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Do I say something? [Upsetting content about a cat]

(33 Posts)
FlowersAndShit Sat 09-Apr-16 09:34:11

A few years ago, a family member found a very young kitten by their house. Family member took the kitten in, and they developed a very strong bond, cat was well loved/looked after.

Fast forward a few years, cat struggles to urinate and is urinating blood. Family member has financial difficulties and between jobs, also doesn't drive and couldn't afford to take it to the vet.

2 weeks later, cat can't urinate at all, won't eat, is delirious and vomiting, cries when moving/crawling along the floor. Family member tries to get someone to take him to the vet, the next day.

At the vet, the cat is found to have a urinary blockage which is fatal within 48 hours if not surgically treated. Family member takes cat home, and asks around for money to pay for the surgery. I donated what I could afford, and some very kind person donated over £1000 and the target was reached.

Cat was taken to the vet again on the day, he was in a VERY bad state and I had a horrible feeling this poor cat was too far gone.

Anyway, the vet performed the surgery, and the poor cat died. Family member was devastated.

I was very upset/angry that he waited so long to get help for the poor cat, and as a result the cat suffered a long and painful death sad. Family member is very upset so obviously I'd never say anything.

However, the cat (unneutured male) was fed only dry food, which is well known for causing these fatal blockages in neutured male cats, as they aren't able to drink enough water, so they get their water from their food.

He has another cat, and I'm concerned that he might not be aware of the danger of dry food, and wanted to tell him how wet food is much better and could prevent this happening.

WIBU to put it in a really nice way or is it inappropriate? I just don't want his other cat to suffer sad but I don't want to offend this person.

curren Sat 09-Apr-16 09:36:42

I would say something like

'Oh I read the other day that male neutered cats shouldn't be fed dried food exclusively'

As though I didn't know either, until then.

I don't have cats and don't know much about them, so I am basing this on the assumption the information you have read is correct and credible though.

AmusingMinnie Sat 09-Apr-16 09:37:09

Could you do it in a 'oh I was reading this' sort of way?

I'd also tell them about pet insurance, what an awful way for that poor cat to die.

ThatsNotMyRabbit Sat 09-Apr-16 09:37:56

What an awful person. That poor cat 😟
Shame people like this can't be done for animal cruelty. How it must have suffered.

Absolutely say something. Just be honest - "Remember how poor Tiddles died - make sure the same thing doesn't happen to this one".

andintothefire Sat 09-Apr-16 09:38:10

Tell him. I am really careful to give my cats wet food and to limit the amount of dry food because previous cats had kidney issues associated with not drinking enough water. I am sure you can tell him in a kind rather than judgmental way.

Or maybe you could find a link to an article and email it to him or to a few people you know who have cats?!

Janeymoo50 Sat 09-Apr-16 09:39:11

How awful. The fact the cat was never neutered too. What people also don't realise is that many vets will discuss a payment plan with people in order to avoid animal suffering.

QOD Sat 09-Apr-16 09:48:41

I have a male.neutered cat aged 7 who was exclusively fed dry food until recently
I Decided to change to mix of wet and dry as I've heard of bladder stones etc
however my vet who I spoke to just 3 weeks ago at his annual vaccines said that dry food only was NOT an issue as long as he had unlimited access to water.
Dry is better for tea and digestion
wet for bladder
so I think your relatives cat sound unlucky as opposed to it beIng unavoidable

But that's so awful they left it so long confused

QOD Sat 09-Apr-16 09:49:29

silly autocorrect

ghostyslovesheep Sat 09-Apr-16 09:51:05

All my cats have a diet of just dry food - high quality stuff but still dry which is from the vets!
They also have water available at all times although they prefer drinking from the fish tank!

HermioneJeanGranger Sat 09-Apr-16 09:53:44

It depends on the dry food, actually. Our male cat got crystals and was at the vets for five days. The vet switched him to a prescription dry food which he has alongside two pouches of wet a day, plus unlimited water. The only thing that's changed in his diet has been the brand of dry food. His previous food (GoCat) contains huge amounts of grains which is what caused the blockage in the first place.

But no, YANBU. You need to say something. Our cat was in a lot of discomfort and I felt awful that it was a result of what we fed him (naively thinking it was safe as it was advertised as good for neutered males). Lack of money is not an excuse not to get the cat help - most vets will arrange payment plans if the bill is large.

LIZS Sat 09-Apr-16 09:55:54

Poor puss sadWould the vet not have said anything about the possible causes? Might be worth suggesting that he takes remaining cat to PDSA for a check up.

FlowersAndShit Sat 09-Apr-16 09:58:39

Thanks for the replies. I was going to send them a link to an article, but I need your help wording it, as I don't want to offend them.How does this sound?

"Hi X,

So apparently feeding a dry only diet to male cats is really bad for them and can cause urinary blockages [link] Maybe feeding wet food might be a better option? smile"

HazelBite Sat 09-Apr-16 10:01:47

Poor cat he would have really suffered. I had a male cat that had this, we had only had him a year, we had re-homed him from the CPL and he had several health issues when we got him. He had a completely "wet" diet but stopped urinating. I took him to the vets who told me that the surgery is only 30% successful and I had to make a quick decision as the cat was in pain. As the cat was not young, I opted to have him put down, I felt dreadful, as my insurance at the time would not cover the surgery.
Cats should have (if poss) a mixture of wet and dry food(dry is good for their teeth).
Try and get your relative to get adequate pet insurance or if they are in dire financial straights to find out where there nearest Blue cross or RSPCA hospital is.

wheresthetea Sat 09-Apr-16 10:06:31

Poor cat sad IMO the cost of veterinary care should the worst happen is something that should be taken into account when you first think of getting a pet. If you can't afford care to the extent that the animal is left suffering like that, you shouldn't have got a pet in the first place. I know your OP said the owner was between jobs which can't be planned for, but as another poster said most vets will offer payment plans of some kind.

HermioneJeanGranger Sat 09-Apr-16 10:11:11

Has he at least got insurance for the remaining cat?

limitedperiodonly Sat 09-Apr-16 10:11:49

my vet who I spoke to just 3 weeks ago at his annual vaccines said that dry food only was NOT an issue as long as he had unlimited access to water. Dry is better for teeth and digestion, wet for bladder. So I think your relatives cat sound unlucky as opposed to it being unavoidable

That's exactly what a vet told me when she took all but five teeth out of my rescue cat's head QOD - £600 bill once he'd had all the other things to go with the surgery shock. But she treated him well and he's worth it.

She said to carry on with wet food and but recommended Hills t/d dry food sometimes. I leave it overnight in case he gets peckish because he doesn't like wet food if it's been left for a couple of hours. There's always plenty of water.

limitedperiodonly Sat 09-Apr-16 10:15:30

So apparently feeding a dry only diet to male cats is really bad for them and can cause urinary blockages [link] Maybe feeding wet food might be a better option?

A better option might be to ask in The Litter Tray. They've helped me a lot as a novice cat owner smile

PageStillNotFound404 Sat 09-Apr-16 10:23:28

Flowers I can see you mean well but I wouldn't send either that message or the link.

The bigger issue is the length of time the cat was left without treatment and if you've already decided you're not going to raise that, I'd butt out completely. There are no absolute guarantees that a male cat fed on dried food will suffer urinary tract issues, but if the vet thought that was a contributory factor in this case he will have advised your relative accordingly, so it's unlikely he is still unaware of the risk.

limitedperiodonly Sat 09-Apr-16 10:24:16

Try and get your relative to get adequate pet insurance or if they are in dire financial straights to find out where there nearest Blue cross or RSPCA hospital is.

My cat is too old for insurance. The Blue Cross accept only people on benefits, and even if the owner qualified, in this case I suspect that they would recommend the cat be PTS rather than committing their resources to complicated treatment for one animal when they could treat many others for simpler conditions.

lljkk Sat 09-Apr-16 10:46:56

Please don't say you've been reading nonsense on Mercola.
Will it really help to imply they caused the death?

At least wait until there's another cat in their life to worry about.
This article does not mention dried food as a "well known" cause.

HarrietSchulenberg Sat 09-Apr-16 10:52:26

I think the issue is the lack of vet treatment and not the type of food. If your family member has got a new cat I'd be more inclined to talk to him about insurance, neutering and the importance of timely vet care rather than rubbish about pet food.

Veterinari Sat 09-Apr-16 10:58:30

As PP have said a dry food only diet is not the reason the cat had a blocked bladder - there can be many reasons. The big issue is the lack of seeking medical help. If your friend was unemployed and claiming benefit they're entitled to free PDSA treatment. There's no reason for an animal to suffer

Wolfiefan Sat 09-Apr-16 11:02:57

Family member is an arse.
You don't deny a cat treatment because you are broke or don't drive. If treatment hadn't been denied for two weeks then the cat may well have lived and the bill would probably have been much lower. I can hardly comprehend the pain this animal was in for two weeks. Poor fucking cat.
I'm afraid they shouldn't have another pet.
The dried food is irrelevant really.

limitedperiodonly Sat 09-Apr-16 11:18:57

Family member is an arse.

He or she is not. They were probably caught between denial and the cost of medical treatment. I don't blame the vet for the costs and IME they probably presented PTS as an option. But they could not or should not take custody of the cat and they have to believe someone when they say they will scrape the money together somehow - which this person did.

The owner was misguided and cowardly; but we can all be like that sometimes when faced with decisions about a beloved pet. He or she caused suffering to the cat, but is not in the same league as the people who deliberately inflict pain and suffering on animals because of indifference or enjoyment.

I'm still haunted by the case of someone who tortured a bulldog called Baby that someone mentioned this week. I'm not going to link to that story or the story last night from someone from Croydon who is afraid every time she lets her cat out because a couple of sick bastards there are mutilating and killing cats.

AliceInUnderpants Sat 09-Apr-16 11:28:26

Poor, poor cat sad

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