- Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Feline Idiopathic Cystitis
- Urethral Obstruction
- Chronic Kidney Disease
As pet owners, we all want our furry friends to be healthy and happy. But did you know that something as simple as making sure your cat is properly hydrated can make a big difference in their overall well-being?
According to data from the American Pet Products Association (APPA), there are approximately 95 million cats in the US, with 60% of them experiencing water drinking problems. That means millions of cats are at risk of developing diseases, such as feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
FLUTD is a common problem in cats that can cause death if not treated promptly. Symptoms of FLUTD include difficulty or pain while urinating, frequent urination, crying while urinating, blood in the urine, urinating outside the litter box, and excessive licking of the genital area. FLUTD can be caused by various factors, such as urinary tract infection (UTI), urolithiasis, feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), and urethral obstruction.
Urinary Tract Infection
A common condition in cats that causes urinary symptoms. It is caused by the colonization of bacteria in the bladder or urethra and is most frequently found in female cats. UTI can be triggered by various factors, such as obesity, diabetes, or kidney disease.
Urolithiasis, also known as bladder stones, can occur in cats who have UTI. Bladder stones can cause varying degrees of discomfort and may even become life-threatening. If a cat with bladder stones develops a urethral obstruction, meaning that urine is blocked from exiting the body, it can lead to death within hours.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis
FIC is a type of FLUTD where cats experience bladder inflammation not caused by bacteria or stones. Though not caused by infection or stones, FIC can still be severe and can cause urethral obstruction in male cats.
Urethral obstruction is the most serious issue that can arise in cats with FLUTD. When the urethra becomes entirely blocked, the cat is unable to urinate, which can harm the kidneys' ability to remove toxins from the bloodstream. If the obstruction is not treated quickly, the cat's condition may worsen rapidly.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is another serious issue that can result from dehydration. CKD is one of the most common conditions affecting older cats, with symptoms such as weight loss, lethargy, and increased thirst. According to data, the death rate for CKD is 4% for cats aged 1–5, but jumps to 17% for cats over 11.
But it's not just older cats who are at risk. Data shows that male cats and cats over 6 years old are more likely to experience water drinking problems and related health issues. Hydration-related issues such as FLUTD and CKD can cause significant suffering and even death in cats. That's why every pet parent should take their cat's water intake seriously. The good news is that monitoring your cat's hydration levels is a simple way to help prevent these problems.
So how can you ensure that your cat is drinking enough water? Here are some tips:
- Provide fresh, clean water in a bowl or fountain that is easily accessible to your cat.
- Consider adding wet food to your cat's diet, as it contains more water than dry food.
- Monitor your cat's water intake with the PETLIBRO App Monitoring Water Fountain and speak to your vet if the app-generated reports show any changes or concerns.
- Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration, such as lethargy, dry mouth, and sunken eyes.
By paying attention to your cat's hydration needs, you can help keep them healthy and happy for years to come. Remember, a healthy cat is a happy cat!