Vets have reported seeing a 39% rise in cats with urinary problems during the pandemic compared to 2019. Our new routines are apparently to blame. The rise in the number of cats with urinary problems has been linked to increased levels of stress caused by changes in our routines.
Cats get stressed by lockdown too!
Elisabete Capitao, Vet and Vet Marketing Manager at Royal Canin said, “The lockdown has been a stressful time for many owners, but it can also be stressful for our pets. Our normal routines have completely changed for many of us in the last year. These changes can also cause our pets – particularly cats – to become stressed too, which can lead to urinary problems. A lot of cats like routine, but lockdown has meant that we have been at home a lot more than normal, which can unsettle them. Add homeschooled children into the mix and there is a lot more noise and less quiet places for our cats to escape to, which all adds to cats’ stress.”
How to spot the tell-tale signs of urinary problems in cats
Lockdown has brought some positives for the health of our cats. Because owners have been confined to their homes and spending more time with their pets, it’s been easier for them to spot the small changes in behaviour that can be linked with urinary problems.
If your cat is suffering with a urinary problem, it may try to urinate more often and only urinate a little, or your cat may fail to do so at all. It may look strained or show signs of pain when urinating and stay in a urinating position for longer than normal. Contact your vet for advice if you notice any of these changes in your cat’s behaviour.
Cats need me time
If your cat often falls asleep on you, walks across your laptop while you’re working, or curls up on your bed at night, you may be surprised to see cats and personal space mentioned in the same sentence. But allowing your cat to be in control of how and when they have space is key to reducing stress, which can help to prevent future urinary problems.
Create a chill-out area for your cat
Create a safe space for your cat to hide in your home. This can be as simple as a cardboard box turned on its side with some familiar bedding inside. Ideally, place it in an area of your home that is warm and offers some peace. Leaving cats alone when they’re in their designated safe space is important, so allow them to do as they please and discourage family members from disturbing them.