Hello, friends! We certainly didn't mean for this post to go up so late, especially since we know you wonderful friends of ours might be waiting for an update on Evan. Things have been a bit hectic since yesterday afternoon, but for a good reason.
First and foremost, Evan is back home!
Evan and I are both beyond ecstatic that he's back where he belongs. Evan was able to urinate on his own after his urinary catheter was removed at the vet yesterday, which made the staff at the vet and of course myself very, very happy. As a result, I was able to bring him home last night.
Now that he's home, Evan is getting a number of medications, which he's not terribly happy about. That said, he really is a great patient, for which I am beyond grateful. His main medications are an anti-spasmodic (prazosin) and pain meds (buprenorphine), and I also started him back on amitriptyline since his urethral blockage was likely related to some sort of stress or anxiety. One of the most common times for stress-related blockages in cats to occur is the holiday season due to the hustle and bustle, and now I want to do all that I can to ensure that my boy stays happy and healthy year round.
I am also going to do my best to keep Evan on a urinary tract health diet. The vet and I discussed how a urinary tract health diet can be crucial to preventing future blockages. This certainly won't be easy in a house with 5 other cats, especially with some of those other cats being very picky and finicky. That said, I can use Evan's hind limb paralysis to my advantage, because I can elevate the other cats' food bowls while keeping his on the floor. I'm also on the hunt for some urinary tract health treats, because this orange boy is my biggest treat eater and I can't fathom never giving him treats again.
Evan has luckily continued to urinate on his own in his box since he got home. What I find strange, though, is that he hasn't had any sign of his usual urinary incontinence since he got home. At least not yet. That admittedly concerns me, as I'm already paranoid he's going to get blocked again, but since he's passing normal amounts of urine when he goes to his box, I'm trying not to freak myself out.
Overall, Evan is doing well, and I cannot express how grateful I am to have him home again. I don't think Thimble will mind if this week Evan and I take over our contribution to Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop, because the fact that he's home and recovering from his urinary blockage is something for which he and I are beyond thankful.
Yesterday we discussed feeding feral and stray cats outdoors in the cold winter months. As we mentioned yesterday, dry food is a good option in the winter, as it will not freeze like moist food. However, moist food still has its benefits, and so today we're here to give some tips on how to feed moist food outdoors in the cold months with at least some success. To begin, you can resort to putting moist food out only when you know the cat or cats you feed are present, so that they will be able to eat it immediately, giving it little to no time to freeze. Sometimes, though, you might not know when a feral or stray cat will show up for a meal. In such cases, there are ways to potentially offer moist food to ferals and strays, without the moist food freezing rapidly.
To begin, you can simply check on the status of moist food as often as possible, and warm or replace food that has become frozen. What's more, a source of heat will obviously help keep moist food from freezing at a fast rate, although you of course have to ensure that this source of heat is safe. This could mean doing something as simple as warming the bowl in which you put the moist food, or warming the moist food itself, to a safe temperature. There are also both electric and non-electric heat sources that can work for keeping bowls and their contents warm. For example, there are microwavable or otherwise warmable heating pads that can be placed under bowls to help prevent the rapid freezing of moist food that is fed to outdoor cats in the winter. There are also electric heated bowls that could keep moist food warm enough to prevent freezing. Other options of course include using a more extensive heat source within an entire feeding station or shelter, details which we will further discuss in upcoming tips. One important detail, though, as we mentioned just a few moments ago, is ensure that any heat source you use is safe and that it will not cause burns or fires. Always do your research before using any item that entails electricity and heating, and choose and use accordingly and wisely.
The last note to make here is that you should still of course make sure that moist food is not spoiling, such as if it manages to get too warm or sits out for too long. If a heated bowl or heat pad causes moist food to remain warm for long periods of time, do be sure to remove any uneaten food prior to spoilage. It might be cold outside during the winter months, but depending on the methods you use and the duration of time that outdoor cats' moist food is sitting out, it is always best to be aware of the potential for gastrointestinal or other issues that could result from the consumption of spoiled food.