Urinary Problems In Cats
Cats are wonderfully sensitive pets that make amazing companions. Unfortunately, due to their sensitivity, many cats experience frequent urinary tract infections, exhibit inappropriate urination, or even have a urethral blockage. If your cat is displaying any behaviors of inappropriate, painful, or frequent urination it is very important to get them in to see the vet as soon as possible to help prevent development of the disease.
Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Some cats have urinary tract infections or have blood in their urine on a frequent basis. There is no concrete evidence as to the exact cause, but there are many suspected factors. The most common factor is stress. Some cats are very sensitive to small environmental changes. This can be a change in litter, a change in the litterbox location, changing the food bowl, adding a new member of the family (cat, dog, or child), or even just changing the location of a cat tree. They are animals that rely on stability, and if they are unable to adapt to slight changes they may need to be placed on anxiety medication to help prevent urinary issues.
Uroliths or urinary crystals are also a common cause for feline urinary disease. Some cats are prone to developing stones or crystals in their urine when their pH is off balance. Urinary diets as well as increased water intake help to dilute and acidify the urine, reducing the risk of stone development. The way you can help prevent your feline friend from developing crystals is by encouraging water intake (getting a fountain, providing wet food) and also by feeding a high quality veterinary brand diet, such as Hills, Royal Canin, and Purina Veterinary Diets.
Some cats, specifically male neutered cats, might have a severe UTI or advanced crystaluria (crystals in the urine) that causes a urethral obstruction, or blockage.
Signs that your cat may be blocked:
- Frequent Trips to the Litterbox
- Little to no urine in the Litterbox
- Yowling/painful urination
- Inappropriate and frequent urination around the home
- Loss of appetite
If you suspect your cat may be BLOCKED, it is an EMERGENCY and must be seen by a vet ASAP
Kidney disease is unfortunately very common for cats as they age.
The kidneys function primarily as the filters of the body and eliminate any waste material that could be harmful. Some of these waste products are nitrates that are the after-products of protein digestion. Because cats have a high protein amount in their diets, it naturally puts more stress on their kidneys, meaning that they are more likely to develop kidney disease.
It is recommended to perform annual blood work on cats that are over the age of 7 as we can catch kidney disease early and help slow the progression. Cats unfortunately like to hide any pain or discomfort they may be feeling, so if your cat is losing weight rapidly, has lost their appetite, is vomiting, and/or is frequently urinating, this could mean they are in a stage of kidney failure (could mean many other things too, such as diabetes, UTI, pancreatitis, etc.)