The Five Most Common Cat Bladder Problems

Cat bladder problems can range from mild to severe. There are 5 problems that most commonly afflict cats. Most of these bladder problems can be effectively treated. Dietary and lifestyle changes make a huge difference in preventing and treating cat bladder problems.

1. UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)

Cats can get a mild to severe urinary tract infection. A cat's urine can become thick and thus not flow through the urinary tract quickly enough or often enough. The urine can then become infected and put pressure on the urinary tract. The cat will feel like he needs to urinate frequently but it will be more difficult to pass the urine. Signs of a UTI include the cat going to the litter box over and over in a short period of time but without producing much urine. An infected cat may also urinate outside the litter box because he'll associate the litter box with discomfort. The cat may also show an increased focus to the area around his genitals due to pain and irritation.

2. FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease)

This is the term used for a UTI that moves into the lower urinary tract area. The symptoms are very similar but may be more severe. In addition to the constant visits to the box with less output, you may also notice some blood in the urine. Your cat may strain when in the litter box. You'll know this is happening because of straining noises he may make.

3. Cystitis

Cystitis refers to the bladder becoming inflamed and thicker. This can cause the urine to develop mucus inside of it. It makes urination very painful for the cat. You'll probably notice your cat urinating outside the box and you may also see blood in the urine. The other symptoms are very similar to those listed in the above diseases.

4. Kidney Disease

An infection can move into the kidneys which may also become diseased. In kidney disease, the above listed symptoms are present. The cat may also develop kidney stones that cause pressure and pain.

5. Crystal Formation

More severe problems occur when an imbalance of minerals leads to the formation of crystals in the urine. The symptoms are very similar to the above diseases but they may be more severe. The crystals can form in the urinary tract or in the bladder itself. There are different types of crystals that cats commonly form.

6. Bladder Obstruction

Cystitis can worsen to the point of the bladder becoming obstructed from the crystal formations. When this occurs, it's a medical emergency for your cat. You'll know that it's an emergency because your cat's behavior will become markedly different. He'll make a yowling noise you've probably never heard before. He may also hide under beds or try to run away from you. Even if he's normally a shy cat, you'll know the difference in his behavior. When this happens, seek veterinary help immediately.