Posted by Rachel (Adelaide, South Australia) on 01/05/2012
My family and I were sitting in the lounge room when we heard a scratching noise coming from the kitchen. I went into the kitchen just in time to find our 12 year old male neutered cat peeing red urine on the wall. We quickly made a vet appointment and saw him that same afternoon. The vet said that he most likely has a urinary tract infection and said that we could have the choice of either an injection or tablet of antibiotics. So we accepted the injection.
We already had ACV (with mother) in the fridge and started mixing it with his food. Zac is a total indoor cat, but during this time he was obsessed about being outside and peeing every 5 minutes, digging holes everywhere, which is very unlike him because naturally he will hold his urine for 8 hours or longer and then do a long wee.
We kept the bathroom doors open for him because he didn't want to pee in the litter tray (because they associate it with pain when they get an infection), overnight and the next morning we made the decision to ban all dry food, so I went out and bought some tuna and expensive cat food and then mixed some with ACV (diluted). All throughout the day we tried to keep his fluids up and even feeding him ACV with a dropper. I'm not sure how much went down his throat because it was frothing everywhere. You also have to make sure that you dilute it enough that it doesn't burn their throat.
Unfortunately, by Saturday night (we first noticed the blood on Thursday) Zac was still obsessed with peeing small amounts so we took him to the vet and got tablets and mixed it with food. I'd also like to say that if our cat couldn't pee at all, we would have taken him to the vet sooner instead of relying on ACV because it's very dangerous if cats are trying to pee and nothing comes out because then the toxins build up with nowhere to go.
Luckily, 24 hours later on Sunday night, he did a big long wee, like for 30 seconds, so we are guessing that it was the antibiotics, but it could have been the ACV as well.
Some changes we have made since having that scare was NO dry food for the cats at all. Dry food is NOT a natural part of cats' diets. Your cats are supposed to get their water from their meals, which is the wild would be carcasses. Dry food is too salty and not only does it take moisture out of their system, but it's a missed opportunity for them to be fed water with their meal. Which brings me to...
When giving them their two meals a day we mix about half a cup of filtered water and mix it up into a soup-like consistency so that the crystals don't have a chance to form and that their kidneys and urinary tract system gets flushed out regularly. This means that you will need to clean out your litter tray more often and/or remember to let your cat out to the toilet a few hours after their meal to empty their bladder.
I live in Australia so am able to find kangaroo meat and such from the supermarket, so we mix that with water (more on hot days and lukewarm water on cold days, your cat out in the wild would eat meat that is body temperature). And they love their meals. If you are concerned about the missing taurine in their diet, you can give them chicken hearts or liver from your butcher, just make sure to research about taurine because too much can be as dangerous as too little.
Ignore all of the commercials and your vet when they try to sell you their anti-UTI dry food. It is still dry food. Like many things, go back to basics and learn to research for yourself, because your vet is trying to earn money for their practice as well as diagnose your pet. You really can't go wrong with meat and springwater, but plenty can go wrong with dry food.
Lastly, never ever ever let your cat come into contact with Tea Tree Oil. It is safe for humans but NOT for cats, not even on their skin - it is TOXIC because the liver cannot handle it. It seeps through their skin, and shuts down their nervous system, paralyzing and even killing them.