FELINE URINARY PROBLEMS: WHAT ALL CAT OWNERS NEED TO KNOW
We’re seeing cats suffering from urinary issues, in particular “urinary blockages” almost daily in our hospital!!
Cats can suffer from a number of urinary conditions from UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) through to Cystitis (inflammation in the bladder) and most commonly FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease) which can lead to crystals forming in the bladder and causing a urinary blockage.
Felines can be very “stressy” creatures and this combined with a low quality diet can often lead to these severe urinary problems.
A urinary blockage is most common in male cats, as they have a naturally small urethra which can cause problems when crystals develop in their bladder and become stuck, creating a total blockage which is a medical emergency requiring urgent surgery.
So what are the signs of urinary problems in cats?
Red or Pink tinged urine
Straining to urinate
Vocalising when urinating
Frequent, small urinations
Urinating outside of the litter box
Scratching around in the litter but not toileting
What can you do if you suspect your cat has urinary problems?
Firstly, if your cat is straining to urinate or vocalising when urinating you need to bring your cat in to us immediately as this is often a sign your cat is (or will soon be) blocked, and their life may be at risk.
If you are noticing other symptoms, we recommend booking a consultation with one of our vets as soon as possible, so we can assess your cat’s condition, often this involves taking a urine sample to test for bacteria and crystals, and go from there to work out a plan of treatment. The sooner we can catch problems, the simpler the treatment options are.
Treatment can vary depending on the diagnosis and the severity of the condition, from surgery through to medications or even as simple as diet changes and the addition of supplements.
Urinary problems are extremely painful for cats, and although they are good at hiding their pain, if left untreated they will cause long-term damage and may even be fatal.
So what can you do to help prevent urinary problems?
There are some simple changes you can make at home to help improve your pet’s urinary health!
Put them on a high-quality diet, we recommend Hills or Royal Canin, or if they have a history of urinary problems, there is a Prescription Urinary Health Diet we strongly recommend
Try and reduce stress around the home for your cat, a product called Feliway may be helpful for this, it’s a natural calming pheromone that comes in a diffuser or spray format that you can use in your home all year round
Promote hydration by having lots of access to clean, fresh water, or even a cat water fountain which can encourage your cat to drink water more frequently which in turn can improve their urinary and overall health
Make sure there are plenty of litter trays and that they are cleaned often, as some cats can be very picky about using dirty trays and will hold off on toileting until a cleaner option is available
If you have any concerns about your cats urinary health, call our team on 4151 3550 or book an appointment online anytime by clicking below.