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I feel like the worst mom ever.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My sweet cat Mina is a tubby, as I've mentioned in a few other threads. I've slowly been able to change her diet (with vet's recommendations). But anyway, due to her large tummy she kinda has had problems cleaning her, um, nether regions. I've tried to help clean up but she doesn't always let me back there.

So for the past week or so, her anal area has been producing some horrific odors, and she's been licking the fur constantly. I've gently cleaned her whenever possible but it's a struggle and finally I realized (DUH) that it wasn't just annoyance at being touched back there, it was that she was very uncomfortable whenever I touched her.

Now, I did some lookups on the web and considering the foul odor and strange swelling on either side of her anus it seemed to me likely that she had an anal sac infection. I made an appointment at the humane society hospital (I just finished spending $450 on Mina for various checkups and FIP tests and am thus extremely low on funds) and took her there today. Turns out that it's not anal sac disease ... it's something called urine scald and dermatitis, and is quite simply the result of bad cleaning habits, of urine collecting underneath her fur and the acid harming her skin.

The doc shot her up with cortizone (to help the swelling/inflammation) and gave me some ointment, medicine, and cleaning fluid, and said it should clear up soon. He put a HUGE elizabethan collar -- this thing is massive, about twice the size of her head, and I don't know how she's even gonna be able to eat. She looks like a small lamp and is very very cheesed off at not being able to see on either side of her.

I feel like such an awful mom to her. How could I let this happen??? I had no idea that this was going on under her fur. Do those of you with larger cats ever help your cats clean themselves? What are your suggestions? Do you have any tips on helping Mina get some food in her despite this humungous collar?

I HATE seeing my cat in pain, and it's my fault for not cleaning her more proactively. I thought she could take care of it on her own.


Sorry I just had to vent.
post #2 of 7
Don't be angry with yourself, learn from your mistakes and go from there. As far as feeding her while she is collared- take a small plate and elevate it on something tall and fairly slim. She can then stand over it, dunk her head and eat without the collar interfering. Or remove the collar while she eats, then put it back on her.

I am sorry she had to go through such an ordeal.
post #3 of 7
I had a very large foster for a while that couldn't clean herself very well either. I had to get her used to me giving her sponge baths very slowly. If you ever clipped claws, you know that you sometimes have to work slowly into it - first handling the paws, then clipping one at a sitting. Washing is similar - swipe once or twice with a warm damp rag, then build up more and more with her. She'll get used to it over time.
post #4 of 7
What MA and Amy said. Awwww. *Hug*. At least now she's getting better.

Mine couldn't really eat with the collar either, so I just got those crystal dishes on pedestals for them. Or dbl-side tape a can to bottom of the dish to lift it up.
post #5 of 7
My Spaz is 16 pounds and can't clean that area too good either. He is a long hair cat and that just makes matters worse. I finnally resorted to shaving his rear. Under his tail at the base about two inches up and all the way down the back of his thighs to his hocks. After that he seemed to like the shortness so much I gave him a lion cut!!! Now he doesn't barf as much because of hairballs. He didn't like the shaving too much but I managed. I used my boyfriends old beard trimmer, a acctual hair cutter would've been easier though!
post #6 of 7
I'm a bit confused about the collar? I understand that a collar is so they cant get at places with ointment etc but if Mina cant reach to start with then why the collar.Or did I misunderstand and she can reach but not very well.
My Fat Katy weighs in at nearly 10 kilo and is the most unflexible cat I have seen. If picked up , which she hates, she is just a lump, not lithe and droopy like a real cat! She also cannot reach her 'undercarriage' but I have never thought about it before! It always 'looks' okay but I will definately keep more of an eye on her-poor soul.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks hissy, momofmany, superkitty, fsttrk and tulip2454 for the hugs and advice. I really appreciate your responses. I will definitely use this as a harsh lesson to be smarter and more aware of what might be going on.

tulip2454, sometimes Mina does manage to cram her neck around her bulky midsection enough to reach her tail area. Though it's not often, I guess the doctor didn't want to risk it. As it is, Mina's managed to push herself out of the collar a couple of times -- and both times I've caught her desperately trying to reach over to clean the, uh, "holy grail"! I wish that cats would tolerate bandages instead of having to rely on this stupid collar.

Mina is reeeally acting depressed and low in this collar, not to mention from my having to be a virtual gynecologist twice a day, and giving her two helpings of icky bubblegum-flavored medicine. She's walking around like an old lady, whereas before the vet visit she was peppy as usual (though stinky). I hope she doesn't resent me forever, and that she'll get back to being a happy cat once she's well.

Anyway, thanks again so much guys. I promise I'll try to turn the self-anger into something more productive and helpful to my furkids.
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