You might remember Jasper who came into us in 2017 and found his forever home with our social media coordinator Sarah.
In February this year, Jasper had a blocked urethra (a potentially fatal condition that requires emergency veterinary treatment) and later was diagnosed with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). This is a common condition in male cats, and Sarah has written an account of what happened in order to help raise awareness of the disease…
Jasper is now around four years of age and a very happy, chilled cat so it was easy to spot when he first became unwell. He didn’t want to eat, he looked tense, he didn’t want to be touched, and he kept squatting to try and do a wee all over the house – in the kitchen sink, on the dining table, near the front door, and yet failed to produce more than a drop of urine. He was also licking himself a lot, and looked very sore. So I called the vets and they told me to bring him straight in.
There, the vet felt his bladder, which was full and hard.
Cats can get urinary crystals, which can block the urethra. This means they cannot pee, which can lead to the bladder leaking and causing kidney failure and death. Jasper was admitted and the vet anaesthetised him and inserted a catheter to empty his bladder. They flushed him out to clear any crystals, and to all accounts he woke up a much happier boy.
However, during the following two months, Jasper got blocked several more times and kept showing signs of having urine infections – he would pee more frequently that normal, and often ‘wet himself’ when sleeping/on his way to the litter tray as he couldn’t make it on time.
He spent a lot of time staying at the vets being monitored, which didn’t seem to phase him, but most cats would obviously find this stressful! It was horrible being at home without him, worrying if he’d ever get better. One time he came home on a Friday, but we had to rush him back at 1am on Sunday morning as he was blocked again.
We even took him to see a specialist, who did a very thorough check up under sedation and couldn’t find a cause for the recurrence.
However, I’m pleased to report that eventually, after four months of medication and a specialist diet for cats with FLUTD (which he’ll be on for the rest of this life), Jasper is now doing very well.
There is no cure for this condition, but there are things we can do to help Jasper avoid getting blocked or cystitis again – firstly, feeding him the specialist diet, and secondly ensuring he has a stress-free life as possible. He also needs to drink a lot so we monitor this.
My advice to any cat owner, following this experience would be:
- Encourage your cat to drink water (especially if on a dry food-only diet). You can try different things, including a cat water fountain and draining the water from a can of tuna, or mixing a little with their food.
- Consider getting insurance for your cat if you haven’t already. Our vets bills are currently £4,895.
- Look out for signs of a urinary blockage if you have a male cat (given above), and if you suspect, take your cat to the vets ASAP.