Shelley Bassett



Happy snap from Saturday morning... before the vet trip

Taking a trip to the vet

May 11, 2018

Poor Chester needed a visit to the vet last weekend. And it wasn't all good news either...

Taking Chester to the vet is not an easy task. He’s not so great with travelling, and hates his box, the car, and really anything that isn’t home. But last weekend we had to bundle him up and take him for a drive. 

The Symptoms

Unfortunately, this vet trip was for a recurring issue. And up to this point, no one had been able to say what was likely happening with the cat, despite this being the 3rd visit for this reason. Chester’s being having toilet troubles for a few years now. More specifically, he poops blood. It doesn’t seem to stop him. He eats enough to feed a small army. But something’s clearly not right.

Happy snap from Saturday morning... before the vet trip

Happy snap from Saturday morning… before the vet trip

This weekend there was a lot of blood in the litter tray. So back to the vet we go. Luckily our local vet is really good and squeezed us in first thing on a Saturday morning. Not that Chester liked this.

Playing chauffeur to His Royal Fluffiness

Driving Chester anywhere is not a fun task. First, you have to get him in the crate. Then, avoid being near the crate in case you get swiped. Finally, comes trying to ignore the screaming cat while driving. It’s stressful for him and it’s stressful for me.

Catching him to get him in the box is probably the most entertaining part. Chester’s… Large. Like, he’s too large for the box, despite it being the largest cat crate. So I kinda trick him in. You see, he loves black reusable shopping bags. The kind you can buy at Coles. So if I can get him in the shopping bag, I can just take the front off the cage off, place the whole bundle in, then latch it. Easy peasy! Provided he hasn’t made me chase him through the whole house.

Then comes the panic as he realises he’s trapped. There’s this sweet spot between “why can’t I get out of here” and “let me out now” when you can approach the cage to get him in the car. Too early, and he’s shifting his weight trying to get his bearings and is hard to hold. Too late, and he’s panicked and will try and claw anything that comes near the front grate. He’s even been so upset he’s toppled the whole box over. But once you pick it up and get him in the car, there’s a bit of a lull.

Ginger cat sleeping on the arm of a couch

A very calm Chester enjoying a nap on the sofa

Until the screaming. Think, 2am caterwauling, but in the car with you. It probably affects me more than anyone, because I get deeply distressed by the cat. Yes, I threaten to give him away every 5 minutes, but I’d be lost without him. Even though I know he’s fine (besides whatever the vet trip is relating to), it upsets me to hear him upset. And it just doesn’t stop. Even in the waiting room. It’s not until we’re in the consulting room and trying to get him out of the box that he goes quiet and shy. Uggh.

The Diagnosis

So. After all this excitement, we saw the vet, and finally got a diagnosis for him. Poor Chester has irritable bowel disease. Most likely. It’s not a 100% diagnosis. There’s lots of testing to be done for full confirmation. But it is a starting point to try and make life a little more pleasant for him. I’ve already spent some time digging around the internet for information, but I think there’s a lot to learn. There are diet things and toilet things. We might have to try and make some adjustments.

But for this minute, the vet has suggested occasional fasting when it gets bad, and returning for antibiotics if the bleeding doesn’t stop. It’s a starting point, and hopefully will have a positive impact on his digestion.