ETA 2: We are back from the vet with the cat. The X-Rays showed multiple stones in his bladder, but fortunately none are blocking the urethra and there is nothing in his kidneys or ureters. He also has arthritis in his hips but nowhere else. The urine analysis showed no crystals at all, a few bacteria but more suggestive of a contaminated sample than a UTI. His urine is also very concentrated and very acid. Blood samples were taken, but the results will only be in next week, telling us about his kidneys, liver, thyroid and probably glucose levels. What all this means is that the stones are oxalate, not struvite. They don’t dissolve as well, but they tend to stick to the bladder walls and cause less trouble than struvite, so blockage is unlikely down the road, unless they get bigger. So now he’s on urinary health food, antibiotics, and pain killers. The vet will call us back Tuesday with the results of the blood tests. His evolution in the next few weeks will help us decide what to do. Surgery to remove the stones is an option, but given his age, very low tolerance for stress and high risk of recurrence, this was not really favored by the vet and we don’t see it as the best option for him either. We’re giving conservative treatment a try first, making sure he’s comfortable and well hydrated. If this fails or if the stones get much bigger quickly, we will have to re-evaluate our options. We’re very happy with the care he got, they were thorough and compassionate and very understanding when we were feeling guilty for not realizing earlier that something was wrong.

Thank you everybody for your kind thoughts, and Massimo thanks you as well. Here’s his sweet face:

ETA: we are now at a wonderful vet who agreed to squeeze us in, our regular vet had no room at all today. They are keeping him for the day to collect urine and see what’s going on. He’s still his usual self so I think we got him there in time.

One of our cats is a sweet 10-11 little guy we adopted about 3 years ago. He wasn’t in very good health then. He had infected teeth that needed to be removed, he was very fat and walked stiffly. He was also a very nervous cat. After a few years of (I think) better care, he’s overall better and has regained some playfulness but he remains a little stiff in the hips and shy. Also he’s always reacted badly to having his lower back and hips petted, as in meowing and pawing our hands away. And he will still sometimes have overgrooming behaviours where he’ll lick a patch of skin raw, which really seems like an anxious behaviour. So overall, he’s not in the best of shapes, which his previous owner told us nothing about. And he’s seen the vet a few times but mostly for his teeth, she didn’t seem too concerned by the rest. Since he’s very nervous and we don’t have a car, taking him to the vet often is a challenge.

Now he has blood in his urine. We only noticed it today but it may have been there a few days longer. There were a few small spots of blood on our bath mat but since he’s been overgrooming we thought that was the cause, until we found a little puddle of bloody urine today and more in the litter box. When I scooped yesterday I did not notice any though. He does not seem particularly in pain but he’s always shy/reclusive. Perhaps the excessive grooming is a sign of pain/distress though. He had an episode of bloody urine last year but I was away and my husband did not think to tell me or the vet.

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I think the most likely causes are probably an infection, a stone or a tumor. Given his age I would bet stone or tumor. I have given him some cranberry powder from a supplement capsule because sources online seemed to say it could help with an infection. I’m trying to get him to the vet tomorrow. In the meantime, any advice from you wise people?