Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease and Stress

As many pet parents know, urinary tract problems are a common kitty complaint.  In part, that’s because cats evolved as desert animals, and therefore don’t have a strong instinctual drive to drink water.  Not taking in enough fluids can result in a scenario where minerals pile-up in the kidneys and bladder, setting the stage for the formation of stones or crystals. 

These problems are common enough that you should be on the lookout for these warning signs:

• Frequent urination
• Urination in places other than the litter box
• If she strains to urinate
• If you see any hint of blood in her urine

And now, there’s evidence to suggest that stress can be one of the primary causes of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).  Stress can let loose a flood of hormones that could cause the muscles of the lower urinary tract to constrict.  Changes in your routine, a new companion animal in the home, changes in weather and even a lack of attention can increase your cat’s stress level.  You can see how important it is to be in-tune with your cat’s emotional state, and take steps to decrease or eliminate stress in her life.

Additionally, you might consider providing water for your cat using a continuous fountain.  The constant motion of the water attracts the attention of cats, hopefully encouraging them to drink more.  And, of course, providing fluid-rich canned foods like Instinctive Choice can help boost overall fluid intake, too.

If you take steps now, you might be able to prevent your cat from developing urinary health issues, helping him or her to live a healthier – and much more comfortable – life.

Comments (11) -

  • Terri Komer

    9/29/2009 5:29:05 PM |

    I know cats are definitely attracted to those fountains and flowing water.  My cat likes for me to slowly pour fresh water out of a kitchen liquid measuring cup into a bowl.  She laps up lots of water that way and then drinks more from the bowl.  I think it is really good for her plus it's fun.  She feels special, not like one of the dogs.

  • Janet

    10/22/2009 4:57:34 PM |

    I just bought one of the fountains for my cat -hope it attracts her to drink more water.  she LOVES the Instinctive Choice canned food.  I feel good knowing I'm giving her the best food on the market!

  • Valerie

    10/30/2009 1:21:01 PM |

    Another great way to encourage them to drink more water is to have water bowls throughout the house.  Cats also tend to get lazy sometimes and they won't make the trip to the water bowl as much if they are not going that way to eat already.  Water bowls throughout the house make it more convenient for them to access the water.

  • Nancy

    10/30/2009 7:31:20 PM |

    The water fountains are a good idea.  Just make sure to thoroughly clean them regularly.  It's really important to get in and scrub all of the parts frequently.  My last kitty didn't even know how to drink out of a bowl... she wanted that running water and often hopped up on the bathroom sink for me to turn the faucet on so it was really fresh!  She also loved to climb in the bathtub to catch the drips there as well.  I agree with Valerie about having multiple water bowls as well.  I have a small apartment but I still have a water bowl in the kitchen and in the bathroom and I change the water at least twice a day.

  • Donna

    10/31/2009 9:50:39 PM |

    Okay, I know about cats urinary problems...but what about dogs with problems of crystals in their urine.  Same symptoms going all over the place, straining to urinate, but does a diet really help?  My poor 14 month old standard poodle is in alot of pain, and is so embarrassed about having accidents in the house, but the poor guy has no control right now.  Help!!!!!

  • Ann Rader

    11/2/2009 5:18:04 PM |

    Donna -- It's essential that you get your dog to the vet ASAP!@ Donna:

  • Donna Romero

    11/3/2009 5:31:51 AM |

    I did get him to the Vet...we did all that!  I need to know if diet will really control this problem.  Help!

  • Keith Niesenbaum, VMD

    11/12/2009 9:51:01 AM |

    @ Ann Rader:  Crystals alone may not be a problem.  Crystals with signs of lower urinary tract disease can be an indication of a serious problem.  This dog needs to be seen by a veterinarian ASAP and have the lower urinary tract evaluated.

    @ Donna Romero:
    Diet can be used to control certain bladder problems in dogs.  Infections need to be treated.  Certain types of stones can be dissolved by diet, but in Males, we usually rec. surgial removal to prevent blockage.  Diet can then be used to decrease the liklyhood of reoccurance.

  • Larry

    1/21/2012 1:40:42 PM |

    I have a question for anyone who has an opinion.
    Some vets sell, and recommend Hills Science Diet  foods in their office.
    One is specifically formulated for kidney problems.
    Is Life's abundance canned or dry food just as good, or should they stay on the Hills diets, which has by products as the first and main ingredient?
    Thanks

  • Raavi

    11/4/2012 1:25:49 PM |

    For the past three days my long-haired Norwegian Forest cat (born 1998) has become apathetic. I feed him in the afternoons (between 4 and 5 pm) raw meat and in the evenings he eats dry food. He drinks cat's milk. He grooms excessively (I brush him five to six times a day) and because of it he has hairball in his stomach. Sometimes it comes out through his vomit and sometimes it goes out through his stools. But three days ago he has become lethargic. He started drinking more water and milk and has not eaten solid foods. I took him to the vet and she administered parafin oil. His urine is ok (he went out to pass urine four times) and his stool is ok. Yesterday the vet prescribed Metacam but I did not administer it when I read about it in the web. I am taking him back to to the vet on Monday evening to test his blood. I am worried. He's everything for me. He had been with me since 2005. It was he decided to stay with me. Any comments please?  

  • Burge63

    12/6/2013 11:24:40 PM |

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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