Treatment Options for Feline Incontinence

Feline incontinence is when urine involuntarily leaks from a cat.

Causes of Feline Incontinence

There are several causes of feline incontinence:

  • Weak urethra outlet tone: A weak sphincter can cause a cat to dribble more when he or she is coughing or has pressure applied to the abdomen.
  • Damaged or scarred bladder: If a cat has had a lot of problems with her bladder, it may become damaged and will eventually not be able to expand as much as it used to. When this happens, the bladder empties itself more often because it's not able to fill up as much.
  • Bladder stones: When stones block the urethra, the cat is not able to completely relieve herself. Some of the urine can force its way around a stone and cause dribbling.
  • Diabetes: A cat with feline diabetes feels the urge to drink water more often, causing an increase in urination.
  • Urinary tract disease: When a cat has problems in the lower urinary tract, she will urinate often and without warning, causing accidents.
  • Feline leukemia: Incontinence in cats can be a disorder associated with feline leukemia.
  • Old age: Senior cats have muscles that have weakened in many parts of the body, including those in the bladder.
  • Bladder tumors: Tumors can affect the pressure on a cat's bladder. The growths will also not allow for the same amount of fluid to be retained, causing urine leakage.
  • A neurological condition: Trauma to a cat's spinal cord or a deformed spine can cause the sensors that go from a cat's brain to the other parts of the body, like the bladder, to misfire.
  • Forgetfulness: a senior cat can be forgetful, ignoring the need to use a litter box or forgetting where it is.

Diagnosing Feline Incontinence

To diagnose feline incontinence, a veterinarian will do a urinalysis to look for bacteria and red or white blood cells. The vet may then x-ray a cat to look for bladder stones and use special dies to make the bladder stand out in images better.

Feline Incontinence Treatment

Cat diapers are an option pet owners use if a pet is sensitive to medications. The diapers will help confine leaks to the fibers of the product, so furniture and carpets can stay clean.

Alpha-adrenergic agonist drugs are often used in the treatment of feline incontinence. It helps the cat's brain receptors make the bladder sphincter hold urine and work better.

Colposuspension is a procedure performed on spayed cats that have a weak urethra. A vet may recommend this surgery if medications didn't help a cat overcome her incontinence. Cystourethropexy is a similar type of surgical procedure performed on male cats.

Procedures that administer collagen injections are new to the vet world in terms of treating feline incontinence. This is an option a veterinarian may recommend if medications are not bringing successful results.

Feline incontinence can be a frustrating condition for pet owners. Treatment options are available once the cause has been determined.