Reasons for Cat Incontinence and Treatment Options
Cat incontinence causes great distress not only on your beloved pet feline but on yourself, as well. Their inability to control themselves can damage your home, your peace of mind, and generally causes you and your pet great stress.
Learning the symptoms, causes, and options of treatment can help you understand why your cat is leaking urine and what you can do about it. But first, let’s identify the condition, and whether or not your pet is actually suffering from it.
Find the Best Cat Litter for You & Your Cat
Find the Best Cat Litter for You & Your Cat
What is Cat Incontinence?
The condition is defined by a cat’s inability to control its bladder. The condition is involuntary or uncontrollable, with no conscious effort from your pet. Therefore, reprimanding them or attempting to punish them is futile since the condition is medical rather than behavioral.
It is also important to note that the purpose of this article is to give you a guide on cat urinary incontinence. A second type of incontinence involves a cat’s inability to control the relief of fecal matter or bowel, and involves an entirely different topic.
Cat urinary incontinence usually occurs with middle-aged, old-aged, or large cat breeds. Most often, the causes involve an impaired bladder or a urinary tract obstruction.
Urinary accidents can range from small urine leaks or dribbling, to large amounts or puddles of urine.
Cat Incontinence Symptoms and Causes
If you’re unsure whether or not your cat may be suffering from the condition, these are the symptoms that need to be taken at look at:
- small dribbling of urine on the floor or on furniture
- wet hair on their lower abdomen area
- moist area around the penis or vulva
- wet spots on their sleeping area
- inflammation of the skin around genitals
- involuntary leakage of urine
If your kitty shows any of these symptoms, then he or she may be suffering from cat incontinence. To understand the causes, here are the most common ones:
1. Obesity – Cats who have diabetes due to obesity may drink water excessively, leading to frequent accidents.
2. Birth Defects or Underdevelopment of the Bladder – Symptoms occur at birth and continue as the kitten develops.
3. Bladder Stones – This occurs when minerals combine and form masses of crystals that irritate the lining of the bladder. This causes pain in urination leading to more accidents.
4. Chronic Inflammatory Disease – This leads to UTI or urinary tract infection which causes scarring of the bladder. UTI can alter the amount of urine storage and may cause frequent urination.
5. Neutering – When your cat is spayed or neutered, estrogen or testosterone is no longer available, which are the the necessary hormones that help to close the external urethral sphincter. Therefore, neutering can cause urine dribbling.
Other causes include lesions on the spinal cord, lesions on the brain, disruptions of the nerves around the bladder, and pressure on the bladder caused by a mass such as a tumor.
Cat Incontinence Treatment Options
Treatment will depend on the cause of the condition. Diagnosis occurs when you take your pet kitty to the vet and have him or her undergo tests and lab exams. Most of the time, the vet will prescribe certain medications, which you can administer at home. Other options include proper care and hygiene, as well as surgical procedures.
If left untreated, certain causes may lead to partial or complete obstruction and can prevent your cat from urinating. If this occurs, it is considered to be a medical emergency since it can lead to kidney failure or rupture of the bladder.
Here are 5 of the most common treatment options available:
1. Conventional Treatments – These include prescription medication and the use of maintenance supplies such as diapers. If the cause of the condition is sphincter mechanism incompetence, your pet feline can be treated with drugs such as phenylpropanolamine. If the condition is an over-active bladder, smooth muscle relaxant drugs can be given.
2. Herbal Options – Herbs like gingko biloba and St. John’s Wort have been known to help alleviate the symptoms of urine incontinence.
3. Changes in Diet – In mild cases, changes in diet can significantly help to ease the condition. A diet of kale, parsley, seaweed, and grain-free foods can be helpful.
4. Natural Options – Natural options can include homeopathic treatments, as well as reducing the cat’s stress levels at home. Hormone therapy such as testosterone injections can be done on neutered male cats.
5. Surgical Options – The removal of obstruction and correction of birth defects can be done surgically to correct cat incontinence. For ectopic ureters, it can be treated with surgical repositioning, while a cystostomy tube can be surgically placed to allow manual drainage of your cat’s bladder in cases of bladder stones and UTI.
How to Manage at Home
As your pet cat is undergoing treatment, there will still be instances of little accidents and incidents. To manage, there are some things that you can do to ease the burden.
Most cats respond well to medication so the first on your list is to stop worrying. Relax and trust that your kitty’s condition will get better. Here are some tips to managing at home:
1. Allow your cat free access to clean water.
2. Allow your cat frequent opportunities to urinate. Diapers or a pad on his or her spot or sleeping area is a great idea.
3. Follow up with your vet for check-ups, exams, and scheduled urinalysis tests.
4. Monitor your pet’s condition every now and then. Just because he or she may be on medication or recently had surgery, doesn’t mean they’re 100% cured.
Cat Incontinence Supplies to Stock Up On
There are several supplies that you can stock up on as your pet is going through treatment. These are:
- Cat disposable diapers
- Garment diapers that are reusable, which you can easily wash. These are a more economical option.
- Pads which you can place on your bed, on your pet’s bed, on furniture, and on your pet’s favorite spots. This can be a more comfortable option over diapers.
- Supplements – you can also improve the health of your pet cat’s lower urinary tract with the aid of natural supplements. Mostlyfound in capsule form and in flavors your cat will love, you can easily mix them with drinks or food.
An incontinent cat doesn’t have to suffer forever and it also doesn’t mean your home and furniture are at your pet’s mercy. Treatments and maintenance are easily available without making drastic changes to your pet cat’s life. Granted, surgery options must be chosen in severe cases but often than not, these are permanent solutions that rid you and your pet kitty from incontinence for the rest of your pet’s life.
The best advice is visiting your pet’s vet, who can properly diagnose and provide the proper treatment and advice for long-term care.
A Guide to Using and Shopping for Cat Diapers
We love our friendly felines. They’re adorable, sweet, affectionate, and bring warmth to our homes. However, when they continuously miss the litter box and wreak havoc on our wooden floors or heirloom carpets, we know we’ve got a problem on our hands.
Cat incontinence may be a minor occasional problem, a rare occurrence, or a serious issue that stems from a medical problem. When our home and our very own sanity is on the line, we know we’ve got to do something.
Cat diapers are a great and easy solution to keep you and your cat comfortable despite the bladder or bowel problem. They’re easily accessible as many pet stores are currently offering them, and there are countless brands that offer new products everyday geared towards making our lives with our beloved kitties smooth sailing.
So when do you actually need to use cat diapers? How often? And what do you even buy? Read on to find out everything you need to know about buying your cat his or her very first diapers.
Why and When to Use Cat Diapers?
There are many different reasons to use cat diapers. Urinary and bowel problems are the most common health issues that belie felines. Here is a list of the reasons why your cat may need the use of cat diapers:
- if your kitty has recently undergone surgery and has not fully regained complete control over his bladder or bowels as yet
- if your cat has special needs or is elderly
- when they’ve recently been neutered and suffer from leaks
- when you want to prevent leakage of blood when your cat is in heat
- when they have the following health issues: diabetes, arthritis, dementia, blindness, kidney disease, cancer, and bowel/bladder incontinence
Occasional accidents may occur but if your cat has continued to ruin furniture and other belongings in your home, the solution of cat diapers will make your life easier.
The Different Types of Cat Diapers
As with diapers for babies, there are also different kinds of cat diapers available in the market. Let’s take a look at each of these diapers to gauge whether or not they may be good for your pet:
1. Washable Diapers
These diapers are mostly made of fabric that you can wash and reuse. They’re mostly machine washable, and have pockets inside where you can place an absorbent liner. These liners can either be disposable or washable. They may cost more initially, compared to disposable diapers, but they’re better value in the long run.
2. Disposable Diapers
These diapers are made of absorbent padding that you throw out after each use. What makes them different than regular human diapers is that they have a hole for your cat’s tail.
3. Belly Wrap Band
These are similar to washable diapers but instead of an actual diaper, they’re made of a fabric band where you can insert an absorbent pad inside. It only needs to be fastened around the stomach of the male cat, just enough to collect urine.
4. Cat Pants
Also known as stud pants or queen panties, these are originally created to prevent male cats from spraying, and to prevent female cats from leaking blood when in heat. They’re made of fabric, have pockets inside for an absorbent pad, and are either fastened with velcro or have suspenders attached to them so they stay in place.
Tips to Choosing the Best Cat Diaper
There are certain factors that you need to consider when choosing the best diaper for your cat. Let’s take a look at these considerations:
1. The Main Problem
Is your cat recovering from surgery or an illness? If so, then disposable diapers may be best for your kitty since his or her incontinence problem may be temporary. Disposable diapers are best for short-term use. So if you’re still in the process of potty training, if you’re traveling, or if the problem is only temporary, then this is the best type of diaper for your cat.
However, if the problem is on the serious side, such as your pet having a birth defect, if your cat is blind, or suffering from a medical issue, washable diapers are a better option since your pet will be needing them for long-term use.
2. How Many Do You Need?
For your first washable diapers, 2-3 pieces is a good way to start. The absorbent pads that you place inside the diapers, however,
would need a lot of frequent washing. So 2-3 diapers with at least 5 liners would be ideal. Don’t buy in bulk just yet. You’d have to have your pet cat get used to the idea of wearing them first. Otherwise, if you buy a lot and your cat is not comfortable at all, then you’ll be wasting your money.
For disposable diapers, a pack of 12 is a good way to start. Again, always try the diapers first before you buy in bulk.
3. Your Cat’s Size
Not all cats are made equal and the saying goes for cat diaper brands as well. Different brands may mean different sizes so it’s best that you weigh and measure your kitty before you buy your diapers.
Cat incontinence may be a big problem but of course, there are always simple and fast solutions to making you and your pet cat’s lives easier. Cat diapers are easy on the pocket, economical, and solves an entire problem that could ruin your home or worse, your bond with your beloved feline.