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Myths about urinary tract problems in cats

There are many cats that experience urinary tract disease in their lifetime. Surprisingly, it is one of the most common reasons cats are brought in to see a vet. The signs of urinary tract issues usually involve a change in toilet behaviour or seeing your cat straining when trying to pass urine, but the condition is generally quite misunderstood. While some cats are more prone to developing this issue than others, it’s always a good idea as a cat owner to understand the condition better and explore some of the many myths associated with the issue.

Body weight and urinary disease are unrelated: FALSE

Urinary tract disease in cats is quite complicated as there are many potential causes. While it is true that your cat’s urine is directly influenced by their diet, the amount and type of food your cat eats can also increase their chances of developing a urinary issue. Overweight cats are 60% more likely to be diagnosed with urinary tract disease compared to cat with a healthy body weight. Inactive cats also tend to drink smaller volumes of water too which also leads to them passing urine less frequently, causing their urine to be much more concentrated and stay in their bladder for longer. This is why making sure your cat stays at a healthy weight through a high quality diet and exercise is so important to your cat’s
overall health. A premium diet such as ROYAL CANIN’s Urinary S/O Moderate Calorie Feline diet not only helps promote a healthy urinary environment but is also 11.5% lower in calories than our standard Urinary S/O Feline diets and so is also great for weight control.


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Urinary issues aren’t life-threatening for cats: FALSE

Urinary tract disease is a serious condition in cats that should always be checked by a vet. If their urethra (the tube through which urine exits from your cat’s bladder) becomes blocked, your cat will not be able to pass urine, meaning waste products will build up quickly in their system. If your cat starts showing any signs of struggling to pass urine, you should seek advice from your vet as early as possible. Even if your vet determines your cat’s urethra isn’t blocked, urinary tract disease is still quite painful for your cat and they will still need treatment.


Stress doesn’t cause urinary issues: FALSE

There are many causes of urinary tract disease in cats which can include bladder stones or infection. However, two thirds of cats diagnosed with urinary tract disease by their vet have no obvious cause identified, and their bladder is simply inflamed. For these cats, it is assumed that stress is one of the many factors that may increase their likelihood of developing a urinary issue. To find out more, check out our blog on “How to manage your cat’s stress levels”.


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There is no way of telling that my cat has a urinary issue: FALSE

Sometimes cat owners can find it hard to identify that their cat is suffering from a urinary issue, however there are a number of key signs to look out for. These include seeing your cat straining to urinate, crying out or showing signs of pain when urinating or having blood in their urine. Other signs to watch out for include your cat not using their litter tray or taking more frequent, unsuccessful trips to their tray, and sometimes seeing them excessively licking at their genital area.


Urinary disease is usually a one-off: FALSE

Just because your cat has been successfully treated for a urinary tract disease doesn’t mean they won’t have it again. Urinary tract disease in cats can and often does reoccur if appropriate preventative measures aren’t put in place. To decrease your cat’s chances of redeveloping another episode of urinary tract disease, it’s a good idea to introduce a diet specifically targeted to dealing with urinary health such as ROYAL CANIN Urinary S/O Feline diet. To find out more, read our “Tips to prevent urinary tract problems in cats” blog for some helpful advice.


Talk to your vet

Urinary issues in cats are generally a cause for concern, so if you are noticing any of the early warning signs, you should head to your vet to rule out any serious blockage or infection. While many cats may experience the disease, implementing some preventative measures can help decrease your cat’s chances of developing a urinary tract problem in the first place.

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