Cat Urinary Health

Cat urinary health is an important aspect of caring for your pet. The urinary system is one of the most common areas that can develop problems in a cat. This article will discuss the most common urinary problems your cat may develop, how to spot them, how to prevent them and when to seek immediate treatment.

Common Urinary Health Problems

A cat can develop several problems in the upper or lower urinary tract system. The urinary problems go by several names including a urinary tract infection (UTI), FLUTD, which stands for feline lower urinary tract disorder, or FUS which stands for feline urologic syndrome. The vet may also give the diagnosis of feline idiopathic cystitis.

The urinary tract can become infected due to a thickening of the urine. This leads to a build-up of bacteria that often leads to infection. The lower urinary tract and bladder can become infected, which can turn into a bladder infection or even a kidney infection. The infection causes inflammation and a buildup of minerals can lead to the formation of crystals in the urine. The worst case scenario involves the crystals leading to the bladder becoming obstructed, which is an emergency situation. Suspect that this is happening if your cat is yowling or hiding in very uncharacteristic ways.

Symptoms of Urinary Problems

There are several easy ways to spot that your cat might have a urinary problem. If you're aware of your cat's normal urinary habits, you'll notice if these change. Your cat may start visiting the litter box more often but won't produce as much urine in the box. This is because there's pressure on the bladder producing the urge to go, but the urine is thicker, so it's harder to pass it. A cat will experience pain with urination but won't understand that the pain is from their body and not the box itself.

Another sign of infection is a house-trained cat urinating outside the box. There's clearly a problem if there's any blood in the urine. You might also hear your cat straining in the box or meowing out of discomfort or pain. Other symptoms may involve your cat trying to soothe the genital area, which will feel irritated and inflamed. You might notice increased licking and cleaning or actually trying to cool the area off by rubbing on a cool, hard surface.

Keeping the Urinary Tract Healthy

There are several lifestyle habits to help your cat have the best chance at urinary health. It's very important to feed your cat a high quality food because nutritional problems are directly related to urinary tract problems. Go with a moist food that is made of whole ingredients. If your cat won't tolerate wet food, pick a kibble that is made of whole ingredients. Hydration is key and the best hydration comes from food. If your cat won't eat wet food, make sure you keep fresh water available at all times. Some cats will only drink water that is moving, so you might need to buy a fountain or allow the cat to drink out of the faucet.