Cat leaking urine. Explanation?
January 4, 2011 7:41 PM   Subscribe

What could be causing a young adult cat to leak small amounts of urine?

My family and I adopted a cat from the Humane Society this past Sunday. He's about 6ish months old, though I wouldn't be surprised if he's actually a bit older. After we got him home, I noticed little drips on the floor and bed where he'd been, as well as on our shirts after we'd been holding him. I took him to the vet yesterday, and she was less than helpful, though she took some blood to test kidney function and other things.

He was just neutered on the 29th, so I thought maybe the leakage could be due to recovery from that, but the vet disagreed.
posted by altopower to Pets & Animals (13 answers total)
My cat had struvite crystals in his urine before he was even one year old - the first symptom I noticed was minor urinary leakage on my sheets. I took him to the vet and they tested his urine, which lead to the struvite crystals diagnosis. He needed special food for awhile, but he got better. Hope your new arrival fares well - I'm glad he has such a caring new owner!
posted by analog at 7:48 PM on January 4, 2011

Male cats easily get blockages of the urinary tract. These can become very serious very quickly, and can kill if you hesitate to treat them. I don't know that this is what's wrong with your cat, but if I was in your shoes I would be keeping a sharp eye out for any signs of discomfort and making sure that he's urinating a normal amount.

If you think your vet is "less than helpful" because they're not a good vet, I would make an appointment with a different vet the moment you suspect your cat has a problem.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 10:05 PM on January 4, 2011

A blood test won't always detect a urinary tract problem. Get him back to a vet and have his urine tested. Both of my cats had UTIs at the same time; the boy developed crystals and had a blockage - that was an expensive trip to the kitty ER.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 5:16 AM on January 5, 2011

We had a cat back in the day that had the crystals and became totally blocked, so luckily I know the signs to look for. He's urinating a normal amount and using the litterbox without fail (knock on wood) and doesn't seem to have any discomfort. However, that being said...he doesn't seem to have a lot of strength in his hind legs. He sort of weaves when he walks, and is quite clumsy. Again, could still be neuter recovery, it could be the fact that he's still young, or it could be another symptom of the crystals.

As far as the vet goes, she seems fine. She just didn't seem to know what to say or of those vets that's better with the animals than owners. I will call her today and ask whether she thinks a urine test would be helpful.
posted by altopower at 5:20 AM on January 5, 2011

Are you absolutely positive it's urine? I only ask because one of our cats drools like a maniac when she's content, to the point of sometimes soaking one of our shirts.

If you're sure it's urine, I'm nthing crystals.
posted by cooker girl at 6:45 AM on January 5, 2011

he doesn't seem to have a lot of strength in his hind legs. He sort of weaves when he walks, and is quite clumsy

This rings minor alarm bells for me. If he's having motor issues at his rear end that could certainly involve some incontinence. I wouldn't worry yet but get this checked out.
posted by Decani at 7:37 AM on January 5, 2011

cooker girl-- Yep, it's definitely urine, albeit clear and sans odor.

Decani--I was pretty concerned at first too, but I honestly think that it can be attributed to either a) his young age, or b) his trying to rub on/mark everything he seems simultaneously. I definitely am not seeing it all the time.

He's at the vet right now...I took him in this morning and they couldn't get a urine sample, so they're keeping him there till they can. They seem to think that a UTI or crystals are equally possible. I'm a little peeved that they didn't take a urine sample when I took him in on Monday, honestly.

It should be said, too, that none of us noticed any of these things at the Humane Society, and they didn't have anything noted in his file. And of course, they have a policy that if nothing's noted, they're not responsible for treating it post-adoption. Awfully big incentive to not notice things.
posted by altopower at 8:46 AM on January 5, 2011

Minor issues behind. Hm, is he a manx?
posted by galadriel at 9:01 AM on January 5, 2011

Okay...if it's odorless, I'd suspect kitty is drinking A LOT of water for it to be that dilute. Is that the case? If it is, perhaps a diabetes issue is cropping up, or a kidney issue.
posted by cooker girl at 9:03 AM on January 5, 2011

Maybe he's just stressed from the new life he's got and needs some more readjustment time? It's been awhile since I've brought home a kitten, so maybe not.

Also, I'm not sure we can adequately help without photos of your new friend.
posted by Zoyashka at 9:40 AM on January 5, 2011

cooker girl--his kidney function was tested with the blood work on Monday, so that's okay. He seems to be drinking a normal amount...our house is very dry, so I would expect he'd be drinking even a bit more than he is.

galadriel--No, he's not a manx.

Zoyashka--I attributed it all to stress at first too, but the thing is, he doesn't SEEM stressed. He's extremely friendly, extremely affectionate, and seems very happy here. I suppose his body could be stressed without it necessarily affecting his behavior, but that seems somewhat unlikely. And I'll try to figure out a way to link to a photo. :)

Still waiting to hear back from the vet.
posted by altopower at 9:47 AM on January 5, 2011

The verdict is in -- UTI. The vet said his sample was FULL of bacteria and white blood cells. So, antibiotics start tonight and hopefully we'll see improvement soon.

I'm still debating whether or not to complain about their not testing his urine sooner. Nothing to do about it at this point, but it still kind of pisses me off that *I* had to ask them to do it.
posted by altopower at 3:52 PM on January 5, 2011

I'm glad you found out what it was. It is good news that there are no crystals (I'm assuming there aren't any, since you didn't mention it). In my (cat's) experience, the antibiotics should help pretty quickly. If your cat seemed healthy enough at the Humane Society and was not handled all of the time there, it's somewhat understandable, though unfortunate, that they wouldn't have caught it. Re: your vet - it is somewhat surprising that she wouldn't have tested his urine - though maybe she was just being conservative? In any case, you need to feel comfortable with your vet, and if your confidence is shaken, it might be worth switching vets.
posted by analog at 8:58 PM on January 5, 2011

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