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Old September 11th, 2012, 10:09 PM
MicheleR25 MicheleR25 is offline
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Mysterious urine results - need help!

Hello all, new here and in desperate need of help.

I feed my 2 cats raw meat (protein mixes with bone and organ) and I have enjoyed the health benefits for appx. 4 years. However an issue has come up with one cat that seems to have been narrowed to diet so I've come looking for help. Sorry
for length but it has baffled me.
Background:
My male cat (Houdini, 5 y/o neutered) has been having the issues. Houdini has had GI issues since kittenhood and seems to have issues now. I've done prey model and it fixed Houdini's incessant vomiting he had from 8 weeks old to 6 months (every commercial food out there).
I have always followed the 80/10/10 rule and combine chicken, beef, lamb, pork, quail (when I can afford it), fish and egg (both rarely) of various sizes, bones and skin/connectives. I add liver, kidney and stomach (when I can find it) for organs and since Houdini won't eat mice of any kind, he has been on this ratio for years.

For about a year now, Houdini has been peeing on towels once every few months (if left on the floor etc). This seemed to be just preference or vengeance when left alone for too long. However, about 3 months ago, the peeing became more frequent and on clothes, pillows, then a futon and finally, on a bed. Once it picked up in frequency, I did 2 blood and urine tests and since there was no suspected infection (albeit some odd numbers) the vet suggested a full abdo ultrasound.
The most recent blood and urine results are listed below and the ultrasound
ruled out all blockages, kidney issues, IBS, infections etc.
The vet, while supportive of the raw diet, thinks he may be getting too much
protein, therefore concentrating his urine too much and making it painful to
urinate. However, feeding meat I don't think the high protein would be high enough to cause damage. He suggested assesing the diet to see what can be done or else he suggests commercial raw or canned to balance him out and I don't want to do that.

I've come looking for any suggestions as to what would cause the abnormal
results below. I am dreading going back to commercial and the vomiting but if the diet I've been feeding him has caused this, I can't figure out what to do.

I will gladly give more details if necessary but generally I'm hoping for some
positivity and guidance.
The numbers below are the abnormal ones (marked with a *), with important normalones included for reference.

Blood
Monocytes normal: 1-4% Houdini: 5%*

Vetscreen (not sure what this test was but that's what it was titled)
Total protein normal: 52-88g/L Houdini: 75
BUN normal: 5.0-12.9mmol/L Houdini: 13.1mmol/L*
Creatinine normal: 53-212umol/L Houdini: 158
BUN/Creat. ratio Houdini: 83*
Sodium normal: 145-158mmol/L Houdini: 153
Potassium normal: 3.4-5.6mmol/L Houdini: 3.5
Na/K ratio normal: 32-41 Houdini: 44*

Urine
Color Houdini: dark yellow*
Appearance Houdini: cloudy*
Specific Gravity normal: 1.015-1.060 Houdini: 1.0730*
pH normal: 5.5-6.9 Houdini: 7.0*
Protein normal: neg Houdini: 2+*
Blood normal: neg Houdini: 3+*
WBC normal: 0-3 HPF Houdini: 0-1
RBC normal: 0-3 HPF Houdini: >50


Again, kidneys were normal, no infection, no blockages, no swelling, etc.
although they did say he has either a small, folded gall bladder or 2 gall
bladders (vet said it was unrelated just interesting). The VERY high specific gravity has him baffled as this would rule out kidney issues (as did the ultrasound) so basically looking for someone that has had similar issues to assist. In all, these could just be HIS odd normals and it could be behavioural (kinda scary to think about).

HELP! Thanks in advance,

Michele
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Old September 12th, 2012, 07:37 AM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Is it possible for you to add extra water to his meals, preferably filtered? Based on that very concentrated urine sample, I would guess that he's dehydrated (which has nothing to do with the protein content of his diet, despite what the vet says).

Also, stress can play a significant role in cats that pee outside the box. Again, nothing to do with diet. And things that cause stress to cats may be very subtle, stuff we wouldn't normally think is a problem. Something like getting new furniture, or even just moving it around, or the scent of an outside cat wafting in, or a change in your routine..... The possibilities are endless, but boredom is actually a huge one that most people don't consider. You could try more scheduled interactive play sessions with Houdini, and providing him with both mental and physical stimulation by hiding treats around the house, giving him lots of viewpoints out of windows (maybe with bird feeders to watch), etc. Also a Feliway diffuser or 2 can help cats feel a greater sense of calm.

Gotta run, but later I'll try to find a link I have on environmental enrichment and how it can help with idiopathic interstitial cystitis.
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Old September 12th, 2012, 07:45 AM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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I would do as SCM has suggested. His urine does seem to be a bit too concentrated.

I heat up a bit of water in the microwave,then add it to my cat's raw to warm it up a bit and to add extra fluids.
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Old September 12th, 2012, 08:50 AM
MicheleR25 MicheleR25 is offline
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More info

Thanks for the suggestions, I've tried adapting his routine to include them but it hasn't gone well. The vet said that the ultrasound ruled out any inflammation and the lining of the bladder looked normal so he said he can almost rule out IC.

He won't drink plain water (and I would figure raw meat had enough moisture in it) and he drinks all the water that comes off the meat when it's defrosted. I also give him little bits of catmilk just to make sure he's drinking. I can't think of any other way to get more water into him.

Is the protein in the urine normal and something not to worry about? Is he eating too much? Too much protein? He's 10.5lbs (ideal weight for him) and hasn't gained or lost any through all this. The vet seemed most concerned with his specific gravity and neutrality of his urine. Is there anything I should be looking at and watching or are the slight highs not enough to worry about?

In regards to play, he has my other cat as well as at least 30 mins/day of play time with a human. He has always gotten supervised outdoor time (no new visitors in the backyard) and has plenty of windows and doors to look out of (about 30!).

I tried feliway diffusers and concentrated spray but he peed near it and aside from the first day, didn't seem to notice it. I currently have a sentry collar (pheromones) on him and am hoping that might help.

Nothing has really changed in the house that would cause this and everything has been watched carefully to try to get this to stop but he keeps going.
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Old September 12th, 2012, 09:27 AM
Hazmat Hazmat is offline
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Try a cat water fountain. Many cats that will not drink out of a bowl of standing water will drink moving water.
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Old September 12th, 2012, 12:37 PM
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Does he spray when he's outside? Is he taken out at the same time everyday so he knows when to expect his next outing?

I still think he just needs more water in his diet, his urine is too concentrated and that may bring down the ph level too, just a couple of teaspoons per kitty mixed with their meal.

There is always protein in urine as the kidneys extract unused protein in the blood. If his creatinine & Bun levels were also high, I would be worried about the functioning of the kidneys.

Raw is a QUALITY protein, as long as your ratios in the food is 80% muscle meat 10% bone 10% organs then you are feeding a proper carnivore diet (BTW, do you ensure they are getting some skin for Vit D? a bit of iodized salt?)
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Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
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Old September 12th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleR25 View Post
The vet said that the ultrasound ruled out any inflammation and the lining of the bladder looked normal so he said he can almost rule out IC.
I'm wondering if it's possible that there just wasn't any inflammation during the ultrasound. Since IC often waxes and wanes in cats, it could be that the physiological manifestation wasn't significant enough to notice at the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleR25 View Post
He won't drink plain water (and I would figure raw meat had enough moisture in it)
My cats rarely drink, but I do add a tsp or 2 of extra water to their food (half ground raw and half high quality canned - separate meals, not mixed together). I think for most cats a raw diet should provide sufficient moisture, but it doesn't look like that's the case for Houdini.... or at least not at the time the urine sample was taken. Was he fasted prior to the test? Do you have any other lab results done at other times to compare too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleR25 View Post
Is the protein in the urine normal and something not to worry about?
I would say that in this case, the proteinuria might have been influenced by the high USG and the fact that Houdini also had blood in his urine (hematuria). How was the urine sample obtained? Hematuria can sometimes be from cystocentisis or manual expression, but also bladder/urinary tract inflammation or bacterial infection or stress/physical exertion.

If possible, you might want to have another urinalysis done in a month or 2 to keep an eye on things, especially that USG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleR25 View Post
Is he eating too much? Too much protein? He's 10.5lbs (ideal weight for him) and hasn't gained or lost any through all this.
I'd say his diet is just fine then. I don't believe too much protein is an issue when cats are fed a whole prey raw meat diet. It may indeed have an effect on lab work results, where *normals* are determined by the masses (the "masses" being mostly kibble-fed cats). So for instance, a BUN level that's a bit higher than the usual range is easily attributable to a raw diet containing higher (ie more species-appropriate) protein levels than what you'd see in the average commercial cat food. No biggie.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleR25 View Post
The vet seemed most concerned with his specific gravity and neutrality of his urine. Is there anything I should be looking at and watching or are the slight highs not enough to worry about?
Urine ph fluctuates throughout the day, so I wouldn't worry about it too much at this point. What you might want to do is pick up some ph test strips from a health food store and see if you can get a few readings at home. If they were all 7.0 and above, then you could look into adding an acidifier to Houdini's diet (such as L-methionine). I would only add the acidifier if you can monitor his urine ph though. If it fishtails the other way and becomes too acidic, he could end up with calcium oxalate crystal formation, which can be much more difficult to deal with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleR25 View Post
In regards to play, he has my other cat
How do the 2 of them get along? How many litter boxes do you have, where are they located, and how often are they scooped? The placement and cleanliness of litter boxes can be a huge factor with FLUTD. For instance, if Houdini was either startled while using the box one day, or it wasn't as clean as he preferred, or the other cat was preventing his access to it (even by something as seemingly benign as lying across the doorway to the room it was in) may have set a precedent for him choosing more desirable (to him!) locations.

Have you ever tried Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract litter? It contains a herbal additive that makes many cats want to pee on it. Worked great for the feral cat I brought inside that had never used a litter box before.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleR25 View Post
I tried feliway diffusers and concentrated spray but he peed near it and aside from the first day, didn't seem to notice it.
That's too bad. Feliway doesn't work with all cats, but when it does it's a godsend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleR25 View Post
I currently have a sentry collar (pheromones) on him and am hoping that might help.
Something else that might be worth looking into are flower essences, such as this one by Spirit Essences: http://www.spiritessences.com/product-p/ur-fine.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleR25 View Post
Nothing has really changed in the house that would cause this
I do still think stress possibly has a role to play here. You mentioned in your first post that he would pee out of "vengeance when left alone for too long". That sounds like maybe the disruption in routine was an instigating factor. Some cats can be extraordinarily precise in when they think certain events should take place (meal times, for example) and if those don't occur accordingly, their anxiety levels skyrocket. I have a cat like that. He doesn't pee outside the box, but if his breakfast or dinner is late he yowls frantically and at extreme volume (and I'm sure my neighbours must raise an eyebrow or two when my windows are open. Doesn't help that he's also mostly deaf.). There is no easy answer for dealing with cats like that except to try to accommodate as much of their need for routine as is feasible and still have a life.

Sometimes a holistic vet can help by utilizing other healing modalities (homeopathy, acupuncture, TCM, etc) and focusing on aspects that a conventional vet might miss.

I have a couple links for you to check out, but I warn you that they're uber-technical and are as likely to put you to sleep as to provide any insight.

http://canadianveterinarians.net/Spe...itter_box.html
http://www.scribd.com/doc/23751685/F...Disease-Part-I

Oh, and another link with a holistic perspective: http://www.holisticat.com/flutd.html
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Last edited by sugarcatmom; September 12th, 2012 at 04:38 PM. Reason: added link
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Old September 14th, 2012, 10:51 AM
MicheleR25 MicheleR25 is offline
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A week and at my wit's end.

This past week, I have done everything imaginable to try and get things to normal and while he went a few days with no accidents, I found that he peed on about 5 things over night.
update:
I clean the litterbox every day, it has his favourite litter (the only one I've actually seen him use lately, world's best cat litter)
He wanted nothing to do with the cat fountain and wouldn't even go near the food if I placed it near the fountain.
I've mixed some quality canned food with water and he seems to enjoy that
I've been giving him some of that "catmilk" stuff and he's been drinking that too
I know it is possible that there wasn't any inflammation during the ultrasound but he had been peeing daily and had peed on newspapers the night before.
The huge influx of cat-food-flavoured water seems to have diluted his pee a bit (the stuff from last night wasn't as horribly scented as his others) but if the super concentration was what was causing the peeing, shouldn't the dilution have NOT caused him to pee elsewhere?
He wasn't fasted prior to those results and the vet has taken 2 others with nearly identical results, one of which included a fasting level.
All samples had to be obtained by cytocentesis and I know that can cause blood but there was a significant amount each time, seemingly more than the needle would cause.
I have gotten past the BUN and protein levels being high but the blood in urine, neutral pH, and USG are still bothersome. I just can't figure out why his urine would be neutral if he only eats meat (acidic) and his pee is so concentrated.
I'd love to test his urine at home but he tends to only pee on absorbent things he can find (newspapers, towels, clothes etc). And seeing as how this isn't going well, I don't think I have time on my side.
In regards to my other cat, she is younger, smaller, fixed and totally submissive and they get along and play great. He was 6 mos when I got her at 8 weeks and they've grown up together.
There were 2 litterboxes in different levels of the house with 2 kinds of litter (one of which neither used for weeks so I put the litter they prefer (WBCL) in both). That didn't seem to do much but get him to pee in the litter once a week (if that). He never pees or poops when he's outside so it's not confusion about where to go in that sense.
Unfortunately, Houdini is confined with my other cat in the basement now since they reside with my parents while I live away from the home. My parents were excited about the lack of peeing but last nights 5-hitter seems to have pushed them over the edge. They want him gone and I am at my wit's end of cleaning pee and getting nowhere in treatments.
I haven't tried the cat attract and hadn't known it existed. I would try it but again, not sure I have time on my side.
I heard feliway was the greatest gift to cat owners and had such high hopes. I'm still holding out hope that the collar works but not looking good so far. In fact, his ears seem to be bothering him (itching and twitching them) since the collar but it may be unrelated?
Stress has definitely been high since he started peeing on everything but nothing changed in his daily life when this all started. Between shift work and school and daily life, he has never had a structured routine (aside from the time he gets fed which has NEVER changed). Outdoor time, play time and snuggle time have always been changing and he never had an issue until recently. Mostly, the initial pees were if we went on vacation and someone new was watching them (in the house) or if something unexpected came up (family going into the hospital) and they were left alone during the day for more than 6-8 hours.
Again, this is the way it's been since kittenhood and I can't change around school and work schedules.
Going to a holistic vet is impossible right now since I am broke and on a time-crunch.
I will check out those links and will keep trying to do whatever I can to help this but I am at the end of my rope with this. I am confused, stressed and can't think of anything that will help (or anywhere that can take him). Thanks for all the hints, I will keep trying for as long as I can and hope something works. I love this little guy and feel so bad that something's going on that I can't fix.

~Michele
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Old September 14th, 2012, 12:56 PM
kittiesandbirds kittiesandbirds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleR25 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions, I've tried adapting his routine to include them but it hasn't gone well. The vet said that the ultrasound ruled out any inflammation and the lining of the bladder looked normal so he said he can almost rule out IC.

He won't drink plain water (and I would figure raw meat had enough moisture in it) and he drinks all the water that comes off the meat when it's defrosted. I also give him little bits of catmilk just to make sure he's drinking. I can't think of any other way to get more water into him.

Is the protein in the urine normal and something not to worry about? Is he eating too much? Too much protein? He's 10.5lbs (ideal weight for him) and hasn't gained or lost any through all this. The vet seemed most concerned with his specific gravity and neutrality of his urine. Is there anything I should be looking at and watching or are the slight highs not enough to worry about?

In regards to play, he has my other cat as well as at least 30 mins/day of play time with a human. He has always gotten supervised outdoor time (no new visitors in the backyard) and has plenty of windows and doors to look out of (about 30!).

I tried feliway diffusers and concentrated spray but he peed near it and aside from the first day, didn't seem to notice it. I currently have a sentry collar (pheromones) on him and am hoping that might help.

Nothing has really changed in the house that would cause this and everything has been watched carefully to try to get this to stop but he keeps going.
What kind of cat milk are you giving him. I don't want to alarm you here but many years ago there was a recall on food and cat milk. At that time some Chinese companies that were selling proteins for use in the U.S. for making cat food and milk had fertilizer in it. The reason being that the tests to establish the amount of protein in the powder proteins is fooled into thinking that fertilizer is protein. I don't remember all the details and don't understand urine results. I remember this because my husband who was an educator retired from that and got a trucking licence and actually carried a load of dog food that was seized for this reason. The proteins made it in there too. I guess those animals got pretty sick fast.
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Old September 14th, 2012, 01:00 PM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiesandbirds View Post
What kind of cat milk are you giving him. I don't want to alarm you here but many years ago there was a recall on food and cat milk. At that time some Chinese companies that were selling proteins for use in the U.S. for making cat food and milk had fertilizer in it. The reason being that the tests to establish the amount of protein in the powder proteins is fooled into thinking that fertilizer is protein. I don't remember all the details and don't understand urine results. I remember this because my husband who was an educator retired from that and got a trucking licence and actually carried a load of dog food that was seized for this reason. The proteins made it in there too. I guess those animals got pretty sick fast.
I second the stopping the "cat milk". If you are adding some water to his canned, he should be getting enough.
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Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
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Old September 14th, 2012, 02:49 PM
MicheleR25 MicheleR25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiesandbirds View Post
What kind of cat milk are you giving him...The reason being that the tests to establish the amount of protein in the powder proteins is fooled into thinking that fertilizer is protein. I don't remember all the details and don't understand urine results...I guess those animals got pretty sick fast.
Wow. It's the Whiskas cat milk in a small juicebox style thing. I grabbed it as a last ditch effort to get him to drink liquids. Scary info and I will look into seeing if it is affected.
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