Diagnosing Feline Incontinence

Feline incontinence is when a cat cannot control its bladder, and therefore suffers from involuntary leakage of urine. This is distinct from the behavioral condition called periuia, in which a cat is in full control of urinary function, yet continues to urinate in inappropriate places. Feline incontinence can have a variety of causes, but mainly involves swollen tissue in the urinary system or some type of blockage.

Diagnosing Feline Urinary Incontinence

If your cat frequently attempts to urinate, but there is never much discharge, there is a good chance that she suffers from incontinence. Many types of urinary incontinence in cats involve high pressure inside the bladder, which can be very painful. Another way to recognize your cat as incontinent is to look for signs of pain while she's urinating. Cats that are in pain sometimes make quiet whining noises and shake excessively. In more severe cases of incontinence, cats will leak urine when they jump or move suddenly, or even when lying down.


If you think your cat suffers from urinary incontinence, you should take her to the vet, where a cystometry test will be administered for more accurate diagnosis. A cystometric test measures the pressure inside of a cat's bladder. In cystometry, the bladder is filled with water through the urethra, and a catheter tube is inserted into the rectum that can read the pressure inside the bladder. A needle is placed near the anus to record muscle contractions. Cystometry tests can allow veterinarians to determine the cause of the cat's incontinence, the capacity of the bladder and how much urine is left in the bladder after urination.


Electromyography is a method of recording muscle activity. It can help in treating feline urinary incontinence by determining which muscles in the urinary system are not functioning properly. When a muscle contracts, the electrical potential of its membrane increases. These changes in electrical potential are detected by an electrode needle inserted into muscle tissue, and recorded using an instrument called an electromyography. The data is organized into a format called an electromyogram, which can be analyzed to determine muscle activity. Veterinarians can determine which muscles are contracting inappropriately during urinary function.


Hormones are usually used to treat cat incontinence, and different hormones are used depending on what is causing the problem. Hormone supplements can either relax or contract muscles in the urinary system, depending on whether the condition is caused by an over-relaxed or over-contracted muscle. An alternative to giving hormones to your cat is to use one of a variety of herbal remedies, usually containing Cantharis C6, Staphysagris C6, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi, or Berberis Vulgaris.

Feline urinary incontinence is a very uncomfortable and unhealthy condition. Cats are more likely to develop secondary conditions as a result of their incontinence. It is also one of the more frustrating feline disorders for pet owners, because the cat will urinate all around the house. This condition is not likely to go away on its own, so if your cat has urinary incontinence, don't delay treatment.