Most pet owners don’t realize that cat health problems might be the cause of their litter box problem. Yes, I know that’s a scary thought that just because your pet is having accidents that something may be wrong with him or her.
Many people just never think that this problem could be the result from a serious health problem. One of the first things you should do is to observe your cat’s behavior.
Do You Notice Some Of These Problems With Your Cat?
- Is you cat eating less? A decrease in appetite could be the result of a kidney disorder, arthritis, or an infection.
- Is your cat limping? Arthritis or an injury might prevent your cat from getting to their litter box in time.
- Is your cat straining to urinate? A cat straining to urinate looks similar to a cat straining to poop.
Observe you cat for any of these signs.
During visits in my pet service business, I watch the cat to see if anything looks out of the ordinary with it. There are times when I do notice that there’s something not quite right with the cat. A call to the owner, and if needed, a call or trip to the vet is in order.
There’s many medical conditions that may be the reason your cat is urinating outside the litter box. Many are treatable and it’s important to have your cat examined by your veterinarian if you think that he or she may be sick.
WARNING: Your cat needs immediate medical attention if there is blood in their urine or if you find them straining to urinate! This is a sign of a life threatening situation and must be treated quickly! Other things to keep an eye on is if your cat seems to have a lack of energy, sleepiness, is vomiting, or is always thirsty. These are all signs of a medical condition and you should consult with your veterinarian.
I know it’s sometimes hard to tell if there’s a problem with your cat. Your cat could just be doing something normal and you think, “Is that a sign!”. But just keep observing your cat daily and you’ll start to notice little things that you may not have noticed before.
And don’t be embarrassed if you bring in your cat to your veterinarian and nothing is wrong with he or she. Just think if something is wrong and you delayed or did not bring your cat in and something happened as the result. That would be hard to live with!
It’s always better to be safe than sorry in my book!
A Brief Intro To Some Feline Disease You Should Know About
FLUTD or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
What is it? This is a common cause of litter box problems. It’s estimated that 0.5% to 1% of all cats suffer from some sort of urinary tract disorder.
This is a broad term used for problems with the lower urinary tract of cats. This includes:
- inflammation of the bladder or urethra (the tube that urine goes from the bladder to outside the body)
- formation of urinary crystals/stones in the bladder
- partial or total obstruction of the urethra (complete obstruction if left untreated is FATAL!)
The cause is not entirely known, but diet, as it contributes to urinary PH, is a widely accepted cause.
Signs to look for:
- frequent trips to the litter box
- squatting for a long time or straining while trying to urinate
- blood in urine
- urinating outside of the litter box
What to do: Treatment includes going to the vet if it’s a blocked urethra, reducing your cat’s stress level, and providing a prescription wet or dry food diet that will minimize the crystals in the urine. Providing enough water is also very important.
If it looks like your cat is straining to urinate you might need to take it in immediately to your vet! They could have a blocked urethra. If it’s totally blocked it can be fatal since they can’t eliminate the toxic waste products building up inside of their bodies.
From the time the complete obstruction happens, a cat can die in less than twenty-four to forty-eight hours!
Also, male and neutered male cats are more at risk for obstruction than females because their urethra is longer and narrower.
CRF or Chronic Renal Failure
What is it? CRF is a progressive and irreversible deterioration of kidney function.
Some of the main causes of this disease are:
- high blood pressure
- dental disease
- low potassium
- high acidic diet
Signs to look for: The early signs of CRF are sometimes hard to notice. But still see if you notice any of these symptoms in your cat.
- increased thirst
- excessive urination
As the condition gets worse you also may notice:
- loss of appetite
- lethargy (always tired or sleepy)
What to do: You’ll need to take your cat in to your vet if you suspect this might be something your cat has.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for CRF, but with proper management, such as dietary therapy and administering subcutaneous fluids, your cat can live a relatively high quality of life.
What is it? Diabetes occurs when a cat is unable to regulate their blood sugar levels. It’s pretty common. 1 in 400 cats have diabetes.
The most common cause of diabetes is obesity. It’s also more common in male cats and in all cats over the age of 7.
Signs to look for:
- excessive thirst
- excessive urinating
- lethargy (tired a lot)
- loss of weight
What to do: Your vet will help you with getting this condition under control. Weight management, exercise, and a high fiber diet are all options used to treat this disease. The most common treatment is daily insulin injections.
I take care of quite a few diabetic cats in my pet service business. Giving the insulin injections take a little practice at first. Boy, was I squeamish about giving a shot in the beginning! But once you get the hang of it, which is pretty quick, they are very easy to do.
What is it? The over activity of one or both thyroid glands. These glands control your cat’s metabolic rate. It’s usually caused by a benign tumor which can become cancerous, but the incidences of cancer are less than 5%.
Signs to look for:
- excessive eating and drinking
- weight loss
- excessive urination
What to do: If you suspect this condition a trip to your vet is in order.
What it it? This is a rare condition in cats. It happens when there is not enough thyroid hormone and the metabolic rate slows.
Signs to look for:
- cold sensitive
- soil and urinate without using their litter box
- suffer from coat and skin problems
They may also suffer from joint problems and ligament damage.
Many veterinarians think that increased aggression, anxiety, and compulsiveness are signs of hypothyroidism.
What to do: Again, take your cat to the vet if you think this is the problem.
Do You Think Your Cat Has All Of These Medical Conditions!
It’s not my intention to make you paranoid. Just to give you a little knowledge that you might not have known on why your cat is having accidents outside of the litter box. The ultimate goal is keeping your cat happy and healthy!
I know it’s pretty hard to determine if your cat has any of these conditions. After a while you think every little thing is a sign that something’s wrong!
A Quick Tip To Help You Notice If Anything’s Wrong With Your Cat
It’s a good idea to keep a small notebook or journal to keep track of things you notice about your cat that might be out of the ordinary. And don’t forget to write the dates when you notice stuff. Keep a timeline on when things happen. This will really help your vet with diagnosing your pet’s problem!
Think of you and your vet as a team whose purpose is to come up with the best solution and plan on keeping your cat happy and healthy for many years to come. Your vet knows medicine and you know your cat better than anyone else. Together you make an awesome team to help your cat!
And remember, don’t be afraid to take your cat in to your vet even if nothing is found wrong. I say it’s always better to be safe than sorry!