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Pee problems – Behavioral or another UTI?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Recently, one of my two cats (both “fixed†males, about 3 years old; brothers), Smokey, got a rather nasty UTI complete with urethral blockage. It took five vet trips, two to the ER, two to his RDVM, and one to a surgeon (he almost had a PU surgery), to get him to kick it. He was given a bunch of different medications to help: antibiotics (both liquid and pills), a steroid (to help with inflammation and swelling), a tranquilizer (only for a couple of days, to chill him out), another liquid (vet said it was to “help aid urinationâ€), and a pill that helped his bladder contract. He also is eating a special prescription diet now (at $26 a bag!). Both cats refuse to eat any wet / canned food; they only like the dry stuff. He just finished his last bit of the liquid antibiotic yesterday and the pills have been done for about a week. He is acting like his old self again, but another problem seems to have popped up.

For about two or three days now I have noticed him peeing outside his litter box(es). He still uses the box, but is also going elsewhere. He is not showing any other signs of a UTI besides this (e.g. no excessive licking of his genitals, no frequent trips to the litter box, no signs of pain or strain to urinate and he is leaving large clumps in the little box, no lethargy, his appetite is good and he is drinking plenty of water). He is also being very affectionate and vocal and purring up a storm when I pet him. I would think it would be very strange for him to get another UTI while he was still taking antibiotics.

I had him in seclusion for a week to monitor his food and water intake as well as his output, so to speak. I let him out of seclusion a week ago today and since then my other cat (Bandit) has been in hiding. He wants nothing to do with Smokey and hisses and growls at him almost every time he sees him. I’ve had problems with them not getting along before, but Bandit usually snaps out of it in a couple of days, a week tops.

I’ve not caught Smokey going outside his box yet, so I don’t know if he’s spraying or peeing. Most, but not all, of the places I’ve found urine have been near vertical surfaces, so he could be spraying (though he has never done this before, only mimicked it). He didn’t even pee outside his litter box before I noticed he was sick, so this just seems odd.

I’m hoping it’s stress related as he’s been through a lot over the few weeks: all the vet trips, all the pilling and liquid medicine, his brother avoiding him and hissing / growling at him, my roommates getting ready to go on vacation (leaving today), a couple of litter box moves (though his main box has not been moved at all), and the change to his diet. The litter box moves were to accommodate the hiding cat; since he won’t come out I had to put one of the litter boxes and food / water in the room he is hiding in.

I’ll be watching him closely and if he shows any other signs of a UTI he’ll being going right back to the vet. If he hadn’t been through so much trauma already I probably would have already taken him, but I kind of don’t want to unless it’s totally necessary as I don’t want to add any more stress (that and I’ve already spent ~$2500 on vet trips and medicine).

Thoughts, opinions? Any incite as to why he is doing this would be greatly appreciated.

Here’s a picture of my cats sleeping together back when they were still buddies:


Sorry for using a link but the picture is rather large and I didn’t want to embed it in the post and make the forum scroll all crazy. Smokey is the grey cat and Bandit is the tan / white / cream cat.
post #2 of 12
I'll just give you my initial gut reaction: if it were me, I'd have him back to the Vet ASAP - no waiting to see - nada! And, so far as expense is concerned, IF it'sa UTI (or the same resistant infection) it will be cheaper to treat it now than later!
post #3 of 12
Been going thru a similar issue with my Muddy since early this year. Muddy's choice of pee spots was ceramic food bowls and other cold stone type surfaces. They were cool and it hurt less when he peed there. Since Muddy kept relapsing, we ran a lot of tests to find the root cause of his problem (x-rays, ultrasounds, urinalysis and ultimately a biopsy of his bladder).

If Smokey was in pain from the UTI (assume he was if he had a complete block), then anything related to normal peeing could be an issue for him for a while. Make sure that his problem hasn't reoccurred. It is very common for UTI's to do so and correcting any litter box problems in and of itself may not be enough. You might have to keep him on meds for a while longer or find the right cocktail mix of meds to keep this under control until he completely heals.

If your vet hasn't done a urinalysis to test for bacteria in his urine, you might want to do so. A lot of vets just naturally prescribe antibiotics for anything that looks like a UTI when there isn't a bacterial problem. Smokey can build up a tolerance to it and in the long run, that isn't good for him. If the test is negative, there is something else going on. And just an fyi - antibiotics can act as an anti-inflamatory to the bladder so that if the real problem is cystitus, it only provides a temporary mask to the problem and you think you are curing the condition.

Switch to Cat Attract litter for a while. If you can't find the litter, find the additive that you sprinkle into the litter. Petsmart carries it and some vets sell the additive. Reward him when you see him using the litter box.

My Muddy has a chronic condition called idiopathic cystitus and it was only diagnosed thru the biopsy. He'll have it for life. The minute he starts to pee outside the litter box, I know that it has flared up again and I have to switch over to more aggressive treatment for him. He doesn't always show the outward signs like you described - licking his behind and straining to pee. But putting him back on his meds provides relief almost immediately.

My lesson learned: find the root cause of the problem and you can treat it with the right balance of medications.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies.

I fear you two are correct in that he needs to go back to the vet. I found another spot this morning about the size of a half dollar, and this one had a tinge of blood in it. Since it’s the weekend I’m going to have to take him to the ER vet, and the place he went to get his surgery (that he didn’t have) has one. I liked the doctor there so I think he’ll be going there today. I’ll be giving them a call shortly after posting this.

A complete urinalysis and blood workup was done on Smokey at the beginning of this (as well as an x-ray of his kidneys), and I know he has had his blood checked at least two more times since, but I’m not sure if he had another urinalysis. At least he can pee so he is not blocked again, but it seems like he’s having a hard time kicking this infection, if that really is the underlying cause.

The vet did say that he had a lot of trauma to his urethra after all the work they had to do on him. He had three catheters in total, one for over 24 hours, so I did expect him to take a while to recover (as did the vet). That’s the reason he was prescribed the steroid, to help with the inflammation of his penis and urethra.

He is still using his litter box and making decent sized clumps, but nothing compared to what my other cat makes. It’s hard to tell when the pee I’ve found outside the litter box was actually peed as he made his way around the house doing it and I may have missed some at first. It does look like spraying as almost all of the spots I’ve found were on a wall or other vertical surface and showed signs of dripping down, but I think there was too much urine in some of the spots to actually be spray. I don’t know how much urine a cat leaves when they spray, but I don’t think it would be this much (decent sized puddle). Still, the blood in the small spot I found today is the only red flag I needed to see.

I hate to take him back to the vet as his brother is still having a hard time getting used to him again and is just starting to show signs of progress. Still, I’d rather deal with that than a dead cat. Both cats were feral when I got them so they act very weird in situations like this and have always been skittish. I’ve known a lot of cats in my life but never have I seen a pair that acted like these two.
post #5 of 12
I had to take Coco to er a few weeks ago for her bladder problems because she was in the pan squating and crying.
She has a E coli infection in her bladder again and her meds will be gone tues.
I expect her to be sick by Friday again because everytime she goes off antibiotics she is sick within 3 days.
She does ok if she is on them for 2 months.
I hope the problem with your cat will go away.
Coco has kidney problems now also.
Two of Cocos bladder infections were caused by steroids.
The one she has now wasnt.
Do they know what kind of infection he has?
I would go to the Er as soon as you can.
post #6 of 12
Talk to the vet about subq fluids also. We're in the process of switching Muddy's meds to something that can be used long term, and we're giving him subq's a few times a week to help him over this change. They give him from being dehydrated, but also seem to be allowing him to pee a lot easier than he had recently. It's basically flushing out his system. They are a little scary to give, but this is the second cat that I've had to do this to and as long as you remain calm, its not that hard to do.

(Muddy was also born feral)
post #7 of 12
I have to learn to them soon also and I am scared.
post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by Chewie View Post
...I hate to take him back to the vet as his brother is still having a hard time getting used to him again and is just starting to show signs of progress...
Chewie- If the reaction is due to Smokey smelling of "Eau de Vet", perhaps the ol' vanilla extract trick would work...rub a few drops of vanilla extract into the nape of each of their necks just before reuniting them. That's worked wonders here!
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by BLAISE View Post
Chewie- If the reaction is due to Smokey smelling of "Eau de Vet", perhaps the ol' vanilla extract trick would work...rub a few drops of vanilla extract into the nape of each of their necks just before reuniting them. That's worked wonders here!
I wish that would work for my kitties, but it doesn't. I've tried it a couple of times before and it had no effect. Bandit's fear of Smokey is totally irrational, as is his fear of most things that scare him. For example, my sister-in-law bought him a new toy well over a year ago. He loved this thing, and she was playing with him with it for about an hour. Then, she tossed it towards him and he moved in such a way that the toy donked him on the head (not hard at all, and it was totally an accident). To this day he is scared to death of that toy. I still have it in a drawer, and I tried it about 8 months and then 10 months later. As soon as he sees / hears it he goes and hides under a bed for an hour or two. What can I say? My kitties are strange. He's not even afraid of my sister-in-law (well, no more than he is other strange people), just that toy.

Anyway, time for an update. I took Smokey to the vet yesterday and they examined him and did an ultrasound on his bladder, but were not able to get a urine sample (his bladder was empty). The vet suggested putting him back on the Clavamox (antibiotic) for another seven days and the Phenoxybenzamine (aids urination) for another five. Two days after the Clavamox is done he is to go to his RDVM for a urinalysis (hope there's something for them to sample this time). He has / had a staff infection, and the vet said that it may just take some more time and medication for him to kick it. Here's hoping...

Any tips on giving cats liquid medicine solo? My roommates are now gone and they were helping me medicate him before, but now I'm on my own. He just hates getting his medicine, so any tips to make it easier, on both of us, would be greatly appreciated.
post #10 of 12
I put Coco on the sofa and put the liquid in the side of the mouth. I also but her between my legs with a blanket on her and it works.
She can not have clavamox anymorethough because it makes her get very sick.
She is on liquid blood presure meds and so far it has worked doing it like that.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello again!

I've been giving Smokey his medicine since Sunday and he seems to be improving. I got lucky when he went in part of his litter box where there was no litter (a little shelf in the box) and left a nice puddle for me to examine, and it had no blood in it. Also, his stream seems to be constant and steady now and no longer short squirts, and I haven't found any more pee outside the litter box since the puddle on Sunday that initiated his trip to the vet. Bandit is slowly coming out of hiding and even coming downstairs for short bits of time, but he still spends most of his time up in his room. At least he's not hissing and growling at Smokey any more, but he still does not want to be by him.

Anyway, Smokey is getting better not only in health, but also at spitting his Clavamox out after I give it to him. The other liquid, mixed up by a compounding pharmacist in to a tuna flavored liquid, goes down without any problems. When I give him the Clavamox he likes to hold it in his mouth and drool it back out, occasionally spitting out some small drops. I've been holding his mouth shut until I feel him swallow, but I can't be certain how much of it he is actually getting and how much is coming back out, and he even likes to squeeze some of it out the sides of his closed mouth. I'm working on my technique, but I'm still not very good at giving him the stuff. I can hold him just fine, but he likes to thrash his head around as soon as I get the syringe in there which makes it very hard to aim. I really hope he's getting enough of the Clavamox each time I give it to him as it's the most important part of his treatment. Any suggestions? I know it's really impossible to tell without actually seeing, but do you think he's actually swallowing any of the Clavamox or is he just spitting and drooling it all back out. He only gets a small amount: 1.3ml twice a day. I don't know if there is any room for error in that 1.3ml either.
post #12 of 12
When Coco had clavamox the same thig would happen but it made her very sick so we stopped
Try putting it far back in his month and sit in a blanket and wrap your legs around him.
It worked for me when she was on it.
Your right aboit the compounded med.
Coco has compounded Tuna bp meds and its so much easier to give.
Is the think smaller that you ive the compounded medicine in?
Coco's is smaller then the clavamox was and I think that is part of the reason its easier.
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