Monday, September 26, 2016

What your cat's vomiting near the litter box can tell you about their health

Being observant of a pet's behavior and their habits is essential, no matter if you're family or their occasional caregiver.  Understanding what's normal for them and noting any changes, regardless of how subtle can speak volumes that something is going on. Cats can be especially challenging to read; they are masters of hiding any illness or pain and yes, of course they don't often openly display if they are not feeling well.

To mine for the right information, there are times you need to look no further than the litter box--or in this case, in and around it.

This morning, I arrived to care for a senior kitty that I've been tending to for years. She has some health issues, including renal insufficiency, something that isn't uncommon in cats her age. Thus far, it has been well-managed by providing bowls of fresh water throughout the house so that she is encouraged to drink ample amounts of fluid; dehydration goes hand-in-hand with chronic kidney disease (CKD). One of the areas that we see affected is the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and with less fluid made available to that area, stools can become too firm and difficult to pass. In this cat's case, I've noted that despite the fact that she's taking in lots of water (the plentiful urine clumps in the litter box are fine evidence of that) her stools are less soft than they were just a few weeks ago. That's a good indicator that the CKD is likely progressing, but with some changes in her daily regimen directed by her veterinarian, her condition can continue to be managed adequately. Watch the video below to learn more about another clue related to this facet of CKD that is often missed, but should be taken seriously and discussed with a pet's veterinarian.

Lorrie Shaw is a freelance writer and owner of Professional Pet Sitting. She has been a featured guest on the Pawprint Animal Rescue Podcast, talking about her career working with companion animals and writing about her experiences. Shoot her an email, contact her at 734-904-7279 or follow her adventures on Twitter.

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