Feline follow-up
January 6, 2005 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Pets pets and more pets: http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/4681">Sorta tangental followup from about a year ago- re: feline urinary tract blockage.

That wasn't likr thast on preview.

Melon, our foundling kitty from the cold last year has just come out of the hospital after having had FLUTD- Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. He had a urethral block that we caught very early, so good for that. Now we are faced with meal feeding all the kitties (three), which I know nothing about, but am currently looking into. On top of that, we are trying to increase everyone's water intake. We bought a Drinkwell, but Melon, being apart from the oter kitties as of now is not using it. The other ones don't like it as of yet, either. So we are having him take water from a feeding syringe. He also lost a good deal of weight in the hospital and is none too fond of the wet or dry presciption foods we are feeding him. So the point of my post is to tap into the vast pet knowledge here on AskMe and see what other suggestions you all have for keeping Melon healthy, unblocked, hydrated and well fed. We are also interested in how to keep the other two kitties sane when switching over to a meal-fed system.
(NB- the suggestions from a year ago were wonderful and helpful- Melon is the sweetest, most affectionate and cuddly little ball of fur to have ever graced our family. He is a wee bit spoiled, however, but this seems to add to his charm. He goes by many names: Slim, Mr.Silky-Pants, Melonius Snug, Melony (Snickett), Orangie, Orangino, Mr. Softee, Melboy and the Orange Paws of Doom... and so it loved and loved back. This hospital trip was really traumatic for him and for us. Thanks for all the help previously, and I trust AskMe will come through again.)
posted by oflinkey to Pets & Animals (9 answers total)
Response by poster: AGH! Something went nuts- I swear it was not like that on preview. Here is the original link:

Original Melon Link
posted by oflinkey at 6:11 PM on January 6, 2005

Meal-fed meaning fed in two (or whatever) discrete meals, instead of leaving food out and letting them feed at their leisure?
posted by redfoxtail at 6:25 PM on January 6, 2005

Response by poster: Yes- we had a gravity feeder before.
posted by oflinkey at 6:30 PM on January 6, 2005

Put out lots of water bowls...all over the place, some small, some big etc.
posted by JoanArkham at 6:33 PM on January 6, 2005

I agree with the suggestion of multiple water sources around the house. My cat loves to drink out of the bathtub -- a habit picked up in an NYC apartment with a tub in which the drain was on one end and a perpetually leaky faucet was on the other. I presume she enjoyed thinking she was by a fresh mountain stream instead of in a fourth-floor walkup.

Even though that tub is long in the past, she's addicted to bathtub-drinking; we indulge it by leaving a small pool of fresh water in our tub after the morning showers. (After rinsing away any residual shampoo, etc.) Cats in general seem curious about bathtubs and showers.

Good luck with Melon!
posted by lisa g at 7:00 PM on January 6, 2005

Can you feed any wet food? Our cat hates it in general, but we had great success with this formula: put a half tin of wet food on a shallow dish, add 1 - 3 tablespoons of water and mash with a fork until it's a disgusting soup. Both my cats LOVE this. Wet food obviously has a higher moisture content to begin with, and you're adding more.

You can also add tuna juice to a small amount of water to make it more appealing.
posted by peep at 7:00 PM on January 6, 2005

Agreement about the tuna water (although not all cats like fish, my last one hated it).

Canned food is normally preferable to dry for FLUTD cats, the more liquid he takes in, the better. I would also remind you that he needs to eat, if he's flat-out refusing to eat at all, it's more important that he eat something than what he eats. Depending on where you are, Sheba cat food is about the best temptation for anorexic cats that I've come across. Once he's eating well, mix the flavour he likes best into the prescription food in gradually decreasing ratios. Also, look into the other prescription diets on the market, some are more palatable to some cats than others. I'd offer the food a few times a day to convert the cats to meals - leave it down (each cat in their own dining room if possible) for about 20 minutes to half an hour, then take it up for a couple of hours and cover it to keep it fresh. Also try warming the food a bit, cats prefer food that's warm (not hot).

I would also use glass or stainless steel dishes, plastics and ceramics can absorb odours and many animals will not eat from plastic or ceramic dishes for this reason. Finally, I'd be sure to play with the cats, happy and well-exercised cats are hungrier cats. Good luck, glad to hear Melon's on the road to recovery.
posted by biscotti at 7:31 PM on January 6, 2005

If he isn't eating, you vet may have a home-cooked-meal option that he would like. My vet told us that we might have to cook for our cat (different health issue) so I know it's done. If he really, really loves turkey, that's straight protein at least. Mine were on Prescription diet for a long time, and they hated the kitty tofu, but eventually did eat it . . . so hopefully Melon will come around to the food. As far as the water, the fountain takes some getting used to, but if he likes running water, he will eventually take to it. Our cats didn't like it until all the bits got good and soggy on the inside and stopped making funny noises. Now it runs smoothly and they drink a lot of water. This took all of about three days for us.

The cat's attitude at present may be due to his hospitalization - it' s been said here before, cats hate change, and going to the vet is numero uno traumatic activity for my kids. Let us know how he does. And really, inquire with your vet about cooking for him if he keeps refusing regular food.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:21 PM on January 6, 2005

Like lisa g's kitty mine loves drinking out of the tub - or any facet actually. He'll even sit next to the kitchen sink and mjaow angrily until we turn it onto a slow small stream, he simply hates bowls unless they are 10 seconds or less freshly poured. The upside with his faucet fascination is that he can sit for a good 30 minutes just playing with the stream, trying to catch it, licking his paws and consuming lots of water in the process. It's a game to him. Maybe your Melon will like the game, turn on a faucet a little and play with him.
posted by dabitch at 3:13 AM on January 7, 2005

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