Hello and welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline Friday. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Training Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by myself, mommy A, throughout my many years of animal training, cats in particular. And to offer insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, successful Training is all about Repetition and Rewards. We’re asking you to submit any and all questions you may have; whether they be about training, health, diet or whatever. You can leave them in the comments below or send us an email using our contact form here. If you’ve missed any posts in this series, you can check them out by clicking the Training Tips and Everything Feline link from our menu above. There you’ll find links and descriptions of each article.
Well here we are with da final part of our mini series on Sterile Cystitis. In our furst post we talked ‘bout da pawssible causes. Our second post innerduced you to meez new food. We discussed da pawssibility dat Sterile Cystitis was partly caused by food, both dry and those containing too many carbohydrates which kitties systems can’t break down. Seems Veterinary medicine doesn’t actually know what causes Sterile Cystitis. But thru comparin’ da lives of those cats purrsentin’ with it they’ve made sum assumptions. Another of those is dat it be caused by stress.
Well anypawdy who knows kitties knows dat we can get purrlenty stressed purretty quick over nothin’. And as most cat peeps know a kitty offen shows their stress thru their urine habits.Anyways, stress can be caused by numerous things like funder boomers. Or maybe a change in our house hold. You know, did you move dat chair from da livin’ room? Or did you bring home a new kitty or doggy? A new baby, a move, a new man or woman in your life, new work schedule or just plain ole boredom can cause your cat stress among other things.
So mommy changed meez food and gave me a supplement dat we found at Wysong to help lower meez urine pH, and then we had to work on meez stress levels. Meow mommy dat’s a lot of stuff to do.
Well baby there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you. And yes, we did start with getting you off the Blue Buffalo kibbles, but knowing you were in pain, hurt me too and I wanted to get your urine pH down as quickly as possible. When I started my research we ended up at the Wysong website but not because of their food. That was a bonus. Wysong makes 2 supplements for urine pH. Both are called Biotic pH. There’s one for acidifying the urine and 1 for alkalizing the urine. Since Dezi’s urine pH was around 8-9 we needed to get it back down to the normal range. Having a urine pH that high meant she was at risk for developing stones and blockages. Ideally I would like to have Dezi do fine without any additional supplements, but as with medicines and supplements, sometimes you give something to get over a problem and then reassess. Thankfully the supplement is a powder that was sprinkled over her food and readily accepted. She ate it like a kid eats candy. But how do we know if it’s working?
To determine if Dezi’s urine pH was returning to normal we needed to test it. That meant either going back to the vet and paying for another urinalysis or testing it myself. Thankfully many advancements have been made in urine testing for cats because Dezi is the cat that would refuse to pee if I were standing there holding a test strip under her while she used the litter box. I researched testers extensively as well as ways to collect the urine and finally settled on a litter additive. Simple Solution makes a product that specifically tests urine pH when mixed with any litter you currently use. Since Sterile Cystitis can be an ongoing issue, and we’ll need to keep an eye on Dezi’s urine pH, I bought a couple of bags to start.
I poured some Simple Solution crystals in the area where Dezi urinates and waited (they are now mixed in throughout the litter which will happen with the cats’ digging and does not affect the accuracy of the crystals or their ability to work). I didn’t have to wait long because the additive seemed to intrigue her. When she left the box, I was holding my breath. Dezi had been on the new food and supplement for a couple of days. I know you’re all thinking it was too soon and I was expecting a miracle. Maybe I was. I believe in miracles and so many people had been praying for her, so I checked the litter. Alright, it wasn’t perfect. It was a nice shade of lilac, not the color I wanted. But it had only been a couple of days, and at least it wasn’t deep purple which is where it would have been the day she was diagnosed. Another meal down, more fluids and the next time Dezi used the litter box the crystals didn’t change color at all. We were there. Her urine pH was finally normal again. My little girl was no longer in pain. Insert in your mind, a photo of mommy smiling from ear to ear with tears of joy streaming down my face.
The next step was and is to work on Dezi’s stress levels. To do that we’ve been taking some days off the computer to hang out together and play and go for strolls. Dezi loves to play and she really likes to go out and see people and things. Kitties that lay around and sleep all the time can be stressed. Altho’ cats do sleep more than most species, they need enrichment during their waking hours. Their ancestors had to hunt for their food, so a little playtime before a meal can be beneficial. And altho’ I don’t believe any cat should be outside unattended, there’s a benefit to fresh air and sunshine. So invest in a good harness and leash and take the time to train your cats to use it. I have always preferred those harnesses made more like clothing as opposed to the strappy ones. A cat feels more secure when wrapped and even tho’ they may not like the harness at first, they will grow accustom to it and even someday enjoy it. We also use a stroller for going out. I’ll tell you they are a great investment. A way to take kitty out while keeping them completely protected.
The last thing we added is a calming aid. Some of you know we’ve tried the Thundershirt, Feliway and Bach’s Flower Essences, as well as a few other brands of treats and drops to no avail. Dezi hates storms, the lawn crew, fireworks, and most other loud and obnoxious noises. I searched and read and even made calls looking for something that might work. I will say that we don’t know if any of the calming treats on the market actually work because Dezi won’t eat them. When it comes to treats, she only wants freeze dried meat and unfortunately nobody makes a calming freeze dried chicken breast treat.
Anyways, we found a spot on from a company across the pond on amazon called Beaphar. They make calming collars, pills, and a spot on that is supposed to work for a week, among other products. The only ingredient in this spot on is Valerian. It comes in a box of 3 tubes much like a flea treatment. Instead of applying between the shoulders, this is applied between the ears and becomes effective within an hour of application. We’ve had a few storms since we started using it, and Dezi did much better. She did finally hide, but not at the first sign or crack of thunder. And she came out when I called her. I didn’t expect a spot on to work miracles; and part of being calm during these stressful events is acclimation. If Dezi has something that can help keep her calm long enough she can become accustomed to them and eventually not hide at all.
So all in all I’m happy with the results. I don’t like the price, but is there anything we won’t do for our babies? Right now a box of 3 Beaphar Calming spot on is selling for $7.50 – $10.00. The first ones we bought were $14.00. So the price varies and is a bit high, but the product works. If you’re having trouble and the other calming products don’t work for you either, then you might want to give this a try. I would like to note that we purchased all of these products ourselves.
Fanks fur ‘splainin’ everything mommy. Me luvs da new food. And mommy wanted me to tell ya’ dat me dusn’t take da Biotic pH – anymore, but will again ifin me needs it. And da little green crystals in meez pawdee box awe kinda cool. As fur da spot on, meez not sure me likes havin’ an oily head fur a day, but hey, those storms don’t seem quite as bad anymore. And meez really luvvin’ da extra time weez spendin’ togevver. Me luvs you mommy, and fanks fur duin’ so much to make me well.
As we do every weekend, weez joinin’ Rascal and Rocco fur da Pet Parade. And stay tuned Monday cuz weez gunna be havin’ a give away.