Diagnosing Feline Urinary Problems

When it comes to diagnosing feline urinary problems, you can make fairly accurate and educated guesses at home. Your cat will show you that something is wrong through his behavior and through physical changes. The best way to notice these changes is if you're aware of your cat's normal behavior around elimination. Take note of approximately how often your cat visits the box and how long he normally stays in the box. If you clean your box on a somewhat normal schedule, you'll notice if there's more or less urine in the box and if the smell of the urine is different than usual.

With the more critical symptoms, or if symptoms don't decrease within 3 days, it's important to see a vet for an official diagnosis. Here are the symptoms that are common across many feline urinary problems that you can diagnose at home.

Changes in Frequency of Litter Box Visits

A cat with a urinary problem will visit the litter box more frequently than usual, especially in the earlier stages of an infection. He may even go several times within a matter of minutes. This is because he feels pressure on the bladder and the urinary tract, which is caused by the inflammation that comes with infection.

Changes in Amount of Urine

A cat with a urinary tract infection or bladder infection will have thicker urine that is more difficult to pass. Sometimes in a disorder of the lower urinary tract, an imbalance of mineral content will lead to the formation of crystals in the urine. As the urine builds up, the experience of trying to pass it becomes more painful for the cat.

Urinating outside the Box

Your cat may start going outside the box if he has an infection, even if he was perfectly well-trained before. This is due to the fact that cats are animals of association, but with things, people and events, more than their own bodies. Your cat will associate the pain of elimination with the box itself, and will try to avoid the box.

Urine Changes

Urine that is infected will have a more offensive smell than regular cat urine. The box may smell worse or the accidents you discover may have a strange odor. Go with your intuition here. If you sense something is wrong, it very well may be, and it's worth getting checked out. If your cat has a urinary tract infection, you may also discover blood in the urine.

Other Behavioral Changes

If your cat is experiencing a urinary disorder, he'll feel a sense of irritation and inflammation in the genital area. He may begin to act in bizarre ways you've not seen before. This may include pawing at or licking and nipping at the genitals in an almost compulsive manner. It may also include rubbing against a linoleum floor or some other surface that may provide cooling and relief.