Click here to learn more.
Urinary issues can be caused by a number of problems in the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. This could mean an infection, an injury, stones, or some kind of blockage. Common signs of a urinary problem in cats include frequent urination, an inability to urinate, urinating outside the litterbox, crying when urinating, and blood in the urine. Depending on the specific problem, treatment ranges from a special diet to medication to surgery.
Here’s how a cat’s urinary system works: The kidneys filter waste and toxins from the blood. These waste products then become part of the urine in the kidneys. Urine leaves the kidneys through narrow tubes called ureters. These empty their contents into the bladder. Then, when a cat urinates, the bladder is emptied through a tube called the urethra.
Feline urinary problems are usually grouped into conditions of the lower urinary tract (which comprises the bladder and urethra) and the upper urinary tract (including the kidneys and ureters).
Urinary problems can make it difficult for a cat to store or pass (eliminate) urine. Storage problems result in inappropriate leakage of urine. The causes of these storage problems include bladder muscle problems, nervous system problems, and injury to the urinary system.
Elimination problems involve a decreased ability (or an inability) to urinate; causes include blockage by stones, crystals, mucus plugs, or growths; muscle problems; and nervous system problems. Cats with elimination problems usually try to urinate often but release only a small amount of urine or no urine at all. This latter condition — complete urethral obstruction — is a dire medical emergency.
A thorough physical examination and history-taking of a cat can help a veterinarian determine whether a feline has a urinary problem. Ultrasonography, radiography (X-rays), and testing of both blood and urine can help a veterinarian arrive at a diagnosis.
Here are some signs of a urinary problem:
No breed predilection for general urinary issues has been established in the cat.
There are several effective treatments for feline urinary problems. Treatment may include surgery, a special diet, and/or medication, depending on the cause of the problem. Cats undergoing treatment need to be monitored and tested regularly.
To help ensure that a cat’s urinary system is healthy, an owner must become familiar with his or her cat’s eating, drinking, and litterbox habits. A change in any of the cat’s habits may be a clue that something is wrong.
The following can help maintain a cat’s urinary system:
Take a cat to a veterinarian at least annually for well-cat visits and at the first sign of trouble.
This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Researchers found that dogs became
aggressive and pushy when their owners
showed interest in a plush toy dog.
Our editors' favorite books this summer
include Misty of Chincoteague and the
buzzed-about new novel The Bees.
Is it true that black pets are less likely to
be adopted? We asked the ASPCA to
help us get to the bottom of this…
Want to have a fun and relaxing vacation
this summer? Make sure you follow the
advice from these travel-savvy canines.
Dr. Ann Hohenhaus breaks down the
similarities and differences in the ways
cancer can affect humans and animals.
The Kooikerhondje is a fun-loving and
intelligent red and white Dutch retriever
who was bred to lure ducks into a…