Cats can be affected by many different medical problems. They can suffer from trauma. They can also suffer from common diseases such as diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis, arthritis and feline urinary problems (the most common condition seen in cats). A very effective method for helping cats with urinary problems is to increase their water consumption
Urinary problems can be caused by stones or infections, but the majority of urinary problems are idiopathic. The term "idiopathic" means that no one really knows why it occurs. This condition is also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome.
How do you know if your cat is suffering from Painful Bladder Syndrome?
The symptoms of this condition include straining to urinate, crying when urinating, frequent urination, bloody urine and inappropriate urination (urinating outside of the litter box). But this problem is often recognized as much by what it is as what it isn't.
With this condition, stones or infection are not the cause of the cat's urinary symptoms.
There are several different names that are used to describe recurrent urinary symptoms that are not caused by infection or stones. You may have heard this condition called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) and Feline Interstitial Cystitis (FIC). Painful Bladder Syndrome is another term used to describe these vague and difficult symptoms.
Many veterinary specialists have researched this urinary problem in cats. Most recently they have concluded that a large percentage of cats with this problem have an underlying bladder inflammation, or their symptoms stem from a stress-related response on the bladder. Essentially, they believe that some cats over-react to stress.
The same thing can happen to people. Every person is different, and each person responds to stress in a different way. Some people seem oblivious to stress and only show it internally. Others incessantly talk and complain. Some have nervous breakdowns. And others seem to thrive on stress.
Cats seem to be the same. Some cats can hyper-react to simple things like visitors, a new cat in the home or even seeing a new cat outside. And some of these cats can respond to their stress with urinary symptoms like those described above. Treatment for painful bladder syndrome involves the following: Canned food (with some dry)
A large, clean litter box with appealing litter
Environmental enrichment opportunities
Plenty of playtime
Positive reinforcement (no punishment-based training)
Plenty of fresh clean water - It's not always easy to get a cat to drink water, but it is essential to their good health. An easy way to increase your cat's water consumption is to use a pet fountain.
We have found two very good pet drinking fountains that we really love. The first is called the Drinkwell 360. It constantly filters impurities from the water and allows cats to drink from any angle. For more information go to: Drinkwell Pet Fountain.
Another wonderful fountain is the SmartCat Stainless Steel Pet Fountain. Stainless steel is a great material because it protects against bacteria and it is easy to clean – it cleans up beautifully in the dishwasher. We also love the compact size and the attractive raindrop design of this fountain. To learn more about it go to: SmartCat Stainless Steel Pet Fountain
Water fountains are wonderful. I've seen many cases where they have increased the quality of a cat's life by preventing urinary problems. All cats should have plenty of fresh clean water - and pet fountains keep the water fresh, cool and delicious, which really encourages cats to drink more water.
If your cat is displaying any signs of urinary problems, see your veterinarian to make sure there is no underlying medical problem causing the symptoms.