Do you have a pet cat at home? Was there a time when it had a complication? And do you know how a cat tells you that it’s not feeling well? One of the signs that your pet is sick is when the cat is peeing blood. This incident would alarm cat owners, especially to those who have not experienced it before. What illnesses are tied to this condition, and how do we treat or prevent it?
The phenomenon of blood in the urine is known as hematuria. It can range from a definite sighting of blood to a microscopic level of detection. The following are the possible illnesses that cause this situation.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD for short) is an illness in cats which affects their excretory system, particularly the bladder and the urethra. It often affects cats that are middle-aged, overweight, are often indoors, and those whose diet consists of only dry food. Besides hematuria, other symptoms for FLUTD include difficulty in urination, frequent urination, excessive licking on the genitalia, and urinating outside the litter box.
For the treatment of this illness, it is best to consult the veterinarian, where your pet could be given a prescription of medicines that can help stop the symptoms. The cat should be encouraged to drink more water, as well as to urinate frequently. There should also be wet food in the cat’s diet, such as canned cat food or home-cooked meals with soup or sauce. Keep observing the cat for changes in urinary activity, and report back to the veterinarian for progress or any side effects.
As for prevention, you need to be more mindful of your cat’s diet. Give a sufficient amount of wet foods than dry, and always refill its water. You may ask the vet for more specific kinds of food. Try to observe how frequently the cat urinates, and make sure the litter box is comfortable for your pet, cleaning it as much as it is needed. Lastly, try to reduce any stressor for the cat so it can thrive more comfortably.
Bladder stones can also occur in cats as they could in humans. It refers to the formation of rock-like minerals in the urinary bladder. The size of these stones may vary; it can be as small as grains or as big as gravel. This condition is caused by varying factors, such as urine acidity, and the content of proteins and water in urine. High levels of certain minerals can crystalize, irritate the bladder, and combine with the bladder’s secreted mucus to form stones.
For treatment, a quick but rather costly solution is a surgery to remove the stones called cystotomy manually. This treatment is best suited for cats who have large stones and are not too old to withstand surgery. This method should be first prescribed by the veterinarian. Another kind of treatment is to have your cat undergo a special diet that could dissolve the bladder stones. However, this treatment cannot prove successful to all cats, as this kind of treatment is lengthy, and not all stones may be dissolved.
To prevent having bladder stones, always make sure that the cat stays hydrated. Always check its water container and refill it when it’s empty. Also, make sure not just to give dry food. There should also be a sufficient amount of wet food to give the cat. For those who have pets that have suffered from bladder stones, the cats should be continuously monitored and regularly taken to the vet to see if there are still stones building up in the bladder.
Urinary Tract Tumor
A urinary tract tumor is a type of cancer involving a tumor in the urinary tract. This tumor can be found in the bladder, kidneys, prostate (for male cats), and the urethra, the bladder being the most common one. Cats who were affected by the illness are those that are middle-aged or older. There is not much specific information as to why this cancer occurs, but it is often traced back to factors such as environmental or hereditary ones.
The treatment for this illness is costly, as it is mostly medical. Since this tumor affects different parts of the cat’s urinary tract, treatment may vary. A distinct treatment is chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Another option is surgery, which can only be done if the tumor is found in one kidney. At any rate, it is best to consult this matter with a veterinarian.
Since this is a type of cancer, there is no clear way to prevent it from happening. A piece of good advice you may do, however, is to make sure your cat has a healthy diet, is drinking enough water, and can urinate or defecate comfortably.
Urinary tract injuries do not necessarily link to hematuria, but it can cause bleeding in the urinary tract, depending on the accident. The accidents can vary, such as high rise syndrome, where a cat jumps off a high place, or a vehicular accident where the cat is hit by any moving vehicle. Because of the nature of these types of accidents, urinary tract injuries are not that suspected among cats unless an injury occurs in the area of the excretory system.
The treatment always depends on what type of accident or injury the cat got into. Contacting the vet is the best choice, especially when the injury may have affected a vital part of the body. The cat could be given a prescription of medicines or suggested surgery if the accident affected its internal organs by chance.
Accidents can happen when you’re not looking, but you can help prevent your cat from having injuries by making sure it is in an environment without nearby objects that can harm them, and by keeping an eye on your cat from time to time.
While this article can help you develop ideas to determine the cause of hematuria in cats, you must always consult the veterinarian if something happens to your pet. Remember never to diagnose your cat yourself. Always seek professional help to be well informed on how to treat the complications your cat may have.
Maureen McCarthy founded Love and Kisses Pet Sitting in 2006. She is a member of Pet Sitters International and has Feline Certification through the University of Edinburgh. She operates one of the most successful pet sitter businesses in North Carolina. Read more about Maureen here.