1. Are you getting a server error? It should be solved. Email webmaster@felinediabetes.com if you're still having trouble!
  2. Calendar Fundraiser is starting! Check out this CALENDAR LINK to learn more!!

Cat eating urine clumps from the litter pan

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by CRL, Oct 12, 2019 at 2:15 PM.

  1. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Before I get into the topic here is a brief background - My cat, Zhoom Boy, was diagnosed with diabetes in early July after a course of prednisolone for suspected asthma (which turned out not to be asthma) and is struggling to get regulated. He still has numbers all over the place. He landed in the hospital in mid July with a fever of 107, probably from a virus but no one really knows. He recovered thank goodness. Ultrasounds done at that time indicate that he may also have IBD/lymphoma. He is currently on Lantus 1 unit 2x/day and eating a prescription novel protein canned food (Royal Canin Rabbit). Recently, he had been on 2 units but had a low (68) and vet cut his dose in half after that. His numbers are now always high whenever I test them. Sometimes as high as 700. Usually between 400 and 500. Too high. I will do another curve in a week.

    I am new here and have not posted an official introduction yet. It seemed so overwhelming. So, I decided to start from where I am at. In litter pan hell. Zhoom started licking his litter pee a few weeks ago. Now I catch him shoveling it into his mouth with his paw. It is so disturbing. We ran labs this week (CBC, Chem, Urinalysis and Thyroid) all normal (except obvious- diabetes).

    I am thinking of changing litter (using clumping grass litter currently) but not sure what to switch to or if it will even help. It is not really the litter he seems to be after, it is the urine. He also just started having diarrhea for the last 4 days. He tried to eat that too. Just started him on metronidazole. Has anyone experienced their cat eating urine before? Any suggestions on a litter that might deter him from eating it or is at least safe if he does eat it?

    I appreciate any insights anyone may have.
     
  2. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Can you post the lab report? Usually a cat will do that if they are anemic
     
  3. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Thanks Janet. I did upload his lab report just now. I also read that cats may eat their litter if they are anemic, but it does not appear to be the case for my Zhoom. Although his MCHC is low. My vet said that with the other numbers, it does not indicate anemia.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Yeah I don’t anemia. Let me tag a good lab reader for some ideas.
    @Marje and Gracie
     
  5. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Thanks Janet. I appreciate your replies.
     
  6. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    No...he’s nowhere near anemic. His labs look great. Yes, his glucose is high but he’s an unregulated diabetic. His cholesterol is high but that is not abnormal for diabetics and it could be related to when he ate, as well.

    I would try changing his litter. I’ve never heard of a cat eating their clumped litter pee :eek: Cats with pica can eat litter but I’ve not heard of them eating the litter that has pee saturating it.
     
  7. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Thanks Marje and Gracie. I just returned from the store with several different litters to try.
     
    Marje and Gracie likes this.
  8. Bella & Liz

    Bella & Liz Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2019
    Not sure what litters you got to try, but have you ever seen that Tidy Cat Breeze System? The pee goes through the hard pellets onto a pee pad that is within the closed unit. That might be something that could work in this situation, as the majority of the urine would be drained off the hard pellets. I know some people replace the pellets with little BB gun pellets as well, which they just wash in the sink.

    If he is only interested in the urine and not in the pellets it might be safe. Although if he eats those pellets it may lead to a whole host of other issues.

    Hopefully this all gets sorted out!
     
  9. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Great you are testing the BG levels, have the SS up and running and the signature done.
    That is a great help to us.

    Have a look at the two methods for dosing. The tight regulation (TR) and start low go slow method (SLGS)
    Here is a link to them
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...-low-go-slow-slgs-tight-regulation-tr.210110/
    See which one suits you better and then put your choice in your signature.
    It does look as if Zhoom needs more insulin but have a look at the two methods and choose first before changing the dose.

    Are you using 1/2 unit syringes?
    We go up and down in 1/4 unit increments so as not to go past the best dose. Dropping from 2 units to 1 unit was probably too much. You could have gone down to 1.75 units. But choose a method first.

    Are you able to get some tests in during the PM cycle?
    Cats often drop lower at night and it's a good habit to get into, to get a before bed test done. If it is lower than the preshot, it usually means an active cycle and you may need to set the alarm and test again during the night.
     
  10. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019

    Thank you so much for the ideas.
     
  11. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Thank you Bron and Sheba. I will add my dosing method to my signature. I feel like Zhoom Boy might benefit with TR but I am afraid that I don't know what I am doing, so I will probably go with the SLGS, but I will go to the links and read about them both.

    I agree that he needs more insulin. I think that my vet suspects a recurring somogyi was happening with the 2 units and therefore cut the dose. I then did a curve a week later and vet said to increase the dose to 1.5 U. The next day after increasing to 1.5 U, Zhoom's a.m. pre-shot was 92. So again, the vet said to go back down to 1 U. Now, he wants to wait another week on the 1 unit and see what effects the metronidazole (flagyl) might have on his numbers. Zhoom just started on the flagyl on Friday because he is having diarrhea. Maybe a week is too long to wait to increase? Maybe the magic number is in a quarter increment. My vet never mentioned that possibility. I use 1/2 U syringes. Are there 1/4 U syringes available? Or do you just measure in between the 1/2 unit lines?

    Sometimes I check at night, but usually just if his p.m. pre-shot is lower than his normal. He gets his insulin at 9:30am/pm along with his meal, so a bedtime reading would only be a +2 or +2 1/2. Is that enough time to get a feeling on which way the night numbers might go? Should I set an alarm and do a middle of the night reading a couple of nights to see what is happening?

    I feel so at a loss with all this stuff. I feel like I take so many readings and nothing makes sense. Diabetes is a very complex disease. I appreciate any suggestions and support that I receive on this forum. I am so glad that I found it.

    Thank you all for supporting me and helping me with my Zhoom Boy.
     
  12. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    The hematocrit value is 48 which is at the high of normal while a value for anemia would be low, below 29.
    The MCHC (mean hemoglobin corpuscular concentration) is at the low of average range and I would not be that concerned.
     
  13. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Thanks Larry. I am relieved that his lab results are looking so good (except for the diabetes). Just wish he would stop chowing down that litter. I am starting to wonder if it might be raising his glucose levels. It is sorghum seed after all (smart cat grass litter). I have oko cat wood litter on trial right now. So far, so good. I am not too happy with the dust from it as Zhoom has some respiratory delicacies, but if he doesn't eat it, it will do for now.
     
    JanetNJ likes this.
  14. majandra

    majandra Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2018
    An option for you to be able to get in more tests:

    Programmed feeder- Petsafe 5 meal is what I use. When Rhubarb was on insulin, I set it to rotate to an empty dish 2hrs before each shot, so I didn't have to be awake early, or home from work early to put away food. That let me get a test before work, and a test or two before bed.


    ETA- does he chew or "floss" on anything?
     
  15. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Thanks majandra.

    Sometimes he chews on toys. He would chew/floss on cat grass if he had it. He goes crazy over it and I end up having to take it away. He would mow down a whole plant at once if I would let him. I don't get it for him anymore because we end up fighting about it. But maybe there is something in the grass that he really needs and that is why he goes crazy with it.
     
  16. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    I see you have decided to try SLGS. See how you go with that. You could always change over to TR.

    Is there a particular reason you are doing the preshots at 9.30 am/pm?.
    If you did them earlier at say 7.30 am/pm you would be able to get some later tests in at night before you went to bed. Would that work for you?

    With the +2 or a before bed test (which would have to be at least +2 not before), if the +2 BG is lower than the preshot then you are probably going to have an active cycle so you would need to set the alarm and test later in the cycle. Cats often go lower at night.

    With SLGS you need to do a curve after 7 days on a dose.
    So if you can do another curve 7 days after the last decrease in dose, that will tell us if Zhoom needs an increase..

    Do you offer food during the cycles and not just at preshot?
    Most of us feed at preshot and then again a couple of times mostly during the first half (6hours) of the cycle. A programed timer is a great investment.
     
  17. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019

    I did do a curve yesterday which was day 6 after a decreased dose. I did it yesterday because I have to work all week, so I thought a day early would be ok? I used to feed him 3 x day but my vet told me not to do that. He said I should only feed twice a day with shots, so I switched him to that feeding schedule. His appetite is ravenous. He always wants food. I have read a lot about people feeding their diabetic cats throughout the day. I don't know why my vet told me not to do that.
     
  18. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Cats do better when fed multiple small meals throughout the day. Make sure he eats before the shot , then offer him food at other times, mostly in the first half of the cycle when the insulin is strongest.
    Some vets have not upgraded their thinking from when they used to give fast acting insulins, when it was important to make sure they ate well beforehand the shots. Now with longer acting gentler insulin, it is ok to feed the way I said above. Zhoom will thank you!
    Try and feed at consistent times so that you will see better how the insulin is working if Zhoom is fed around the same times each cycle.

    Ok I understand why you did the curve yesterday. Try and get a couple of more tests in today/ tonight and then increase
    up to 1.25 units after the 7 days if the numbers have not changed.
     
  19. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Feeding smaller meals throughout the day will not cause spikes in blood sugar? I think that is what the vet told me and why I should only feed him twice a day with shots. If I feed him one and a half cans of food a day (currently 3/4 can at each mealtime), how would I split that up - 1/2 can at breakfast with shot and 1/4 can later? Looking at Zhoom Boy's spreadsheet, it seems that for him, the lower times happen right about mid cycle. Is that when I should set the timer on the feeder? It seems like that is the only time he ever goes into the yellow range right now and if he eats won't that send his glucose up and out of that range? Or having smaller meals more frequently will keep things more level throughout the cycle? That seems logical. Sorry that I am asking so many questions. I get so overwhelmed with all of the decisions. I think that Zhoom would be happy to eat more. He is always hungry. Although changing his feeding schedule might be difficult at first. He is crazy at feeding times and then seems to relax once he settles in to his full belly.

    I will see how he does today and if things are the same I will increase to 1.25 tomorrow.

    I truly appreciate all this wonderful advice. There is so much to learn and figure out. I just really want to get Zhoom Boy more regulated. Is 3 1/2 months a long time to not be regulated with numbers all over the place? It seems like a long time to me. :(
     
  20. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi CRL ( can we know your name please?)
    It is good to ask plenty of questions,so please don't apologise..
    No, smaller meals throughout the day and night won't cause spikes in the BG. They will help stop the BG from dropping too low and triggering a bounce, which I can see has happened a few times with Zhoom when he has dropped low.

    A bounce can happen if a cat drops too low, too fast or lower than they are used to. The body panics and it tries to "save itself" from danger by dumping a type of glucose and regulatory hormones into its system and the BG shoots up high. Bounces can last for up to 6 cycles and there is nothing you can do about them but wait them out. It is a normal thing for diabetic cats to do, especially newly diagnosed ones. Their bodies have to get used to the lower numbers again. Many of them have been in higher numbers for quite a while and they now think that the higher numbers are normal and hence they trigger a bounce to save themselves. They need to relearn that lower numbers are the normal numbers. Some cats can bounce from blue or even yellow numbers if they haven't been in them for a while.

    He is always hungry because unregulated diabetic cats can't absorb all the nutrients in the food. Once his numbers come back down into the normal range his appetite should settle.
    You can try adding some warm water to his food to bulk it up a bit and feeding more frequent meals may help with the hunger.
    Is he thin or overweight? If he is thin, then I would feed a bit more food. If he is not thin, then adding some water and giving more frequent meals may help.

    Lantus has an onset of around 2 hours and the nadir (lowest point) is between 5 to 7 hours although every cat is different(ECID) and some nadir earlier and some much later in the cycle. The only way to find out when Zhoom nadirs is by collecting data. And then nadirs can move around from cycle to cycle just to confuse us humans!

    How big are your cans of food?
    If I were you, I would divide the food allocation for each cycle into 1/2 before the shot and then the other half into two smaller meals at say +2 and +4 or +5. That would give him some food aboard for the preshot, the onset and the nadir. It can help stop the BG dropping too fast. And it would give him something to look forward to. Is that manageable for you?

    No 3 1/2 months is not a long time for a cat to be regulated. Insulin is a hormone, and not like an antibiotic which works straight away. The cat has to get used to the insulin and we have to find a good dose. We always say it is a marathon not a sprint and we all have to learn patience....which is often very hard. Some cats are lucky enough to settle into regulation quickly but most cats take much longer. So Zhoom is perfectly normal.
     
  21. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Thank you. My name is Charity Rae. This is all so helpful and makes me feel a lot better. I suspected that he was having some bounces. I didn't know to call them that at the time, but now I do :) and I didn't know what to do about them. It sounds like spreading out the food might really help with that. The cans I feed him are 5.5 oz cans. I already have an automatic feeder that I can use. He has lost about 2.5 lbs in the last 6 months and has muscle wasting, so he is a little underweight. Maybe I should also feed him a little more food each day. I am going to post a question about finding some new food for him because someone pointed out that the food I am currently feeding him is 15% carb, which is too high. He has IBD/potential lymphoma so it has to a novel protein, which complicates things a bit.
     
  22. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi Charity

    I will send you the link to suitable food.. have a look through these and choose 10% or less carbs
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/links-to-food-charts.174182/

    If he has lost weight I would feed him extra. He will gain the muscle back....that happened to Sheba too.
    As long as you are feeding a good canned food for most of the diet, you could add some cooked chicken breast as one of the extra meals you give as it is high protein and that is what builds muscle mass. Or a cooked egg is full of protein a couple of times a week, is or just some added canned food less that 10%

    As you are going to change over to a lower carb food,you will find it will lower the BG so you will need to be careful if you are going to increase the dose now. You would be better changing over the food to a lower carb diet FIRST before increasing the dose,
    And when you swap to the lower carb food you will need to do it on a day you can test because I think will probably lower the BG. Does that make sense.?
     
  23. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Thank you. I will look over the lists of food you linked. Zhoom has diarrhea right now and my vet has him on a month of metronidazole to try to calm his guts down. I want to get him through the diarrhea before I transition the food, hopefully that will be soon. I will certainly wait to change the food on a day that I can be around to watch over him. It does make sense that the lower carb food will most likely lower the BG.
     
  24. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Have you tried plain cooked pumpkin for the diarrhoea. Just cook some pumpkin in water, drain and mash. Put a teaspoon in the food twice a day.
    Put the rest in an ice cube tray and freeze Use as needed.

    Or you can buy plain canned pumpkin but make sure it has nothing added at all.

    Are you sure it isn’t the current food causing the diarrhoea
     
  25. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    I don't think it is the current food, but maybe. He has been eating this food for 2 months without diarrhea before. The pumpkin seems like a good idea. It is not too high in carbs?
     
  26. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    No the pumpkin is not too high in carbs.
    The reason I mentioned the current food is because Sheba developed diarrhoea and nothing seemed to stop it. It went on for ages.
    I found pumpkin great.
    I also swapped from the food she was eating to another food and then eventually a home made diet and the diarrhoea stopped almost overnight after stopping the canned food I had been feeding for at least a couple of years.
    I would think you would just need to find another novel food.
     
  27. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Ok, it is definitely worth a try!
     
    AmandaE likes this.
  28. Myrtlesmum

    Myrtlesmum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2017
    Hi there, I’ve only skimmed the posts so apologies if I’m repeating anyone else advice. An unregulated cat can be ravenously hungry and I’m wondering if your cat isn’t getting enough to eat that it may be smelling the sugar and protein in it’s urine as an alternative food source? I’d also suggest that the ingested litter has messed with his bowel - if you are using clumping litter please change it - I’ve read that it can cause bowel issues (especially in kittens) as cats can ingest some when grooming - it’s not usually a problem in healthy adult cats and it’s only a tiny amount ingested but if your cat is actually eating it..... Most of us feed small frequent meals, and especially until your cat is regulated you want to make sure it’s getting enough to eat. I use a timed feeder when I’m not home. I hope you get it sorted out soon!
     
  29. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Yes, thank you. I have the feeling that the combo of sugar and protein in the urine mixed with the sorghum seed litter was making it too tempting. Pee cookies for afternoon snack. And yes, I also have come to the conclusion that eating the urine and/or litter is probably what has given him diarrhea. I changed all the boxes to oko cat wood litter and I have not caught him eating it. I think the subtle smell of pine and wood is not as appealing. I am not thrilled with the dust that this litter creates so I will continue trying different litters, but for now, at least he is not eating the litter (I think). His diarrhea is clearing up and his BG levels started going down a little yesterday, which made me wonder if the extra sugar in the urine and sorghum seed were possibly affecting his glucose levels as well. or maybe the inflammation in his GI tract. Or both. Anyway, thank you for your advice and support. I think we are doing better over here as far as eating litter goes. I have had others recommend feeding him more and more often so I am going to start implementing that plan soon as well.
     
    Myrtlesmum likes this.
  30. Rocky&Moe

    Rocky&Moe New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    i don't have any advice but rather wanted to jump in and say you're doing a great job handling this. Hang in there and hopefully Zhoom Boy will be feeling better soon :)
     
  31. CandyH & Catcat

    CandyH & Catcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2019
    if okocat litter is working, you might check at a livestock feed store and get "equine stall bedding", as long as it is made of pine or fir and NOT cedar

    usually you can get a larger bag for a cheaper price than the specific-for-cats litter, and it may not be as dusty either

    another equivalent is the wood pellets made for "pellet stoves" -- so long as those too are compressed fir or pine, without glues or aromatic woods like cedar
     
  32. PercyCat

    PercyCat New Member

    Joined:
    Wednesday
    I just wanted to say, make sure you don't use the clay clumping litter...especially if Zhoom is eating their litter. I learned the hard way that clay clumping litter causes intestinal blockages if ingested, so if Zhoom still wants to eat that kind of litter it will cause another expensive problem.

    (My cat had this happen because he had the litter sticking to his paws and he was cleaning it off........not ideal.)
     
  33. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Thanks so much. Words of encouragement can mean so much can't they!
     
  34. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Great. Good to know :)
     
  35. CRL

    CRL Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019

    Oh boy, that sounds awful. Well, thanks for the heads up, I will steer clear of clay clumping litter for sure. I was a bit worried about the litter he was eating causing blockage since it too was a clumping kind of litter. Thankfully he is doing ok and still not munching on the oko cat.
     

Share This Page