Does your cat ever show any of the following abnormal urinary signs?
- Urinating outside of the tray e.g. on the floor, in the bath or sink
- Urinating on clothing, bedding or other objects around the house
- Spraying urine on walls or other vertical surfaces
- Straining when urinating
- Urinating more frequently
- Blood in the urine or changes in the colour of the urine
- Licking around their genitals, particularly after urinating
- Vocalising/crying when urinating
When a cat urinates in inappropriate places it can be frustrating and seem far from a wee (small) problem! It may even seem like in some cases your cat is doing it because they are naughty or to punish you. Rest assured that this is never the case.
These signs all indicate that your cat has a medical problem. These signs indicate feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). This is a broad term used to describe a range of conditions that can affect the lower urinary tract (which comprises the urethra and bladder).
About 50% of cases have no known cause. In these cases, the condition is termed lower urinary tract inflammation. Some factors have been found to contribute to this condition with it being seen more commonly in stressed cats, overweight cats, male de sexed cats, those with low water intake, those that use a litter tray (particularly when they have to share with other cats) and those that have a sedentary lifestyle. This condition can be recurrent. Between 40-65% of cats show signs of this again within 1-2 years.
Of the remaining cases 20% are caused by urinary stones (mineral accumulations), 20% by urethral plugs (mucus secretions from the urinary tract) and 2-10% by bacterial infections (urinary tract infections). Urinary tract infections are more common in older cats > 10 years of age. Rarely, urinary tract cancer can also occur.
The first step when your cat shows any urinary signs is to get them checked by your veterinarian. Your vet will perform a full physical exam and then recommend collection of some urine for testing. In some cases, a radiograph or ultrasound of the bladder may also be advised. Your veterinarian can then tailor a treatment plan best suited to your cat. There are many options available for helping cats with urinary issues. Sometimes, simple environmental modifications or diet changes may significantly help cats suffering with these issues and your veterinarian can guide you through this.
So, if you have noticed your cat showing any abnormal urinary signs please call us on 8373 0301 and we can help.