Incontinence in older cats is a somewhat unpredictable condition that may place a cat owner in the awkward position of having to make difficult quality of life choices. While some causes primarily seen in very young cats can be ruled out, others cannot. In this informational pet care article title "Incontinence in Older Cats" we will briefly cover six of the more common conditions that could lead to incontinence in cats and one that is often misinterpreted as incontinence.
*Urinary Tract Disease - Urinary tract disease is a broad topic that many require more research on your part. The good news is that if recognized early enough UTD can be treated effectively. The two most common areas of UTD as it applies to incontinence are urinary tract stones and bacterial infection.
a)Urinary tract stones can occur anywhere in the urinary tract and can produce incontinence. These stones are generally a combination of calcium and/or magnesium and can cause partial or total blockage of urine. If the urine backs up into the bladder leakage is a common symptom. In older cats stones can produce the added risk of infection due to an aging immune system.
b)Bacterial infection - Once bacterial gains access through the urethra infection is likely to occur in older cats. Once the infection starts to spread throughout the urinary tract your cat may start to urinate in inappropriate or unusual places. Also, urination may become painful leading to failure to completely empty the bladder thus producing incontinence or leakage problems.
*Bone and joint pain - Arthritis is common in older cats. They just can't quite make it to the litter box. Some simply feel it is more important to avoid the pain than to make it to the litter box. Additionally, this factor should be considered when purchasing new more easily accessible litter boxes
*Memory loss - I know it is hard to believe but many cats over the age of 14 have some memory dysfunction. They forget where their litter boxes are located or fail to remember how long it takes to get there.
*Tantrums - Often time's older cats develop an attitude. They are use to being fed at a certain time or receiving special treats. If things don't go as planned they become agitated and feel the only way to get your attention is to let the urine fly. While this is not urinary incontinence sometimes cat owners mistakenly make that assumption, particularly in older cats.
*Disease - Certain serious disease such as feline leukemia will lead to incontinence in cats. If none of the more obvious signs are apparent a visit to veterinarian should be considered.
*Urethral fatigue - Sometimes the urethra just wears out. It fails to open, close and retain urine as well as it once did.
In closing, incontinence in older cats can be caused simply by age or something more serious. Ultimately your veterinarian is probably your best source for determining and treating the specific cause.
Additionally, many pet owners are opting for natural supplements for urinary tract health to both prevent and treat many of the common causes of incontinence in older cats.