Feline Incontinence.
Common Causes of Incontinence in Cats

Feline incontinence - usually characterized by Kitty being "caught short" and dribbling small amounts of cat urine all over the place - is usually a sign of underlying cat health problems, and may be a sign of various cat illnesses.


This page goes through some of the common causes of incontinence in cats. For further information on these, please click on the titles / links.

Cat Urinary Tract Infection

This is one of the most common causes of cat incontinence. The cat's urinary tract becomes inflamed ad infected. This makes the cat feel like he wants to pee all the time, but only small amounts come out. The cat will spend loads of time straining but will produce very little urine.

Cat urinary tract infection is easily treated with antibiotics, and should be treated promptly to stop the infection spreading to the bladder and kidneys, where it could cause long-term damage.

Cat Bladder Stones

These are crystals which build up in the cat's bladder and block the exit from the bladder, either partially or completely. The symptoms are similar to urinary tract infection, but it's vital to get treatment for cat bladder stones as quickly as possible; if the bladder becomes completely blocked, the cat will die without treatment.

Cat Diabetes

photo of lovely longhaired tabby cat

Feline diabetes causes the cat to drink loads of water, which will cause him to pee much more than normal. Incontinence happens because the cat can't get to the litter box in time.

Click here for more information on feline diabetes symptoms.

Cat Kidney Failure

Both chronic cat kidney failure and acute cat renal failure, depending on the stage they're at and the cause, can result in the cat drinking and peeing much more than normal. Incontinence occurs because the cat fails to make it to the litter box in time.

Cat Bladder Cancer

A tumor in the cat's bladder can cause partial or complete blockage of the exit. Symptoms are similar to those of urinary tract infection and bladder stones.

Cat Leukemia

One of the feline leukemia symptoms that some infected cats get is incontinence. They tend to dribble small amounts of urine when they're asleep or resting.

Aging Cats

Aging cats can suffer from a number of elderly cat health problems including a partial loss of bladder control, which can lead to incontinence. If there are no underlying illnesses that are causing this, it can often be managed by increasing the amount of litter boxes so Kitty doesn't get "caught short."


Feline incontinence should always be checked out by a vet. With many of the above problems, early treatment is key to reducing or completely curing them.

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