Urinary tract infection in cats may be very pesky for both the pets and their owners. This condition may make the cat visit the cat litter more frequently, but sometimes, it may even lead to potentially fatal complications.
Facts About Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
What Is Urinary Tract Infection In Cats?
This condition involves problems in the lower urinary system that often prevent the bladder from emptying properly.
Sometimes, urinary tract infection can link to other conditions such as hyperthyroidism and chronic kidney disease. In some cases, there is no underlying cause. Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) characterizes a group of disorders that affect the lower urinary tract, including the bladder and urethra.
The exact cause of urinary tract infection in cats is difficult to pinpoint. However, the most common causes of this condition in cats include:
- Urethral plug or the accumulation of debris in urine
- Bladder inflammation or infection
- Stones or crystals that accumulate in the bladder
- Incontinence from weak bladder or drinking too much water
- Injury, trauma or tumor in the urinary tract
- Congenital abnormality
- Spinal cord problems
Types Of Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) – In some cases, urinary tract diseases link to other diseases. However, in some cats, the exact cause can’t be determined, or it isn’t present at all. This is called feline idiopathic cystitis.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) – characterized by a painful and difficult urination from the infection.
Urinary tract infection in cats has many warning signs including:
- Frequent urination – Cats with urinary tract infection may have frequent urge to urinate, but each time, they only pee small amounts.
- Straining to urinate – Cats with FIC or FLUTD may strain while urinating and this sign may lead to serious complications like the formation of a urethral plug. When the ureter is obstructed, it could result in fatal situations.
- Pain when urinating – If the cat cries while urinating, this could signal pain.
The other signs and symptoms include:
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Licking the genital area
- Prolonged squatting in the litter box
- Strong odor of ammonia in the urine
- Hard and distended abdomen
- Increased water consumption
- Fear of the litter box
Treatment For Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
The treatment of urinary tract infection in cats is increasing the cat’s water intake. However, the treatment of the condition may rely on its cause.
- Bladder stones – Stones in the bladder is often treated through Urolithiasis surgery. Some cats may need to a change in diet to dissolve certain stone types in the bladder.
- Urethral plugs – Urethral plugs should be removed immediately because this may lead to kidney failure. The doctor will most likely administer an anesthetic and remove the blockage.
- Bacterial infection – Infection in the cat’s urinary tract is most likely treated with antibiotics. The veterinarian will prescribe antibacterial drugs to kill the pathogen causing the infection.
- Tumors – Chemotherapy is needed to kill the cancer cells affecting the bladder. It can help reduce the tumor size and eventually, help relieve the symptoms.
There are some alternative treatments for urinary tract infection in cats. However, these natural remedies do not have therapeutic claims.
- Cranberry juice – This is a common natural remedy for people with urinary tract infections. Cats can drink this but may pass on it because of its odor and taste. You can disguise the juice by mixing it with the cat’s food or water.
- Increased water consumption – Drinking more water may help flush out the bacteria in the bladder.
- Apple cider vinegar – Apple cider vinegar may help treat the infection. However, you need to consult with a veterinary doctor first before giving this to your cat.
As the famous adage goes, prevention is better than cure. Follow these measures to prevent your cat from a UTIs:
- Keep your cat at a healthy weight
- Give your cat canned food.
- Make sure he has access to clean and fresh water all the time.
- Provide enough litter boxes in the house.
- Reduce stress for your cat.
To know more about urinary tract infection in cats, here’s a video by John Paduchak:
It is vital to detecting urinary tract infection in cats. It can be severe and life-threatening. This is a disease that tells cat owners how important it is to provide clean and adequate water for their cats all the time.
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