How to Maintain Your Cats Urinary Health

Cats can suffer from a multitude of issues when their urinary health is not maintained. When left untreated, urinary issues such as Urinary Tract Infections can cause what’s called Feline Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) which results in chronic bladder inflammation. Affected cats suffer from bladder pain and are at a higher risk of developing life threatening urethral obstruction. 

Take these steps to ensure your cat has a better chance at avoiding urinary and bladder issues. 

Increase Your Cat’s Water Intake

The more water your cat drinks throughout the day, the more toxins and urinary irritants are being diluted in their system. Here are a few things you can incorporate in your cat’s environment to encourage water intake:

  • Fresh Water – Cats are more likely to drink more water when their bowls are cleaned and refilled daily. 
  • Canned Food – Canned food contains a significantly more water than dry food diets. Feeding your cat wet food is another easy way to get more water in their system each day.
  • Flavored Water – Another way to bring them to the water bowl is by adding tuna juice or sodium-free chicken broth to their water. The flavors and the scent will attract them to the water bowl more often. If your cats live with dogs, make sure their water bowl is out of the dogs reach when adding flavoring.
  • Fountains – Cat’s are drawn to running water. If your finding that your cat doesn’t have much interest in their bowl or they’re an frequent visitor at the faucet, getting them a fountain for their water can be a great way to get them to drink more. 
  • Click here to see a list of the best fountains for cats!

Reduce Stress in their Environment

Cats are particularly sensitive to their environment. They can be stressed out by changes in their space that can cause stress-induced urinary issues. Environmental changes can include new additions to the house such as roommates, babies, or changing the litter brand used. 

Scoop Litter Daily – Soiled litter boxes deter your cat from using it, and can lead to inappropriate elimination. 

Avoid Swapping your Litter Brand – Cats can be very picky about their litter and sudden changes to the litter can deter them from the litter box. Once you find a litter your cat likes and gets used to, keep it as consistent as you can. 

Provide Refuge – By creating a space just for your cat, they will be able to escape environments or scenarios that may be overwhelming or stressful. Put their necessities, water, food bowl, litter box, and blankets/bedding, in a quiet and low traffic area of your home. This will provide a safe environment for them to relax.

Feline Pheromones – Feliway products contain feline pheromones that are known to reduce stress and encourage calmness in cats. Studies show that Feliway diffusers had an noticeable affect on 83% of cats studied. Adding diffusers to where your cat spends their time coil help them feel more calm. 

Provide Environmental Enrichment

Keeping your cat indoors is ultimately the safest lifestyle for your cat. However boredom can lead to internal stress which is a leading cause of urinary issues. Luckily, there are a variety of simple ways to keep your cat entertained while at home.

Perches or Raised Spaces – Cats are observant creatures and they find a lot of entertainment in simply observing household-happenings from a high vantage point. A cat tree can be an easy addition to give your cat their perching spot. Windows are another spot that can provide great entertainment for your cat!

Food Puzzles – If you find your cat is food motivated, a food puzzle is a great way to enhance their enrichment as well as keep them healthy. 

Toys – Toys such as stuffed mice provide a fulfilling and exciting activity for your cat. However, if you also have dogs in your home, these toys are not ideal to have/leave around dogs. They can pose a risk for a GI foreign body if ingested by your dog.

Schedule Regular Veterinary Visits

Cats need regular veterinary care and signs of urinary issues such as inflammation and infection can be detected in a regular wellness exam or checkup. Cats over 8 years old need more frequent vet visits to maintain their health. 

Urinalysis and bloodwork can be done to detect urinary issues, kidney dysfunction, and kidney failure which is a leading cause of death in cats. In early stages of kidney failure, treatment can be helpful, however if caught too late it can be fatal.

If your cat has been diagnosed with a urinary or kidney issue that requires specialized care, give us a call!