What are the components of the feline urinary system?
The feline urinary system is a combination of organs and tubes and includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.
The cat’s urinary system plays a vital role in achieving and maintaining overall health. It removes toxins from your pet’s body 24 hours a day and, when it breaks down, it can result in a lot of health problems. In fact, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), lists diseases of the lower urinary tract, as well as renal failure, as two of the top three reasons for veterinary visits.
LOWER URINARY TRACT
When the bladder is prevented from emptying correctly or there is a blockage of the urethra (the tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body), it’s often caused by Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), a collection of clinical symptoms that may have more than one possible cause. Symptoms of FLUTD include frequent or painful urination, bloody urine and frequent licking of the urinary opening. One key to treating FLUTD is to determine the root cause, which may include bladder stones, urinary tract blockage, infection or cancer. If the cause of these symptoms cannot be determined, the cat is considered to have bladder inflammation, cystitis.
When a cat has kidney disease, she has a reduced ability to excrete waste products into her urine, leading to a potentially toxic build-up in the bloodstream. While some kidney problems occur suddenly, chronic kidney disease shows up more slowly over a period of time. Timely veterinary assessment with ongoing supportive care and dietary management can allow some cats with kidney problems to maintain an adequate quality of life.
Kidney disease can occur in cats of any age, but it’s most often seen in older ones. Cats can be born with abnormal kidneys that never function properly or some, like Persians, are predisposed to such hereditary kidney problems.
Additionally, outdoor cats run the risk of acute problems because they have more chance of exposure to toxins that can cause kidney failure, namely antifreeze.