My Cat’s Urine Is Sticky When It Dries (Should I Be Worried?)

cat urine is sticky when it dries

Urinary problems are rather common in our cats. Even more so as they get older. Besides my cat’s appetite, I can gauge his current well-being based on his urine ‘samples’ in his litter box.

What I like to look out for is consistency in his urine. Changes to the frequency, amount and ‘texture’ of his urine could mean that something isn’t right.

What does it mean when your cat’s urine is sticky when it dries? Sticky cat urine is usually a sign of an underlying health issue. It can be due to your cat having feline diabetes, kidney problems or even a urinary infection. Your cat needs medical attention to get a proper diagnosis.

Cats do make the perfect pet but their poorly functioning urinary system leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s take a closer look at the issues that can cause your cat’s urine to be sticky.

What Does Cat Pee Look Like When It Dries?

With the invention of litter boxes and cat litter, it can be difficult to really take a proper look at your cat’s urine. Furthermore, cats require absolute privacy when using the litter box.

I’ve tried peeping at my cat as he was about to ‘go’ which resulted in performance anxiety. He even ran out of the litter box to chase me away before finishing off his business.

Healthy cats should have urine that is clear, slightly yellow in color and has a slightly pungent smell to it. Some people even believe that it is possible to get from smelling cat urine. Makes me wonder if there’s any truth in that.

When cat pee starts to dry on a hard surface, it can start to turn slightly darker in color. You can also notice some ‘white powder’ on the urine which is also known as urinary crystals.

Our cat’s urine tends to be more concentrated and thicker in viscosity which gives it a slightly sticky feel when you try to clean it off the surface.

But what if your cat pee feels a lot sticker than usual almost to the point of feeling like sticky tape?

Feline Diabetes

fat cat with diabetes

As cute as fat or overweight cats can look, being at such a weight puts the cat at risk of getting feline diabetes.

Unfortuantely, more than 50% of cats in the USA are considered fat and these owners need to start putting their cats on a diet before it is too late.

A cat that is diabetic can’t control its insulin levels effectively. This leads to a sugar buildup in the cat’s system as the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to break down the sugar.

The common symptoms in a diabetic cat are:

  • Increased appetite but losing weight
  • Drinking and peeing more
  • Lethargy
  • Problem walking

There are many health issues in cats that have the same symptoms. Usually, a good tell-tale sign would be in your cat’s urine.

A Diabetic Cat’s Urine

Cats with feline diabetes tend to urinate a lot more than normal. You will find yourself changing or scooping out the pee balls more often.

With a higher concentration of glucose or sugar in the cat’s pee, the urine will be much stickier than usual due to the higher glucose levels. Try dripping some soda or ice cream on the floor and you’ll get what I mean.

You can also find ants being attracted to your cat’s litter box due to a large amount of glucose in the cat’s urine.

Treatment For Feline Diabetes

There isn’t a cure for cats with diabetes but it can be easily managed with a diet change and insulin medication to normalize the blood sugar levels.

The diabetic symptoms in cats can worsen over time if left untreated so please bring your cat to the vet for a blood test and urinalysis to get a clearer picture.

Kidney Infection Or Disease

cat lying on bed with kidney disease

As cat owners, we need to do what we can to keep our cats free of kidney issues for as long as possible. The unfortunate thing is that many cats will experience some form of kidney problem as they get older.

The lack of thirst in cats plus a bad diet is the perfect combination for this problem.

Dr. Celeste Clements (DMV) says that studies have shown that 1 out of 3 cats suffers from kidney disease.

These cats have kidneys that aren’t functioning optimally. The role of the kidney is to filter out toxins from the blood which means that there are more toxins circulating in the blood of the cat.

Kidneys that are able to function normally in cats are able to filter out the traces of glucose in the cat’s urine back into the bloodstream.

But when this doesn’t happen, it is usually due to a kidney disorder.

Similar to feline diabetes, the presence of glucose in the cat’s urine and cause it to be stickier when it dries up.

Treatment For Cats With Kidney Problems

There isn’t a known cure for cats with a kidney condition and it is the leading cause of death in cats.

The best way around this is proper hydration and a good diet for your cat. The problem with kidney disease in cats is that most cat owners only catch it at a late stage.

If you have a cat that is 7 years or older, it would be good to do an annual blood test just to be sure.

My cat was diagnosed with kidney problems 5 years ago from his annual blood work. He is on lifetime medication but at least I managed to catch it at a very early stage.

Bladder Infection

A bladder infection or more commonly known as a urinary tract infection (UTI) happens rather frequently in cats and especially in male cats.

This condition is caused by an infection in your cat’s urinary tract which makes urinating painful and uncomfortable.

My cat has gotten UTI twice and one way that I could tell is when he meows a lot when peeing. Besides this, he will also go in and out of his litter box without peeing or peeing very little.

Other symptoms can also include:

  • Peeing outside the litter box
  • Blood in the pee
  • Sudden loss in appetite

A cat that is suffering from UTI can have sticky cat urine. This isn’t due to the presence of glucose in the urine but pus.

Pus is the combination of white blood cells and protein which is made by the cat’s immune system to fight the infection.

Treatment For UTI In Cats

My vet did a blood test and urine culture when my cat had his UTI. He was also given a course of antibiotics to help kill off the bacteria in his urinary system.

UTI in cats is a very painful condition so please don’t sit on it expecting the problem to go away.

The Use Of Clumping Cat Litter

different types of cat litter

The type of cat litter that you use can also make your cat urine seem sticky. Clumping litters are usually responsible for this as they tend to absorb and clump your cat’s urine much better than pellets.

For cat owners who have large areas of carpeted flooring, removing dried cat litter from your carpet can be a real pain. If your cat tracks a lot, it might be better to use non-clumping litter.

The most common type of clumping litter are clay, corn and walnut.

I use corn litter for my cat as it clumps well and leaves very little dust as compared to clay. But clumping litter tends to make the cat urine stick to the bottom of the litter box which takes some strength to dig away.

How Long Does It Take For Cat Pee To Dry?

Cat urine is able to dry up within 24 hours. However, you do not want to wait for your cat’s urine to be completely dried before cleaning it up.

The longer cat urine is left to oxidize, the more potent and pungent will be the stench. This is due to the ammonia content and felinine.

Is Cat Spray Sticky?

Your cat’s spray comes from its anal glands which are situated near the entrance of its anus. Cats spray on objects to mark their territory and to also signal to other cats about their willingness to mate.

The liquid that is being squirted out of your cat’s anal sac is dark brown in color, has a musky odor to it and feels sticky.

Does Cat Pee Crystalize When It Dries?

A cat’s urine can crystalize when it dries. These small powdery substances consist of magnesium, phosphate, ammonia and calcium oxalate.

Finding crystals in your cat’s urine isn’t too much of a concern as normal urine from a healthy cat can crystalize.

However, the presence of too many crystals in your cat’s urine can cause a blockage in your cat’s urinary tract that can make peeing painful and difficult.

If you notice a lot of crystals in your cat’s urine, it might be worth doing a urinalysis at the vet to try and prevent future issues.