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Is Your Cat Suddenly Going Outside the Box?

Spotting the Signs of Urinary Tract Problems

It’s been years since you trained your cat to do its business in the litter box. You’ve long ago found the perfect litter. Everything is going well and suddenly your tabby starts reverting back to old habits.

Simple mistake? Maybe … but it could also be the sign of a serious medical issue.

Lower urinary tract problems (whether they are the result of bacteria, parasites, urinary stones or other causes) aren’t uncommon in cats and demand immediate attention by your veterinarian. They occur in the bladder or the urethra – the tube that allows urine to flow from a feline’s bladder to the outside of its body.

They should be taken very seriously because a blockage in a cat’s urinary tract can result in death or organ damage because of the resulting build-up of toxins.

Diagnosing and treating urinary tract problems is the job of veterinarians, but knowing the signs of such disorders can help feline owners catch them early.

This PET MD article lists a number of symptoms of urinary tract problems, but here are a few that may signal its time for a trip to the veterinarian.

  • Your cat suddenly begins urinating outside the litter box. (Sometimes preferring smooth or cold surfaces)
  • Your cat appears to have difficult or painful urination.
  • You find blood in your cat’s urine.
  • You find your cat is urinating more frequently than normal.
  • Your cat is grooming its genitals excessively.

Here are a few steps you can take to avoid urinary tract infections.

  • Keep the litter box clean.
  • Provide an adequate number of litter boxes for your felines.
  • Provide clean and fresh water at all times.

For more information on urinary tract disease, check out this detailed article from the Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.


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