Preventing Future Utis In Your Cat
Following your vet visit, you can make other changes to your cats life to decrease the likelihood for FLUTD to come back. Environmental recurrence has shown to reduce the recurrence rate by 80 percent, and can also help your cat use her litter box. This includes spending more time with your cat, giving her access to windows, and giving her more toys. You can also increase the number of litter boxes in your home and make sure theyre properly cleaned.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
When you take your cat to the veterinarian, they will perform a complete medical examination, including palpitating the bladder to check if it is full. They will then generally perform some diagnostic tests to test your pets urine. An x-ray or ultrasound may also be used to evaluate the urinary tract.
Urine analysis will look for the presence of bacteria, red blood cells, white blood cells and urinary crystals. A sample of urine will be collected by cystocentesis, which involves inserting a fine needle through the abdominal wall and into the bladder.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection can affect any portion of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters, and bladder, though it most commonly refers to an infection in the bladder. Cats get urinary tract infections when bacteria colonize the bladder.
Bladder infections fit in the broad category feline lower urinary tract disease . Other common manifestations of FLUTD include urolithiasis , crystalluria , urethral obstruction, and feline idiopathic cystitis.
You May Like: Symptoms Of Pinworms In Urinary Tract
How To Prevent Uti’s In Cats
The best way to prevent urinary tract infections from occurring in a cat is to ensure the urinary tract opening is kept clean at all times. Regular litter box cleaning and the washing of cat beds will aid in this task. Overweight cats may have trouble cleaning themselves and may need help keeping their urinary tract openings clean with a wet cloth or wipe. Adequate water intake will also help flush the bladder out regularly.
Finessing The Urine Sample
Urine samples can be challenging to obtain, especially in fractious cats or nonadherent dogs. A sterile sample obtained by cystocentesis is the sample of choice for urine culture. If the animal recently voided or cystocentesis is not possible, a sample by urinary catheterization in males or a clean-catch, midstream voided sample are permissible.
Traditional urine culture takes days to grow on an agar plate, says Frye. This is a long time for a pet to be suffering. Now I get the result in hours instead of days. I can figure out what the problem is much faster.
Supplementary to this, Frye recommends using an ultrasound for collecting the urine sample by cystocentesis to visualize the bladder. Additionally, she advises using a sterile urine sample to check for bacteria, crystals, overall health, kidney disease, and endocrine disorders. Obtain specific urine gravity to potentially find cancer cells. There is also an additional benefit of using the ultrasound to quickly assess the bladder wall and look for any urinary stones or masses.
And, of course, simultaneously, perform a routine physical exam on the pet and blood work when needed.
If the animal is urinating more frequently, I need to understand why, says Frye. I see concurrent disease sometimes, for example, UTIs with other conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.
Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
One important part of treating a UTI is increasing your cats water intake. For general cases of FLUTD, treatment will vary based on the cause of the infection.
Surgery is sometimes required to remove stones from the bladder. A change in diet may help dissolve certain types of bladder stones. If this is possible, your vet will prescribe a special diet that will help break up the stones and keep them from coming back.
Urethral plugs must be removed right away, as they can cause kidney failure in as little as 2-3 days. In this case, your cat will be administered anesthetic and the vet will remove the blockage. Because your cat will have a urinary catheter after this procedure, your cat will be kept overnight or even for a few days. Your vet may prescribe painkillers and a special diet to help prevent blockages from coming back.
This type of infection, typically clears up easily with the use of antibiotics. The vet will determine which type of drug to prescribe based on the type of bacteria present in the urine.
Unfortunately, by the time symptoms start to appear, neoplasia will likely already be at an advanced stage, making removal of the tumor impossible. Fortunately, though, this disease is quite rare in cats, and usually affects older cats. Chemotherapy treatment might help manage the tumors size. Your vet may also prescribe NSAID pain relievers, which can reduce tumor inflammation.
How To Treat A Cat’s Uti
This article was co-authored by Lauren Baker, DVM, PhD. Dr. Baker is a Veterinarian and PhD candidate in Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Baker received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Wisconsin in 2016, and went on to pursue a PhD through her work in the Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 72,717 times.
UTI stands for urinary tract infection, an infection which can occur in felines as well as humans. Treating a UTI without the use of antibiotics is difficult, if not impossible. If you try to clear an infection and only partially succeed, you run the risk of suppressing the symptoms, whilst bacteria are still present. This could lead to a long-term infection that could potentially damage your cat’s health. A low grade urinary infection is a ticking time bomb, because the bacteria could travel up to the kidney and cause a more serious infection. When possible, always seek veterinary attention and an appropriate course of antibiotics.
Don’t Miss: What Does A Urinary Tract Infection Feel Like
My Cat Suddenly Began Going To The Litterbox Very Frequently A Sample Of Urine Revealed A Bladder Infection How Did This Happen
While urinary tract disorders are fairly common in cats, urinary tract infections are fairly uncommon. Cats with UTIs try to urinate very frequently, they may pass only small amounts of urine, they may strain to urinate, they may cry out or whine when urinating, and there may be blood visible in their urine. Urinating outside of the litterbox is also a red flag that something is wrong in the bladder. Finally, frequent licking around the rear end may signal that a UTI is present.
Generally, a UTI occurs when bacteria travel up the urethra and into the bladder. Urine in the bladder is supposed to be sterile, but once bacteria find their way to the bladder, the bacteria can grow and reproduce, causing the UTI. Some cats will develop bladder stones, with or without a UTI, and this opens the door for additional health issues.
Can Both Male And Female Cats Get Urinary Tract Infections
Both male and female cats can get urinary tract infections, but they tend to be more common in females than in males. However, UTIs in male cats can become serious very quickly, so its important to consult your veterinarian immediately if you notice any symptoms, regardless of whether your cat is male or female.
Recommended Reading: Cephalexin For Urinary Tract Infection
Diagnostic Vs Therapeutic Urine Cultures
What are diagnostic urine cultures?
- Quantitative urine cultures before initiating antibiotic therapy is considered to be the gold standard for diagnosis of bacterial urinary tract infections .
- Diagnostic urine cultures provide accurate identification of specific bacterial species and aid in the selection of antibiotics. It also facilitates differentiation of recurrent UTIs caused by relapses from recurrent UTIs caused by reinfections.
- If a patient is currently being treated with an antibiotic, it should be discontinued for three to five days before diagnostic urine culture to minimize inhibition of bacterial growth.
What are therapeutic urine cultures?
- Culture of urine at strategic times during antibiotic therapy is an effective method of assessing therapy. Therapeutic cultures are essential for determining why a patient may not be responding to treatment.
- For patients with a high risk of morbidity and mortality , evaluation of urine culture and urinalysis three to five days after initiating therapy allows for verification of antibiotic effectiveness before the development of irreversible organ damage or systemic spread of disease. The same strategy should be considered when prescribing antibiotics with a high risk of toxicity.
Benefits of therapeutic urine cultures:
Diagnosing Uti’s In Cats
If a cat owner is observing symptoms of a urinary tract infection in their cat they should schedule a visit with their cat’s veterinarian. A urine sample will need to be collected either by the owner at home with the use of special, non-absorbent litter or by the veterinarian. The veterinarian may temporarily keep the cat in the animal hospital until it urinates on its own in some non-absorbable litter or the urine may be obtained by cystocentesis. Cystocentesis is a quick and non-invasive technique to obtain a urine sample through the use of a needle and syringe. Some veterinarians prefer obtaining urine by cystocentesis while others prefer to allow a cat to provide a sample naturally.
Once urine is obtained a urinalysis will be performed. This type of test checks the urine for bacteria, crystals, blood, parasites, abnormal pH levels, abnormal specific gravity levels, glucose, and other things to aid the veterinarian in making a diagnosis. If bacteria is present in the urinalysis a urinary tract infection is diagnosed. Sometimes a urine culture must also be performed to see exactly what type of bacteria is in the infection in order to choose a specific antibiotic.
Don’t Miss: Physical Therapy For Urinary Problems
Other Types Of Urinary Tract Problems In Cats
UTI’s aren’t the only type of urinary tract problem in cats. More commonly, cats develop inflammation or stones.
- Urine Crystals – Crystals can be problematic because they can develop into troublesome bladder stones. There are several different types of urine crystals.
- Bladder Stones – Multiple different types of bladder stones exist and sometimes bacteria contributes to their formation. Small stones can cause a cat to be obstructed and unable to urinate which is why they are life threatening.
- Urinary Tract Inflammation – Also referred to as cystitis, inflammation can be dangerous in a cat. The urethra may swell and cause a cat to be unable to urinate which can be fatal.
What Are Urinary Tract Infections
Sometimes, urinary tract conditions can be associated with other diseases, including chronic kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. However, in many cases, there doesnt seem to be an underlying cause at all in this case, the technical diagnosis would be feline idiopathic cystitis .
Feline lower urinary tract disease, or FLUTD, is the umbrella term for urinary tract conditions in cats. A feline urinary tract infection is typically characterized by painful and difficult urination. Urinary tract infections in cats can range from mild to fatal, so it is important that you consult a vet right away if you suspect your cat is suffering from a UTI.
Vet bills can sneak up on you.
Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.
Urinary Tract Infections Average Cost
From 344 quotes ranging from $200 – $1,000
Protect yourself and your pet. Compare top pet insurance plans.
Recommended Reading: What R The Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection
Cystitis And Lower Urinary Tract Disease In Cats
Cystitis is a general term referring to inflammation in the urinary bladder. The term cystitis does not imply a specific underlying cause. In cats, diseases of the lower urinary tract are often grouped under the term feline lower urinary tract disease . The initial diagnosis of FLUTD is based on the identification of signs of lower urinary tract inflammation.
What About Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
Many cat owners stress about the cost of seeking veterinary treatment when their cat is ill. You might be tempted to search cat urinary tract infection home remedies and want to attempt to treat your cats urinary tract infection at home.
This is not a good idea.
There are no home remedies that can resolve a bacterial urinary tract infection or address a serious urinary blockage. Cat urinary tract infection treatment and recovery will be easier if you seek help early.
Natural Remedies For Feline Urinary Tract Infections
If youve ever had a urinary tract infection, youll understand how painful they are. Cats are good at hiding their symptoms, so a cat UTI can be hard to diagnose if you dont know what youre looking for. Since your kitty cant tell you exactly whats hurting, were going to explain some common cat UTI symptoms so you can catch and treat the infection quickly. UTIs can be an ongoing issue for a lot of cats and dogs, so making sure you learn why the infection occurs and what you can do for your cat to prevent further infections from happening is important.
Recovery And Management Of Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
The recovery period depends on the severity of the UTI and how quickly the cat was treated. If the infection is caught early on, and there are no other developments as a result, a full recovery should be expected within a few days or so of beginning antibiotic therapy. Some cats seem markedly improved after even one dose of antibiotics. However, ALWAYS complete the full course of medications exactly as directed by your veterinarian.
Occasionally, cats will develop frequent, recurrent urinary tract infections. In these cases, a longer course of antibiotics and repeat urine cultures may be necessary.
Also Check: What Does A Male Cat Look Like
Don’t Miss: Enlarged Prostate And Urinary Incontinence
Are Some Cats Predisposed To Utis
Older female cats, and cats with diabetes mellitus , develop UTIs more commonly than the general population. Cats who have bladder stones are prone to recurrent UTIs, pointing out the importance of getting a complete diagnosis whenever there are signs of disease in the urinary tract. Bladder stones must be removed or dissolved in order to restore bladder health .
How Are Cat Utis Diagnosed
If you suspect your feline friend might be suffering from a UTI, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. While there, your vet will collect a urine sample, typically referred to as urinalysis, by inserting a needle into the bladder and removing urine with a syringe. Thankfully, this is a painless process, so it should be easy to keep even the fussiest cats calm during the procedure.
The vet will then analyze your cats urine under a microscope and watch for bacterial growth. If growth is present, your vet will likely diagnose a UTI. If no growth is present but your cat is still suffering from symptoms, your vet will likely look into another type of bladder infection or disease. In order to properly diagnose your cat, your vet might perform X-rays, blood work, ultrasounds, or biopsies.
You May Like: Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infection In Females
Remedies And Treatments For Cat Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract diseases are common in cats and can cause discomfort and distress. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to partial or complete blockage of the urethra. This can lead to kidney failure or rupture of the bladder, which could be deadly.
Depending on the severity of the infection, a cat UTI can be treated using at-home remedies and treatments.
While cranberries are known as a UTI treatment in humans, they can also be used to treat a cat UTI. The acidity of cranberries can lower the pH of your cats urine, which can help treat a UTI and stop it from coming back.
Many cranberry juices are high in sugar. Instead, you can find cranberry capsules , supplements, or powder to add to your cats diet.
Before giving your cat cranberry, you should first test the pH levels in your cats urine. While the acidity of cranberries may help with some UTIs, in other cases, it could make the condition worse. Only provide cranberry supplements if your cats urine is too alkaline.
Apple cider vinegar can also lower the pH in your cats urine, eliminating and preventing any harmful bacteria. Add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your cats food each day. To reduce the bitter taste, you can mix it in with chicken or beef broth. Just make sure the broth doesnt contain onions, as this is toxic to cats.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Causes Of Uti’s In Cats
Bacteria causes urinary tract infections when it enters a cat’s bladder. Typically bacteria enters a bladder through a cat’s urethra, which is the path urine takes from the bladder to exit the body. Once in the bladder, bacteria grow and reproduce to create more bacteria and infiltrate this once sterile space. Simple things like a dirty litter box, dirty bed, or an overall dirty environment that a cat spends time in can allow bacteria to enter a urethra and cause a urinary tract infection.
Also Check: How To Control Urinary Incontinence
How To Treat Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
Almost all urinary tract infections can be treated on an outpatient basis. In addition to antibiotics, your veterinarian may recommend an injection of subcutaneous fluids to help rehydrate your cat, as well as a short course of pain medications . Occasionally, if a cat is debilitated or if the UTI has spread to the kidneys , hospitalization may be recommended.
Diet plays a part in treatment and can help prevent additional UTIs. Drinking plenty of water will help flush out the bladder, and get rid of crystals and cellular debris that can lead to the creation of urinary tract stones. If there are excess crystals in the urine, a special diet will be necessary for a few weeks to change the pH of the urine, which will help dissolve the crystals. Once the crystals are gone, talk to your vet about a preventative diet that will prevent the crystals from reforming.