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  1. #1
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    Feb. 9, 2005
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    Default Old cat drinking lots of water...

    My siamese mix is at a minimum 13 years, but he was a rescue and the vets have said for years he is actually much older than the person who surrendered him put down (I'd probably do the same thing, honestly). He could easily be closer to 20 year old. Anyway, he has started drinking excessive amounts of water. I assume he is the one draining the cat bowl, and now I see him drinking from the big dog bowl often when I am home, which is not normal for him (the dogs and cats lightly tolerate each other). He is growing gaunt as well (he was not at all fat to start with, but just looks a bit dehydrated and like he has lost a little weight too). He's definitely on the skinnier side of things.

    I did some internet research and it seems likely to be renal failure... thoughts? He is extremely arthritic, can't jump up anymore and it hurts him to go up and down stairs.

    Given his age, and painful joints, I am interested in what I can do to keep him comfortable. I'd really rather avoid the stress of the vet clinic if it is just going to be a blood test that says, yes, he has kidney failure. He *totally* freaks out going to the vet clinic. I also haven't vaccinated him for about 4 years (he is inside always) which seems to be a sore spot with the clinic. I'm not inclined to prolong his life given his arthritis (sorry--if you want to blast me go ahead). He still seems to greatly enjoy sunning himself in the porch, for instance. He does eat dry food, which I now read is bad, but it is something he will eat still, and he is very picky about other things. He has randomly been going after the dog when unprovoked now, which is completely new. Also makes me think he's going downhill...

    Our house is sold pending final inspection and one thing I am also worried about is if he will start peeing on the carpet...

    Crap, I felt pretty nonchalant about all of this given his age, but now I'm starting to cry. He's our first "baby."
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  2. #2
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    Default

    Oh crap. Wrong forum. How do I get it moved??
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  3. #3
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    Oct. 26, 2007
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    Default

    I just put down my 19 year old cat due to kidney failure. Excessive drinking was the first signs of the end. Sounds like his kidneys are not functioning if he is drinking a lot and still looking gaunt.

    You can give him subcutaneous fluids if you want him to feel better and prolong things.

    Once my cat was no longer able to stay hydrated on her own, I decided it was time to say good bye, and had a wonderful vet come to my home and do the procedure where my cat was most comfortable.

    Edited to add:

    Here are a few things that kept my cat more comfortable during her last months.

    Hydration, low function kidneys means that he needs to get as much fluid as possible. I fed my cat wet food, with distilled water added, made a slurry which she lapped up.

    My cat was very particular about her water, and I provided distilled as she much preferred it. Plus it is not full of chemicals which the kidneys would try to deal with.

    Feed lower protein. High protein, while good for a healthy cat, is hard on ailing kidneys. My cat came off of an all meat high protein diet, in favor of a highly digestible lower protein formula.



  4. #4
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    Default

    Is that like IV fluids, but under the skin instead? This is a cat who tries to bite you every time you trim his nails. Tries to bite you when you give him a pill. Tries to bite you when you put him in the crate.

    Otherwise he never tries to bite. But I'm just a wee bit concerned on how that would go...
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  5. #5
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    Aug. 9, 2007
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    Default

    Old cats can get dehydrated when their kidneys start failing. Sometimes a skin pop of fluids can rehydrate. My siamese Susan Kimberly years ago got some fluids injected under the skin and lived another 2 yrs.

    And sometimes old cats can get diabetes. Then you give the insulin with skin pops (shots just under the skin) daily to keep them going. My old alley cat Dominique got diabetes when she was 18 yoa. Easy to use the test strips while cat is in the cat pan, too.

    Vets can do a yearly checkup for the geriatric dogs and cats and tell you the %age of kidney and liver functions. Then you can work out a plan for dealing with problems.

    I now have 2 19 yoa sibling kitties who are still in good health thanks to good vets. 15 yoa cat is in good health. The 9 yoa former barn cat has some kidney stones (sand) problems but a cother suggested the kitty cosequin, and it works great.



  6. #6
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    Default

    To trim nails. Have the kitty nail trimer at hand. Let kitty fall asleep in your lap. Do one nail. When kitty wakes up, you know nothing. When kitty goes back to sleep, do another nail.

    This method also works well for giving a pill to a cat.

    There are muzzles for cats in jeffers and foster and smith catalogues. They work. They also have the cat bags but those are mostly good for giving pills, not for giving skin pops or shots. You can have someone hold kitty's neck and front legs while you give fluids or shots.

    My cousins used to call me cat girl when I was a kid, even though i also had dogs and horses.



  7. #7
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    Default

    it could be diabetes rather than kidney failure; diabetes is fairly treatable. A quick vet visit for a blood draw will tell you right away.

    information on feeding the cat in kidney failure: http://www.felinecrf.org/which_foods.htm



  8. #8
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    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Default

    So sorry for your old guy.
    Seems like they age overnight

    I've lost several to renal failure - all over 17yo.

    Another sign to look for is the shape of urine in the litterbox - this is easiest if you use clumping/scoopable litter.
    Instead of a neat peespot clump, you will find large splashes.

    Adding water to the canned food works to get more liquid in him.

    And while it may be pricier than a visit to the clinic, check into a vet that will come to your home.
    Or perhaps ask your horse vet if he/she will do a quick exam?
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  9. #9
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    Sep. 23, 2010
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    Default

    So sorry for your sick Kitty, but I would definitely go for the vet visit, to make sure you don't miss something treatable.



  10. #10
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    Default

    Have lost 2 to renal failure and 1 to diabetes. I agree with what others have said above. If it is diabetes that requires insulin, you must feed canned food every 12 hours on the DOT and t hen give insulin shot EXACTLY one hour later.

    SubQ fluids are most easily dripped in in the scruff of the neck. It helps to wrap the cat in a towel tightly enough so he can't scratch you.

    I'd second or third a trip to the vet - blood and urine samples can tell you what it is.

    I learned the very hard way that if you let renal failure go a day too long you get to see heartrending seizures. After that miserable lesson my motto is let them go before the last minute. Let them go before they suffer.

    Hugs.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



  11. #11
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    Default

    Most cats with renal disease show other signs such as vomiting, anorexia etc but not always. Usually sudden polydipsia indicates diabetes. However...a simple blood test would test for both. Might be worth stressing cat out for a few hours to get an answer to what is going on. Both are easily managed and may make your cat feel much better. Also, talk to your vet about cosequin for cats, works wonders on the arthritic creatures and its in a palatabe powder form you can sprinkle on wet or dry food. Good luck!



  12. #12
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    Default

    Is it possible to sedate your cat before taking him to the vet? Plus, if this is a case of kidney failure, ask them to give him fluids while he's there. A stressed-out cat in kidney failure can run into trouble fast (chronically dehydrated, electrolytes can be off) and fluids would greatly help him.



  13. #13
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    Default

    Increase in aggression could also be hyperthyroidism. Or he could just be like the cat we just lost and have totally normal bloodwork in spite of all that drinking.

    I think you need to decide if this turns out to be something treatable would you be willing to try treating, or do you feel that it is prolonging the very near enivetable and wouldn't treat anyway. If you wouldn't be interested in treating then don't bother with the vet visit till its his time, otherwise a basic blood panel would go a long way in determining the underlying issue
    You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!



  14. #14
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    Default

    Another thought: have a homecall vet come in!

    Seriously, one bood draw will very likely give you a diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatment for diabetes, renal disease and hyperthyroidism are extremely easy and cheap. My thought it its worth a try to treat, and if you dont like how its going then that is the point to stop. I would kick myself if I never even tried (especially because its so dirt cheap and non stressful to the pet), but I also understand that some people dont feel the same way, and totally acceptabe.

    Also one more question, do you know he's arthritic or assume it? Often diabetic cats will move around like they are arthritic, but its a side effect of untreated diabetes. Not to say he ISNT arthritic, but just wanted to mention it.

    Cartrophen and cosequin significanty help arthritic kitties



  15. #15
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    Default

    I don't think we have a homecall vet, but will check. I will say the pee smells worse than usual, imo.

    I think after we get back from the 4th I will bring them both (I have two) down in the big dog crate to the Large Animal Vet for a blood draw/check-up. I'm rather peeved at the small animal vet, who I have met once (our long term vet just retired/sold his practice).

    New vet had asked me to bring the doberman in for a "free" checkup before re-newing her Proin perscription (event though she had been in the clinic that very month already with the old vet) and then he prescribed all these tests and suddenly I had almost a $200 bill and nothing to show for it except that her allergies were allergies and not a skin issue. I should have said something, but I was running so late at that point I just wanted to get out of there. They had made me wait for an hour in the exam room before he came in--I clocked it (ok sorry, just venting). Back to the kitties--they seem to be happier traveling in the bigger crate together than in seperate little kitty crates.
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
    I don't think we have a homecall vet, but will check. I will say the pee smells worse than usual, imo.

    I think after we get back from the 4th I will bring them both (I have two) down in the big dog crate to the Large Animal Vet for a blood draw/check-up. I'm rather peeved at the small animal vet, who I have met once (our long term vet just retired/sold his practice).

    New vet had asked me to bring the doberman in for a "free" checkup before re-newing her Proin perscription (event though she had been in the clinic that very month already with the old vet) and then he prescribed all these tests and suddenly I had almost a $200 bill and nothing to show for it except that her allergies were allergies and not a skin issue. I should have said something, but I was running so late at that point I just wanted to get out of there. They had made me wait for an hour in the exam room before he came in--I clocked it (ok sorry, just venting). Back to the kitties--they seem to be happier traveling in the bigger crate together than in seperate little kitty crates.
    Funky smelling pee could also indicate diabetes or UTI (which would also cause increased thirst). Renal failure should dilute urine so much that you wouldnt be able to smell it. Can you collect a urine sample now and take it to your vets to run? If its an infection, you arent going to want it brewing for 5 days. Just put some shredded newspaper in the litterbox then collect the pee.



  17. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
    Is that like IV fluids, but under the skin instead? This is a cat who tries to bite you every time you trim his nails. Tries to bite you when you give him a pill. Tries to bite you when you put him in the crate.

    Otherwise he never tries to bite. But I'm just a wee bit concerned on how that would go...
    Yes - Under the skin, sounds like he isn't too tollerant of "proceedures". I would keep that in mind when you decide what to do.


    Quote Originally Posted by oliverreed View Post
    Have lost 2 to renal failure and 1 to diabetes.....I learned the very hard way that if you let renal failure go a day too long you get to see heartrending seizures. After that miserable lesson my motto is let them go before the last minute. Let them go before they suffer.

    Hugs.
    Honestly, different people handle this differently, but *I* do not prolong the life of a sick / suffering cat. Yes, you might be able to treat the diseases he is suffering from, and bring him some comfort (but most likely not 100%), and – treatment – requires treatment – needle pricks, blood draws, vet vists etc.

    Personally, and especially in the case of my dear old Fatty – I do not feel that “Treatment” and prolonging life is often in the best interest of the cat.

    I am soo soo glad I made all of the arrangements before Fatty had a seizure or worse. I KNOW I could have prolonged her a bit with a round of hydrating treatments – But instead, I took time off work and spoiled her on her last days. Gave her all of the attention she wanted (or didn’t want), carried her out on walks to look around and see the birds..let her enjoy the sun, and when the time came, she was put to sleep very peacefully, laying on her favorite spot on my bed.

    A vet I had never used before (mine doesn’t do house calls) came out and did the procedure for $120 ($60 house call, $60 for the drugs).

    Ask yourself, if you decide to treat the terminal illness – what are you doing? Providing some better days, until things turn worse again, and the animal must be put down? Subjecting the animal to daily injections – which the animal cannot understand are “for its own good”?

    I am from the better a day early, than a day late school – Make sure the animals is kept living because it is in the ANIMAL’S best interest to do so, not because we do not want to say good bye (and believe me, good bye was hard with Fatty, she had been my constant companion from when I was 14 to 33 - My parents are the only other thing I have ever had such a long relationship with).



  18. #18
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    I was going to suggest hyperthyroidism; my late cat drank a lot and was losing weight quickly. A simple inexpensive medication took care of that---I think she had Tapazol. She lived to nineteen!

    Not sure about the urine smell though; I would think it would have less odor because it's diluted more???



  19. #19
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    Honestly, different people handle this differently, but *I* do not prolong the life of a sick / suffering cat. Yes, you might be able to treat the diseases he is suffering from, and bring him some comfort (but most likely not 100%), and – treatment – requires treatment – needle pricks, blood draws, vet vists etc.

    Personally, and especially in the case of my dear old Fatty – I do not feel that “Treatment” and prolonging life is often in the best interest of the cat.

    I am soo soo glad I made all of the arrangements before Fatty had a seizure or worse. I KNOW I could have prolonged her a bit with a round of hydrating treatments – But instead, I took time off work and spoiled her on her last days. Gave her all of the attention she wanted (or didn’t want), carried her out on walks to look around and see the birds..let her enjoy the sun, and when the time came, she was put to sleep very peacefully, laying on her favorite spot on my bed.

    A vet I had never used before (mine doesn’t do house calls) came out and did the procedure for $120 ($60 house call, $60 for the drugs).

    Ask yourself, if you decide to treat the terminal illness – what are you doing? Providing some better days, until things turn worse again, and the animal must be put down? Subjecting the animal to daily injections – which the animal cannot understand are “for its own good”?

    I am from the better a day early, than a day late school – Make sure the animals is kept living because it is in the ANIMAL’S best interest to do so, not because we do not want to say good bye (and believe me, good bye was hard with Fatty, she had been my constant companion from when I was 14 to 33 - My parents are the only other thing I have ever had such a long relationship with).
    While I mostly agree with you, you sound like you are diagnosing her cat as terminal? Hyperthyroidism is not a terminal disease, and neither is a urinary tract infection or diabetes. Renal disease can be managed for 10+ years when chronic (not acute).

    Absolutley, when the cat is not well there comes a point to decide to terminate life or to palliative treat until the quality declines. That is a personal choice.

    However - unless there is a diagnosis (if the cat is otherwise doing well), it seems one is a little kill happy? Cat is drinking more - OP did not say vomiting, anorexic etc. And from this, its now diagnosed as terminal?

    I would hate to have euthanized a cat if all it needs is antibiotics for a few weeks, or a diabetic food. Obviously if the cat is miserable then THAT is a reason to euthanize, but in many geriatric cats there are many very treatable conditions that can significantly change quality of life.

    OP - best of luck with your cat. I hope you get an answer as to what is wrong, then make an educated and suitable decision for your cat, whether it be treatment or euthanasia. Its never easy, but an educated decision will leave you with no regrets.



  20. #20
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    Apr. 7, 2007
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    this happened to my 15 year old cat about 6 months ago. Drinking like crazy, thin and hesitant to jump up on things. I went on the internet while waiting for the vet visit and had myself totally convinced it was renal failure. Vet thought so too but took a blood test and found thyroid issues. I give her one pill a day and the difference is amazing. Don't give up too soon!



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