Aging Pets Need Special Care

Litter Box Blues: Three Ways Your Cat's Toileting Habits Can Indicate Health Problems

Cats can sometimes have very particular litter box habits, and sometimes changes in those habits can be a sign that there is something wrong. if your cat has recently begun having issues with toileting, it may be time to visit the local pet hospital. Here are a few symptoms that can serve as warning signs that your cat is experiencing health problems.

1. Going Outside Of The Box

If your cat has never had issues with toileting outside of the litter box, a sudden change in this behavior can be a symptom of a urinary tract infection. A urinary tract infection can be caused by a number of issues, including crystals or stones in the bladder, but it can also be an indication of other medical issues as well. For older cats, going outside of the box may be a sign of arthritis, as your cat may be having difficulty climbing into the box. However, sometimes cats go outside of the box in protest of dirty conditions or a litter that feels uncomfortable on their paws. Clean the litter box and see if the behavior changes, and if not, schedule an appointment at the animal hospital for a checkup.

2. Difficulty Urinating

In some cases, cats may have difficulty urinating. This problem can also be a sign of a UTI, but it can also be a symptom of a bladder infection or other medical condition. It's a good idea to monitor your cat's litter box every day to ensure he or she is using the box regularly. If you notice that your cat hasn't been urinating, or if you notice your cat is taking a long time to urinate, it may be time to visit the veterinarian. Remember to give your cat plenty of fresh water just in case the issue is with hydration and not a more serious medical condition.

3. Blood In The Urine

Noticing blood in the urine can be difficult, depending on the type of litter you use, but you may see a reddish tinge in the litter clumps. Any blood in the urine should be a warning sign your cat needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away. If you are noticing blood in conjunction with the other symptoms listed above, there may be a UTI or other type of infection at play. When you call the pet hospital, be sure to ask if the veterinarian requires a sample, as you may be able to collect one before you arrive for your cat's appointment.

Your cat's litter box habits may be peculiar, but any change can be a sign there's something wrong. In some cases, it may just be a way to act out if something is bothering your cat, but in other instances, it can be a clue that your cat needs medical care.