Monday, April 13, 2009

I didnt know a cat could get diabetes

Last week my 13 year old cat, Rhi, began exhibiting unusual behavior for her. She began doing her business outside of the litter box. Now I found her when she was just weeks old- she fit in the palm of my hand- and never once have I had litter box trouble with her. And then one evening Jay & I were watching tv and she waltzes into the living room, gets directly in between us & the television then squats! What?!? We were both dumbfounded. The box was clean, so I haven't a clue why she would do this. Being an indoor only cat I hadn't taken her to a vet in 6-7 years. But now may be a good time for a visit. I call up a local vet and made an appointment for Saturday. I have to squeeze that in between an Easter Egg Hunt, grocery shopping and everything else that needs to be completed. But I cant have a cat urinating all over my house either. I decided to contain her to one room while at work but strangely she has managed to start disappearing every morning, funny how that works. But so far she hasn't gone in the carpet while we are away- apparently she saves it for an audience. My thoughts between when I made the appointment and going were between UTI, Kidney issues all the way tumors and cancer or mental illness. Diabetes, however, never dawned on me. At the vet's office they started with her weight (11 lbs), temp (norm) and urine sample. Which they drew themselves. When she was returned to me, she was in her carrier, head in the corner, facing away from the door. She wouldn't even turn her ears to me when I spoke. So I figure she was pretty mad at that point. After being violated in a way she probably didn't know was possible, I cant blame her. When they came back with the results of glucose in the urine and suspected diabetes. Her sample was extremely diluted and they asked about her water intake. I recalled commenting to Jay the week before that I couldn't keep her water bowl filled up. Bingo. They wanted to do a blood test to confirm the diabetes. Her blood sugar level was over 400. Cats- like people-they want that number under 200. So now what? The vet wants her to eat a prescription canned food. No more hard food- too much carbohydrates. She felt that there is a good chance it can be managed through diet alone and Rhi can return to her usual active lifestyle (HAHA). They found nothing else wrong with her. She suspected there was also a UTI- but since the urine was so diluted it didn't show in the test. But she gave me a bottle of pills to shove down her throat once a day for the next 14 days. Fun times. In 4-6 weeks she wants us to return for a follow up blood test to make sure her sugar levels have returned to normal on the diet. If still elevated the next step is insulin injections...done by home...holy crap.
So, I left with 4 cans of prescription cat food & a bag of prescription hard food- if she refused the can. But the vet said to try to get her to eat the canned food. Well, she ate that canned food like she hadn't eaten in a month. Now that she's eating the canned I have to go pick up more prescription food. If this works I'm going to request ordering it in bulk.
Unfortunately since we returned home from the vet she still hasn't gone to her litter box- at all. Not only is she urinating in the carpet she's now pooping there too. I don't have the slightest clue. Although I'm not going to kill her- yet. I'll give her time to get better & if the vet determines she is better health-wise but she is still going outside the box. Then it's going to get ugly. I did change litter a month ago to a really cheap kind- she didn't mind. But it was nasty. I hated it. So I changed back to the more expensive kind that she's used for years. I don't know if that has something to do with it. I don't know if it's the diabetes, the uti (but why would that cause the poop issue) or going senile. I still have some the cheap litter I'm going to put in there as a test. But I'll have patience. She's been with me a long time. It's gone from just she & I to bringing Jay into her life. We moved in with him, then the children came along and we've moved houses. Through all the changes over the years she's taken them all in stride, she's never displayed any negative behaviors. I show her where her things are and she adapts beautifully. She's been wonderful with the children. At this point in time, never bitten or scratched them- even if they deserved it. She has all her claws. So for her years of loyalty and good behavior I'll cut her some slack now that she's getting up there in kitty years.

In researching online I discovered quite a few websites on the diabetic cat- who knew?


Michele said...

Poor Rhi Rhi!!! I'm sure having her body malfunction on her is no picnic in her mind either. I wonder if the defecating outside her box was a way to say "HELP ME" and once she starts to feel better, if that will go away. I hope it isn't dementia or senility. Poor baby.

Cat diabetes... Who would have thought?

Sending thoughts to St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals. :)

Queenbuv3 said...

Is your cat declawed? I had a cat that starting peeing outside the box all over the place and at the time had to surrender him to the MSPCA because I couldn't afford to take him to the vet. Years later when I had one of my new cats declawed and was researching problems (my cat had been butchered by the vet who did the declawing, I will never do it again!!) I found that declawed cats can develop arthritis in their paws and no longer be able to bury the pee and poo and start going outside the box. Hope this helps : )