There were several options to avoid stones in the future:
- Feed diet food
- Reduce the stress level
- Increase water intake
- Avoid dry kibble
1. He did not eat his diet food. I tried to cook for him, he did not eat that either. Research was called for. I checked the label of the vet’s diet food and made notes about the composition of the food, the ratio of raw protein, fat, minerals and so on. Then I researched commercial cat food and compared the ingredients and their proportions. And I found one that had quite similar ratios. We tried, he liked it, and we stuck to it ever since. However, since fish are supposed to increase the risk of these stones (or so we were told) we kept to rabbit, chicken, beef, and turkey. We feed salmon or trout only on rare occasions.
2. The SO’s father had died a while ago, and his mother was alone in the house as mine had been. Like my mum, MIL also always had lived with cats, but her last cat had died a while ago. And so we asked her if she’d take the cat, and she agreed.
I was sad, not to see the little guy every day, but he had a good life there. We saw him every weekend, he could enjoy the garden albeit on a leash, and MIL was happy to have him around.
3. This was a tip from another vet: when feeding canned food, add a bit of water. The cats usually like to lap that down, even if they don’t drink all that much water otherwise. So we did that, and still do, although he also drinks from his water dish. But that way he gets enough water in any case.
4. Skipping the dry kibble hit poor Mikka hard, because he always liked it so very much. Even months later he would sit in front of the cabinet where we had kept the kibble and tried to open the door with his paws. Too bad, nothing there. He does get a bit on occasion, but this is a treat more than actual food.
The bladder stones never came back. Mikka is 15 now, and still fit and healthy although he prefers to spend most of his time sleeping in a nice, warm place. He’s not jumping fences any longer, and so now he has the run of the garden. We’ve moved there and he now lives with us again. MIL is too sick to care for him any longer.
Unfortunately, Mikka and our new dog don’t get along. She tried to hunt him, threatened to nip and he was afraid of her. He may have provoked her because he’s a feisty little guy, but we’re not sure. We can’t let them be alone together, but the house has enough rooms to separate them when we can’t watch them. Mikka can sleep, eat, and potty stress-free, and only when one of us is with them, will cat and dog be together in the same room. This may sound like a lot of fuss, but I don’t want Mikka to spend his old age terrified. Even though cats can fight back, larger dogs can seriously injure, or kill, cats. We’re not going to risk that. After getting used to keep them separated, it really isn’t such a big deal. Mikka isn’t afraid any more, but sometimes there is tension, and I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.