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Incontinent Cat

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 



Im wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience, yes Im in the UK but a colleague at work gave me this web adress as fellow cat lovers so Id appreciate anyone's ideas or feedback.


Where to start? I took my cat to the vets on Thursday evening as she wasn't herself, just sitting in the corner all quiet and looking grumpy - she screamed when I tried to pick her up. The vet said she'd ahd a fight, gave her anit biotics and asked to see her in 24 hours.


My boyfriend took her back on Friday and a different vet saw her and said she had swelling in her back end and was tender, she gave her some anti inflammatory tablets and some painkiller solution.


I took her home and she was really good, taking her tablets and she seemed to be getting better.Playing with her brothers (Ive got two other cats) eating and sleeping fine, then on about Saturday night I think it was she left a urine stain on my bedding I guessed it was her and Id been out and left her asleep on the bed then over Sunday it was more frequent I was noticing more urine looking puddles ont eh floor but it looked like there was blood in them, so I started to panick.


I'd already decided to take her to the vets after work on Monday but after Id left for work my boyfriend starting panicking when she was sat on the window ledge and after she got up there was a pool of urine and blood. He rushed her to vets where they said they needed to run more tests.


After and X ray and blood test they concluded she has broken her (spine they said at the time) and has nerve damage so she cant tell when she needs the toilet so her bladder is filling up and over flowing. At that time the first vet Paul said there was a 50/50 chance she would recover there was nothing they could do and to maybe think about putting her to sleep.


I have been speaking to the vets everyday and have got updates from a different vet who seemed to think she was improving really slowly, she now goes itno the litter tray as if she wants to go but nothing comes out or a little bit of over flow comes out.


She's had her drip taken out so she's back on tablets.


The first vet is of the opinion that she might never get better and it's not fair to keep her in hospital forever, if she cant pee on her own whats the point in keeping her alive. Another vet got my hopes up saying that I may be able to bring her home if I could learn how to empty her bladder myself.


She's my princess, she's only just turned 1. I dont want to make her suffer but at the same time I dont want to give up on her if theres still a chance, however small that she can get better. At first she couldnt mover her tail and now she can. At first she didnt even try and pee on her own and now she is. I know they're small steps but it's a start? When you see her she looks fine, she plays she can walk around - to look at her she looks the same as she did before.


Has anyone else experienced this? If you're in the UK - where did you go and how did you get over the problem?

Any tips or advice would be greatfully received. I can see you're all cat lovers on here so Id appreciate any help/ suggestions. Its a horrible time and I feel so alone, I just want my baby home and back with her brothers. Thanks

post #2 of 11
Oh I am SO sorry!!!!! hugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gif

I think I remember another TCS member having a problem like this with their kitty. I don't remember the outcome (whether she got better about peeing in the box or not), but I don't think they put her to sleep, I think they just dealt with cleaning up the pee. dontknow.gif I'll see if I can find the thread, though I don't know if I remember enough information to find the right search terms to find it. But I'll try.

If I were in your situation, this is what I'd ask:

1) Would there be any benefit to taking her to some kind of specialist? For instance, would the Small Animal Teaching Hospital at Liverpool be able to provide better diagnostics and thus provide a more accurate prognosis?

2) Is there a problem internally beyond the spinal/nerve injury? The blood in her stool is of concern: this would be some kind of internal problem, like kidneys, not just spinal/nerve injury, no? Or has that trauma been addressed/healed?

3) Nerve damage sometimes responds to B6. Would this perhaps help? Can it hurt to try? What amount should be supplemented if it is tried?

4) Why is she in the hospital? Just because she's peeing outside the box? Are they just watching to see if she continues to improve? Is there a reason this isn't being done at home? Are they providing other care you can't at home? (Even if this means confining her to a large crate or something for a while?)

5) Is she in pain?

If the condition does not cause her pain, and the "only" problem is that she doesn't know when she has to pee... but she otherwise would have a normal, happy life... why euthanize her? People often have problems with incontinence. The only real side-effect is embarrassment - but cats don't suffer from that side effect. If you can learn how to express her bladder, I see no reason not to do that! At least to give it a try! hearthrob.gif And if you need to clean up some pee here and there... is it really that big a deal? dontknow.gif

My main concern would be her quality of life, and the main factor in that decision would be whether or not she's in pain - and if so, is it treatable?

Then you have to consider whether or not if the condition does not improve, are you willing/able to express her bladder? Will this be the only real problem resulting from this injury? And if things don't improve with time, and she leaks or continues to have accidents even if you're expressing her bladder... are you willing/able to deal with cleaning up for the next... 15 - 20 years? It's not an easy question to answer, and one for which no one would judge you. But you need to think long and hard about the answer to that question - what happens if she doesn't improve with time? . hugs.gifrub.gif But also consider... is it worth giving it some time before making that decision? hugs.gifrub.gif

Personally, I would explore all options, find out about the quality-of-life issues apart from the peeing problem, and perhaps look into feline or small animal specialists that may be able to provide better answers, if you can afford it and can get there. hearthrob.gif

post #3 of 11
I've not experienced the problem, but do know that incontinence can occur in the Manx breed. Their skeletal structure is different than most cats, and abnormalities to their spines cause incontinence. It's called Manx Syndrome and there is a lot of information out there on the topic if you google it. Manx Syndrome causes both urinary and bowel issues, so you will need to weed through the information that you find. Sorry, there is so much of it out there that it would be hard for me to weed it out for you. I read enough to realize that Manx's aren't the only cats with this issue, it's just more common with them.

You might also try to locate a Manx Rescue group, who deals with the issue regularly and might have some good advice for you.
post #4 of 11

Incontinence is no reason to euthanize a cat and I'm glad you see that and have been fighting to keep your "princess".  It sounds like she has a good quality of life and loss of that is the only reason for euthanasia. I enjoy this forum very much but the best forum for information and support on disabled cats is here:


These people have extensive experience in caring for handicapped pets, most more severely disabled than yours. They deal with incontinence and expressing every day.


Can you find a vet who is more experienced with this type of veterinary problem? I'm a British ex-pat living in the US for many years so no use in recommending a practice. Do you live close to a college for veterinary studies?  A vet with experience may try giving your cat medications that cause the bladder to get back to normal, if it is capable of doing so. I fostered a cat who had been hit by a car, had a broken pelvis and was incontinent for a time. Eventually she regained control of both bowel and bladder, but it took many months. I sounds like your cat will do the same.


Expressing is usually fairly easy and you can find videos of this on Youtube. Some cats are more difficult, but most are not. Expressing will ensure urine is not sitting in your cats bladder because when they can only leak urine not all of it comes out. You could diaper (nappy) your cat but she will need some time each day without the covering because female cats are more prone to urinary tract infections when diapered. I have a male cat with a progressive neuromuscular disorder and he is diapered all the time with no problem at all (except when I'm away from home for more than 12 hours and the diaper ceases to do its job, but my bed is set up for such problems). Is she able to defecate on her own?

post #5 of 11

You know there are places now where you can buy special diapers for pets with these issues. As the others have said there are ways to deal with this. I'm glad you're looking at other options. Hang in there, lots of experienced people here on this site! smile.gif

post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by Simka View Post

Incontinence is no reason to euthanize a cat and I'm glad you see that and have been fighting to keep your "princess".  It sounds like she has a good quality of life and loss of that is the only reason for euthanasia. I enjoy this forum very much but the best forum for information and support on disabled cats is here:

These people have extensive experience in caring for handicapped pets, most more severely disabled than yours. They deal with incontinence and expressing every day.

Wow, what a wonderful resource! Thank you for sharing.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

thanks for getting back to me - over the weeked there hasnt been much improvement but Im hoping to have her home soon and i really thin that will help her to recover, in her own home with her brothers.


in answer to your questions, it turns out its her pelvis that is fractured but they ant do anything about it as the bne hasnt displaced its just cracked - just a case of leaving it 6 weeks for it to bind back together, in its own time. the blod i her urine i thnk is caused by it backing up ino the kidneys but as long as the bladder is expressed 3 times a day then it should be ok. when ie seen her in hospital she is not in any pan as shes currently n painkilers for the fracture, shes her usual happy self playing biting stratching the lot, she doesnt seem bothered by anthing  shes even jmping about you have to try and tell her not to and keep still.


i think the vets are to the decision now that they might as well let her home and see how that helps, keepng her in isnt doig anthing its a question of time and lettng the nerves heal if they can and they cant say at his stage whether they will heal, im just hoping they do.


ill definitely try and express the bladder myself they will just ahve to teach me what to do.

post #8 of 11
Even if she needs to be kept in a large crate to lower her activity, I'd bring her home if all she's doing is... time. agree.gif

I don't know if you've had a chance to look at the link to the handicapped pets forum that Simka provided, but once the vet shows you how to express her bladder, there is a lot of information, support, and videos to help you on that link!!!

Vibes for you and your baby! vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

that handicapped pet site is briliant lots of people who seem to have it worse than me, which makes me feel a lot more positive. its the big day tomorrow when i find out if the vet will let e bring phoebie hoe, cant wait. thanks

post #10 of 11

Thank you for updating us; I've been wondering what happened.  I'm delighted to hear she is doing so well at the vet and that it is a pelvic fracture, not her back. Good luck with having Phoebe at home and learning how to express.  Once you have a routine set up, it will work out well I'm sure. LDG is right, you might have to put her in a large cage for a while. Thinking back to  Lily Bianca, the foster I mentioned with the fractured pelvis, they kept her caged for at least a month, then in a very small room, then to my home after about 2 months. Lily Bianca was in far worse shape than your Phoebe so hopefully she will do at least as well.  Lily was found by the side of the road, paralyzed, with a large festering wound on her back and six nursing kittens.

post #11 of 11

Even the posts are very old...i had my beloved cat nearly 13 years, she had the same problem at the end , incontinence caused of an accident she had before years. I did take her in her last year of life 15 000 km away from her place of birth  ( she came always with me when i ve moved to another place) she was my one and only...but I couldnt see anymore the say that in easy words..she pissed herself everywhere on her complete body. I did manage it with my job that i could be home and take care of her, washed her more as 10 times a day, cleaned her wounds ( caused of the urine) but I didnt help...I dont want to write that there is no hope when an older cat  has such a problem...just try all you can do but it looks not well..thats clear ...Our vet told me as ive brought her the first time after her accident again there " will we put her down?* I ve said o course NO NO ...I will take care of her... then the Vet answered to me " Sorry to tell you this , but  I know you will come back soon and then we have to put her down" 
I am really heart broken, also about my decision to let her go....I usually wanted her at the begin ( begin 13 years ) not , I was a younger guy and tried all to get her into a family ...but as the destiny plays its game...she came always back to me, since she conquered my heart and I did enjoy the 13 years with her. That feels very bad when an animal which you have so long time , is suddenly not there anymore..its the same as my parents would be dead suddenly...

So back to the main point...incontinence with an older cat...means not that you have to put the animal asap down, just try will be a hard way ( i know about what iam talking about, she pissed herself and my whole house for nearly 8 months totally) but its absolute worth if you love your animal to try it..and be prepared if  your animal does suffer too much ...then u know what to do...

sometimes the greatest acts of love are the hardest to commit ( thats from a movie but fits very well here too ) 

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