Urinary issues are one of the most common health problems that cats can develop. Knowing how to keep your cat’s urinary tract healthy will help your furry friend avoid a trip to the vet, whether it’s for improper elimination or a urinary tract infection. Discover how you can prevent these common problems at home.
Make Sure Kitty Gets Enough Water
Cats are opportunistic drinkers, meaning they drink when water is available, but they don’t necessarily go looking for it. If your cat is on a dry food diet and you don’t replenish their water regularly, it’s almost certain that they need more water.
The vets at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine recommend giving your cat wet food to supplement water intake. You can also get your cat a cute kitty fountain to encourage drinking more often.
Maintain Litterbox Etiquette
Cats prefer a clean bathroom to do their business in, just like humans do. Always scoop your cat’s litterbox at least once a day or more often if your cat eliminates frequently. When a litterbox’s state isn’t up to the cat’s standards, it may start urinating in other places. They can also develop stress-related urinary tract problems.
Ideally, you should have one box per cat, plus one more so that there is plenty of territory for your cats to claim. Remember that boxes placed within 10 feet of each other will count as one location in a cat’s mind.
Let’s face it—nobody wants a box of cat poop in their living room. Unfortunately, the living space is exactly where your kitty would like it to be. Cats prefer to use the litterbox in high-traffic areas of the home because mixing their smells with yours is how they claim territory. They don’t want to do their business in places where they feel isolated and vulnerable to attack.
And while we’re at it, you should consider removing the cover from your cat’s litterbox. Some cats do not like eliminating in an enclosed space and will avoid it, leading them to do their business elsewhere.
Reduce Environmental Stress
Some cats develop urinary issues from other sources, such as animal roommates or neighborhood cats. Keep an eye on your yard if your cat starts marking territory near windows and doors. It could be a sign that another cat’s smells are disturbing your kitty.
When To See a Vet
One of the key ways to keep your cat’s urinary tract healthy is to see a vet on a regular basis. You should also make a special trip if your cat starts straining to urinate (especially if they’re male).
According to the Animal Medical Center of the Antelope Valley, straining to urinate is one sign of a urinary tract infection. A vet will need to immediately address the problem to make sure there are no blockages.
Follow the tips on this list and your vet’s advice to keep your kitty happy and healthy. While no one wants to think about their kitty’s bathroom habits, monitoring your cat’s urinary health is a crucial part of cat ownership.