Cat urine can be wicked. What's more wicked? The fact that 1.4 million healthy and adoptable cats are euthanized every single year. Sadly, the number one reason cats are left at an animal shelter is improper urination. Some veterinarians even cite 90% of cat visits are related to urinary issues. What does this mean for you? That your cat's litter box issue may not be behavior-related at all.
While we won't take the place of a good veterinarian, we are here at Litter Getter pride ourselves on staying informed and educating cat owners around the globe on proper care. We've discussed potential behavioral issues which lead to litter box challenges. However, your cat's litter box problem may actually be a health problem.
While your cat may be the most low-maintenance family member, you should know his plumbing parts are pretty finicky. Feline kidneys are genetically weak. Additionally, cats are prone to dehydration. These combined issues make for a dangerous effect in the kidneys, bladder, and entire urinary system. The illness is called by many names including Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS), Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Feline Idiopathic Cystitis and Feline Interstitial Cystitis. The condition affects cats of all ages, it's found most often in middle-aged and over-weight cats. Also, cats that have experienced one UTI are likely to be affected by more episodes later in life.
First, let's look at some causes of UTIs in cats:
- Stress in the home
- Changes in the environment
- A variation in food type
- A completely dry-food diet
- Accumulation of crystals in the bladder
- Infection in the bladder
- Endocrine diseases
- Poor genetic traits
Determining the cause of your cat's UTI can help prevent new episodes. If you suspect he may already have an infection, here are some things to look for:
- Straining or an inability to urinate normally
- Blood found in urine.
- Avoidance of the litter box
- Increased water consumption
- Unusual sluggishness
- A hardened abdomen
- Consistent licking of urinary areas.
Depending on your cat's particular issue, the vet may recommend a number of solutions including antibiotics, pain medication and diet changes. In severe cases, surgery may be required. It's important to seek medical attention to know the details of you cat's condition. Also be sure to learn about Litter Getter's natural solutions here.