Mocha - Home From The Vet (Looking A Little Miserable)It never rains but it pours. Ripley has an occasional habit of piddling in the bath to see what comes out of him. He must have a certain level of discomfort that prompts this behaviour, and I’ve found bloody urine in the bath on several occasions that I’ve always attributed to him (because I’ve seen him piddling there).

After Ripley had been at the vet last Friday, he was kept in the bedroom overnight to separate him from Mocha, who can be a bit rambunctious. I wanted Ripley to have some restful nights. Monday morning I found bloody urine in the bath again, but since Ripley had been in the bedroom all night, he couldn’t have been responsible. That left Mocha.

There had been occasional “markings” in the house where a cat (I could never identify if it was one of mine or an un-neutered neighbourhood black Tom that sometimes would break into the house. Latterly, those marking had been bloody. Now I’m pretty sure that Mocha was doing the “marking”.

I took Mocha to the vet yesterday to get him checked out. I suspected that he had cystitis although he’d shown no symptoms of discomfort or any other outward signs that he was suffering from some condition. Blood from the kidneys was also a concern, so the vet visit would clear up any uncertainties.

His health checked out otherwise – ok heart rhythm, lungs good, no temperature. But he was taken in so a urine sample could be taken from him. I collected him a few hours later when he’d been given some pain and inflammation relief and antibiotics to kill off any nascent infection. Cystitis had indeed been diagnosed.

The “markings” around the house turned out not to be a cat marking its territory. A cats urinating against a vertical surface is apparently a classic sign that the cat is stressed. What the stress factor actually is, is anyone’s guess. This time of year (Winter), it might be something as innocuous as it being too cold outside. The cat heads outdoors to urinate in the garden, finds it too cold, decides to hold on till it gets warmer, heads indoors and the urine becomes more and more concentrated. Crystals start to form and these then puncture the bladder lining. So when the cat finally does urinate, there’s blood in the urine.

Vets apparently see a spike in cystitis complaints in cats at this time of year!

I had to wait till today to get the results of the lab tests. Turns out Mocha’s urine was packed with crystals and was also quite concentrated so the pH (acidity) was high. Crystals puncture the inner lining of the bladder leading to bleeding, allowing for the possibility for an infection to take hold.

Mocha has a particular kind of crystal in his urine which appears to be a different type to the one Ripley gets. However, Mocha’s crystals problem is treated with a special c/d food that’s just become available. It blocks some of the components of the crystals, preventing them from forming in the first place. It has the added benefit of making a cat drink more which reduces urine pH and helps flush any particulates out of the bladder.

Ripley is being put on the same food now too, once it arrives in a couple of days.

Being a vet-provided, prescribed, food means it ain’t going to be cheap. 🙁

But Mocha should be back to his old self (not that I detected any change in his demeanour in the first place) in a day or so. He won’t require any additional medication and the new food should keep the condition in check.

Given that both my cats (brothers) now suffer from cystitis, I asked the vet if there was any likelihood that they suffered a genetic predisposition to the condition. He replied that there wouldn’t be a predisposition to cystitis but there could be a predisposition to suffering from stress. And one of the things stress in cats leads to is…cystitis.

So I have two special needs cats now…


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