Understanding Incontinence in Senior Cats
The term incontinence describes a urine leak and the inability for a cat to hold the contents of his or her bladder long enough for her to make it to the litter box. Your cat may experience incontinence if she is suffering from an illness, dealing with the effects of aging or adjusting to something new. You'll notice some differences in her potty habits that will make you suspect incontinence.
Signs of Incontinence in Elderly Cats
Your senior cat may leave many signs of incontinence for you. The most obvious sign is that you will notice wet spots on your carpet, floor, bed, upholstery and any place near or around the litter box. That indicates that she's trying to make it to the box, but she can't.
If you don't see visible wet spots, you may notice a strong smell of ammonia in strange places, which indicates that some urine has settled and dried. Additionally, you may notice some physical signs on your cat that could clue you in. Senior cats who are suffering from incontinence have irritated genitals sometimes. They may also lick the area frequently to clean it because the urine tends to trickle out uncontrollably. Any or all of those signs may occur. You may also notice that your cat is uncomfortable and expresses herself by whimpering or coming to you for extra comforting. If that occurs, you should give her the attention she desires and examines her for indications that she's having urinary incontinence issues.
Your senior cat's incontinence can be happening for a variety of reasons. The causes could simply come from the biological repercussions of the aging process. Your senior cat may simply have a weakened set of muscles that are supposed to keep the urine in the bladder until she's ready. Urinary incontinence in older cats is not uncommon, but there are some ways that you can help her to overcome it.
Psychological upsets could also cause a temporary incontinence issue. She could be a little nervous if you've recently moved or you started a new job and are not around as much as you once were. She could be nervous about a new love interest or a visitor that you have in your home. Be assertive about any recent changes that you may have made as they could be the cause.
Urinary tract infections in cats are the cause in many cases of cat incontinence, as well. Your pet may have an increased urge to urinate, and she may experience discomfort whenever she does. Additionally, she may get stressed or anxious because of the urination issues.
Diabetes and kidney disease are sometimes the causes of urinary incontinence in kitty cats. Kidney disease in cats can affect a cat in either way. It could cause her to have incontinence, or it could cause her to have difficulty urinating. Both conditions need regulation with medical care, so you should have them diagnosed as quickly as possible.
Other reasons your senior cat may be going to the bathroom too much are issues such as leukemia, obesity and imbalances in the hormones. A birth defect could cause the issue, too. You won't fully know until you have a professional evaluate the situation.
How to Diagnose Incontinence Causes
A veterinarian will have to see your cat and find the cause for the incontinence. It could be happening for any of the reasons stated above, or there could be a cause that you have neither heard nor considered. The vet may have to take blood samples or examine some of the cat's tissues to get to the bottom of the condition. The good news is that you'll be able to get the right treatment for her as soon as you discover what the problem is.
The urinary incontinence in cats treatment is going to vary depending on its cause. Your kitty may appreciate using diapers while she is having her issues. Pet stores sell diapers that will fit perfectly on your cat to keep her dry and protect your flooring. She may have to take antibiotics for any infections that she has. She may need surgery if bladder stones are causing the problem. Other treatments may involve hormone replacement, dietary adjustments, and exercises. Your vet will tell you the best urinary incontinence in cats treatment to take to get your kitty's health back on track.
Now you know a bit more about bladder problems in cats. Hopefully, you and your veterinarian can give your kitty the care she needs to work through the incontinence issues. Bladder problems in cats are not the end of the world. They're just something that need a little bit of attention. Lots of love and a speedy recovery to you and your favorite feline.