Risk factors for urinary tract disease and diabetes

Risk factors are characteristics which, when present, increase an individual’s likelihood of developing certain disorders.

As with humans, increased surveillance is recommended for cats with certain risk factors. Here, we’ll focus on risk factors for urinary tract disease and feline diabetes.

These pathologies are progressive (their severity can progress over time): it’s important to detect them early to enable optimal treatment. However, cats are notorious for masking their clinical signs. So it’s not easy to spot these diseases in their early stages. That’s why it’s important to have tools to help us detect these diseases early, especially in cats with specific risk factors.

Did you know that 2 out of 3 cats are at risk of developing urinary tract diseases and/or diabetes?



Urinary diseases

As one of the leading causes of consultation in veterinary medicine, urinary pathologies are unfortunately as frequent as they are dreaded: if we include renal diseases and urinary diseases, they represent the leading cause of death in cats1 (to find out more about urinary diseases, read our article on the subject).

Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of your cat developing urinary tract disease. In the scientific literature, these include

  • Stress/anxiety
  • Being overweight
  • Sedentary/indoor lifestyle
  • Multi-cat environment
  • Male cats
  • Cats eating dry food, non-specialized for the urinary tract and who don’t drink much
  • A history of urinary tract disease

If your cat has any of these characteristics, we recommend frequent urinary tract tests, especially to check for the presence of blood. But taking urine samples from cats is not always easy.

We recommend daily use of OdourLock maxCare, which detects blood in urine simply, reliably and non-invasively at the very first trace (even when blood is invisible to the naked eye).

Early detection can greatly facilitate treatment, reduce costs and can often prevent major complications of urinary disease.

Talk to your vet: Blücare® is recommended by veterinary surgeons specializing in feline medicine!

Feline diabetes

A hormonal pathology increasingly common in cats, feline diabetes is a progressive disease. Unlike in humans, if diabetes is detected early and properly monitored, 70% of cats can be completely cured2!

To find out more about feline diabetes, read our article on the subject published in collaboration with our associate veterinarian, Dr. Élodie Khenifar.

Several risk factors can increase the likelihood that your cat will develop diabetes (note that you’ll find some that are common with urinary tract diseases):

  • Age (over 6 or 7 years)
  • Being overweight
  • Sedentary/indoor lifestyle
  • Male sex
  • Breed (e.g. certain lines of Sacred Birman, Tonkinese, Norwegian)
  • Treatment with glucocorticoids (=anti-inflammatory drugs such as prednisone or cortisone) or progestagens (=contraceptive hormones)
  • A history of diabetes or chronic inflammatory disease

If your cat has one or more of these characteristics, we recommend regular urine testing for glucose.

We recommend frequent use of OdourLock maxCare, which detects glucose in urine (one of the first signs of feline diabetes) simply, reliably and non-invasively.

Detection within the first few weeks can greatly facilitate treatment, reduce costs and can often lead to complete diabetic remission.

Talk to your vet: Blücare® is recommended by veterinary surgeons specializing in feline medicine!

In conclusion, whether we’re talking about veterinary medicine or any other field, “prevention is better than cure” remains the watchword for responsible action. Favoring prevention rather than having to treat a complication in an emergency is generally advantageous, for the animal’s well-being, for your peace of mind and from a financial point of view.

Why is screening key in feline medicine?

Common diseases: Urinary diseases are one of the 1st causes of consultation, and diabetes is one of the main feline hormonal diseases.

Silent evolution: Often, the early stages of these pathologies go unnoticed: clinical signs may be visible only at a later stage.

Very good results if treated early: Early treatment can greatly reduce complications and costs!

Want to know if your cat is at risk?

Complete our short test on risk factors here!


1Piyarungsri, Tangtrongsup et al. 2020

2Roomp and Rand 2009, Roomp and Rand 2012, Hafner, Dietiker-Moretti et al. 2014, Scherk, Buffington et al. 2020

This article was written in collaboration with Élodie Khenifar, Veterinary Doctor, M.Sc. (clinical pathology), Medical Director of Laboratoires Blücare. Élodie is a graduate of the École Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, did her specialty training at the Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort and her Masters in Veterinary Science at the Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe, Université de Montréal.

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