Tuesday 4 April 2023

Female cat of 14 years keeps wetting herself when she sleeps. Cause?

Matsa has urinary incontinence when sleeping. Image: Reddit. com.

'My elderly lady of 14 years keeps wetting herself when she sleeps. Is this common in older cats or should I take her to the vet ASAP?' The person is asking the question on social media. I don't really like that. But anyway, I answered the question as follows:
"The age may be significant. My top-quality vet book states: "Geriatric cats may lose some or all of their control over urination and leak, especially when sleeping."

That seems to cover your cat's problem but it could be something else as the guys below have mentions such as FLUTD. Normally urinary incontinence is caused by a neurological problem or a recurring urinary obstruction causing a distended bladder.

But the fact that it happens when sleeping...plus the age indicates an old age problem. I guess malfunctioning anatomy due to age. Last point. Your cat is obese - no criticism intended but obesity is a risk factor for urinary incontinence. Diabetes? Kidney problems? 
The source for that response is: Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook Third Edition. It is a great book. Very comprehensive and very readable.  But no substitute for seeing a vet in a timely manner.

Also, I noticed the cat is obese and queried it. Obesity causes all kinds of health problems. Especially in old cats. Obesity in old cats is likely for shorten their lifespan.

I expect this to be a rare problem. There may not be a lot the owner can do to improve things if it is due to old age and the only way to find out is to take the cat to the vet as soon as is convenient.

I sense that age and obesity are behind this problem.


  1. There may be something the vet can give to help with the night time incontinence, or there may be a natural remedy. Please share your " top-quality vet book" to help other cat guardians access those resources.


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