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Cat has taken to hiding under the couch

July 16th, 2008, 08:41 AM
My cat who is about 5 years old has taken to hiding under the couch, he will come out to eat but that is about it.

Some background info: He is an outdoor cat, he usually comes in the house in the middle of the night, gets fed then sleeps most of the day then he goes out again. Sunday morning I was wondering where he was because he didn't want to come in the house through the night, anyway about 9:30am he made an appearance he came into the kitchen from the livingroom where he was all night(very unusual for him), I fed him and he ate just a bit then went running back under the couch, where he stayed all day until suppertime. I fed him a bit more and he went back under the couch. He has been doing this since Sunday, today is Wednesday. Monday night he came into my room and slept with me for a little while but then went back under the couch. He actually peed on the floor in the diningroom!!! I do notice his tail is hanging down instead of being up like it usually is.

Is it possible something scared the heck out of him or is he really hurting and I should be bringing him to the vet(if I can get in!)? Does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you.

Jim Hall
July 16th, 2008, 08:44 AM
to the vet thats a sick cat any time they hide or change that dramatically its not scared its sick

July 16th, 2008, 09:17 AM
I agree with Jim, get him to the vet today. Something's definitely wrong.

July 16th, 2008, 09:40 AM
A hiding kitty is either scared, sick or in pain. They are very good at hiding illnesses as "weak" animals are targets for prey.

Please take your kitty into the vet, bloodwork will give your vet a good indication of any illnesses.

July 16th, 2008, 03:27 PM
Thanks for your input on my cat. I took you advice and called the vet, I'll bring him tomorrow and they will keep him all day. They think he may have a urinary infection and they will want to test his urine. Unfortunately, it can be dangerous for male cats so I am really afraid I will lose him now. I could really kick my behind for not doing anything sooner but I just thought something scared him. Anyway again thanks for your replies.

July 16th, 2008, 04:29 PM
Ask for full blood work as well as full urine work.

:goodvibes: for Baby Cat

July 17th, 2008, 11:21 AM
Well, I brought my cat to the vet today, so far I haven't heard anything. The secretary did say he was going to have to go on a diet, he weighs over 18 lbs, yes I know that isn't good and if I swear when he comes home I will put him on a diet. I felt so bad leaving him but I know he is capable hands.

July 19th, 2008, 07:47 AM
Ok, well Baby Cat is home from the hospital, he had crystals in his urine and he was in pain. They were finally able to get a urine sample from him after about 24 hours. They gave him some antibiotics and pain killers. He is still hiding but not as much and he is going outside. Apparently the reason he went to the bathroom outside of his litter box is because he was associating his pain with the litter box. So hopefully we are now on the right side and he will get better in no time. Of course the hardest part is trying to get a hold of him to give him his medication!

July 19th, 2008, 07:50 AM
Poor Baby, that must really have hurt. Time for extra cuddles.
Did the vet say anything about changing his diet?

July 19th, 2008, 10:14 AM
Ok, well Baby Cat is home from the hospital, he had crystals in his urine and he was in pain.

The only food an overweight male cat with crystals should be eating is wet food. Period. Not sure what you're feeding him now but you really must read this link for some info on feline nutrition:

Hope Baby Cat is better soon!

July 19th, 2008, 10:28 AM
I bought some food from the Vet both wet and dry, it is Prescription Diet made by Hill's. He seems to like it so that is good. I haven't tried him with the dry stuff yet, I will probably just give that to him every once in a while.

July 19th, 2008, 07:40 PM
I bought some food from the Vet both wet and dry, it is Prescription Diet made by Hill's. He seems to like it so that is good. I haven't tried him with the dry stuff yet, I will probably just give that to him every once in a while.

You don't have to feed prescription food (is it C/D or S/D?). It's overpriced, poor quality ingredients. Find a good canned food (try not to feed fish flavours too often, if at all) like Wellness grain-free or By Nature Organics or Nature's Variety Instinct or Innova Evo 95% meat and don't feed any dry whatsoever, not even the prescription one (in fact you should take it back for a refund and tell your vet that Baby Cat didn't like it). The prescription urinary tract formulas contain excess salt in order to increase water consumption (to dilute the urine and flush out crystals) and an acidifier (DL-Methionine) to lower urine ph. These are not appropriate for long term consumption. You could end up trading one problem (struvite crystals) for another (calcium oxalate crystals, which form in overly acidic urine and are much more difficult to get rid of). In most cases, just moving from grain-based dry food to meat-based wet food is enough to dilute and acidify a cat's urine and prevent crystal formation of either kind.

Anyway, here are the main ingredients in C/D:

Pork By-Products, Water, Pork Liver, Salmon, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor, Powdered Cellulose, Calcium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Fish Oil, Glucose, .....

You're paying top dollar for by-products, grains and wood pulp. Now look at By Nature chicken:

Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Natural Well Water, Organic Chicken Liver,....

Or Wellness chicken:

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Chicken Broth, Carrots, Natural Chicken Flavor, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Zucchini, Cranberries, Blueberries,....

Or Innova 95% chicken & turkey

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Turkey, Natural Flavors ....

These contain actual meat!!! And good quality muscle meat at that. What a concept, considering cats are carnivores. Here's a tidbit from the link I gave you in my previous post:

With regard to overall kidney and bladder health, I cannot stress strongly enough how important WATER, WATER, WATER is in both the prevention and treatment of diseases involving this organ system.

When a cat is on a diet of water-depleted dry food, they produce a more highly concentrated urine (higher urine specific gravity - USG) and they produce a lower volume of urine which means that a higher concentration of crystals will be present in the urine. This increases the chance of these crystals forming life-threatening stones. The concentrated urine and the lack of volume production can also be very irritating to the lining of the bladder wall predisposing them to painful cystitis.

Please keep in mind that a cat has a very low thirst drive and is designed to get water with their food. A diet of canned food will keep a proper amount of water flowing through the urinary tract system and help maintain its health.

Urine pH is also often considered when discussing urinary tract problems but we really need to stop focusing on pH. Again, a proper amount of water in the diet is the important issue here - not urine pH. Many of the so-called feline lower urinary tract diets are formulated to make the urine acidic but it is thought that these low magnesium, acidifying diets may actually exacerbate painful cystitis. Also, these acidifying diets, which are so often prescribed, may end up promoting calcium oxylate stones and hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood).

It is also important to note - for those people still stuck on worrying about the urine pH - that there are many factors which determine the pH of urine and only one of them is diet.

With regard to dry food and urinary tract health, aside from the lack of water in this type of diet, there is also a correlation between the consumption of a high carbohydrate diet and the formation of struvite crystals as shown by this study (

Veterinarians often prescribe Science Diet dry c/d and x/d for urinary tract problems but again, these diets are only ten percent water and contain a high level of species-inappropriate ingredients and questionable preservatives. They are also very high in carbohydrates with dry c/d containing 42 percent of its weight as carbohydrates. Please note the first few ingredients in c/d while remembering that your cat is a carnivore:

Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, pork fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), chicken liver flavor, taurine, preserved with BHT and BHA