Keeping track of your kitty's bathroom habits probably isn't part of your daily routine, but it should be. Difficulty urinating is a dangerous and common problem for cats. You won't even notice it until it's a serious issue if you don't know how often your cat normally uses the bathroom.
Unfortunately, there is no standard urination frequency to compare your pet's habits to. This is why it's so important that you keep tabs on how much and how often your cat urinates each day. An easy way to monitor this is by cleaning the litter box every day at the same time. Examining your cat's urine and feces isn't fun, but it gives you an important insight into his health. If you notice less urine than usual for several days in a row, it could mean he is suffering from a health problem that is preventing him from expelling waste from his body. As a general rule, your cat should urinate one to three times per day.
When your cat can't urinate, your vet may say he is suffering from feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) or feline urologic syndrome (FUS). These terms don't refer to a particular disease; they actually describe any type of inflammation or illness affecting the urinary tract. Bacterial infections are often to blame for urinary difficulties, although it's possible that spinal injury or cancer is involved. Dysfunction of the liver or pancreas, endocrine disorders or internal parasites could also be responsible, according to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
It may seem obvious, but the reason your cat isn't urinating as much as he should might be that there's something in the way. Solid particles in your cat's urine can build up like sediment in the narrow tubes that lead out of his bladder. They restrict the flow of urine and may even stop it altogether, causing much discomfort and a very dangerous situation for your pet. Kidney stones and solid urine crystals can also become lodged in the urinary tract. While your pet may pass these obstructions on his own, there is no guarantee that he will get over the problem without medical attention.
If your cat hasn't been urinating enough, the first thing the vet will do is empty his bladder, according to Hurricane Animal Hospital. He may also put your cat on fluid therapy to rehydrate him, or insert a temporary catheter. The vet may prescribe antibiotics to fight infection or perform surgery to remove physical obstructions in the tract. Your cat will likely spend a few days under medical supervision until he can urinate normally again. Ask your vet about a healthy diet for your cat. Poor-quality food or an imbalanced diet can greatly increase the risk of urinary tract problems.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Quentin Coleman has written for various publications, including All Pet News and Safe to Work Australia. He spent more tan 10 years nursing kittens, treating sick animals and domesticating semi-feral cats for a local animal shelter. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.