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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16265
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Why is my cat leaking urine in her sleep?

Customer Question

Why is my cat leaking urine in her sleep?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she had these signs?

How old is she?

Has she been drinking more lately?

Is the urine very watery/dilute or strong/odorous?

When she is awake is she passing urine normally, straining to pass small amounts, or passing large volumes?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
She is 16 years.I've noticed these symptoms for just over a week.She has definitely been drinking more these last few months - and as mentioned was diagnosed as hyperthyroid a couple of weeks ago.Urine is watery/ dilute - and not particularly odorous.She is completely normal when she is awake as far as I can tell. She has complete control of bladder and manages to get herself to the litter box or outside to the garden.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Thank you,

You noted that you mentioned hyperthyroidism before, but this doesn't seem to appear above. The only history I have been provided with is: "Why is my cat leaking urine in her sleep?". Therefore, is there anything else you want me to know as we work on her situation?

Is she on treatment for her thyroid?

Has she been stabilized (confirmed by a second blood sample after starting medication)?

Did her vet check her anything else when they test for this?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello.Yes- I filled out details in a form which I thought you got to see.Here's the details so you can see: Mishko, my cat, was suffering from UTI symptoms (blood in pee and straining to urinate) about 3 weeks ago. I took her in for tests: the urinalysis did show up any problems and the blood analysis showed slightly elevated white blood cells. She was treated for her UTI symptoms first with anti-inflammatory and then with an long-acting antibiotic which lasted 14 days (so this effectively would have stopped covering her on Wednesday).The tests did also show she was hyperthyroid and we commenced treatment for this about 11 days ago (methimazole paste 0.5ml twice a day). She is already showing some signs of improvement: a bit less cranky/ vocal, seems to be drinking slightly less water, her coat is looking healthier and she seems to have put on a little weight. She is due to be retested end of this coming week/ early next after 14 days of treatment.All in all she seems content - I'm just worried about the leaking urine in her sleep.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hi again,

We usually do, but it seems there was a computer error at some point in the system.

Anyway, I share your concern. To see leaking in cats during sleep but without characteristic UTI signs raises a few concerns. Though given that Mishko has been drinking a lot and has dilute urine, we'd have to be concerned about the leaking being related to her bladder/body not being used to increased urine production. And considering her recent diagnosis/treatment, we'd be concerned that this may have uncovered an underlying kidney issue. This is because this too is very common in elderly cats but often masked by the thyroid disease. Once we treat for that though, it tends to rear its head leading to increased urine volume/dilution which in turn leads to the leakage.

Therefore, we'd need to think about having her vet recheck a urine sample. Now that the UTI is gone, we need to see if the urine has a high protein level and low specific gravity (concentration). You can also ask her vet if they checked her kidneys on the bloods (but it usually takes 75% kidney disease to change the bloods). Depending on their findings, we may need them to treat for that as well to reduce this for her and help her cope here.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

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Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok - thank you.Can hyperthyroidism cause similar urine problems of kidney disease?They did check her kidneys with the last set of bloods. They said that only one of the enzymes was very, very slightly raised. They suggested doing a re-check when she goes in for her blood work to check the thyroid to get a true picture.I did also notice she was leaking some urine in the weeks running up to the UTI and hyperhtyroid diagnosis - but just a bit less consistently. Or I may now be more aware of everything that's going on.I suppose the frustration is that we didn't diagnose a UTI previously as results all came back normal. But I think what you are saying is that the hyperthyroidism might mask other conditions?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
My vets advice was to wait the 14 days to get her thyroid levels under control and then they'd relook at the problem. Doesnt waiting another few days/ week sound reasonable?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hi again,

Now your lass has had quite a few issues ongoing. Leaking with the UTI wouldn't be unexpected, since the bladder would be irritated and inflamed. Still if that was the trigger, we have expected that to stop when the UTI cleared. As well, while hyperthyroidism can cause increased urination/thirst itself, but we'd not expect leaking more now when she is on treatment. So, I would just be concerned about those kidneys and again now that the UTI has cleared I would lean to urine testing at recheck since that catches earlier stages of kidney disease as opposed to the bloods. Finally, in regards ***** ***** vet's advice, you can choose to wait if you wish since this will have been a chronic issue masked by the thyroid disease. So, its likely slowly progressive as opposed to something sudden that needs immediate action.

All the best,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you very much.Best wishes!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

All the best for you two too,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

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