the closet to give that a second go. It is set up in a different room to see if Monty and Bootsie might also like some variety. There is also now an extra water bowl up high in one of Monty's favourite spots where Bootsie rarely goes.

I remember seeing some pet cod liver oil at the pet store. When I am there next I'll check it out. I can see where it might help in lubricating the passage of the crystals.

I am wondering how the other dear struvite-inflicted kitties in this thread are doing now. Are they also recovering using any of these strategies or others? Monty wishes all of them well
post #13 of 25
I'm glad Monty is doing so well now. Can't say the same for my Archie though, he's still spending plenty of time in the litter box. Worst of all he is also peeing everywhere else. I really don't know what else to do. I have a drinkwell fountain which I clean everyday and he does use it. He is on Royal Canin s/o, only trouble is he's really not keen on wet food. He will just lick it alittle then walk away or meow at me, wondering where his dry food is, as I am trying to cut down on the dry. Even though it is prescription diet I guess wet is always better, he just won't eat it. It is really driving me mad, I just can't have him peeing all over my house. If I catch him peeing somewhere I take him straight to his litter box and he continues to pee in there, why can't he just do it in there in the first place? It really is starting to get me down now as he just doesn't seem to be improving.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Can you get him to take water from a dropper (or syringe without the needle)? I had to sit on Monty to get this to work and he wasn't exactly cooperative. It seemed that 50mL got him through half a day when he was at his worst.

This morning he was living in the box again so I had to give him more water from the syringe (10 mL). Now he is well-ish again (I can tell because he hasn't been in the box for a whole hour).

I'm hoping that this force-drinking stage is only temporary and that the other things I am doing to get him to drink more will take over.

Also, I wonder which is better.. Royal Canin's control formula or the s/o? I had the option of either one and wasn't sure which to take. I chose the Control Formula only because it seemed to work for Bootsie.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cobbybear View Post
He is on Royal Canin s/o, only trouble is he's really not keen on wet food. He will just lick it alittle then walk away or meow at me, wondering where his dry food is, as I am trying to cut down on the dry. Even though it is prescription diet I guess wet is always better, he just won't eat it.
well, if he won't eat it, it won't help him. they also make a dry s/o [at least, hill's does]. even tho wet would be better, dry s/o will probably help him more since at least he'd eat that.
My Chip liked both the wet & the dry hill's when he had to eat it. here are some links: Hill's S/D dry
Hill's X/D dry
RC SO 33 dry
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Today things took an interesting twist. Monty appears to be doing alright on his watered down catfood. But...

Now Bootsie is in the box all the time!!!

I didn't know struvite crystals were contagious! What is going on?

I find it interesting that Monty got this condition only a week after I took them to the vet to have eurochips installed and blood drawn done for their travel certificates. They also got rabies vaccines. None of these things could have caused them to get crystals, right?

But, Monty in particular was wandering all over the room sniffing everything. I think he contracted something because the facilities were not clean. What should I do? I'm worried that I might need to take Bootsie to see a vet soon.
post #17 of 25
Hi,
I can sympathize with you...as my Tara had to have struvite crystals removed last year...and afterwards, the vet prescribed the urinary so for her to eat.(which she hates, except for the gravy part) but she would eat the dry formula. but I really want to keep her on a wet food so I am trying out the Wellness pouches. I have tried so many brands (being careful about the ingredients, she hasn't taken to any so far) But another thing the vet suggested is to give her distilled water. I had a filter on the tap water, but it is still too risky. so, I just buy a couple of gallons at the grocery store, each time I go it's not expensive and it is better for her. I too have used a syringe to put water into her system...she just doesn't drink enough on her own. I feel that a low magnesium food helps too as the vet says that is what caused her struvites in the first place. I was ignorant and fed her an all dry diet until this happened.
I hope yours gets along fine, and also if you look at petsmart they have a great pet water container that is easy to fill and it stays steady on the floor...it has drawn her to it a little more.
I will keep your dilemma in my prayers...I know how you feel!
post #18 of 25
You can not catch Struvite Crystals. S/D is to disolve Stones. The C/D is so they do not get Crystals. Coco eats the dry but refuses the Can C/D for some reason. My Vet did say feed the dry if they refuse the Wet because its still made for the problem.
post #19 of 25
Well, I've been giving Archie cystaid once a day for the last 3 days and today he hasn't yet peed outside of his litterbox. I've also been giving him water from a syringe as suggested and a uti paste for cats which contains cranberry, so far today he is doing really well.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Wow! That's great! Is crystaid prescription? Where do you get a UTI paste?

Monty and Bootsie both look well today. Bootsie is crawling all over me right now and giving me the rub. Monty is asleep on top of the fridge.

I believe I was wrong about it being contagious but it sure is weird that both my cats have it at the same time. It seems that they are stabilizing though.

I hope Archie continues doing well It's so scary when a male cat gets this condition.
post #21 of 25
Cystaid is not prescription, I got that and the UTI paste over the web from a site called petmeds. Glad Monty and Bootsie are doing well today.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cobbybear View Post
Cystaid is not prescription, I got that and the UTI paste over the web from a site called petmeds. Glad Monty and Bootsie are doing well today.
can't find anything by that name sold in the USA, tho.
post #23 of 25
Cystaid is a glucosamine based supplement available in the UK, which is supposed to help the lining of the bladder - worked wonders with my foster cat.
post #24 of 25
I'm giving Ruth DASUQUIN for Cats. It's 125mg Glucosamine, plus 100mg Chondroitin and 25mg Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables. I got Ruth's from the vet, but I did see it at Petsmart the other day. It's a capsule that you open and sprinkle the powder on the kitty's food.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm glad to have options both in the US and the UK

Monty and Bootsie have shown no sign of illness for several days now.

Hey, does anyone know if struvite crystals ever go away permanently? I heard somewhere that they might go away temporarily but they reoccur periodically throughout the cat's life when they are stressed out.

Do the cats need to be on the crystal prevention food forever?
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