Urinary incontinence in cats – Causes and Treatment
Whoever has a cat at home knows how careful they are with their personal hygiene, especially when it comes to using their litter box correctly. When the feline gets dirty out of place, this is a sign that something is wrong, whether or not it is intentional. Continue reading this YourCatCareguide article to know all about urinary incontinence in cats, their causes and treatment .
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What is urinary incontinence?
It is the animal’s inability to control the muscles of the urethra, so the sphincter does not remain closed , causing the cat to not be able to decide when to urinate, suffering continually from spills or accidental losses.
Incontinence is never manifested for a casual reason, nor should it be ignored, as it indicates that something is wrong with the feline’s health, whether on an emotional or physical level.
When it has been confirmed that it is incontinence and not marking of territory, one should not reprimand the feline , since it does not intentionally urinate. An appointment with the veterinarian is necessary to determine the cause of the problem.
Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence in Cats
Like any other health problem, urinary incontinence is accompanied by several signs such as the following:
- Drops or puddles of urine when the cat gets up.
- Abdomen and wet feet.
- Strong smell.
- Urine in unusual sites.
- Inflammation or skin diseases.
- Swelling of the pelvis or vulva.
Sometimes the cat urinates out of its box to indicate it feels uncomfortable, as it does when suffering from a urinary tract infection, for example. Therefore, it is important to distinguish these warnings from the indiscriminate, uncontrolled and involuntary urination that characterizes incontinence.
Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Cats
Determining the reason that causes urinary incontinence can be complicated as it is a common symptom of different conditions and diseases . Among them it is possible to mention the following:
- Older age: In cats over 10 years old incontinence may simply be a sign of old age, because the tissues are not as strong for controlling the sphincters.
- Sterilization or castration : Due to the suppression of the hormones, be it estrogens or testosterone, which these procedures imply, the cat may lose control over his urine.
- Kidney stones in the bladder.
- Tumor in the bladder: presses constantly and generates an uncontrollable urge to urinate.
- Congenital deformities: The bladder or urethra are not positioned where they should. It manifests itself during the first year of life.
- Diseases such as feline leukemia or diabetes.
- Urinary infections : such as cystitis, cause an urge to urinate that the cat can not satisfy due to the discomforts of the disease.
- Stress brought about by changes in the cat’s routine (a change, the arrival of a baby or other pet, etc.).
- Injury to the pelvis, hip, or spine resulting from a fall or a very severe blow which affects the nervous system.
- Overactive Bladder Syndrome.
- Neurological problems
Diagnosis and treatment of urinary incontinence in cats
Due to the multiple causes of incontinence, the treatments are varied and can only be chosen by a veterinarian. A complete physical examination, urine and blood tests , as well as x-rays, ultrasounds, and other studies, depending on the case, are performed to determine the cause.
Types of treatment to be applied
When it comes to castration or sterilization incontinence, for example, hormones are often prescribed to fill the gap. Antibiotics and other medications are recommended in case of urinary infections. Before a tumor, surgery after a home treatment is prescribed.
In obese cats with kidney stones, a low-fat diet is recommended, as well as some medications if needed. If the reason for incontinence is too severe and if no other solution is found, or the cat does not respond as expected to the treatments, a catheter or a life cystostomy tube may be needed through which to drain the urine. However, in most cases the patient will usually respond positively to the initial recommendations.
As part of the treatment, it is also recommended a lot of patience on the part of the owners, to understand the situation that the cat is living and to help him to live with the situation the best possible.
If the incontinence condition is chronic, we suggest the following:
- Put more sandboxes around the house to make it easier for the cat to access them quickly.
- Put waterproof fabrics or absorbent plastics on the cat bed, house furniture, and other surfaces that are difficult to wash.
- Be patient and do not scold the cat.
- Protect your cat against its own urine to prevent skin infections. Clean your hair when it gets wet or dirty and ask for other recommendations from your veterinarian.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you would like to read more articles similar to Urinary incontinence in cats – Causes and treatment , we recommend you to enter our section of Other health problems .