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Cat with history of urinary problems need help drinking water

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
We have an amazing 3 year old cat that we rescues 11 months ago. Three months ago she was in the hospital because she was going to the bathroom every 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes. After lots of tests and two days at the emergency hospital we were told she was going to be ok. It took them so long for them to figure out that she had crystals in her urine and rule other things out.
Well, two days ago she started exhibiting similar problems and we took her to the vet yesterday. Her urine is full of blood and she is in pain, but from what we know so far, it does not seem to be exactly the same problem as three months ago. We are still waiting on the results for the urine culture. We are concerned that this is going to be a regular thing for her and want to do everything in our power to prevent it. We have already tried a water fountain and have a new filter system for the water in our apartment.

The vet said her urine was too concentrated, but I believe that is because she was not feeling well and therefore was not drinking as much. At the time she first got sick we had bad water in our apartment that the cats would not drink, so I got them to have water by putting bottled water in their dry food and giving them more wet food in the evening. Three weeks ago, we got a filter system for the apartment and the cats now drink what appears to us as a lot of water. But, the vet seems to think she is still not drinking enough.

We tried a cat water fountain (w/o a filter) with them after she first got sick and they both refused to drink from it. I think the sound of the motor scared them. I think that I need to purchase one, but I am having trouble finding a water fountain that is not made out of plastic from china and does not leach chemicals.

Does anyone have any idea of how to get our darling cat to drink and if there is a water fountain product out there that is environmentally safe for them to drink from? I would like to use the filtered water we already have from our sink as a source for their water, since I know that they will drink that water, so I am looking for one without its own filtering system. I know the filtering system we bought for the apartment creates better water for them than a simplified system that a cat water fountain would provide.

Please help us.
post #2 of 16
I understand your concerns about an environmentally safe fountain. I've tried the 3 major brands of fountains and the one with the least amount of filtering is the Catit.

I too have a cat with recurring bladder problems and was asked to get him to drink as much fluids as possible. When I put the Catit on the kitchen bar counter, all of my cats took an instant interest in it. It was on a "taboo" place therefore it was great for them. It's been going for about 3 months, and they all drink so much water from it that I have to fill it nearly daily (with the filtered water from my sink).

Another thing to talk to your vet about would be sub-q fluids. They are a scary thing to administer at first, but it really does help to flush out their systems, particular when there is concentrated urine. When my Muddy starts to flare up, I have to start him on sub-q's right away.

And are you feeding wet food? Try to do so, and nothing with fish in it.

And last thought: if this is a chronic condition, there is a great Yahoo group for FLUTD cats. There are a number of folks on that sight that know about holistic alternatives, as well as the effectiveness of various medications.
post #3 of 16
I also have a cat with baldder problems.
She has had them for over 2 years.
You need to stop it before it gets in the kidneys.
Coco's last infection in Sept went in her kidneys.
She had C/D and Royal Canin Urinary for her bladder problems.
Sghe also had blood with bladder stones and she got s/d and they disolved.
Her last infection was Ecoli again.
What meds has your vet tried?
The Yahoo Group helps alot.
My sisters cat just had surgery 3 weeks ago and they told us what to ask the vet.
We did not have to ask the vet though because the vet took the tests.
Here is the group
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FLUTD/
post #4 of 16
If your cat will accept, I used a syringe, the type you
get with vet medicine or eye dropper and filled it several
times and squirted into mouth water a couple times day, when I
was desperate over a year when UTI was going on and on.
You have to get more water into them asap.
Give treat afterwards and talk nicely.
I agree feed wet food and add water to it every serving.
Cut dry back and try to feed very little if any at all.
What are you feeding?
Use distilled water, I buy this every week and fill several water
bowls around the house. All being glass and different heights, like a
couple small mugs and water bowls. I have one cat and four water sources
different places in the house.
How many water bowls do you have, increase that.
I feel for any UTI kitties and owners, it is horrible.
post #5 of 16
To get cats to drink water is a tough one. The odds are against them. Thanks to their ancestors(desert animals) they really don't have that drive to drink. They are expecting there water to come from food.

Food for wild cats is in the form of prey. Prey consist on average of 70% moisture and 30% dry matter. If we try to achieve this ratio then for every 1/2 cup of dry food a cat needs to drink about 5oz of water. Doesn't sound like much but its tough to do.

Wet food is going to be your best bet

The increase water intake will produce unfavorable conditions for crystals to form.

Good luck
post #6 of 16
My kitten was really dehydrated when I got her because she was too young and hadn't learnt to drink on her own - so what I'd do was as Ms Blackie said, I'd use a syringe and give her a few mls of water. She really didn't like it that much but she would put up with it and let me give her at least 10mls of water or so.

After a while she learnt if she went to drink the water on her own I wouldn't need to syringe it to her. I also use a clear container for her, because she didn't like putting her head into an opaque dish.

It was kinda funny at first watching her learn to drink the water, she'd put her face in too far and I'd hear a snort and then she'd start putting her paw in to figure out how far to stick her face in.

But after learning the more she drank water on her own the less I'd force feed it to her, she now drinks water all on her own (and I always get a warm fuzzy feeling when I see her drinking it on her own!)
post #7 of 16
I have a cat with kidney issues and I've recently started adding a couple of teaspoons of water to her wet food. I also leave out a coffee cup of water and a tall drinking glass full of water on the bathroom counter. I have 2 Corning Ware type bowls in 2 bedrooms of my house as well as the water fountain for her to drink out of. Between all of these things, she's getting enough water. You might also try leaving the water in the tub dripping. Provide different types of containers to drink out of in different parts of your house. Rinse and re-fill every other day.
post #8 of 16
I do not have to worry about Coco drinking alot of water.
She drinks alot but she does have kidney problems also.
post #9 of 16
Charlie had an URI last year. He's on Royal Canin for Urinary (dry) and I get a certain kinds of canned foods too (Max Cat, Iams Beef, Natural Balance, and Wellness). But I also add warm water to the canned food to make a natural gravy for both of the cats. They love it when mixed into the food.

However, both of my cats are good water drinkers - Charlie likes drinking the dog's water.

I would try canned food and add water to it. Mine do NOT like those cans with the "gravy" in it.
post #10 of 16
I have a Drinkwell fountain. I just use filtered water out of the Pur/Brita pitcher and do not use the filters you can buy for the fountain. I clean it about once a week.

I also feed canned food 2x a day. 2 of my cats had urinary tract infections when they were younger.

Once our kitten, Lola, discovered the Drinkwell she didn't drink out of bowls anymore. So I don't leave out water bowls at all. Just the drinkwell. If you have more than 1 cat I highly suggest the extra reservoir though. It's really helped since I bought it.

If money is an issue, Petco has a birthday club. I got my Drinkwell on sale with a free shipping birthday coupon for Stimpy.
post #11 of 16
Jeta had a problem with recurring struvite crystals. I switched her to a raw food diet which naturally keeps her urine acidic and she has been crystal free since.

Feeding raw isn't for everyone. It requires understanding the differences between feeding it and feeding commercial foods but it is not as difficult or as risky as many believe. I'm very happy that I was able to find a natural solution to Jeta's problem.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for some of your advice. Here is a response to some of the questions posed.

We currently feed our cats: Dry food: Innova Evo and Wet food: pet guard.

Upon someone's advice, we will be cutting out the dry food entirely and just started that today. Is it normal to feed a ten pound cat 5 oz of wet cat food twice daily? That means we will use 4 cans of cat food a day (ouch!). That's at minimum $5 a day just there. Do you think the raw food is better and less costly? Though I know we would feel much more comfortable feeding them organic raw food and at this time I am sure we cannot afford that.

We also have three bowls of water around our apartment. They are just the large round and short ceramic bowls.

We have also started adding water to the wet food as well.
The drinkwell fountain is the one we tried three months ago. I am not sure if the cats were uninterested in drinking from it because it used our unfiltered tap water and they did not like the taste (which did not taste good at that time) or because they disliked the buzzing from the motor on the fountain.

I am still so reluctant to buy a water fountain that is made of plastic because of the chemicals it can leach into the water. How do you know if it is safe? The fountain I have looked at don't have numbers on them telling you what type of plastic they are made of either.

Momofmany: Which catit fountain do you use? Also, how do you get your vet to give you sub-q fluids to take home and administer on your own? We will also check out that support group on yahoo. Thanks to the other person who suggested that as well.


Oh, and why is fish bad for a cat with urinary problems?
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon07 View Post
Is it normal to feed a ten pound cat 5 oz of wet cat food twice daily?That means we will use 4 cans of cat food a day (ouch!). That's at minimum $5 a day just there.
Those of mine that each canned, eat 6 oz of commercial wet food each per day. All of mine are in the 10 pound range.

Quote:
Do you think the raw food is better and less costly? Though I know we would feel much more comfortable feeding them organic raw food and at this time I am sure we cannot afford that.
I feed organic raw at a cost of about $1.50 a day per cat. As far as being better, it depends on your over all situation. I choose it for Jeta in part because I consider raw to be the "lowest common denominator" food. That is, it is appropriate for all my cats special needs with none of the negatives of commercial and rx foods. If all you are considering is urinary health, my personal opinion is that you *might* be able to prevent struvite crystals just by feeding the right commercial canned products. Don't ask me which ones though. One of the reasons I didn't want to go that route with Jeta was because I didn't want the headache of trying to find the "right" foods.

I strongly suggest that whatever solution you try that you invest in some pH test strips to test her urine acidity level. If you can find foods that keep her urine acid you probably won't have any more problems.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
Those of mine that each canned, eat 6 oz of commercial wet food each per day. All of mine are in the 10 pound range.



I feed organic raw at a cost of about $1.50 a day per cat. As far as being better, it depends on your over all situation. I choose it for Jeta in part because I consider raw to be the "lowest common denominator" food. That is, it is appropriate for all my cats special needs with none of the negatives of commercial and rx foods. If all you are considering is urinary health, my personal opinion is that you *might* be able to prevent struvite crystals just by feeding the right commercial canned products. Don't ask me which ones though. One of the reasons I didn't want to go that route with Jeta was because I didn't want the headache of trying to find the "right" foods.

I strongly suggest that whatever solution you try that you invest in some pH test strips to test her urine acidity level. If you can find foods that keep her urine acid you probably won't have any more problems.
lol. at the headache ... I have had it a few times..

Raw $$ depends on type ( commercial or you do it yourself or a butcher ) for me and a 15 lb dog it runs about $.75 -1.25 a day I use the local butcher and a dehydrate mix...

raw food is like playing the violin ... easy to "learn" hard to play , doing it wrong can be painful ... best done UNDER a vets supervision Especially with a issue present

For canned the VERY general guide is 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce per lb per day... so a 10 lb cat would if feed wet only would eat roughly 5-10 ounces per day ... most mid size cans are 5-6 oz
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon07 View Post
Oh, and why is fish bad for a cat with urinary problems?
There are three conditions that must exist for crystals to form. One of those is a high mineral concentration in the urine. Fish is high in magnesium and a couple of other things. When feeding fish you would need to have a high moisture intake to help prevent crystals from forming. If not then the fish will only add more to the concentration and the less moisture won't really purge the other conditions.

Raw is great imo. But really not something to jump into without a fair amount of knowledge on it and talking to a knowledgeable vet. For me, it only takes 4 ingredients to make a complete meal (well one that meets and exceeds the current AAFCO recommendations). Its cheaper than bulk buying high end canned foods but just a little more than big bags of high end dry food.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon07 View Post
We currently feed our cats: Dry food: Innova Evo and Wet food: pet guard.

Momofmany: Which catit fountain do you use? Also, how do you get your vet to give you sub-q fluids to take home and administer on your own? We will also check out that support group on yahoo.
When I first joined the yahoo group, there were a number of people on there that stated that their urinary tract infections started within a few months of going to dry Innova Evo. I had just switched mine to that brand a few months before Muddy's problem started. There is no formal proof, and it might just be coincidental. I wasn't going to take a chance. If you keep any dry food in their diet, get away from this brand.

I use this catit fountain:
http://www.animalworldnetwork.com/cawafo.html

My vet recommended sub-q's. Since I once had a CRF cat and had to administer them previously, they simply gave me a refresher course on administering them at home and sent them home with me.
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