Urinary Problems in Cats

Ugh oh, are you cleaning urine from the carpet again? Please, don’t ignore the signs of urinary problems in cats! Feline urinary problems are not as simple as urinary tract infections. For this reason, we will be spending a little extra time and several blog posts discussing this topic. First things first…

Signs of Urinary Problems in Cats

  • Blood in the urine
  • Straining to urinate
  • Failing to produce any urine
  • Producing frequent small amounts of urine
  • Vocalizing during urination
  • Urinary accidents
  • Making multiple, unsuccessful trips to the litter box
  • Urinating outside of the litter box (inappropriate urination)
  • Litter box aggression
  • Excessive cleaning of the genitalia
  • Overgrooming the lower abdomen and genital area
  • Drinking and urinating excessively

While urinary tract infections may be a problem for some cats, they are not the only problem that can affect your cat’s urinary health. In fact, cats can have such a variety of urinary problems that there is a disorder used to describe them all… FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disorder). FLUTD can cause all of the symptoms you see with canine urinary tract infections. However, it has quite a few potential causes. Believe it or not, simple urinary tract infections are quite uncommon in cats under 10 years of age.

Possible Causes of FLUTD

  • Bacterial infection
  • Urinary crystals
  • Bladder stones
  • Bladder and urinary tract cancer
  • Urethral plugs
  • Anatomic abnormalities
  • Stress
  • Unknown (idiopathic)

Risk Factors

  • Cats who only eat dry food
  • Cats who are overweight
  • Cats who are extremely sedentary
  • Too few litterboxes
  • Stressors in the home

Because there are so many possible causes of FLUTD, your veterinarian will want to start with a urinalysis. If your pet has a normal urinalysis, further diagnostics are usually recommended. These may include a urine culture, bloodwork, radiographs, ultrasound, and even biopsy.

Getting a diagnosis can be frustrating for the veterinarian and the client because there are so many possibilities. The veterinarian’s goal is to rule out a medical problem. If no medical problem is found, it is time to tackle the risk factors and make changes that can help reduce the chance of recurrence. This is a BIG job. Stay tuned for my recommendations on how to keep your cat’s bladder happy and healthy!

In the meantime, get that urine cleaned up with the only product I use in my house:

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