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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! It's been a while since I've been here but I've come back with an issue to tackle.
I am not dismissing the possibility of a UTI - i plan on getting her to a vet soon to see if it's the cause. I plan on calling around vets to see how much pricing is - but just so I know, how much does diagnosing and treating a UTI usually cost?
I can recount most of her accidents - two times she's peed on the couch, 2-3 times on the carpet in my room (near her litterbox), one time she pooped on the same carpet, and once she's peed on some dirty towels. The issue started maybe.. a month ago with the couch, and few weeks accident-free inbetween.

Other things - she is a one year old, spayed domestic short hair. Litter is Dr Elsey's and her litterbox is scooped daily, or every other day if I forget. Litterbox under my hangers/shirts in my room, and she will pee and poop in it if supervised in my room. She is fed Dave's wet food and I recently added Orijen dry food back into her diet because she's been a little too skinny for my tastes.
She spends the majority of her time in my room, but she is allowed supervised downstairs time now that her and the dogs have gotten accustomed to each other. She's also allowed supervised outdoors time (on a leash) with the dogs. No other cats in the house, and there's generally no dogs in my room either.
Let me know if there's anything else I need to know. I've put down a few puppy pads around her litterbox to hopefully catch any more accidents, and I'm considering getting a couple extra litterboxes to try new litters and see if she has a preference. So far, she's been on Tidy Cats, the tractor supply litter brand, and walnut litter before I switched to Dr. Elsey's.

And some bonus pics of the booger (and a pup butt) :

 

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Hi Poyune -

My cat was recently diagnosed with a UTI, so I can give you a quick breakdown on pricing. My cat's medication (liquid Orbax) was $80. I don't recall what just the urinalysis portion of her checkup cost, but her whole appointment was ~$400 (but she had a full senior checkup plus bloodwork). I'll try to find my receipt when I get home and let you know what the urinalysis cost.

When the vet tech called me to tell me she had a UTI, they told me that they had seen bacteria in my cat's urine, but I found out that they hadn't done an actual urine culture to see WHICH bacteria she had. The culture would have cost an additional $200; I personally would have preferred to pay the extra amount in order to KNOW what my cat was infected with, so if you are going to take your kitty to the vet, be sure to ask if they're going to do a full culture or only a regular urinalysis. Usually if the vet sees bacteria, they'll prescribe a "broad spectrum" antibiotic (such as Orbax / Baytril) so it's up to you if you want to know what bacteria your kitty has.

We have an excellent Stickied post that addresses this to some extent -

http://www.catforum.com/forum/38-health-nutrition/77793-things-saved-my-home-solving-urine-problems.html

The Nature's Miracle enzyme cleaning spray is a must-have. Clean ALL the places your kitty urinates (even the old spots, re-clean 'em!) in order to remove the scent of urine so your cat won't keep going to the "old spots" and feeling like it's okay to pee there since it already smells like pee to her! ;}

Otherwise inappropriate urination is often caused by stress or changes - but it doesn't sound like much has changed in your household that would be stressing your kitty. You can always try a Feliway diffuser as many owners here have found them to help with a LOT of behavioral problems, including inappropriate urination.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Alright, thank you! I'm not in the greatest financial situation right now so I'll probably go for a regular urinalysis and broad-spectrum antibiotics.

I should be able to go grab some nature's miracle tomorrow, but for previous accidents I used vinegar + baking soda and she hasn't returned to any spots I've noticed. I'm going to add some more liquid to her diet in the meantime.

Also I've noticed that she almost always pees in the same spot in the litterbox - right in the front, usually leaving a big clump. I don't know if that means anything, it's just something I've noticed. Also, I don't see her strain, vocalize, or zoom out of the litterbox (which is why I didn't think it could be a UTI at first).
 

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Peeing out of the box is so miserable to deal with...You said there were a few weeks with no accidents and also that you've tried a few different litters. Did the time when she was using her box consistently coincide with one of the litters? And did you notice whether her box was clean or not when she peed/pooped elsewhere? Maybe just getting a second box will help. Some kitties are very fastidious and only want very clean boxes, and some kitties also like to use one box to pee and the other to poop in.

Is the couch where she peed in your room?

As LakotaWolf said, make sure you use an enzymatic cleaner to get rid of all of the urine that we can't smell but cats can.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She has been on the same litter since before the accidents started, and used it normally when I switched. Generally her box has been clean when accidents occur, though I hadn't done a full deep clean/dump old litter/etc since I'd started Dr Elsey's until today, and I'm pretty sure I started her on it mid or late February. Though she's never been particularly picky in her litterbox cleanliness in the six months I've had her.

The couch was downstairs in the living room (and the dirty towels are downstairs as well) - there is no litterbox downstairs, so it's possible that that was the cause of the initial accidents, but it doesn't explain the cases in the past few days where the accident occurred a foot or two away from her box. I do plan on adding a litterbox downstairs, but I'll add a second one to my room for now while I sort out what's going on.

I was considering stress and she does to get upset when I leave her alone in my room (apart from when I'm at school, i'm told) for a couple hours, meowing at the door and trying to open it. Could this be a factor?

Another detail, she has feline herpes (yay shelter diseases), but hasn't had an outbreak in several months.
 

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Hmm, it's like doing detective work trying to figure out kitty pee mysteries...

I remember that my vet told me that when female kitties have UTIs, they pee frequently but only a little at a time. If your kitty is leaving good-sized clumps, then maybe it's not a UTI. The fact that she also pooped outside of her box might suggest something other than a UTI as well.

Stress can cause peeing outside of the box, but in your kitty's case, there don't seem to be any new reasons for stress. (She is a cutie, by the way! :)) Maybe she hurt a paw or a rear leg and it's making it painful for her to get in the box? I guess the vet can check all of that when you bring her in. My kitty gets a urinalysis along with complete bloodwork. Altogether it costs about $200, but I don't know how much the urinalysis alone would be.

What's worked for some members whose kitties wouldn't use their boxes is putting just pee pads in a litterbox, without any litter. Maybe you could try that for the second box in your room?

I hope you get to the bottom of this soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I haven't noticed her peeing more than usual, but I'll check out the clumps in her litterbox when I scoop. I've set out a bunch of puppy pads around her litterbox area, but I'll put one in a litterbox too when I get home.

I don't think it's a leg injury, but I'll ask the vet about it when I go. Just yesterday she was climbing around on a tree being her usual active self. She's also eating well, and I hear her drink occasionally.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, back from the vet. It's definitely a UTI - there's inflammation and sediment in her bladder, thankfully no stones. I got sent home with liquid clavamox and a sample of "prescription" diet (Hill's), and the vet bill wasn't too expensive.

I've read that carrageenan is an inflammatory, and Dave's brand food has carrageenan, so should I switch her off of that?
 

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Poor baby. When my kitty had a UTI, it cleared up quickly, so I hope it's the same for your kitty.

There are some members who avoid carrageenan, but it's pretty hard to do if you're feeding a high quality wet food. Almost all of them contain it. I don't know how much of an effect carrageenan has; I think it's more of a risk than a definite side effect, but I'm not sure. Personally, I don't worry about it, but if you want to avoid it, you might try a forum search for carrageenan. There was a thread fairly recently where there were a couple of suggestions for brands that don't contain it.
 

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Before I transitioned my cat to raw, I fed her high-quality canned brands - and most had carrageenan. She never had a UTI until recently (and that's likely because her kidney failure is getting worse - she's 18 now). I never noticed any problems from feeding her food with carrageenan in it, but who knows? She does have a ton of health issues and perhaps ingredients like carrageenan exacerbated them.

Some people also have the same problems with other thickeners/preservatives/binders like guar gum, so it's nearly impossible to find a canned food that doesn't have any of these "problem" ingredients.

In the long run, if you can't go with a raw diet, I think you have to pick a canned brand that your heart (and budget) can live with, and try not to agonize too much over all the ingredients. I can't really find any definitive studies that point to a provable link between carrageenan/guar gum/etc. and cancer or illnesses.

I have heard that Nature's Variety and Nature's Instinct brands do not use carrageenan. There may be other brands I'm unaware of.
 

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I don't have anything to say about the UTI issue, but as far as food additives go, I'm very finicky about pet food, so I always keep a list of pet food brands, plus what is in them. So, if you're hoping to find some grain-free brands without carrageenan, I'm more than happy to randomly chime in and list a few.


Foods that contain gums, but not carrageenan:
- Addiction (guar gum)
- Against The Grain (xanthan gum)
- Blue Buffalo: Wilderness Wild Delights + Tasty Toppers (guar gum)
- Chicken Soup for the Soul (guar gum)
- Earthborn Holistic (guar gum)
- Evanger's (guar gum)
- Fussie Cat (locust bean gum)
- Health Extension (guar gum)
- Nutrisca: Truly Shredded (guar gum)
- Nutro: Natural Choice (guar gum)
- PureVita (guar gum)
- Purina Beyond: Grain-Free w/ Gravy (guar gum)
- Replenish Pet (guar gum)
- Wellness: Signature Selects, some flavors only (guar gum)
- Weruva (xanthan gum)
- Wild Calling (guar gum)


Foods that contain neither gums nor carrageenan:
- Hound & Gatos: Rabbit flavor only
- Tiki Cat: Grill/Luau flavors
- ZiwiPeak
- FirstMate
- Halo: Impulse + Vigor
- Lotus: Just Juicy
- Redbarn: Chicken flavor only
- Bravo!
- Hill's Ideal Balance: Grain-Free
 

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OMG wow Augustine! That's quite a bit of research! I've checked a bunch of brands for various ingredients but not carrageenan. Since I finally found a brand that my super finicky Celia likes (Dave's), I'm just sticking with it, but your list is going to help several members who are looking for carrageenan-free foods.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you Augustine! The store where I usually buy wet food at sells Evanger's in "dog"-sized cans so I might get a couple to see if Frisk likes them. I've done a little research and I don't think carrageenan would be too much of a factor in a UTI but there's no harm in avoiding it for now since I have alternatives (and a cat that's not a picky eater). I wish I had the resources for raw, but I don't right now. Eventually I do plan on feeding raw, though!

I might try mixing her meds with her food because she's been an absolute terror to get meds into (even wrapped in a blanket and held inbetween my legs she still manages to squeeze her way away). Also, after a few days of a decent-smelling room... another accident occurs. I'm just going to wait until the antibiotics are finished to deep clean my carpet.
 

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Yeah, it definitely was. xD But I have OCD, and one of my compulsions is to make lists, so.. at least this way it comes in handy, hm? I do the same thing for my dog.. and me, too. (and let me tell you, all that research is EXACTLY as tedious and boring as it sounds...) Either way, I hope it helps some people. I know how hard it is to find brands without additives. :\

And good luck when/if you start raw feeding! I have a dog that's raw fed and the results are truly amazing. I wish I could do it for my kitties, too, but unfortunately, raw feeding cats is a bit too tedious for my taste. I figure it's just best for me to stick to canned. lol
 

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Poyune, have you tried Pill Pockets? They've been a minor miracle for me; I have to dose my cat with her thyroid meds every day and there's no way in heck I'd be able to pill her normally. I follow Dr. Pierson's method with Pill Pockets -

Pilling Cats (and Dogs) and Erosive Esophagitis Compounded Flavored Liquid Alternatives Transdermal Medications by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM

Basically split the Pocket in two, put the pill in one half, and roll up the other half to make a ball as well. Toss the pill-half at the cat, then the "empty" half quickly, so the cat is so interested in scarfing up the NEW treat ball that they'll pretty much swallow the first ball whole!

I'm not a huge fan of the ingredients in Pill Pockets (wheat flour, wheat gluten, corn syrup...) but at my cat's age, I gotta get those pills into her and the Pockets are so much less stressful than a syringe of liquid or, heaven forbid, trying to cram a buttered pill down her throat alone!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update! A week of antibiotics seems to have helped knock this UTI out! She's become more regular in her litterbox and hasn't had any more accidents, even when we're downstairs for hours at a time. I ended up figuring out a way to get her meds in more easily(turns out she's okay with getting a dropper full of meds shoved in her mouth as long as I'm not trying to open her mouth with my hands...? she's a weirdo.)
Tonight I have to put her litterbox downstairs because some relatives are staying in my room, hopefully her lack of accidents continues overnight!
 
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