Nobody likes finding a puddle of cat urine soaking into the rug or in the middle of the bed. However, if your cat suddenly starts misbehaving as regards the litter box, the problem may well be a medical condition. Atypical behavior and inappropriate elimination is a red flag for a visit to your vet, especially if you have made no changes to the litter box.
Urinary Problems Can Be Serious
Urinating wherever the cat feels like it, rather than in the litter box, often means something has gone amiss in the cat’s urinary system. Only your veterinarian will be able to diagnose and treat these conditions properly. Your cat may be running to use the litter box every few minutes or will simply let loose wherever he or she is – this indicates that the cat simply is unable to hold it. The amount of urine may be quite small, or it could contain blood or appear cloudy. Urinary problems are often painful, too, and your cat may mew when attempting to go to the bathroom.
A simple bladder infection can be treated quite easily with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications.
Your cat can also suffer from feline interstitial cystitis. This is something of a catch-all ailment involving an inflamed and irritated bladder and urethra. Crystals might be present in the urine. Antibiotics appear to have little effect on FIC, although dietary changes may help.
Feline incontinence can also be caused by bladder stones. Some of these can grow to a significant size, nearly filling the bladder. Stones generally have to be removed surgically.
Crystals can form in the cat’s urinary tract as a result of diet. These can sometimes evolve into bladder stones or can even form a plug which prevents the cat from urinating at all. Plugs will have to be dealt with immediately by surgery.
Serious health problems, such as tumors can also cause your cat to urinate frequently and inappropriately.
Urinary problems are much more common in male cats than they are in females, and still more prevalent in males cats who have not been neutered. While there is no way to guarantee that your cat will never experience these difficulties, there are a few things that can help to prevent them:
Make sure your cat drinks as much water as possible.
Diets that are more acidic will help prevent the formation of crystals and stones.
Canned food is recommended to keep the urinary tract normal.
Feed many small meals during the day, rather than one or two big ones.