poor kitten

our little finley had to go to the ER on saturday. it was a very stressful day, to be sure.

if you click on my "about" page you’ll see a picture of finley snuggled up with his brother avery. finley is the siamese-y looking one. he’s two and a half, and he’s a kook, and he’s quite possibly the most affectionate cat in the world.

i was rushing around on saturday, doing "just these few things quick" before heading to campus for a Marathon Of Grading, when i noticed something scary in the litterbox: blood. never a good sign. at the time finley was using the other litterbox, so i was able to quickly determine that the blood belonged to him, and i hurried to call the vet. of course, because the universe hates me, this all happened 15 minutes after my vet closed for the weekend, so that means we had to take him to the ER.

we have had only two previous ER experiences, and they were both horrible. a few years ago, we took a baby squirrel to this particular ER. we found him on a busy city street in the middle of the night, shivering next to a building. we didn’t know how to help him at home overnight, so we thought we’d take him to the ER and then he could go to the humane society the next morning. long story short: the squirrel died, but the people at the ER lied to me and said he was at the humane society. when i called the humane society they told me that the people at the ER said not to bother to come; he had died. ARGH.

a year or so before that, we had to rush our wonderful cat kody to the ER (to be fair, that was an ER in a totally different state, but still) in the middle of the night, and he died before they could do anything to help him. it was the worst night of our lives.

so like i said, not too excited about going to the ER.

in all, we spent about four hours there on saturday, and finley has some type of urinary tract infection. as far as we can tell, it seems we caught it relatively early. his bladder wasn’t swollen and he was still producing urine, so he wasn’t blocked and he didn’t need a catheter or anything. for those of you who have no idea what i’m talking about: urinary tract problems are somewhat common, especially in boy cats, but they can move into dangerous territory relatively quickly. if they block it can be fatal. i was really quite freaked out.

no one really knows what causes these things… might be diet, might be stress, might be anything. one of the factors, though, is that cats often don’t drink as much as they should (leading to super-concentrated urine). our kitties were both eating only dry food, so they weren’t getting any moisture besides whatever they were drinking. at the ER they gave finley a syringe of subcutaneous fluids and a 4-day supply of anti-inflammatory meds, and they suggested we get him on some canned food right away. both of our boys are total pigs, so we figured this wouldn’t be a problem.

we were wrong. neither one of them likes canned food. avery will tolerate it somewhat, but finley will go hungry rather than eat it. it’s been very frustrating. we also had to switch them to a new dry food, just in the off-chance that their food is what caused this. in the meantime, we’re doing whatever we can to encourage water consumption. we’ve now got a total of 4 water dishes scattered around the house, and it seems like they are all being used, which is encouraging.

finley has an appointment with our "real" vet on wednesday, at which point we will have a urine test and a blood test and whatever else, and then hopefully i’ll feel better. right now i’m pretty much just stalking him and inspecting his pee every time he goes in the litterbox and being ridiculously ass-kissy when he drinks water. it’s a good thing he’s incredibly affectionate by nature or he’d probably have smacked me around by now.



  1. I’m so sorry to hear about Finley! We’ve had to take our kitty to the ER for the exact same thing before, and it’s not fun. We put him on special urinary tract dry food that we get from the vet that has (I think) methionine in it, and a (I also think) a higher salt content to get him to drink more. We also got one of those kitty water fountains, which he seems to love. He drinks right out of the stream. I’m sure your vet will have other suggestions. Good luck, and I’m glad to hear you caught it early.

  2. Hope Finley’s continuing to get better!
    I just wanted to add that while my cats like canned food, they’re VERY picky about which brand (and admittedly, one of them likes canned food more than the other, so I give some dry and some canned each day–only 1/6 of a 5.5oz can each day per cat!).
    At the moment, all they’ll eat is very expensive but high quality Wellness:
    And if you can’t find it near you:
    They ADORE it, and I feel good feeding it to them. (But they oddly don’t care for the dry version.) I’ve been told it’s the most popular at our boutique pet store. Before that, they only ate Science Diet canned. They turn up their noses and refuse any grocery or health food store brand these days. I don’t know how many you’ve tried so far, but just wanted to pass along my experience. You may have to try a bunch out.

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