Preventing urinary problems in cats
Sometimes cat owners may notice a change to their cat’s toilet behaviours or find their cat is straining when trying to go. These could be early warning signs your cat is suffering from a urinary issue which means they need to see a vet as soon as possible. A common urinary problem diagnosed in cats is urinary tract disease, often referred to as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). While some cats are more prone to developing this issue, there are a number of easy ways you can help reduce their risk.
The right nutrition and plenty of water
Making sure your cat is fed the right diet should be a priority when it comes to supporting their urinary health. There are a number of premium diets that are specially formulated to meet your cat’s nutritional needs, with many of these diets carefully balanced with specific minerals to help maintain and support your cat’s urinary health. A diet such as ROYAL CANIN’s Urinary S/O Feline promotes a healthy urinary environment that helps prevent the development of bladder stones.
It’s important your cat has access to plenty of fresh water, especially when it comes to urinary health. Frequent water intake is vital for helping maintain a healthy urinary tract as it not only helps dilute the urine in the bladder to prevent the development of urinary tract disease, but also promotes regular bladder washouts.
Maintain their ideal body weight
Overweight cats are at a much greater risk of developing a number of health issues, including urinary tract disease. They are generally not as active and tend to drink smaller volumes of water. This leads to them passing urine less frequently, which then causes their urine to be much more concentrated and stay in their bladder for longer. This in turn provides an environment where bladder crystals and stones are more likely to form.
To keep your cat at an ideal weight, make sure to feed them the correct amount of food each day, initiate play time so they keep active and ask your vet to assess their body condition to ensure they are at an ideal weight for their age and breed. ROYAL CANIN’s Urinary S/O Moderate Calorie Feline diet can be a simple way to help maintain your cat at its ideal bodyweight.
Remove any stressors
Surprisingly, stress is a major contributor to the development of urinary tract disease in cats. But thankfully, there are many ways that you can help your cat avoid stress at home. Cats are generally very clean animals, and feel most relaxed when their litter tray stays clean. If you have a multi-pet household, you should ideally have a separate litter tray for each cat, plus one spare, as most cats typically don’t like to share their toilet space. A clean litter tray in a place away from noise will most likely encourage regular toilet trips and more frequent bladder washouts.
As cats are so sensitive to stress, if their litter tray is placed in a crowded space, some cats may be unwilling to go to the toilet. Other stresses in the home, including moving to a new house or a new baby, could make your cat uncomfortable, so it’s important to try and limit their exposure and to not upset their routine. Sometimes stressful events such as these can lead to inflammation in the bladder that results in signs very similar to a urinary stones or infection. These can include signs such as straining to urinate, inappropriate urination outside of the litter tray and blood in the urine. It’s important if these symptoms do appear, to visit your vet to rule out anything serious.
Ask your vet
If you suspect that your cat may be experiencing signs of urinary tract disease, it’s important to check in with your vet immediately. Sometimes cats with urinary tract disease can develop a blocked bladder and this is a medical emergency which needs urgent veterinary attention.