Elderly Cat's Bladder Control | Ask The Cat Doctor
Saddle Thrombus (described in more detail later) is sometimes called the feline equivalent of a stroke and can cause permanent weakness of the hind legs. Affected cats may need ramps or steps to compensate. He may temporarily lose control of bowel or bladder depending on the severity of the damage. One of my elderly cats recovered well, but afterwards she always leaned on the wall when going up or down stairs.
Physically, your elderly cat can start to have difficulty getting around and reaching the places in your home he normally loves. Jumping up to a favorite window perch may now be difficult. When it comes to the litter box, arthritis can make it difficult for your cat to get in and out. An older cat may also lack bladder control so he may not make it to the box in time. Arthritis or stiff joints can also make it difficult for the cat to get to a standing position and walk to the box in time to empty his bladder. Older cats who are diabetic or in renal failure may not make it to the box in time because of their increased water intake. Constipation is another common issue with older cats. This can lead to litter box avoidance if the cat associates the box with his discomfort. He may also make so many attempts to that he winds up straining every chance he gets – no matter where he is at the time.
Loss of bladder control in cats is sometimes referred to as incontinence. Incontinence can be a symptom of several different problems, mostly involving the lower urinary tract. The lower urinary tract essentially includes all parts of the urinary system, except the kidneys. The ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, the bladder stores the urine, and the urethra is the tube whichcarries the urine out of the body. When any one of these portions of the system fail, loss of bladder control may result.Incontinence may also be a problem from birth, due to congenital defects, most commonly a condition called "ectopic ureter". If a kitten experiences loss of bladder control, it's very likely due to a problem present at birth. Incontinence is not common for cats, but most frequently occurs in female cats that have been spayed and are older in age, and medium to large sized.Loss of is directly caused by a malfunction of any part of the muscles or nerves involved in the urinary process. This causes a cat to experience the inability to effectively hold urine, and therefore release it at inappropriate times or places. This can include urine dribbling without the cat being aware of it—unintentional release of urine on furniture or carpets, urination around or near the litter box, and increased frequency in urination. All can indicate any number of problems, and it will be beneficial to note any additional symptoms, if present. There are several causes for loss of bladder control in cats.Likewise, if a wet spot is discovered near the area where a cat was recently sleeping, this may be a sign. Often, a cat will urinate in unexpected places, outside of the litter box. This may be due to loss ofbladder control, but can also be related to other causes. Increased thirst and urination, brought about by diseases like diabetes, can produce too much urine and the cat may not be able to make it to the litter box in time. Occasionally, when certain types of infection are present, a cat will refuse to eliminate in the litter box and will prefer a cold surface, such as the bathroom floor. In these cases, incontinence may not be indicated, but an underlying problems still likely exists.There are several ways in which a cat can experience loss of bladder control. Dribbling of urine in tiny amounts at a time may not be noticeable to the cat or to yourself, but after a period of time, the area around the body opening will become irritated and the cat may experience infection and burns, due to the acidic nature of urine.The feline leukemia virus is preventable. Many spayed and neutered cats affected by feline leukemia have problems with bladder control. They frequently dribble urine when they are sleeping or resting. The problem does affect more male cats than females, however. Some veterinarians find that a low dose of chemotherapy helps eliminate if the feline incontinence is excessive.