The Feather Frenzy With Mouse Attachment

As blogged here, I got Pete a Feather Frenzy toy the other week. We’ve used it on average once a day – sometimes not at all, sometimes two or three or four times a day. He hasn’t got tired of it yet. I tend to go out of the flat into the common stair to play with it with him, because my flat is small and he likes to run around with it. It does a great job at exciting his predator instincts: he stalks, hides, pounces, runs, jumps, and when he catches it, he runs off to his dish to chew it. And thus the feather part has fallen apart – being dragged through the catflap did it no good at all. 😀

So today I replaced the feather attachment with a mouse attachment, and I’m pleased to say he reacts to it in just the same way. He shows no signs of getting bored with it at all, and sometimes he goes out into the stair and waits for me to bring it to him. This is a second floor flat, and when we’re playing it’s easy to get him to run all the way down to the ground floor, back up, up to the top floor, and down again to the first or ground floor stalking and pouncing all the way, and rolling and stretching on the ground when he catches it. I’m delighted to see him getting so much exercise with it, and even better, delighted to see him exercising in a way that encourages him to use his natural instincts and display natural behaviour. It’s a great toy and I’d recommend it to any cat owner.

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Back to Normal

Pete’s completely back to normal now, and the vet phoned to say all his tests came back clear, so it probably was a stress-induced cystitis. Silly boy. He’s eating normally (I’m keeping him on wet food with added water rather than dry food for a while to keep his bladder flushed), sleeping normally, playing normally and is generally back to being great. Plus, he likes sitting in the empty cat litter bag.

Litterbag3

Litterbag2

I’m so grateful to the Cat Clinic for seeing us so quickly and sorting him out so well.

On the Mend

As I was going to bed last night Pete was sitting by his litter tray looking uncertain in a way that was slightly different from how stoned he was. I was a bit worried that he is starting to associate using it with being sore, so I put another one out for him. He was just sitting there looking worried ten minutes later so I brought him through to the bedroom and put him on the bed – he just jumped off and walked away, and every time I tried to stroke him, he turned his back and walked away from me. I felt very punished. He did come into the bedroom about 3ish and slept next to me until the alarm went off.

This morning, I could see he’d used his normal litter tray for a pee and a poo, and his extra one for a pee, which was great news. He’s been a bit reluctant this morning, obviously wanting to go and finding it painful. He has had painkillers in his breakfast but they haven’t had time to take effect yet I think. He has peed, in his extra tray rather than his normal one, so I’ll keep that out for the next few days. He ate his breakfast in normal time, he’s letting me stroke him, he’s scratching at his scratch post, and he’s asking for more breakfast so I think he’s feeling better in himself. We just need to wait for the pain to go away. Good boy.

Poor Pete is Poorly (in his pee)

I was pretty busy yesterday so Pete didn’t get much attention. I scooped his litter tray in the evening and noticed he’d only peed once all day but didn’t think much of it, expecting him to pee later. He was a bit quiet, but was eating fine and I wasn’t concerned. He was asleep in his usual place on the bed as far as I knew, until I woke up about 3am with a sore throat. I lay in bed coughing for half an hour until I realised I should get up and get a painkiller, and then I realised he wasn’t on the bed. I got up and he was in the kitchen, and he meowed at me when he saw me. I gave him a couple of biscuits, took my aspirin and went back to bed. He came through to the bedroom, meowed a couple of times, then jumped onto the bed and, I think, slept till the alarm went off.

He didn’t eat much breakfast, went straight back to bed, looked sorry for himself and still hadn’t peed, so I got an appointment for him at The Cat Clinic and took him along at 1115. The vet had a good look at him, calling another vet in to discuss, and confirmed what I had suspected – he wasn’t well in his waterworks. They weren’t quite sure what was going on though – his bladder was about half-full, not completely full as they would expect with a blockage, or completely empty as they would expect with a cystitis making him pee. He hasn’t been attempting to use his litter box, straining or crying, he just hasn’t gone near it. He was obviously sore when they palpated his bladder and his temperature was normal. (He did not like having a thermometer shoved up his arse).

So, we agreed they would admit him, sedate him, catheterise him, take blood and urine samples and X-ray his bladder to see what’s what. I left him there and they said they’d call me later with news. I think I left at about 1145 and they phoned at about 1315. They said he had no sign of infection or bladder abnormality, but he does have blood in his urine, and they think it might be a stress reaction to having his nails clipped on Saturday. Poor Pete. And poor me – his £8 nail clipping has cost me £314 in vet fees! (He is insured, but the policy excess is £99 so he’s going to have to get a part-time job). Oh, and when he was sick after the sedation, there was a big wiggly worm in his vomit. Yuk. So they wormed him and gave me another worming tablet for him to take in a month (I do worm him every three months), and anti-inflammatory liquid for him to take for the next few days.

The painkillers they gave him were morphine-based and he was completely spaced out when I went to pick him up. His pupils were huge and he looked like Puss in Boots from Shrek. He looked like he had no idea where he was or what to do with himself and it hasn’t improved much in the five hours he’s been home. They told me to feed him his usual diet in smaller portions, so his evening pouch has been doled out in tiny portions, with some still to go. It’s taking him five times as long to eat a quarter-portion than it normally does to eat a full portion, and then he either sits staring at the empty dish, or staggers into the hall and sits staring into darkness. I wonder if his dilated pupils are making the low light levels in here too sore for his eyes. He did have a purry cuddle on my knee for a minute, with some head bumps, but other than that he’s just sat on the floor looking lost, and if I lift him into his bed on the floor or on the sofa, he just gets out again and goes back to looking lost on the floor.

He hasn’t peed since he came home, but they manually emptied his bladder at the vet so I doubt it’s filled again yet. Poor soul. I’m going to go to bed in a minute and I’ll see how he does in the morning. He’s probably a bit bewildered, and sore despite the painkillers, and if a drama-free trip to get his nails cut has stressed him, god knows what a day at the vet has done to his mental state!

Pete’s First Manicure, and a New Toy

Because Pete is very relaxed about the concept of going out and doing exercise, his claws have got very long, and they’re very sharp. And when he digs them into my leg, they’re very sore. I’ve tried to contact some of the mobile groomers in Edinburgh, but they’re as relaxed about answering queries as Pete is about going out. So today a friend gave us a lift and we went to the Groom Room at Pets at Home (Fort Kinnaird).

There’s no need to make an appointment for nail trimming for cats, so we just turned up. Poor Pete; he really doesn’t like travelling in cars and he was quite vocal in his protests. He perked up once we got into Pets at Home – all those live tasty snacks in cages for him to look at. The groomers had a couple of dogs being groomed when we arrived, but they moved them into another room for minimum stress and disruption while Pete was there. The groomer asked if I wanted to hold Pete, but I didn’t think he’d let me – he won’t let me touch his feet or hold him upside down and I didn’t think he’d cooperate for me. So she got another groomer to help and asked me to leave the room to reduce Pete’s anxiety. I stood outside, feeling like a parent on their child’s first day at nursery. I had a little look round but then moved so I could see what was going on. One of the staff was holding Pete up so that his feet were reachable, and the other one was clipping his nails. It was done very quickly, and when the staff saw me watching they mouthed that he was fine. Once it was done I went back in and we got him back into his carrier. They said he’d been good as gold, and the thick leather gauntlets on the bench hadn’t been needed at all. One of his back nails looks like it’s been pulled out (probably when he slid down the shelves) but it’s growing in at the right angle and she said it probably doesn’t need the attentions of a vet. £8 for all his nails to be clipped, with no drama and no bloodshed. He didn’t like the journey back much either, and he’s ignored me all day, but it was a good service and I’d happily take him back there next time.

Just after we got back, the post arrived, which included his new toy. The Feather Frenzy Cat Toy is from the same people who made Da Bird. It’s a long flexible plastic wand (come tightly coiled in the envelope so be careful as you open it or it’ll whack you in the face) with a string attached. The string has a carabiner clip on the other end, so you can attach different toys. When I ordered the toy, I also ordered the mouse attachment, but today Pete and I have just used the standard feather toy.

The feather toy has a couple of ethically-sourced pheasant and turkey marabou feathers attached so that when you wiggle the wand, the toy flutters and whirs. Pete was moping on the floor when I unpackaged it but within a second of me setting it up he was hunting it. He was in a frenzy of predatory lust, eyes dilated, tail thrashing, stalking and running and leaping and pouncing, and not getting bored of it at all. He’s had two 20 minute sessions and a 10 minute session with it today and I’ve never seen him so intent on a toy. I had intended to let him catch it a few times to prevent frustration and mimic natural behaviour, but he’s so quick he caught it even when I didn’t want him to. And then he kept the feather end in his mouth and ran into the house to eat his catch by his dish, with me running along behind him still holding onto the wand. I think I’ve done as much running after the toy as he has! It took him a few catches to work out it’s not actually edible and once he’d worked that out, he was better at letting me take it off him to start the game again. I’m delighted with how much interest he’s showing in it (crazed, murderous interest) and I hope I can ration it to maintain his interest while giving him more exercise. Really good toy, highly recommended.