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This is not a cat I have direct contact with, it's a cat taken care of by a friend who lives in another country.

The cat is a stray they picked up, he's about 1yr old from what she's been told (she's a guest at the house the cat stays in so she wasn't there when they adopted him). The owners generally don't treat the cat well so it's taken a liking to her since she cares about him more. She told me they used to let him out but he would often come back bloody so they keep him inside now, especially due to the quarantine (she is currently in Paris). I think he recently escaped a few weeks ago but they found him and got him back.

Over the past 2 days she noticed the following:

  • The cat started walking with his hind legs apart. His gait is otherwise balanced.
  • He has trouble defecating and urinating. She noticed he would try to urinate but only drops would come out.
  • He has lost weight.
  • He eats 7 times a day (that is the number she gave me) which is far more than usual.
  • She has found lots of small white balls where he sleeps. I'm fairly certain these are tapeworm eggs.
  • He licks himself very frequently. This includes both his fur and body as well as his genitals and anus.
  • She noticed bugs on his fur, resembling ants. I showed her images of ticks on cat fur and she says the bugs were larger. I also showed her images of ticks and she said they don't look like that, they're black and insisted they resemble ants. She also said she only saw 2 of them and hasn't seen them since.
  • He has been constantly sleepy but his sleep patterns don't seem to have changed as far as she can tell. However, she also described him as more "active". When I asked her if he's become more aggressive, she said no, just more active.
  • He meows constantly.

He urinated on her mouse pad yesterday. I told her he's probably stressed and she said he looks like it. He got a stare for that and stopped going near the mouse pad at all, whereas he used to sleep next to it on her desk.

The owner believed he's in heat, hence the meowing. We had nothing to go on other than that, so I assumed it would be true, since it's spring and he's not neutered. He also wanted to go outside a lot. I told her he might spray, especially if he's stressed and that's what she thought the white balls were at first.


I'm not a vet but I think this cat has a serious tapeworm parasite infection and probably some urinary tract infection among other things. I can't confirm anything more about the bugs she saw. When I asked if she could photograph them, she said it's hard because he's always moving.

Currently all vets are closed in the city. Is there anything she can do to help him? I'm afraid the cat's life is in danger.

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    I would consider this to be an emergency based on the symptoms you have described. I don't know how is it in Paris but at least in the UK there are lots of 24/7 pet emergency hospitals. I wish all the best for this poor fluffy soul. – lila Apr 19 at 15:16
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    Male cats do not "go into heat;" only females do. The meowing is likely distress. The cat needs to go to a vet, and vets should be open for emergency situations like this. – Allison C Apr 20 at 13:50
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The peeing in very obvious places can be a sign of urinary stones or another problem with his urinary tract. He cannot tell you that urinating hurts, so he shows you the problem in the only way he can. His problems urinating and frequent licking of his genitals are more serious indications for a urinary tract problem.

You should let a vet check him and probably make a blood test to see how well his kidneys work and if his risk of developing kidney stones is increased.

In general, you should avoid cat food with grain, because it causes a slight imbalange in the blood chemistry of cats, which can cause the formation of stones in the kidney or urinary bladder.

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    This is the right answer--this cat needs to see a vet IMMEDIATELY because everything mentioned here and in the original question is a sign of a urinary blockage in progress, and an untreated full block is a very unpleasant death sentence. – Allison C Apr 20 at 13:51
  • @AllisonC the owner (not my friend but the one who's house she lives in atm) wants to throw the cat outside. We're trying to find an animal shelter or refuge to hopefully pick him up. Shelters/refuges do pick up animals in this state I hope – mechalynx Apr 20 at 16:02
  • At least in the US, rescues can only perform vet services on a "stray" if they are an emergency, and if the owner is known (as it is in this case) they may not be able to do anything unless the owner surrenders it to the rescue. – Allison C Apr 20 at 17:08
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This sounds like a combination of parasites internal and external and one or more female cats in heat nearby.

Male cats will react as you describe when the females are in heat.

The only advice i can give is to get the cat to a vet for neutering and treatment against parasites,most if not all of this can be done in one single visit at the vet.

It is very likely that the cat has more than than a few medical problems if it never got the vaccines that cats normaly get.

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  • Thankyou, do you think there's any help that can be provided at home until a visit to the vet is possible? Is it a good idea to attempt to bathe him or use rubbing alcohol? Or would these just stress him unnecessarily? – mechalynx Apr 19 at 15:21
  • if it is possible to buy medication for deworming and medication for external parasites you can use this to treat the cat but giving medication to a cat is not easy to do.do not give the cat a bath or use rubbing alcohol(alcohol is a solvent and it can kill the cat or cause permanent damage to the cat). – trond hansen Apr 19 at 17:25

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