How to recognise urinary issues in cats

Urinary issues in cats can be a common reason for an owner to contact the NCAC to rehome their cat. Often, there can be a far more pleasing solution for cat and owner.

Whie spraying or messing in the home is an inconvenience to anyone, there is usually a good reason for such a change in a cat's behaviour. And if you can determine a reason, the issue can be resolved with affective treatment.

Firstly, it is always best to check that it is not due to an underlying medical condition.  secondly it can be stress.

If you are experiencing urination issues with your cat, we  recommend that you consult your vet and arrange a physical examination to rule out a FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease).

FLUTD describes a collection of common conditions that affect the bladder and/or urethra, including cystitis.

As part of the physical examination by your vet, a urine sample may be requested to look for signs of infection. A urine sample is collected by laying a litter tray with non absorbing ingredients to allow urine to be drained from it for testing.

If a FLUTD is detected it will be treated with antibiotics or diet. If an obstruction has been found, it will be dealt with as a medical emergency, and an immediate operation under general anaesthetic will be required to clear the blockage. 

If a FLUTD is not detected then another option to explore will be stress.

This can be a difficult one to pinpoint, but will involve you as an owner looking at how your home is operating. If anything has changed, a new baby for example, new people in the home, any disruption or break in the usual routine, these can all be factors in a stress flare up.

Stress can also be triggered through a misunderstood relationship with other cats or pets in the home. As an owner you could feel that all your pets are getting along but, on closer examination, there could be subtle signs of bullying.

There could even be an issue with overcrowding with insufficient individual space. If pets are forced to share water/food bowls, sleeping areas, litter trays it can lead to a build up in anxiety and stress.

In many cases, once the contributing factor has been discovered and treatment has been prescribed, the urination issue will be solved overnight. It just takes some detective work and honesty.

Of course, if all else fails, some people might still feel that rehoming their cat to the NCAC or other Cats Protection rescue centre as being the best option for your cat.

For most, though, a little effort could mean that your cat can stay within the home, as the problem is solved.