Why does our overweight cat leave large lumps of urine in her litter and need her bum wiped?

Original Question: My five-year old female spayed cat is overweight and we have to wipe her bum for her. Since yesterday she has been smelling strongly of urine and I found in her litter large lumps of urine as well. This situation has happened in the past but the problem went away. We feed her mostly nutritious wet food supplemented by some kibbles and dental treats. She drinks clean filtered water. Please advise what we should do to help her. Thank you very much. - Rose

Why does our overweight cat leave large lumps of urine in her litter and need her bum wiped? Mar 1, 2018

TRANSCRIPT:

I’m Dr. Clayton Greenway with healthcareforpets.com and we’re answering questions this morning that came into the website. This one comes from Rose and it goes, “My five year old female spayed cat is overweight. We have to wipe her bum for her. Since yesterday she’s been smelling strongly of urine and I found large lumps of urine as well in her litter box. This situation happened in the past and the problem went away. We feed her mostly nutritious wet food, supplemented by some kibble and dental treats. She drinks clean filtered water. Please advise what we should do to help her.”

This is a good question and quite frankly, I think I know what’s going on here just from reading it. The first clue is that she starts off by saying her cat is overweight. Anyone who says their cat is overweight means that their cat is really overweight. So what is happening here is with overweight cats, the first thing I think of is they have a really hard time cleaning their back-end and what happens as well is when they actually try to get into the litter box, often the litter box is fairly small, so they’re kind of cramped in there. It’s really good with these cats to make your own litter box in some cases, get a really large one with a low lip, very easy to get in and out of and very comfortable for them in it. But when they are a bit cramped in there, they will not urinate well, in fact the urine will often dribble out of them, they’ll often have skin folds back there as well and you get something called urine scald. So the urine will dribble down the skin, it will irritate it, it can get infected and this happens a lot in these large cats.

So the odor is likely coming from there and you have to get back there and really clean it up and I noticed that a lot of owners don’t do that and in fact, a lot of cats really hate it when they’re at home and their owners start poking around the back end of them, but this is really common in our overweight cats and owners often don’t see that it’s happening because they really don’t want to look back there and really can you blame them. So what I’d want you to do is to go to your vet and have them really investigate that area. I often have to clean it, shave it, really clean it up and then show people how to clean it. Sometimes I put them on antibiotic if there’s infection, sometimes I give them a topical spray for it, so you’re going to want to talk to your veterinarian about that.

The fact that the urine smells strong, I think the cat smells like this because the urine is scalding the skin at the back end, but it’s possible that there could be a urinary tract infection as well so I’d have your veterinarian look for that as well. Something called a urinalysis and a culture would be good to do and then what you’re really going to want to focus on aside from the litter box and making a really good one is getting the weight down. You’re going to want to ask your vet about that. Use a food that is designed for that and make sure you’re feeding the right amount and that is really important for these guys. Remember overweight cats are prone to lots of things, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, lots of good stuff like that so you really want to get that weight down and I think that’s a good place to start. So I really appreciate the question, it’s a great one and good luck with it Rose and keep those questions coming. Thanks for visiting healthcareforpets.com.

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Why does our overweight cat leave large lumps of urine in her litter and need her bum wiped?
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Why does our overweight cat leave large lumps of urine in her litter and need her bum wiped?
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So what is happening here is with overweight cats, the first thing I think of is they have a really hard time cleaning their back-end and what happens as well is when they actually try to get into the litter box, often the litter box is fairly small, so they're kind of cramped in there.
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Healthcare for Pets
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