Recent research has shown vets are reporting an 39% rise in cats diagnosed with urinary disorders in the last year. Increases in stress levels have long been linked to urinary disorders in cats and lockdown changes in routines, where owners and children have been spending more time at home, have been blamed.
Feline urinary tract disease is not a specific disease but rather is a term used to describe conditions that can affect the urinary bladder and/or the tube between the bladder and the outside. Clinical signs for these disorders are all very similar so further tests are needed to investigate the specific cause. That is what we are here for and are always happy to help. Seeing your pet in distress when trying to urinate or seeing the urinate on your expensive furnishings are not ideal and there are lots of things we can do to help.
The success of treatment however really lays with you, the owner and the homework you can do to help.
Other than specific treatments prescribed by your vet, there are some general points to consider which you can think about implementing right now, either to avoid a problem starting or because your pet is undergoing tests or treatment right now.
Weight control. Being overweight is very prevalent amongst our pets and is a known risk factor for developing urinary disease. We have lots of help available to your pet with weight loss, it can be a daunting task for sure.
Water intake: Cats love collected rain water (be sure it hasn’t been stagnant for long), running water from taps and cat fountains (this make a great present for your cat and go unnoticed in the home if you are concerned about any noise or spilled water). Maximising their intake of water can be hugely helpful for urinary health.
Access to outdoors/exercise: Indoor cats and cats who live a sedentary lifestyle are more prone to urinary disease than cats who go outdoors and who naturally experience higher levels of exercise. Exercise can also have an affect their weight as well as their urinary systems.
Wet food: Feeding a solidly dry food to a cat, in combination with the risk factors mentioned above, can predispose to urinary problems. Dry foods are great for teeth, are complete and filling but combining wet and dry diets to make up their daily diary intake can be helpful in preventing urinary problems in predisposed cats.
Let’s face it, weight control, exercise, good drinking levels and a balanced diet is good for your cat’s urinary system but also the health of most other organs in their bodies. It’s a recipe for us too!!