Friday, September 05, 2008

The Skinny on the Skinny Cat

Thanks to everybody for your advice and encouragement regarding Zsa Zsa's troubles. After many trips to the vet -- including one enforced "cat daycare" in order to get a fresh urine sample -- the diagnosis is...

...inconclusive. Instead of knowing what she's suffering from, we at least have a better idea of what she ISN'T suffering from.

She doesn't have worms, for instance, which is particularly weird considering what I pulled out of her butt last week. It must have been a piece of string...or maybe a bit of undigested mouse.

She also doesn't have diabetes, and nothing is wrong with her thyroid. That's the good news.

The bad news is that her urine shows signs of approaching kidney problems...or maybe liver problems, they're not sure which. Fortunately these problems can be managed through proper diet, so we're now doing the three-day "New Cat Food Taste Test," which is kind of fun and which she absolutely LOVES.

I am instructed to keep watching her for further deterioration, and to buy a bathroom scale so I can monitor her weight. I had previously refused to get a scale because I suspect it would lead to compulsive weighing of MYSELF, but there are certain sacrifices one must make for one's unfailing companion.

As for Zsa Zsa herself, she's back to her normal behaviour, though alarmingly thin. She's just as social, active, curious, and thirsty as she always was. Her "bad spell" during the weekend may have been due to a number of things -- like the terrible heat and the worm medication I gave her -- but she SEEMED to get bad whenever I fed her Purina soft food, which I kept doing in order to comfort her. She may have developed an intolerance for something in that food. Very, very strange.

Anyway, Zsa Zsa no longer appears to be on death's door and is instead scratching back at mine. Thank goodness!


Anonymous said...

This is good news! I don't know about cats, but I know humans who go through weird digestive cycles that seem to through everything off. Maybe Zsa Zsa had one of those.

I do know that cat owners need to know about things like ash and taurine, and other things that promote cat health.

Here's a link to a Purina article on cat food:

They have other interesting links there (with appropriate corporate messages, of course). And a section on cat ailments, too. You never know when you will learn something new!

Anyway, as sanity slowly creeps back into your life (on little cat feet, a la Carl Sandburg) viva Zsa Zsa!

Anonymous said...


Eli McIlveen said...

Whew. Sounds like it was getting really scary there. Hurrah indeed!

Lois said...

See what happens when I go away for a few days? I miss out on all the good stuff. And this is GOOD! I am happy that ZsaZsa is on the mend. Poor kitty, it must be so hard for them not being able to tell us what is wrong.
I am so glad for you both.
Now maybe you both will get some sleep!

Anonymous said...

I am *so* happy to hear that Zsa Zsa is feeling better. I went through my cats death from old age at 16, and it was basically kidney failure. My mother died of the same thing.. happens to the best of us. But Zsa Zsa is not that old yet, maybe 70 in cat years, she has quite some time left. (Especially with the good diet you feed her.)

We all must go at some point, but soft food has been kind to her kidneys, just make sure she always has plenty of water. Your concern over her diet is the best thing you can do. You're a wonderful parent to her.

If ever her kidneys fail, she can still enjoy life with injections of water.. it sounds weird, but I was told this when my old cat was on deaths door. I didn't feel I could handle giving daily injections though. :(

You might better be able to handle daily injections.. you're tough that way! It keeps her kidneys clean. Anyways, no use talking depressing stuff, sometimes all your old cat needs is some TLC and a change of food. 13 isn't that old for an indoor cat, and I know you'll give her the best care.

So glad to hear your kitty is feeling better, she may look old and bony these days but she has many more years as Boss of your home. From one cat lover to another!

Adam Thornton said...

Thanks Syd! We're going a day at a time, but she no longer SEEMS ill...just thin. I'm hoping that the new food gets her back in shape, and thank goodness she loves to eat it (AND it wasn't the most expensive brand!)

And her water fountain is never-ending, so there are no problems there. Just a matter of age, and like you said, 13 isn't the end of the road!

Last night she was spunky enough to go mouse-hunting, though I think by now the rodents are too worried to go prowling around.