After choosing Tom and making all the necessary arrangements with the re-homing centre, we were able to collect him the next day. When arriving at his new home, we allowed Tom to settle into a quiet room within the house. We had provided him with a new activity/scratching post etc and of course a double bed for his comfort ;-). We took advice from the adoption centre to keep his food and litter the same for familiarity.
All seemed to be going well until day two when my husband noticed that he was continuously trying to urinate in his litter tray and must have entered it in excess of 10 times in half an hour, without actually going. On telephoning a local vet, they advised that he be brought in for urgent investigation. He was given an anti-inflammatory injection as well as a pain killer. We were recommended to continue to provide the pain killer over the course of the next few days until his symptoms improved; which they did. We were also asked to obtain a urine sample in order for the vet to investigate further. It turned out that Tom had a substantial amount of crystals in his urine which formed together making passing urine difficult. He also had a bacterial infection as some blood was found in his urine sample. He was also placed on antibiotics to treat the infection. They diagnosed his condition as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), see further blog post for information about the condition.
We were advised to change his food to a prescribed diet that would dissolve the crystals in his urine. This unfortunately wasn't the last encounter of this issue resulting in constant visits to his toilet and straining to urinate. Tom would also over groom his bottom causing him further distress. Crystals in his urine were not however, the cause the second, third or fourth time this happened. The problem was actually stress (psychological) related as he had seen another cat in our garden (Tom was indoors), a cat on the television and a cat in the distance in the estate when glancing out of an upstairs window. On one occasion poor Tom hid under a radiator in the corner of our living room and it took some time to locate him! These episodes required further visits to the vets; including an out of hours vet surgery on one occasion.
Tom remained on the prescribed diet food for approximately 6 months before switching to a non-prescribed similar dry and wet food targeted for cats with Urinary tract problems (Royal Canin - Urinary). There have been a few re-occurrences but these are now more likely to be phycological rather than presence of crystals. We still need to avoid any cats being on television when Tom is in the same room, and took to placing frosted film on all lower sections of any windows which he is able to access. The garden has trellis now above the fence panels to try and prevent any visits from other neighbourhood cats.
Tom has also had a few other scrapes during the time we have had him including: two black eyes and bee stings! He doesn't seem to always have the best balance and although we are unsure where in the house he came off worse when he managed to hurt himself badly enough to warrant a few precautionary trips to the vets. Luckily no lasting damage to his eye, and with pain-killers and eye drops he was soon feeling better. We are lucky in the respect that he is very gentle and we can administer the medication ourselves!
Despite all of the above we would not change him and he is very much part of our family. He is a character and is far more animated than I have ever known any cat to be. He is gentle and affectionate and has never bitten or scratched anyone; even when being given a bath! He will often sit on our lap or legs in the evening; sometimes we both get the honor, and he usually sleeps on our bed at night unless he has found himself a new favourite bed on a chair or cushion.
He very much likes his food; although we try to keep his weight down, he has unfortunately developed the taste for certain bug delicacies L.O.L. It would feel strange not having Tom around now.