At PrettyLitter, we're all about helping our feline friends live longer, healthier lives. So we designed PrettyLitter to give pet parents a heads up when their fur babies aren't feeling well.
Over the years, we've heard countless stories of how pet parents have been alerted to life-threatening issues and were able to save their pets by getting early veterinary intervention long before symptoms ever started showing outwardly. Since cats are so good at hiding their pain, knowing what's going on with your cat internally can help you enjoy more time together.
One of the best ways to learn about cat health is by hearing the stories of other cat parents who have gone through rough patches and come out the other end with a happy, healthy, thriving feline on the other side.
That's why we're launching our Cool Cat of the Month series where we'll introduce you to a new PrettyLitter cat with an incredible story each month.
Besides, who doesn't love hearing heart-warming stories of sick kitties getting well?!
If you have a story to tell, we want to hear it! Leave us a comment below or contact us directly to have your cat's story featured here on our blog.
Now on to the warm and fuzzy feels!
March Cool Cat: Hunter
Born in the dense urban streets of San Diego, Hunter was unlike any of the other cats in his first home. He was incredibly stoic and calm, even when surrounded by police sirens, blaring car horns, and loud neighbors.
When his first family decided they had too many pets and needed to downsize, I jumped at the chance to adopt this little ball of beaming light. I had never had a cat before, but something about Hunter's personality clicked perfectly with mine and we were fast friends.
A Stressful Journey
Hunter had been living with me for about a year and a half when we decided to move from San Diego to Lubbock, Texas. He did surprisingly well on the three-day journey across the states and took every opportunity to climb into my lap for some cuddles along the way.
Shortly after we landed in Texas and found our new home, though, Hunter started having trouble urinating. He would go into his litter box, kick around the litter, and come out looking pained. He would walk in a way that seemed awkward and uncomfortable.
I often found him in the bathtub squatting, as if trying to pee. Rather than being his usual cool cat self, he was constantly visiting the litter box and the bath tub trying desperately to find relief.
Concerned, I took him to the vet.
A Terrifying Diagnosis
After probing Hunter's tummy with her fingers and running a few tests, our vet told me that Hunter had FLUTD - feline lower urinary tract disease. FLUTD is a condition brought on by stress, our vet said... and it can be fatal.
FLUTD can lead to urinary blockage, which can cause urine to back up into the kidneys. Ultimately, this leads to renal failure and death. Worse yet, this can all happen in a matter of days and most cats don't show outward symptoms until it's too late.
I was shocked. My poor little fur ball was in pain and so stressed out that it was quite literally making him physically ill. I felt awful. I wanted nothing more than for him to feel better and to survive this!
A Get-Well One-Two Punch
Thankfully, our vet was able to drain his bladder and prescribe a few treatments to manage his symptoms and stress.
Step one was to get his condition under control. This meant:
- Giving Hunter medication for the next week to help break up the stress-borne crystals in his bladder and urethra that were causing the pain and blockage.
- Changing Hunter's diet to one focused on urinary health.
- Adjusting Hunter's environment so he had more stress outlets (scratching posts, cat nip, plenty of toys, and a few high-up window sills where he could watch the birds).
- Increasing Hunter's play and cuddle time (which I was more than happy to do!)
Step two was implementing a monitoring system to make sure this never happened again.
Our vet told us that Hunter's urine was of an abnormal pH, which is what allowed the crystals to form in the bladder. We were doing everything we could to keep his stress down to prevent the abnormal pH from reappearing, but it if did happen, we wanted to know right away!
I had recently heard about PrettyLitter, a health monitoring litter that changed colors based on the pH of a cat's urine.
We switched Hunter over to PrettyLitter right away and he took to it immediately.
The Path to Recovery
Since switching to PrettyLitter, we've been able to ween Hunter off of his special cat food (which was hard on his digestive system, although it did help with his urinary tract issues). We've also seen a clear pattern emerge:
When something stresses Hunter out, his PrettyLitter turns dark green. If his litter shows up green for two days or more, we whisk him to the vet.
Thankfully, PrettyLitter has helped us keep an eye on Hunter's FLUTD condition without us having to keep him on special (aka expensive!) food that doesn't agree with his tummy or having to force feed him medication.
That's One Cool Cat
Now, we know exactly how to mellow our fur baby out. PrettyLitter has helped us learn how Hunter's outward behavior is tied to his internal chemistry.
We've been able to prevent another close call from happening and now Hunter is back to being his usual cool cat self.
When he's not driving me crazy by knocking my pens and earbuds off the counter, he's following his little brother, Tig (our 4 year old, 50 pound pit bull), around and batting him on the head.
Hunter was even the star of the show when my then-boyfriend popped the question.
We can't imagine life without our little fur ball with the big attitude. Thanks to PrettyLitter, we get to enjoy his antics for years and years.
Would you like to see your fur baby featured as our Cool Cat of the Month? We'd love to hear your story! Get in touch with us and apply for your cat to be the next kitty celeb!