by Alexander Thompson
Jun 29, 2023
3 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- UTI in Cats Explained
- What Are the Symptoms of Cat UTIs?
- How Do You Diagnose Feline Urinary Tract Diseases?
- How Can You Avoid UTIs in Cats?
Cat’s bathroom habits are not strange to most owners. Spending time cleaning the litterbox provides an excellent way to assess your pet’s bathroom habits and, more importantly, their urinary tract health. A change in the bathroom behavior of your cat may indicate the presence of a urinary tract problem. Problems associated with urinary tracts present in cats of all kinds. Antibiotics can solve some of these urinary tract infections (UTIs), while surgery may be necessary for extreme issues like bladder stones and blockages.
UTI in Cats Explained
As the name suggests, urinary tract infections (UTIs) in cats affect their urinary systems. The urinary system of a cat comprises the kidneys, uterus, bladder, and urethra. The setup helps filter and remove waste products from the cat’s system.
A leading cause of urinary tract infections in cats is the invasion of the urinary tract by bacteria and other microorganisms. Several bacteria can cause UTIs in cats. Escherichia coli (E. coli) is the most common one. The prevalence of UTIs in female cats is higher compared to male cats, but age is a common denominator in both cases.
Are some cats at a higher risk of UTIs?
Yes, certain cats may be predisposed to UTIs. For instance, cats with diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes and older female cats are at higher risk of developing UTIs than other members of the population. Cats with bladder stones also fall into this category - they are more likely to experience reoccurring UTIs. This underlines the need to fully diagnose any discomfort or disease associated with the urinary tract. Bladder health can only be completely restored by removing or dissolving bladder stones.
What Are the Symptoms of Cat UTIs?
UTI symptoms vary across individual cats. However, there are some common indications of UTI, as listed below:
Incessant and/or painful urination
If your cat feels the urge to urinate more frequently than normal or experience pain or discomfort while at it, it may be suffering from an irritation or inflammation of the urinary tract. Such a cat may also produce smaller amounts of urine than usual.
Another common sign of UTI in cats is the presence of blood in the urine. This is also caused by urinary tract inflammation or irritation.
Excessive licking of genitals
If your cat licks its genital area frequently or aggressively, it may be a sign of discomfort in that area.
Avoiding litter box
Cats may urinate outside their litter boxes if they are experiencing pain or discomfort in their genital areas. Therefore, cats with UTIs may avoid their litter boxes.
Loss of appetite
Casts with UTIs tend to eat less or not eat at all because of the discomfort or pain they are experiencing.
If your cat becomes less active than usual or completely lethargic, it may be due to the pain resulting from UTIs.
How Do You Diagnose Feline Urinary Tract Diseases?
Appropriate veterinary treatment is the best way to approach urinary tract infections in cats. You should consult your vet immediately if you observe any of the symptoms listed above in your cats. Pain or discomfort while urinating or blood in urine can mean your cat requires veterinary emergency treatment.
Among other things, your vet can adequately examine your cat physically and assess its symptoms. They can also conduct a urinalysis, blood work, and radiographs to understand further what your kitty is dealing with. If your vet establishes a urinary tract infection, the next step will be determining the best treatment path to solve the problem.
How Can You Avoid UTIs in Cats?
While preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs) in cats is possible, it requires much work and effort. You must combine the right diet and lifestyle changes to make it happen. Below are some tips to help in this regard.
Keep your cat hydrated always
One way to encourage your cat to drink sufficient water and stay hydrated is to provide unlimited fresh and clean water. When your cat drinks enough water, it can flush out its urinary tract and bacteria present. To achieve this, you can install a smart water fountain at your home.
Provide a healthy diet
Diet is also essential in preventing UTIs in cats. Cats eating high-quality food reduces the chances of bacteria invasion in their urinary tract. There are foods specially formulated to improve urinary tract health. The presence of ingredients like cranberry extract in such foods helps prevent the entry and growth of bacteria in the bladder wall of your cat.
Clean the litter boxes always
Leaving your cat’s litter box dirty invites bacteria and bacterial infections. Keep the litter box clean by cleaning it daily and washing it thoroughly once a week. It is also advisable to place multiple litter boxes around the house. This helps to prevent anxiety and stress - contributors to UTIs.
Click to learn how to find out if your cat is dehydrated.
Monitor your cats for symptoms
Watch your cats closely always. This can help you to pick up behavioral changes and UTI symptoms like bloody urine, painful urination, and frequent urination. If you observe one or more of these, please consult your vet immediately.
Visit the vet regularly
Do not wait until your cats show UTI symptoms before scheduling a checkup with your vet. Instead, go for regular checkups, as this can help you detect urinary tract problems early. Your vet can also proffer treatments early enough before it develops into a more severe problem.
Finally, a lot of effort goes into ensuring good urinary tract health in cats. In addition to helping your cats stay hydrated and providing a clean and healthy environment, you must closely monitor your feline friend to identify signs of illness or discomfort early. The tips in this article will help prevent UTIs in your cat and help them stay happy and healthy.
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