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Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: PeterB
Date: January 10, 2006 04:13PM
Hi everyone,

I asked about some of this awhile ago at that *other* place, but here are a few questions the cat people here might be able to answer (Paul F, jimmypoo, ka jot, DrSteggy, etc., this means you!):

1) Any problems with neutering later in life (e.g., 3-4 years)? I had heard that neutering, when done late like this, does not prevent "undesirable" behaviors-- like calling in females, and spraying/roaming/aggressive behavior in males... but am not sure. Googling for it hasn't given too much useful or definitive info, one way or the other.

2) What can you tell me about FUS? (jimmy, I know you could write a book on this...) Meaning, how really common is it, and is it reasonably treatable/manageable by home care?

3) What do y'all think about the automatic litter box systems, e.g., LitterMaid, etc.

TiA




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: Pam
Date: January 10, 2006 04:32PM
I'll answer #3, the litter robot is the only auto litter box that really works [www.litter-robot.com]. It's pricey, but it sure does the job. Mine's 1.5 years old now.
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: DaviDC.
Date: January 10, 2006 04:37PM
It's never too late to neuter a cat. It might not stop the undesirable behavior immediately, but it probably will in the long run.

If you live with a cat, you HAVE to deal with cat@#$%&, no way around this one. A lot of cats are scared of the automatic cat boxes & they're not that large. A bus tray or other large tub will serve you well.

I live with 5 & scoop the box every morning.



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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: January 10, 2006 04:57PM
> 2) What can you tell me about FUS? (jimmy, I know you could
> write a book on this...) Meaning, how really common is it,
> and is it reasonably treatable/manageable by home care?

It's very common. It reputedly affects 30% of all male cats in the U.S. Most cat-people I know have had a male cat with FUS in the last decade. The best way to avoid it is to feed a premium low-ash cat food and never go near anything by Purina.

It generally requires catheterization and at least a couple of days at the vet. It is a very dangerous disorder and requires the attention of a vet.

By the time a cat shows the more serious signs, there's already kidney damage. If the cat gets to the lethargic stage, he's close to death.
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: rgG
Date: January 10, 2006 05:03PM
BooBoo had a nasty and I mean nasty case of bladder stones. This was several years ago. We changed her diet and are hoping that she never has a problem again. She only eats the Friskies "special diet" for urinary tract health dry and the Friskies "special diet" turkey dinner for urinary tract health canned. Her's was most likely caused by the canned tuna kitty food that she liked so much, but we will never know for sure.

I was told by the vet that once a cat has had a urinary tract problem they are more likely to have a recurrence, but we are very strict with the food and always have plenty of water and just hope for the best.

I'm sure jimmypoo will have more info on this, but that is my experience. BooBoo's infection did not respond to the first antibiotic and so we had to go for another round of a different one. It was no fun. Boo does not like pills or liquid meds, not at all.

BTW, BooBoo is a female, so it was very serious, but not nearly as much as if she had been a male.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2006 05:05PM by rgG.
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: January 10, 2006 05:26PM
I am just lucky, I guess. I feed my cats Purina and they have all lived nice long lives.

It is never too late to neuter a cat. On the other hand I have a friend who had her two male cats neutered as kittens, and one of them still thinks he has his cojones.

My female cat is much bolder than either of the males I have had, so go figure.

The food that has been killing dogs because of aflatoxin contamination is a super premium food, so I think you just feed them, love them, vet them, make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink and hope for the best.
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: January 10, 2006 05:27PM
My furry buddy, Max, had a bout of FUS....

If your kitty is an indoor kitty (which is far safer than having an indoor/outdoor cat like Max...) the symptoms are easier to spot.

Crying when using the litter box, or suddenly peeing everyplace BUT the litter box, is a sign to PAY ATTENTION to... If it hurts to pee, he might have them nasty crystals forming in his urine, which irritate his urethra, making it even HARDER to pee...
Until the vet has to go in after things with a catheter.

If you wait too long, after he wanders around trying to find a place to pee where it doesn't hurt, the kittys butt starts a draggin' around the house, he passes out, his kidney-plumbing backs up, kidney damage, and he dies.

FORTUNATELY, after a couple "bladder infections", my vet told me what to look out for and I caught it at the "crying when using the litter box, then trying to pee in the bathtub instead" stage, about the time he really started to act like he was feeling crappy.
Got him to the vet, and he got a catheter...
No kidney damage.

Max is on Urinary SO forumla dry cat food... Can't for the life of me remember the brand.
No trouble since.... although he did have a 4 day hunger strike when I took away his IAMS food. He doesn't know this, but I was about an hour away from giving in, when I caught him scarfing down a bowl full of the "new" food.
Start your cat on a quality food to begin with so you don't have to put up with the hunger strikes!

As for a litter box...
A good brand of clumping litter is probably going to be WAY less trouble in the long run than a mechanical litter box.


As for later-in-life neutering...
No personal experience but I've read that those behaviors are learned, and need to be "Unlearned" once they're learned... even after nuetering.
But that neutering will lessen those "desires".


Hope this helps!





Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: PeterB
Date: January 10, 2006 05:34PM
OK guys, here are some followup questions:

1) Is the FUS a progressive thing, rather than chronic? Meaning, does it just get worse and worse, or sort of "come and go"?

2) My question about the late neutering-- what I guess I'm wondering is if a cat which is neutered late will necessarily have bad behaviors, e.g., if you don't neuter until 3-4 years, will a male cat spray? (Owner claims doesn't spray, I'm wondering how this is possible, if it's something that male cats normally do, and therefore would have to be unlearned, even if neutering is done, as you guys say.)




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: January 10, 2006 05:35PM
<make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink and hope for the best.

Absolutely!

I forgot to mention that...

If I don't see Max drinking some water at least once a day, I put him up on the bathroom sink and fill it, and encourage him to drink.
(spoiled rotten little booger will NOT drink from a bowl... only from the sink, or the toilet, which I now keep closed).

If he STILL won't have a drink, I take a needle-less syringe, hold him on his back in the crook of my arm, and squirt water in the side of his mouth.

If you keep water flowing through your cat, those struvite (?) crystals don't have a chance to form in his little bladder.





Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: rgG
Date: January 10, 2006 05:35PM
Follow up after reading Paul's post. BooBoo and BunBun also were most displeased when I had to change thei food and did the hunger strike thing, too.

If I ever got another cat I might just start them on the urinary tract health food so that I didn't have to change. Kitties, at least my kitties, fear change of just about any kind.
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: January 10, 2006 05:37PM
<Kitties, at least my kitties, fear change of just about any kind.

Yup... that's pretty much all cats.
The Feline Motto is; "Change is Bad".





Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: PeterB
Date: January 10, 2006 05:38PM
Oh yeah, also...

rgG, I completely missed your birthday. Happy b-day, belated... I have been very much preoccupied with other stuff-- photos of some of it to come!




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: rgG
Date: January 10, 2006 05:49PM
1) Is the FUS a progressive thing, rather than chronic? Meaning, does it just get worse and worse, or sort of "come and go"?

It depends on the cat. Sorry for the vague answer, but it really does. If you know the cats history and the type of crystals, I would talk to a vet about his chances of a long term problem. If he has already had multiple episodes then his outlook will probably be different than if he had only had one episode and has been fine for years. Once they have had an episode though, they should always be watched more closely, just in case there is a relapse. Just my humble opinion.
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: January 10, 2006 05:49PM
> 1) Is the FUS a progressive thing, rather than chronic?
> Meaning, does it just get worse and worse, or sort of "come
> and go"?

What's going on INSIDE can take weeks to develop.

From first symptom to death can be hours or days.

You really have to KNOW your cat. When a cat's behavior changes, you watch to see if there's a pattern and at the first sign of a urinary problem you get him to the vet ASAP.

All of this stuff is easily Googled...
[www.sniksnak.com]
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: January 10, 2006 05:59PM
Yeah, what they said...

If your cat is habitually well-hydrated, he may NEVER have symptoms.. even though he might be "prone" to FUS.
But if he gets food that exacerbates the problem (and even Vets can't quite agree on what EXACTLY causes it from cat to cat), or doesn't get enough water, he can start getting simple bladder infections to full-on slushy-in-the-bladder.

I hope this makes it clearer, rather than even more obscure smiling smiley






Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: rgG
Date: January 10, 2006 06:07PM
PeterB, Thanks for the belated happy birthday. It was sweet of you to remember. Here's a smilie just for you. smiling bouncing smiley





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: January 10, 2006 06:21PM
Peter, some male cats don't spray if their territory is not threatened. So if he's an indoor cat, and a solo cat, he may never have gotten into the habit.

Some cats spray even after neutering as a kitten. I don't know that it has a great deal to do with when he was neutered.

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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: PeterB
Date: January 10, 2006 06:25PM
MacMagus, I DID Google for it. But you'll notice that the link you provided doesn't really answer my question... it sounds like the answer is really exactly that given by rgG and Paul F -- that it seems a very much individual-cat-dependent kind of thing... and your link points out that, dependent on the cause, it can be either progressive or chronic... geez.

Gutie, that's what I wondered about -- if it could again be a kitty-specific behavior... good to know that it's possible for a male not to spray in the first place, and then presumably would not spray post-neutering.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2006 06:27PM by PeterB.
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: DaviDC.
Date: January 10, 2006 06:37PM
ALL cats can spray (male & female), even after being 'fixed.'
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: January 10, 2006 09:45PM
1) Is the FUS a progressive thing, rather than chronic? Meaning, does it just get worse and worse, or sort of "come and go"?


One of my cats had it. He was just lucky that I happened to have heard about it and knew enough to recognize that he was in trouble. He had to start eating better food, and for a couple of years I had to mix an acidifier into his wet food. But after that, he had no more problems with FUS. I've fed only low-ash food since then.

I would never buy an automatic litter box. For one thing, they can kill kittens. Aside from that, scooping once a day for one cat takes a minute: if you can't manage a minute a day to take care of this, you shouldn't get a cat.
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: PeterB
Date: January 10, 2006 11:22PM
Thanks for opinions and info, everyone. Mucho appreciated.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: Kiva
Date: January 10, 2006 11:39PM
IMO, no matter the question of whether or not it will change behavior, one *must* spay/neuter a housecat. I can't think of any viable reason not to. The risk of it wandering, getting knocked up, cancer is just to great..

Also, check out this litter...it is fantastic; all natural and flushable:

[www.swheatscoop.com]

kiva
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: Phy
Date: January 11, 2006 12:05AM
Kiva Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>snip>
> Also, check out this litter...it is fantastic; all
> natural and flushable:
>
But will bugs infest it?
And will it attract rodents while stored?
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: Kiva
Date: January 11, 2006 11:21AM
very good question, Phy....it hasn't yet for me. I bought a 40lb bag and had it in the shed and didn't have any problems. I'll be watching for that...

kiva
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Re: Attn cat people: another question or two, please
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 11, 2006 01:40PM
I have used swheatscoop before. It's OK.
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