My cat would not stop growling and refuses to use his litter box. Ideas for FLUTD
Liam, bless his heart, has been plagued with health issues since I rescued him at 5 months. He is a 2.5 year old, orange striped, neutered male cat. He is the sweetest cuddle bug and my heart melts when I see him.
History: Liam has a history of FLUTD / Idiopathic Cystitis. In July, (Friday July 13th 2012 to be exact, and the irony of the date is not lost on me), he had his second urinary blockage and had the Perineal Urethrostomy (PU) surgery. After the surgery, I did my best to restrict his movement. Unfortunately I did not have access to an appropriate sized crate (they recommended I crate him, so we moved my mattress to the floor and took out all of the furniture and taped off the window sill so he would could not jump on it etc, and except for a few attempts for a jail break, we followed the doctor’s orders of no running, jumping, or unassisted stair climbing. He seemed to be recovering well…
On August 15th he was given the all clear to return to his normal lifestyle (halleluiah)! Unfortunately that is when the wheels came off the wagon. He stopped using his litter boxes to urinate and will only urinate outside (he will defecate in his box). He has started to lick his genital area more frequently, especially after he jumps or pounces or does something that causes him to be active. (Also, my grandmother moved to an assisted living facility. We rented out her house to help pay the monthly fee therefore we had to move a bunch of her stuff into the garage which is where three of the four litter boxes are located). I made an appointment with his regular vet. She examined him and gave him a clean bill of health. She thought of two plausible reasons for his behavior. The first is that he is marking it because he does not like her scent. Or he is holding it until he can go out (most likely) and all I could do was try to coax him back into using his box.
On September 14th, it was a rainy day and he could not go outside and it sent him through a loop. He peed on my laundry, which does not bother me I would rather he pee on my clothes than not pee at all. But, it does bother me that he will not go in his litter box. He refused dinner which is uncommon since he is 15 lbs of perfection. Also he started growling at everyone. The only time he growled before that evening was when he was blocked. So off to the veterinary teaching hospital emergency room we went. He stayed overnight in kitty ICU for observation. They took a urine sample to test for UTI and gave him some Buprenorphine. His bladder was mildly inflamed. The next morning they said I could take him home. They gave me 2 syringes of Buprenorphine to use as I need for his discomfort. After I brought him home, the growling resumed. At 4 pm I gave him a dose of Buprenorphine to make sure he was not in pain. The growling continued. Because he still had not urinated I gave him a 2 mg tab of valium (the vet approved combining these meds when he has a cystitis episode) hoping it would relax him enough to go in his box. The still growled but finally at 1 o’clock in the morning he urinated. It was more urine then I had ever seen him produce, about the size of a large apple.
I am worried as to why he is holding his urine in so long and why he is growling. I agonize that might be in constant pain or there is something wrong. The idea of him being in discomfort is gut wrenching to me as I am sure it would be for you if it was your cat. I am desperate for ideas as to what could be wrong. I would also appreciate any ideas on how to improve his quality of life to reduce the reoccurrence of FLUTD.
What I have already done:
· He has a fresh water fountain. 2 water bowls changed at least daily and we leave the tap in the sink running for our other cat but he does have access to it
· We have four litter boxes one is automatic, one is covered, and two are just standard boxes. All of his boxes are multiple escape routes and are located away from his food bowl
· He has plenty of perches and toys… He has more stuff than I do.
· We use a pheromone diffuser which helps reduce the number of spats between him and his frienemy, our other cat Mimi.
· He is on Royal Canin Calm SO dry formula (vet prescribed) that we soak with water.
· He uses a cat attract type litter his boxes are kept clean. I aim for cleaning it every time he or our other cat goes.
· I attempt to encourage positive interaction between him and our other cat, as well as our dog, but I am the only one in the house who seems to care about doing this so progress is slow and this area could improve greatly. However, this has been occurring since I brought him home two years ago so I do not believe it is the cause of his most recent behavior changes.
· I play with him and give him lots of love.
I look forward to hearing your ideas.