Urinary problems are fairly common in cats. If you see your cat making frequent unproductive trips to the litter box, showing signs of pain while trying to go, engaging in obsessive licking of kitty private parts, going outside of the box, or drinking more water than normal, take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Urinary problems can be serious, and urinary blockages are a life-threatening veterinary emergency.
Here are the most common urinary disorders in cats.
Cystitis: Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder. It can be caused by a bacterial infection or a serious problem called feline urological syndrome (see below). See your vet to determine the cause of the cystitis. A bacterial infection can be treated successfully with antibiotics. Signs of a bacterial infection include frequent urination with straining and discomfort, persistent licking of the private parts, blood in the urine, and increased thirst.
Incontinence: Frequent urination and loss of control of the bladder can be caused by old age, injury, or infection. Be sure not to confuse incontinence with territorial spraying or marking, and don’t limit your cat’s water intake to try to control it. See your vet for a diagnosis and treatment options.
Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS): One of the most potentially serious urinary conditions in cats, FUS occurs when crystals form in your cat’s urinary system and cause bladder blockage and plug the urethra. Neutered male cats are more likely to experience FUS than females. A blockage of the urethra is a veterinary emergency. Your cat will strain to pass a few drops of urine (usually bloody) or will not be able to go at all. The bladder can become swollen and painful and your cat will show signs of discomfort and distress. Get your cat to the vet ASAP. Untreated urinary blockage can cause death in as little as two days. Cats prone to urinary blockages will have to go on a special veterinary diet that’s low in magnesium, a common cause of crystals. Make sure your cat drinks plenty of water and limit the intake of dry food.
Chronic Kidney Disease: This is one of the most common health problems seen in senior cats. Kidney function can decline with age and your cat may have difficulty eliminating waste products from the body. Look for more frequent trips to the litter box and increased thirst. Your cat may also experience weight loss, bad breath, and mouth sores. Your vet can test for chronic kidney disease and this condition can be managed with a proper veterinary diet.
Acute Kidney Disease: Not as common as the chronic version that affects older cats, acute kidney disease is more often seen in younger cats. It can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, or the accidental ingestion of a toxic substance. Symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, dehydration, and depression. See your vet ASAP. Immediate treatment is necessary if your cat swallowed a toxic substance. Your cat will need IV fluids, and medication if it’s an infection.
Your Animal Hearted purchase saves lives! 25% of all proceeds are donated to no kill animal shelters!
- AH Printing