a pet parent, it’s important that you know about
potential problem areas for your companion
animals before they become serious.
Unfortunately, urinary tract problems are all
too common in cats. Here are the warning signs
of which you need to be aware:
• Frequent urination
• Urination in places other than the litter box
• Straining to urinate
• Bloody urination
There is evidence to suggest that stress can be
one of the primary causes of Feline Lower
Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). Stress can lead
to the release of hormones that constrict the
muscles of the lower urinary tract. Changes in
the household routine, a new companion animal in
the home, changes in weather and lack of
attention can all lead to increased stress in
cats. Be as in-tune with your cat as possible,
and take steps to decrease or eliminate
stressors in his or her life.
Cats evolved as desert animals, so they don’t
have a strong instinctive drive to drink water.
This can result in the accumulation of minerals
in the kidneys and bladder, leading to the
formation of crystals or stones. Using a
continuous water fountain can attract the
attention of cats, encouraging them to drink
more. Using canned foods like
that contain water from biological sources will
help to increase the amount of fluid intake.
By taking preventative measures now, you may be
able to prevent your cat from developing urinary
health issues, helping him or her to live a
longer, healthier life.
life has a tendency to speed by, leaving little time
for you to spend with your pets. Just remember –
spending quality time with your companion animal can
bring about dramatic changes in temperament,
improving the bond you share with your pet and your
overall quality of life.
Make a list of your typical weekly interactions with
your companion animal. Evaluate the list – could you
be doing more?
Here are some tips for making the most of the time
that you do have:
• Set aside a few minutes in the morning to groom
your dog or cat. While brushing or combing, talk
about your upcoming day. If your pet doesn't enjoy
grooming, then just spend a few minutes petting him
or her. Whatever your daily morning interaction, try
to do it at same time and in the same place. Your
companion will find comfort in the regimen – and so
• Leave something that smells like you where your
pet spends most of the day, like a pillow case or a
newly-worn shirt. Your pet will find your scent
• If you have an answering machine, call during the
day and talk to your pet. Hearing your voice can be
reassuring during your absence.
• When you get home from work, greet your pet as
usual, and then do what is most pressing right away.
Then, if you have a dog, do something that he or she
will enjoy, like a game of catch, hide-and-seek, or
take a long walk. Be sure to talk to your dog,
telling him or her how much fun you are having. If
you have a cat, we recommend playing with a ball or
using a fishing pole with dangling feathers – your
cat loves the chase! It’s important to
dedicate this time to your pet alone, so leave your
cell phone in another room.
• Incorporate teeth cleaning, ear cleaning and/or
nail trimming into your new routine. Too often,
these health necessities are viewed grudgingly as
chores. Commit to making this time as pleasurable as
possible, like time at the spa.
• Massage is a wonderful way to connect with your
companion animals. Check out one of the many pet
massage books currently on the market to help you
develop your technique. There is evidence to suggest
that massage can improve your pet’s health, and it
will relax you as well.