Cats usually don’t exhibit any outward signs of a serious illness. By the time we as pet owners discover that something’s up with our feline overlords, it might already be too late. One of the best ways of staying on top of your cat’s health is to monitor your cat’s pee! Is it peeing too much? Too little? Too often? Is your cat’s urine an unusual colour? We can learn a lot about our cat’s health from the volume, colour and odour of its urine.
But before we delve into exploring what’s normal and what’s not, let’s see the steps we should take to monitor our cat’s pee!
How to Monitor Your Cat’s Pee
Pay close attention to your cat’s urine and change out your cat’s litter to one that is pale in colour so that it’ll be easier to notice if there are any changes to the colour of your cat’s pee.
You could also try a two-tier cat litter box system — one similar to the UniCharm cat litter bin — which uses zeolite pellets to absorb the smell of ammonia from your cat’s pee before filtering the urine down into the lower tray which is lined with a white pee pad.
How Much Pee Is Normal?
Healthy cats typically pee between 2 and 4 times each day. But this frequency is also affected by water intake, diet, heat and humidity. Keep tabs on your cat’s peeing habits. Did it use to pee twice a day but recently started to do so more than usual? And also, is there an increase in urine output? If there’s a sudden increase in urine output, it could be a symptom for diseases such as kidney disease, diabetes and hyperthyroidism. But don’t panic yet!
What you can do: Take your cat to the vet and explain your observations.
If your cat (especially if it’s a male) is peeing less than normal, one possible cause could be that there are crystals in his urethra blocking the flow of pee. The cause of crystals in cats is usually the result of a mainly dry cat food diet.
What you can do: Incorporate more high quality wet foods such as freeze dried cat food or canned cat food into your cat’s diet to reduce crystals and prevent new crystals from forming. But to be safe, it would be best to take your kitty to the vet. It’s possible that the crystals need to be surgically removed.
The Colour of Your Cat’s Pee Matters
A healthy cat’s pee should be a clear, pale yellow. If your cat’s pee is straw-coloured, there’s nothing to worry about, your furkid is the picture of health.
If you observe cloudiness in your cat’s pee, there’s pus in your cat’s urine. It’s not an indication of an illness or a disease per se but an infection somewhere in the upper or lower urinary tract of your feline.
What you can do: Perhaps before taking your cat to the vet, you could give the CheckUp At Home Wellness Test Kit a go. It’s a quick and non-invasive test that can detect the most common issues among domestic cats.
If you see a pinkish tint to your cat’s urine, it’s undoubtedly blood. The 2 major causes of blood in a cat’s pee are cystitis and feline lower urinary tract disorder (FLUTD). Feline cystitis is the inflammation of a cat’s bladder and is a pretty common condition amongst cats . It is usually not a serious health concern so don’t worry about it! However, this might be very uncomfortable for your cat. FLUTD, on the other hand, is a group of conditions affecting a cat’s lower urinary system and bladder. Some other possible reasons can include: kidney stones and polycythemia (overproduction of red blood cells).
What you can do: Take your cat to the vet ASAP.
Is Your Cat’s Pee More Pungent Than Usual?
Normal cat pee will have a slightly pungent and acidic scent that is fairly bearable (at least to the accustomed feline owner). If you’ve begun noticing that your cat’s pee is stinking up the house more so than usual, it’s possible that your cat might have a bladder infection or cystitis. In male cats, if the odour of urine has changed drastically, it could be a sign of tumours and hormonal disorders.
What you can do: Likewise, it’s best to take your cat to the vet to get it checked immediately. Just in case.
Other Abnormalities to Look out For
More often than not, when a cat has kidney or bladder problems, it tends to pee outside of its litter box. Sure, cats may pee outside the litter box due to several reasons:
- Their litter box is unclean and this is their way of demanding that you clean their litter box
- You’ve placed your cat’s litter box in a location that is hard to get to
- Your cat doesn’t like the type of cat litter that you’ve chosen for it
- You have multiple cats and there’s a mean one in your lot who prevents the others from sharing the same litter box
- Your cat is plagued by stress and anxiety and is thus peeing elsewhere so that the scent of its urine makes it feel safer
But if you know for a fact that…
- Your cat’s litter box is perfectly clean
- Your cat’s litter box is in a convenient spot in your home
- You haven’t changed your cat’s litter and it didn’t use to have problems with it
- You only have 1 cat
- There aren’t any stressors to cause anxiety in your cat
…then it could be a medical problem. Your cat may have associated the litter box with pain if it has a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), bladder infection, or kidney infection and is thus peeing outside the litter box. They could even be peeing outside the box as a signal to get your attention for an ailment its having.
The volume, colour and odour of your cat’s urine aren’t absolute indicators of your cat’s health. However, given that cats usually don’t show any outward signs of illness until it’s too late, monitoring your cat’s pee would be quite an indicative gauge of your cat’s health. If identified and treated early, most causes of abnormal urine in your cat can be resolved quickly.
Read more: How to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water
*Featured Image Source: Wikimedia Commons