Excessively Frequent Urination (Pollakiuria) in Cats

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Key takeaways

Pollakiuria refers to frequent urination of small amounts.

  • It is a common symptom of conditions affecting the lower urinary tract, including urinary stones, bladder inflammation, urinary obstructions, and urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Pollakiuria rarely suggests a severe illness, but many urinary tract conditions are painful, and warrant prompt veterinary attention
  • Bloodwork and urinalysis diagnose the cause of pollakiuria, alongside diagnostic imaging, and a physical examination
  • Treatment varies depending on the underlying condition, but antibiotics or anti-inflammatories are common options for conditions associated with pollakiuria
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A closer look: Excessively Frequent Urination (Pollakiuria) in Cats


Pollakiuria is common in cats. It does not immediately suggest a medical emergency, however many conditions resulting in this symptom are very uncomfortable, indicating a need for prompt medical attention. Some causes, such as urinary stones, may lead to an emergency if left untreated.

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Possible causes


The bladder’s internal lining protects it from the caustic and acidic nature of urine. If the bladder lining is inflamed or otherwise unhealthy, urine can cause irritation. This causes frequent urination to keep the bladder empty. There are a wide variety of conditions that may lead to pollakiuria.

Risk factors


Pollakiuria varies in how often a cat uses the litterbox, but this does not always reflect the severity of the underlying condition.

Testing and diagnosis


The sex and neutered status of the cat helps determine the diagnosis, as some conditions only affect cats of a certain sex. Diagnostic evaluation includes:

  • Physical examination
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Cystoscopy
  • Bloodwork
  • Urinalysis and urine culture
  • Biopsy

Treatment for pollakiuria varies widely depending on the underlying cause, but commonly include

  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Antibiotics
  • Painkillers
  • Fluid therapy
  • Surgery

In rare cases, inpatient care may be required.

Similar symptoms


Pollakiuria is defined as frequent urinary trips with little urinary volume.

Associated symptoms


Cats with pollakiuria may ‘have accidents,’ and urinate outside their litterbox or pan.

References


Sherri J. Ross, DVM, PhD, DACVIM - Writing for dvm360®
PetMD Editorial - Writing for PetMD
Dr. Bari Spielman - Writing for PetPlace

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