Cat Urinary Tract Health Symptoms

Cat urinary tract health is a crucial part of your cat's well being and longevity. If urinary problems go untreated, they can become life threatening. There are ways you can help keep your cat in good urinary tract health. The more you observe your cat's normal elimination habits, the more you'll know if something is off or abnormal. There are several symptoms that are easy to recognize and will help you keep your cat healthy.

Increased Visits to the Box

It's good to know generally how often your cat normally goes to their box. If you notice your cat going to the litter box more frequently, maybe even 5 minutes after their last trip, this can be a sign of urinary tract infection. During this illness, inflammation puts pressure on the urethra and the bladder, making the cat feel like he needs to urinate more often.

Less Urine Output

A cat with a urinary tract issue will visit the box more often, but produce less urine. Because of the urine becoming thicker with infection, or due to crystals that have formed in the urine, it's harder for the cat to pass the urine despite the urge to do so.

Strange Litter Box Behaviors and Sounds

A cat with a urinary tract infection, bladder infection or cystitis will struggle to pass the urine and will feel pain while trying to do so. You might hear him making a strange noise that sounds like straining. You may also notice that he's in the box a long time, but you don't hear any urine coming out.

Elimination outside the Box

As a urinary tract infection or other urinary issue worsens, your cat will begin to think the pain of urination is because of the box. The association to the litter box will become a negative one. Thus, your cat may start urinating outside the box even though he was litter trained before. While other issues such as anxiety or anger can cause a cat to start urinating in the wrong place, it's often a sure sign that something is physically wrong.

Changes in the Urine Itself

A cat with urinary issues will produce different urine than a healthy cat. The smell will be more foul than usual, and the urine can be a darker color. It might also contain blood or mucus, which is a sign of a more serious urinary health problem.

Other Unusual Behaviors

There are several other behavioral changes to watch out for in managing your cat's urinary tract health. A cat's genitals and the surrounding area will feel irritated and even itchy during an infection. He'll spend more time licking or nipping at the area and might even cause injury. He may also scoot on the ground, especially on a cold, hard surface, to try to alleviate the feeling of burning and inflammation.

Symptoms that Require Emergency Care

A cat's bladder can become completely obstructed, which is a life threatening situation for him. Cats usually yowl and hide, and it's very clear that something is really wrong. Even if you're not sure what's going on, take your cat to the vet immediately if you notice anything like this.