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14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water

Posted by davids 
14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
January 25, 2008 02:05AM
Hi -- my housecat, who is approximately 14 years old, has lately developed bad breath and is drinking more water than I'm used to seeing, based on both the water level in his bowl when I get home from work and from the size and number of litterbox clumps. He is otherwise apparently healthy and as active as normal. He is eating the same quantity of food (Purina indoor formula, with an occasional wet pouch as a special treat) as usual. He is not an outdoor cat. The last time I could get a good look at his teeth and gums they seemed typical for him -- clean but somewhat yellow with what I'm guessing is plaque. I'm a smoker and smoke inside, but I do keep a huge HEPA filter running or open windows in good weather, so secondhand smoke is a worry.

I've read a lot of messages on this forum, and am worried he's experiencing some kind of organ failure, or cancer. He's a bit touchy about being handled so it's not easy for me to check him for lumps.

Are there any other things or signs I can look for? At the moment I am ill prepared to handle a big vet bill. It will be a month or two before I have enough spare cash to pay for a vet visit, let alone treatment. (And then I have to convince him to get cozy with his old cat carrier...)

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
January 25, 2008 09:16AM
Hi,

Your cat almost certainly has renal failure - the commonest cause of chronic illness and death in older cats.
There is little you can do for him. Antibiotics ( I am not sure why, and theoretically should not be used) do, in my experience, help in the short term in these cases.

W
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
January 25, 2008 07:08PM
Thanks for the information, Walter. I will take my cat to a vet for a hands-on examination as soon as I can to determine what, if any, course of action to take.
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
January 26, 2008 12:33PM
Hi,

I think that is your best course of action. Please let me know how you get on.

W
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
January 28, 2008 11:53PM
Hi Walter --

I secured money for a vet checkup. The vet confirmed your diagnosis. Specific gravity of his urine was low, and various measurements from his blood and urine were higher than normal, all confirming CRF.

I appreciate the heads' up you gave me. We're going to start some medications and a change in diet to attempt to keep him hydrated and ensure he remains at least comfortable while the disease progresses. We've chosen not to prolong his life, but rather let nature take its' course, but to at least make him more comfortable while it happens.

The service you are providing online has proven beneficial. We caught this in the early stages (although 70% or more of his kidney functions are clearly lost else the symptoms would not have shown up). I appreciate the "heads' up" that you were able to give me.

Best wishes,
David
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
January 31, 2008 01:00PM
H, David,

Thank you for that. I hope your cat has a reasonable quality of life for a little longer.

W
Susan
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
January 31, 2008 02:39PM
My condolences My cat, Nuage, passed away from the very same thing last year and exhibited the same symptoms. She was only four.

Best of luck with kitten.
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
February 03, 2008 10:51PM
Thank you for your kind words, Susan.

For those who have found this thread and want more information about CRF, just type "Feline CRF" into Google and you will get lots of links to websites stuffed with information. The two I found most helpful were www.felinecrf.org and www.felinecrf.com -- apparently unrelated entities but both chock full of information.

Meantime I'm keeping Jasper's purr engine running for longer periods of time, and more often winking smiley

David
Tammy B.
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
July 29, 2008 02:35PM
The best course of action for treating renal failure in cats is to serve a low protein diet, which is normally only available for sale through prescription from your vet. A more drastic form of treatment is through the added daily (or as prescribed by your vet) hydration of administrating a saline solution through an IV in the scruff. Both will help prolong the life of your cat and make them more comfortable.
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
September 25, 2008 03:55AM
Hi everyone (and Walter) --

Lately my cat, who is still well hydrated thanks to twice-daily fresh water (which I know he loves), twice-daily wet food, and twice-daily litterbox cleaning, has taken to urinating in my clothes hamper, and urinating / defecating on my bed.

I have become extremely frustrated with this behavior and don't know what to do about it.

I love my cat very much, but I cannot continue to discard clothing, bedclothes, mattresses and accepting damage to my condo floors with his behavior, despite keeping his litterbox cleaner than ever before.

Does anyone have suggestions? It is getting quite frustrating. I know he is well hydrated and spend time with him every day to keep him entertained and happy, yet he is taking over my life and my wallet. I've been finding myself wishing he would pass on so I can be done with this but that is a horribly cruel thing to wish. I don't know what to do.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
October 03, 2008 09:42AM
Hi, David,

Euthanaia is a perfectly acceptable form of treatment in cases like this, and there is no question about your feeling guilty about it. It is far preferable to leaving it until your cat dies from his illness, suffering and in considerable distress.

W
rb
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
August 11, 2009 02:20AM
Hi,

I just thought I'd weigh in to say that my cat experienced the same thing at age 14. Shortly after turning 14, he got a blood test revealing that he was in the early stages of kidney failure.

My vet started him on a diet of "Iams Renal Stages" and also a little blood pressure pill each night.

As of March 09, my cat's "numbers" were the same as they had been at the time of the earlier bloodtest (March 08).

He continues to lose weight, but all I can do is continue to have him checked, at least twice a year, and give him this diet and pills.

I feel badly as cats are apparently extreme carnivores and this "Iams Renal Stages" is apparently a vegetarian meal! I feel guilty for putting him on a diet that may lessen his quality of life.....all the same, I know I might not still have him today had I not gotten him on this program.

Best of luck ---

rb
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
August 11, 2009 07:56AM
Hi,

Dio not feel bad about feeding your cat a commercial diet especially prepared for cats with renal failure - it will have all the necessary ingredients which obligate carnivores require.

W
Willie
Re: 14 yr old cat -- bad breath & drinking more water
February 19, 2016 02:15AM
My 16 year old cat eats well but is losing weight,has very foul breath and seems to have a cold all the time.sneezes a lot with smelly mucus. What could be wrong?
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