Cats are great pets, but they need care and care and a clean house. Cleaning cat urine and feces is not the most attractive job but needs to be done, and carefully. Unfortunately, besides the strong, unpleasant smell, your cat’s urine can cause some illness and disease. However, most of these precautions can be easily avoided by using some simple precautions.
Symptoms of cat urine disease:
- Urinating small amounts
- Straining to urinate
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent and/or prolonged attempts to urinate
- Crying out while urinating
- Excessive licking of the genital area
Note that cats with a blockage of the urethra (a blockage in the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder and out of the body) will also show these signs but will pass slightly or not urinate at all and become increasingly irritating. The male urethra is more often seen obstructed than female cats due to the long narrow urethra. Urethra blockage is an emergency and requires immediate veterinary treatment. (See the urethral obstruction section.)
How is FLUTD diagnosed?
Because FLUTD has many causes, it can be difficult to diagnose. Depending on your cat’s symptoms, your vet will perform a physical examination and will most likely conduct a urinalysis to assess the urine pH and its concentration, the presence of crystals, bleeding, inflammation and infection. If the cause is not yet established, tests such as urine implantation, x-ray work, blood work, and additional urine tests may be recommended.
What are the causes of FLUTD?
Urine count (urinary stones) Factors such as emotional or environmental stress, multi-cat families, and sudden changes in the daily routine may also increase the risk of a cat developing. One possible reason for FLUTD is the formation of urinary stones, also called urine stones, in the bladder and/or urethra. These are groups of minerals that form in the urinary tract of cats. X-rays or ultrasound is usually necessary to diagnose urinary stones. The most common urine stones are calcium oxalate and struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate).
While a special melting stone diet can be prescribed to dissolve strophite stones, calcium oxalate stones must be surgically removed. If the diet fails, or if the stones form again, surgery may also be necessary for Struvite stones. In female cats, it may also be possible for the veterinarian to help the cat pass stones by rinsing her bladder with sterile fluid or removing small stones directly from the bladder using a cystoscope when the cat is under anesthesia. Your vet may then recommend changes in medications or diet after surgery to help prevent their recurrence.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, most commonly found in the waste of outdoor cats, and is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. The parasite can enter the body and cause serious damage to an unborn child, even causing stillbirth or miscarriage. Other side effects include jaundice, eye problems, mental retardation, and deafness. Pregnant women can avoid toxoplasmosis by simply wearing gloves while changing the litter box. If your cat spends a great deal of time outdoors, wash your hands after having contact with the cat as well. Technically, toxoplasmosis is transmitted in feces, but since it is difficult to separate feces from urine in a litter box, precautions should be taken when dealing with either.
Cat urine will not cause asthma, however, the ammonia present in the urine can trigger asthma attacks. People with asthma can still own cats but they need to be quite vigilant about keeping the litter box clean. Those with asthma should take extra precautions when cleaning up cat urine and feces. Wearing gloves and a mask will reduce the chances of ammonia entering your system and triggering an attack.
Lung Irritation and Bronchitis
Generally, people that have healthy immune systems are not made ill by breathing in the ammonia in cat urine. However, people with allergies or weakened immune systems can suffer irritation in the lungs and even bronchitis if the exposure is long-term or extreme. For those with weakened immune systems even breathing in small amounts of a cat, urine can lead to fits of coughing and difficulty breathing.