Cat can't a go go
October 15, 2011 9:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm pretty sure my female cat has a urinary tract infection -- she's dragging her butt, licking herself all the time, going to the litter box a lot, etc. I'm going to take her to the vet, but I'm having trouble finding one that's open on Sundays. Is it okay for this to wait until Monday or should I go to an emergency animal hospital?
posted by The Lamplighter to Pets & Animals (16 answers total)
if she's having trouble passing urine, making sounds like she's in pain, she should go to the vet right away, because blockages can be deadly quickly. Keep a close eye on her. Blockages are more common in male cats but that doesn't mean that they can't happen to female cats.
posted by brave little toaster at 9:41 PM on October 15, 2011

Can she pee?

If she can't pee it is a drop-everything get-to-a-vet-now emergency.

If she can pee but has pain using the box, she may end up avoiding the box (taking her business elsewhere), so that's the main risk you take in waiting, I think. (Not a vet)
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:42 PM on October 15, 2011

I think she can pee. I just checked the box (freshly cleaned a few minutes ago) and she peed just a little bit which is not common for her. But I think she also peed in the sink earlier so there may not be anything else for her to pee out.

She didn't make any noises while in the litter box.
posted by The Lamplighter at 9:47 PM on October 15, 2011

I went through this with my cat earlier this year.... for whatever reason I didn't notice she was having problems until I noticed that she was peeing blood (it ended up being kidney stones that were later dissolved with the special diet).

So she's probably alright until Monday as long as she's not in any serious distress. But obviously keep an eye on her. Good luck!
posted by Zoyashka at 10:01 PM on October 15, 2011

I don't know where you're located, but in my area, the Petsmart stores have vet services, and they are open on Sundays.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:11 PM on October 15, 2011

An emergency animal hospital will manually void her bladder, prescribe her oral antibiotics and tell you to take her to a normal vet on Monday (at least, this is what happened to us twice with our male cat).

If your cat is successfully passing urine, wait until Monday. If she's not (and unless you're watching the box like a hawk, you probably wouldn't decide "hey, she's really not peeing" until Sunday night anyway), go for the ER vet and the bladder void as a stop gap until Monday.

I knew it was time to take my cat to an emergency vet not because he was laying bloated on the floor, unable to pee and howling/hissing at anyone who approaches. It was because he gave absolutely no resistance to being loaded into his carrier to go to the vet. Poor floppy sick cat. Get well.
posted by theraflu at 10:12 PM on October 15, 2011

will she let you feel her bladder? if it's really hard she needs to go in. sometimes they can still drip or pee a bit.
posted by oneear at 10:12 PM on October 15, 2011

Find an emergency vet, call them, and ask them what they think. An infection can probably wait, a blockage definitely can't. If she appears to be in pain, take her in right away. It's better to err on the side of caution in this case.
posted by metaphorik at 10:29 PM on October 15, 2011

been there. its likely not the urinary tract, but the scent gland aka 'Anal Gland' that is blocked or 'impacted'.
google "how do I express my cats anal glands". utubes and everything.
posted by Abinadab at 3:25 AM on October 16, 2011

Seconding anal gland possibility. Butt dragging may not be bladder but may be her attempt to express her anal glands. Google for info but you may be able to manually express them or she may sort it out on her own with butt dragging.
posted by countrymod at 3:39 AM on October 16, 2011

It sounds like she's in a lot of discomfort at the very least. 12-24 hours from now she could be in outright pain.

Urinary issues can build up quickly, which means you could have a cat in a lot of pain by the middle of the night. Not to mention, I would probably have a terrible night's sleep with worrying about her, checking on her, etc.

I would take her in to an emergency vet now, if she were my cat. It will cost a bit more, but amortize that cost over your peace of mind for the next (say) 12 hours.
posted by ErikaB at 2:45 PM on October 16, 2011

And I agree that it could be her anal glands, but there is no way I would ever try to express the anal glands of a cat when I wasn't 100% sure if that was the issue.

I probably wouldn't try to do it, even if I WAS sure. Having seen what the vet techs have to go through to perform it, yeah... that's a procedure I'm happy to pay a professional to do.
posted by ErikaB at 2:47 PM on October 16, 2011

Thanks everyone! I did some research and found a vet a little further out that had Sunday hours. They inspected her, took a blood and urine sample (not sure how), and said that she likely has a UTI. She was prescribed antibiotics, which she HATES!

She doesn't seem to be in excruciating pain or anything, and there's at least a little pee in the box.
posted by The Lamplighter at 12:23 PM on October 17, 2011

If you're having to give her antibiotics in pill form, you might try Pill Pockets (which you can get at the vet or at big box pet store). They're basically meat sillyputty, and you can wrap the pill in one to make it easier for the cat to swallow. We had good luck with them, with two modifications:
1. the pill pocket is too big in its default form. We used only about half the material (easy to tear up) to wrap the pill in such a way that the outside of the pill was slippery and meat-flavored, but it wasn't much bigger than the pill itself
2. when cat is about to be fed, put pill pocket down on place, then a half-spoonful of wet food down on top. Sit and wait until cat cleans plate. Only then does cat get the rest of food.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:20 PM on October 17, 2011

My personal trick for getting pills into cats (not that you asked...) is to put it in a spoon, pulverize it with the back of another spoon, and then mix it with several drops of Vietnamese fish sauce. (Tuna juice would probably work, too. ) Then fill a syringe with it, and squirt it down their throat.
posted by MexicanYenta at 1:56 PM on October 17, 2011

The vet gave me liquid antibiotics because Harriet is a bit of a handful. She didn't think she'd go for the pill form even with pill pockets. So far I've just held her down and forced the syringe into her mouth. About half ends up on the floor or hacked up, unfortunately.

Oh yeah, forgot -- here's a photo.
posted by The Lamplighter at 4:43 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

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