Aby-a-Day – May 3: Today was brought to you by the letter “P”

When I woke up this morning, it seemed like a perfectly ordinary Tuesday.


Then Jacoby went to the bathroom and nothing happened.


(I took these photos to show the vet, not to post, but since I have them…) Poor Jake went from box to box, trying to pee in each one as though a change of venue might be more productive. Every time, only a few drops came out. He must have tried at least 10 times in less than an hour.

Being fairly well-read on the subject of feline healthcare (and having on hand both the most recent edition of the Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook and the Cornell Book of Cats as well as The Veterinarian’s Guide to Your Cat’s Symptoms because, for some reason, looking things up in books is so much more satisfying than Googling them at times like these), I knew that a cat trying to pee and not being able to – especially a boycat – is an emergency. It could be a blockage of the urethra (which is narrow in male cats), or Cystitis, or crystals or stones in the bladder, but whatever it is, it’s definitely not a “wait-and-see” situation. So, I bundled Jake up in his carrier and we went to see the vet.


We saw Dr. KC (who we saw when he had his escalator accident back in October), and she agreed that there was something going on, probably Cystitis since he was otherwise perky and eating well. She prescribed Clavamox (antibiotic), Tramadol (pain reliever) and Phenoxybenzamine (which reduces urethral spasms and increases urine outflow). However, I wasn’t to give him the Clavamox until I’d gotten his urine sample.


I’m sure you’re wondering (as was I), “how in the heck do you get a urine sample from a cat?” Why, with PlastiLitter, of course! You put the PlastiLitter into a small, empty litterbox and wait til the cat pees in there, then pour out the urine (which the plastic pebbles don’t absorb) and take it back to the vet. Easy peasy! Except, not really.

“Seriously? Seriously!?

Jake went pee surprisingly quickly, almost as soon as I’d set up the little litterbox, and I got as much of it as I could and ran back to the vet…but it wasn’t enough. I had a doctor appointment of my own during lunch (ironically, involving a urine test), and then I had to get back to work, so I had to leave Jake alone in the bedroom with his little red cat show pan and his PlastiLitter and hope for the best.

You know you’re a cat mom when…all the time you’re at work you can’t wait to get home and see if your kitty has peed. It was the first thing I checked when I walked in the door, before even taking off my shoes or jacket. And…he had not. Not at all. I stirred up the PlastiLitter and showed it to him again, and pretty much begged him to “please go peepee.”

Finally, he went in and gave me a good-sized sample! Hurrah! I think he was as relieved as I was; I know he was thrilled to see the little show box go away and the regular big box returned to the litter cabinet.

So now he’s had his Clavamox, and tomorrow I’ll take his sample back to the vet to see what’s actually going on in there.

13 thoughts on “Aby-a-Day – May 3: Today was brought to you by the letter “P”

  1. I wish more humans knew that a cat who is trying to pee and can’t is a dire emergency! I’m so glad you knew enough to rush Jake right down to the clinic. Keep us posted on how he is doing!


    1. Thanks…I got into a bit of trouble at work because I got into work so late, so it is very nice to have my instincts and better judgement validated 🙂

      He’s peed twice since this post, and he seems fine…apart from wanting to camp out under the sofa.



  2. Poor Jake! He’s so lucky to have a great cat-mom like yourself who got him in to the vet right away. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.


  3. The last time Lily needed to give a sample (she too has problems with crystals) the vet just withdrew it using a syringe. If the cats bladder is full it’s a simple procedure.
    Hope everything is okay with Jake.


    1. They couldn’t do that with Jake; the vet said his bladder was too empty and/or small and she was afraid of missing. At least I did manage to get the sample!


  4. Mmmm Tramadol. I bet he’s feeling pretty silly in the head right about now. I know I love MY Tramadol.

    I have a good feeling that Jake will be A-okay. Keep me updated on LJ!


  5. hope Jake is feeling better now. Our first Fawn Abyssinian, Parsnip, had willy crystals. It was awful watching a cat who was so fastidiously clean finding every possible opportunity to try to pee and not succeeding. Poor boy. We had to alter his diet too to reduce his magnesium levels (I THINK) to ensure he didn’t get them again by upping the wet food and using dry food only for treats.


    1. Oh! Yes, it was, just like that – Jake is so clean, he goes into the box and buries after Tessie and Angel have been in there – he doesn’t think they’re very good at cleaning up after themselves!


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