Cat Straining to Urinate??

nmcnl

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Hi guys! My cat, Nova, is about 2 years old. Recently I have noticed that she might be straining to urinate, but it may be spraying. She was spayed at 6 months old. We do have 2 new cats, but she’s getting along with them really well, so i don’t see a reason as to why she would be spraying if that’s what it is. She goes to the litterbox, and when she squats, a little pee comes out kinda normally, her tail shakes, and she sprays the side of the litterbox. After this, she attempts to cover it all up, including anything that went over the top of the litterbox. Does anyone know what this is and if it’s behavioral or health related? Thank you! (The pic attached is Nova (calico) with the new kitten)
 

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Alldara

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nmcnl nmcnl Straining to urinate is a medical emergency and I must advise you to go to the vet ASAP.

This is usually a sign of a urinary infection or stone. A blockage can happen and if that does and the cat doesn't get medical care they can die within hours.
My cat has had the strain to pee issue and never a blockage. We've always gone to the vet within 24 hours and it's usually easy to clear up. Some antibiotics and/or some pain medication.

To stop this from happening permanently, he needed a food change, and a litter change to non-clay non-pine and low dust litter. We also had to increase his enrichment. One big but of advice is to ensure you have the right amount of litter boxes (one per cat plus one) and that they are in different areas so your cat is not holding their bladder too long. This is after-vet information to stop it from reoccuring.
 
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nmcnl

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nmcnl nmcnl Straining to urinate is a medical emergency and I must advise you to go to the vet ASAP.

This is usually a sign of a urinary infection or stone. A blockage can happen and if that does and the cat doesn't get medical care they can die within hours.
My cat has had the strain to pee issue and never a blockage. We've always gone to the vet within 24 hours and it's usually easy to clear up. Some antibiotics and/or some pain medication.

To stop this from happening permanently, he needed a food change, and a litter change to non-clay non-pine and low dust litter. We also had to increase his enrichment. One big but of advice is to ensure you have the right amount of litter boxes (one per cat plus one) and that they are in different areas so your cat is not holding their bladder too long. This is after-vet information to stop it from reoccuring.
Thank you!!! Is the description I gave what he was doing? I do have plenty of boxes around the house. I appreciate your advice so much and will take her to the vet asap!
 

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Thank you!!! Is the description I gave what he was doing? I do have plenty of boxes around the house. I appreciate your advice so much and will take her to the vet asap!
Yes. Going to the litter and peeing a small amount. This is usually the first sign of this. You caught it in good time.

The vet might also recommend some feliway. If you aren't already using it the multi cat is helpful. I'm glad intros are going well with your new cats, but it does sound like your resident cat is internalizing some stress. Is she getting some time away from the other cats, perhaps with one of her humans?

Have you noticed the new kittens following her to the litter? This behaviour should be halted immediately if so. We generally have only had to hold a cat in a way that just stops them from walking towards the litter once or twice to curb the behaviour.

She *may* need lots of rest on her own in a room while recovering. Some people find that their cats heal better and faster with this method.. Nobel gets stressed by closed doors and separation so I did not do this, but did provide lots of boxes. Boxes and hide-y places are proven to help boost recovery for cats as well and it never hurts to throw a bunch around the house until recycling day.

If your vet recommends urinary food there is over-the-counter urinary foods that can work for many cats if prescription is not your preference. Check your local pet store for availability. Your cat will need wet food and not a full dry diet or this will reoccur unfortunately (once it happens once...). I recommend adding an extra tsp of water to her wet food. If you begin to see stress behaviour from her, or you know there's about to be stress, increase to a tablespoon to flush the bladder. Nobel is on a 90% wet diet and still gets some kibble. His flare ups stopped at 50/50 (dry food addict) but we moved him further for safety.

I really suggest watching Jackson Galaxy's Catification videos.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Before you get too far into all the things you can do to correct a possible problem related to urinary tract issues, just take Nova in for a urinalysis. The urinalysis can identify things like sediment/crystals/stones in the urine, blood, etc. as well as bacteria. A urine culture can be done if they find bacteria to help identify the best antibiotic to treat a bacterial infection.

I'd get that done first and also let the vet know about the spraying. Blockages tend to be more common in male cats due to their urethras being smaller than they are in females, so more easily occluded from crystals/stones and/or inflammation.
 

Caspers Human

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My guess is also a urinary problem like crystals or stones, etc.

Our cat, Casper, had a urinary blockage due to crystals. It's somewhat common in neutered, male cats, about two or three years old. Although your cat is female, I'd still suspect it.

We took Casper to the vet, she looked up his hind end and, in about thirty seconds, said, "Yup! Crystals!"
She swabbed his urethra. She applied some medicine. (A mild anesthetic. I forget which.) She gave us a prescription and advised us to change his diet to help lessen the problem.

Before we finished, her final advice was... and I quote... "Water! Water! Water!" (While pounding her fist on the table! ;) )
Do absolutely everything you can to encourage your cat to drink as much water as possible. Water (in a cat's body) helps dilute the urine and dissolve any crystals or stones before they happen.

Casper has two water bowls, placed around the house, plus he likes to drink from the bathtub faucet and play under the dripping water. We let the faucet drip, just a bit, in order to encourage him to drink and play.

Casper hasn't had a problem peeing ever since. :)

While I can't say that your cat's problem is the same as Casper's, I can, certainly, suggest that you explore this avenue and get your vet's advice on the matter. :)

Thoughts and prayers! 🙏

Sending get-well vibes! :vibes:
 

Jaxson’s momma

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Hi guys! My cat, Nova, is about 2 years old. Recently I have noticed that she might be straining to urinate, but it may be spraying. She was spayed at 6 months old. We do have 2 new cats, but she’s getting along with them really well, so i don’t see a reason as to why she would be spraying if that’s what it is. She goes to the litterbox, and when she squats, a little pee comes out kinda normally, her tail shakes, and she sprays the side of the litterbox. After this, she attempts to cover it all up, including anything that went over the top of the litterbox. Does anyone know what this is and if it’s behavioral or health related? Thank you! (The pic attached is Nova (calico) with the new kitten)
You should have her checked. She could have a UTI. Do you have liter boxes for the new cats? Could be Nova doesn’t want to share
 

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I'm a little unclear as to whether your cat is male or female, but crystals are more common in males, and blockages from crystals can happen very quickly, so the vet visit is absolutely essential. If you can somehow manage to catch some of the urine, this would be very helpful to the vet.

My Mingo had crystals once. He doesn't drink much water, so I add a couple tablespoonfuls of water to his wet food. So far, we haven't had a reoccurrence.
 

lorie d.

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Hi guys! My cat, Nova, is about 2 years old. Recently I have noticed that she might be straining to urinate, but it may be spraying. She was spayed at 6 months old. We do have 2 new cats, but she’s getting along with them really well, so i don’t see a reason as to why she would be spraying if that’s what it is. She goes to the litterbox, and when she squats, a little pee comes out kinda normally, her tail shakes, and she sprays the side of the litterbox. After this, she attempts to cover it all up, including anything that went over the top of the litterbox. Does anyone know what this is and if it’s behavioral or health related? Thank you! (The pic attached is Nova (calico) with the new kitten)
I see you posted this on Friday, what has happened since then? Please update us.
 

weili

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Hi guys! My cat, Nova, is about 2 years old. Recently I have noticed that she might be straining to urinate, but it may be spraying. She was spayed at 6 months old. We do have 2 new cats, but she’s getting along with them really well, so i don’t see a reason as to why she would be spraying if that’s what it is. She goes to the litterbox, and when she squats, a little pee comes out kinda normally, her tail shakes, and she sprays the side of the litterbox. After this, she attempts to cover it all up, including anything that went over the top of the litterbox. Does anyone know what this is and if it’s behavioral or health related? Thank you! (The pic attached is Nova (calico) with the new kitten)
Sounds like marking territory to me. My cat sprays on the walls also. But your cat is more polite. Doing it in the litter box. If she is peeing regularly other times. Then it is a behaviour issue. If not then something serious might be wrong. My brat, pooped outside of the litter box, because he found the new litter box a little stressful. But he got use to it, when we put another litter box. So he had two kinds of options. Then adjusted to the weird litter box. I am not sure what to tell you what she means by this, because there needs to be more details. I am faster on picking up on my own cats, since I am always observing them. So I know more to determine what is going on.
 

Alldara

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Just a disclaimer: while it is more common in males, infections and FLUTD do happen in females. At least 2 adopters from the same cat rescue we got our boys from have female cats with ongoing urinary issues.

Spraying is also more common in males. Either way it's best like we all mentioned above to get the cat a urinalysis. Even spraying *can* be signs of another issue.
 
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