Cat Check-Up

It is that time of year again, time for their annual check-up. Big Cat again had some additional tests to see how his kidneys and other old organs fare. He has had some issues recently: kidney, stomach, and joint.

Big Cat

Big Cat has been doing much better since he started the medicine for his arthritis. He had been struggling to eat and keep food down, losing a lot of weight. I was worried for a while that he would not recover. The medicine helped, though, and he has regained a good portion of the lost weight.

Big Cat posing during cuddles. This is his happy face.

He has more energy and runs around like a crazy cat again. He may not have as much energy as in his prime, but he looks pretty spry and active for a cat pushing eighteen. If only arthritis did not make it difficult for him to squat when peeing, things would be perfect.

Alas, the potty problems persist. I even switched to the biggest litter box available; one in which his whole lanky body fits. Even if he fails to squat, he usually hits the inside wall. It is not as easy as the automated box, but I can handle the extra work.

As far as the tests went, one of his kidney numbers spiked. While it does not appear to be affecting the rest of the things kidney problems can cause, the vet has recommended I bring him in for a BP test. She also suggested I look into Solensia. The medicine is a monthly shot to treat joint pain, and his back legs are definitely tender constantly. None of this is a surprise for a cat his age.

Little Cat

Not much change for Little Cat, which is good since she is only two. She is still a cute ball of fluff with adorable ear tufts. Her favorite pastime is staring out the back door at the squirrels foraging outside. I have started their diet with nuts from our pantry so they come around more often.
She stares out back and chitters at them and the birds. I have been leaving the windows open so she can sniff the fresh air through the screens (during the day). When the weather finally turns—over 70 in October?—she will be so disappointed that I have to keep the windows closed.

Sleepy paws and bedhead. Little Cat is out for her afternoon nap.

Medically, she is all caught up on her vaccinations and free of any concerns. The vet says we should watch her food intake so she does not gain more weight, but she is good. We will keep Little Cat healthy so she can keep pestering and running around with Big Cat. Someone needs to keep him young.

Pickiest Cat in the World

At least the pickiest cat in my world, anyway.

Meet Big Cat. He has been my constant companion for the majority of my adult life. I adopted him when I was in college, and that is the reason he was also our first indoor cat. I knew he would be moving out with me within a few years, and I would have been devastated if he ended up lost after a move. He is now 16, and still romping around like a kitten.

So, why do I call him the pickiest cat in the world? A handful of years ago, after Fluffy Cat became a tripod due to bone cancer, she started to put on weight, but Big Cat still only ate a little at a time, more grazing throughout the day. I started to feed them less more often, but I needed the little that Big Cat ate to have more protein in every bite, so I switched out the kibble (gradually, yes) to achieve this careful cat feeding balance.

For a while, it worked really well. Fluffy Cat started to get healthy, and Big Cat maintained a healthy weight…until he did not. He started to drop weight, and got sick more often, but it was just on water. Vet found no infections and blood work was fine, but Big Cat was on a hunger strike.

That bald spot over his eye is the result of him not eating for a week. Don’t worry, it grew back.

We had no idea what was wrong, but my husband asked if it might be him not liking the food one day when he sniffed and then stuck his nose up at the freshly poured kibble. I quickly went out and bought the old food, willing to try anything. He started gobbling it up the moment we poured him some when I got back, and we had to make sure to pace him so he would not simply get sick again.

His pickiness took on another level after an infection last year, about a year after Fluffy Cat passed. He was getting sick multiple times a day, and we ended up having to give him medicine. Even on an appetite stimulant he would only sniff and nibble. Still getting sick in the mornings, so we tried shifting to more aromatic can food. Mostly he would lick around the bits for the gravy.

I’m pretty sure Big Cat is now incapable of eating like a normal cat. He can still eat kibble, but only in the afternoon. Morning has to be softer, and I diligently water down some pâté for him so he can smush it around the dish with his tongue, managing to eat about a quarter of it at a time, then meow at me thirty minutes later because he is hungry again and wants to smush it around some more.

He does better with the bisque…yes, bisque for cats. And we buy him the bisque because we are suckers for his constant mrrts and hilarious sprints around the house about once a day. He promised me at least five years after Fluffy Cat left us, and I’m going to bribe him with bisque if that is what it takes to get all those years.