We were recently invited out to dinner to catch up with a friend of ours that we hadn’t seen in a while.
He wanted to meet up at one of his favorite restaurants, Smokey Bones. We agreed and headed out to meet him for some drinks and dinner.
Smokey Bones is a great restaurant (if you didn’t know) and has hilarious signs that hang all over the place – even the bathroom!
In fact, in the men’s restroom in our Smokey Bones there is a large sign above each urinal that reads,
Eyes Forward. Keep talking to a minimum.
Years ago when we were new and inexperienced cat owners we noticed that Gabby was breaking the heck out of that rule. Every time she’d go to the bathroom, it would be all sorts of loud.
We didn’t know why, just figured she was being weird.
Eventually she stopped using the litter box altogether and started using the guest bathroom tub. Yuck.
We figured maybe she didn’t like the litter, so we tried changing it. Didn’t work.
Maybe the box needed a better deodorizer? Nope. Still poopin’ in the tub.
Daddy noticed one day that Gabby’s pee had a fairly strong ammonia smell to it, and immediately called his veterinarian.
It turns out a strong ammonia smell could be a sign of something, but the vet said using the bathroom outside of the litter box was the bigger give away.
Our poor little Gabby had been suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI) for at least a week and half – that we knew of!
We got her to the vet and got her treated, and ended up having to get a new litter box as she had grown to associate the old one with painful urination.
What breaks my heart – it breaks my heart to think about it, and to even write it down in this post – is that we just didn’t know the signs, and our poor little baby was in pain.
And because cats typically hide their pain, it’s important to know how to “speak cat” so you can help them as early as possible.
If your cat is making a lot of noise while using the bathroom – breaking those urinal rules – make sure you check in on them. Just peek in and verify that they’re actually using the bathroom.
When they’re done, make sure that everything looks as it should.
Meowing a lot while using the litter box can be a sign of something as severe as infections or cancer, or something as mild as a blockage caused by a hairball.
And if your cat starts using the restroom outside of the litter box, take them to the vet immediately. It is most likely an infection causing pain, but it could be kidney stones or even arthritis.