Suddenly, Kitty seems to be urinating an awful lot. He's constantly in the litter box —or perhaps peeing in inappropriate places. Increased urination in cats results from various physical or even psychological reasons, so a visit to the vet is important.
One of the early warning signs of feline diabetes is polyuria, the medical term for peeing a lot. If Kitty's litter box seems suddenly soaked, or if he's constantly lapping at the water bowl, something's not right. The medical term for excessive drinking is polydipsia, and you'll need to make a vet visit to determine the cause. Diabetic cats also lose weight even though they're constantly hungry. Your vet makes a diagnosis through blood and urine testing.
Urinary Tract Disease
Is Kitty really urinating more or is he just always in the litter box? That's a vital distinction. If he's suffering from a urinary tract disease or obstruction, he might be straining to pee but little if any urine is actually coming out. The ailments collectively known as feline lower urinary tract syndrome are veterinary red alerts. Bring Kitty to the vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment, which might include surgery if his urethra is blocked.
Symptoms of diabetes and kidney failure in cats tend to mimic each other, so it's up to your vet to make the correct diagnosis. In addition to the frequent drinking and peeing, cats experiencing renal failure often have bad breath and vomit frequently. If the problem isn't caught and treated in the early stages, cats might go into seizures. While there's no cure for kidney failure, medication and a change of diet can help Kitty live longer and more comfortably.
Tomcats spray to mark territory. Neutered males generally don't spray, but if your male house cat starts frequently urinating on furniture, walls and other places you don't want cat pee, the reason could be behavioral. Have there been changes in the household recently—new pet, new person, a move to a new place? Take Kitty to the vet for an exam. If physical problems are ruled out, the vet might prescribe medication, including antidepressants, to get Kitty back on track psychologically and end the spraying.
As the saying goes, "Old age ain't for sissies," and it also isn't for 'fraidy-cats. Old cats, like old people, often have issues with incontinence. Bladder muscles weaken with age, so Kitty can't hold his urine as he did in the past. That might not just mean more frequent trips to the litter box, but also peeing in other spots. When your cat gets up from lying down, you might find urine left behind. Ask your vet about medication that might help with this problem.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.