Tuesday Sep 29, 2015
The young fair lady in her late 20s wanted her male cat to be neutered urgently. She did not say why and I did not ask. I thought it would be caterwauling as the male cat has matured. The loud meowing and crying would disturb her sleep and that of the neighbours.
I examined this greyish-white Persian X cat pre-op. He was a bit overweight and was fit for anaesthesia. He had a normal prepuce and penis but no scrotum. I asked my assistant to clip off the long hairs in the area between the anus and the penis. No developed scrotum and therefore no descended testicles. This was rare in cats. I checked the inguinal areas as sometimes, the testicles were lodged there. None were present.
So, there was no neutering unless the lady agreed to my opening the abdomen to take the abdominal testicles out.
"Is your cat making a lot of noises at night, wanting to go out?" I asked when she returned to pick up the cat one hour later.
"No, no," she said. "But over the past 2 weeks, I noticed that he humps the pillows and his penis is erect every night. That is why I wanted to neuter him."
In this modern age, she showed me her smartphone clip of the red and engorged penis. She had not told me earlier as this was not a topic for a young lady to talk about. It was only when I told her that the cat had no descended testicle that she volunteered the information.
"This nightly incident may be due to the cat licking his penis as he may be suffering from FIC (Feline Interstitial Cystitis). FIC is an inflammation of the bladder. The cause is said to be due to stress leading to bladder mucosal changes and painful and difficult urination."
"But I do not see him as having difficulty in urination," the lady said..
"You work the whole day and so you may not know. Has he got his own litter box since you have had got a younger male cat?"
"The younger male cat does not stress him," she said. "At first, he was hissing at the new arrival and so I separated them. Later, he befriended the younger cat and both share one litter box."
She showed me an image of the younger cat and also his scrotum which was obvious and well developed to around 1 cm across as compared to 3 mm across in this cat with no scrotum.She showed a 5-second video clip of both of them playing and biting each other.
"Stress could be due to the arrival of another cat," I said. "It could be due to the need to share a litter box and to share space. Cats are more sensitive than dogs to such matters."
The lady was doubtful. However she said, "This cat is a very timid cat, just like the one my mother had in Beijing. He will freeze like a statute if I take him outdoors."
So, this was a nervous cat that would be more susceptible to stress than the normal one. Based on this history, I would say that he is suffering from the early stages of FIC. His bladder was full as well but then the owner said she had taken him out early to Toa Payoh Vets and therefore he had no time to pee. The sedated cat released pale clear urine on the consultation table and the lady took several pieces of tissues to wipe off the urine.
"It is a coincidence that you have a timid cat as well as your mother. Did your mother's cat suffer from difficulty in urination?" I asked.
"Yes, at one time, her cat had to be catheterised by the vet in Beijing so that he could pee."
As the lady did not want any abdominal surgery to take out the retained testicles, I prescribed meloxcam at 0.03ml/kg orally for 4 days to relieve the pain. This cat was 3.3 kg and so he will take around 0.1 ml per day for 4 days. The lady will phone me as regards the penile erection behaviour. The cat would be separated from the other cat and has his own litter box.
I will need to follow up 4 days later