How To Prevent Your Cat From Getting Utis
If your cat has had more than one urinary tract infection, you may want to talk to your veterinarian about prevention strategies. In general, these involve changing your cats diet and certain supplements that may help strengthen the bladder wall. Of course, its also important to ensure that your cat always has access to fresh, clean water, and a clean litter box.
How Are Utis Treated
UTIs are treated with antibiotics. After several days of antibiotics, your doctor may repeat the urine tests to be sure that the infection is gone. Its important to make sure of this because an incompletely treated UTI can come back or spread.
If someone has a lot of pain from a UTI, the doctor may recommend a medicine to help relieve the spasm and pain in the bladder. This will turn pee a bright orange color, but its harmless and will usually make a person much more comfortable within hours. In the case of a kidney infection, a doctor may prescribe pain medicine.
If youve finished all the medicine or if your symptoms arent much better after 2 to 3 days of treatment, contact your doctor.
Drink lots of water during and after treatment because each time you pee, the bladder cleanses itself a little bit more. Cranberry juice may also be helpful. Skip drinks that containe caffeine , such as soda and iced tea.
People who get a doctors help for a UTI right away should be clear of symptoms within a week. Someone with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .
A doctor may tell people with UTIs to avoid sex for a week or so, which lets the inflammation clear up completely.
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Bacterial Growth And Susceptibility Testing
Bacterial growth was observed in 5 of 20 urine samples of female cats and in 11 of 41 samples of male cats . Three in five cats with bacterial LUTI were 1 year old or younger, 9/38 27 years old and 4/18 8 years old or older . In this study, no significant difference was found between female and male cats with bacterial LUTI . The differences among age groups were also not significant .
Antimicrobial susceptibility tests results showed that 13 of 16 isolates were susceptible to cefovecin. E. avium and S. epidermidis isolates were resistant and Arcanobacterium renale isolate was intermediate.
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Antimicrobial Treatment Of Pyelonephritis
If pyelonephritis is suspected ,4), and empirical treatment is needed, antimicrobials with a good efficacy against Gram-negative bacteria are recommended. The treatment must be adjusted according to susceptibility test results. Evidence-based recommendations on treatment duration are lacking, and while treatment durations of 46 weeks previously were considered reasonable, shorter periods of treatment have been reported to be effective in humans,91 and the 2019 ISCAID guidelines recommend 1014 days in veterinary patients.12 Repeated cultures during the treatment period are no longer automatically warranted, but should be considered in cases of incomplete clinical response, while cultures 12 weeks post-treatment are recommended for all cases.12 As for recurrent/complicated cystitis, consideration must be given to the clinical relevance of possible positive cultures post-treatment. Differentiation between sub-clinical bacteriuria and persistent infections may be challenging and reasons for potential persistence must be thoroughly investigated.12
Severe necrosuppurative pyelonephritis. Haematoxylin and eosin stain of a histological section of the renal papilla of the same cat as in Figure 1, showing severe inflammation with multiple neutrophils and bacterial colonies bar = 50 m. Courtesy of Dr Monir Majzoub-Altweck, Institute of Veterinary Pathology, LMU Munich
Why Is My Cat Lying In The Litter Box
If your cat has been lying in the litter box a lot lately, it might point to stress or illness, but its not always a sign of urinary tract issues. In addition to lying in the litter box, cats with UTIs or other urinary problems will strain, lick at their genitals, hide, meow in the box, and look restless.
If your cat is lying in the litter box and also exhibiting these behaviors, theres a good chance that a UTI or other urinary tract issue is to blame.
Among cats with urinary tract problems, this behavior appears to result from a mix of stress and, perhaps, a need to stay in the box just in case something changes. Imagine feeling like you had to urinate for hours but couldnt get everything outwouldnt you stay near the toilet?
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Diagnosing Utis In Cats
If a cat owner is observing signs of abnormal urination 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 procedure that involves collecting a sterile urine sample directly from the bladder via a needle. This procedure is the preferred method for urine collection if a UTI is suspected because it is the only way to obtain a sample without contamination. However, the procedure does come with some risk and the decision should be made with the guidance of your veterinarian.
Alternatively, it may be possible to obtain a sample by allowing the cat to urinate in a clean litter box filled with non-absorbent granules.
What Are The Symptoms Of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease In Cats
Urinating can be difficult, painful or impossible for cats suffering from FLUTD. They may also urinate more frequently, or in inappropriate areas outside their litter box .
If your cat has FLUTD or a cat urinary tract infection you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Inability to urinate
- Urinating more than usual or in inappropriate settings
- Avoidance or fear of litter box
- Strong ammonia odor in urine
- Hard or distended abdomen
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Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease symptoms of a urinary tract infection :
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day
- avoid having sex
Some people take cystitis sachets or cranberry drinks and products every day to prevent UTIs from happening, which may help. However, theres no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat a UTI if the infection has already started.
What Is A Cat Uti
A cat UTI is an infection in the urinary bladder that most often occurs when bacteria travel up the urethra and into your cats bladder, growing and reproducing to cause the infection. A UTI is one of several diseases of the lower urinary tract in cats grouped into a broader category of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, or FLUTD. FLUTD can be caused by other urinary conditions including uroliths , urethral obstruction, or Feline Idiopathic Cystitis.
While UTIs are painful and uncomfortable, the good news is that theyre not contagious and often easily curable with antibiotics. Lets find out how you can prevent, identify, and treat a UTI in your feline friend.
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Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Though less common than most people assume, urinary tract infections can affect cats. As is the case in humans, female cats are more likely to suffer from UTIs than males due to the length of their urethra. UTIs, as well as other urinary issues, cause a variety of symptoms that cat owners should learn to recognize in order to get their cat the help it needs and prevent complications.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis And Stress
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis is the final category under the FLUTD umbrella of conditions. FIC is essentially what is left behind after infection, urinary crystals, bladder stones, and tumors, have all been ruled out as causes.
FIC is also sometimes called Pandora Syndrome, because its underlying causes have been found to be multifactorial, but largely associated with environmental stressors. The stresses we may not even consider stressful ourselves. This can include interactions with other pets in the home, a home environment that is overstimulating or one that is too understimulating.
Not every cat will develop signs of FIC during times of stress. It is thought that these cats that are poorly wired to handle stress have responses different from other cats in their nervous and hormonal systems, that leads to inflammation in the bladder wall. When the bladder wall becomes leaky, urine can penetrate the tissues, causing further inflammation and pain.
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Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
Written bySmall Door’s medical experts
Bacterial urinary tract infections are a fairly common condition among cats. While UTIs are usually relatively easy to diagnose and cure, they can develop into a more serious condition if left untreated. Urinary tract infections can occur in both young and old cats.
In This Article
How To Get A Urine Sample From Your Cat
A sample can be obtained in one of two ways: either a free-catch sample or via a cystocentesis. Your veterinarian will let you know which type of sample they’ll want. Free catch samples are collected when a cat urinates, like normal, into a litter box with a non-absorbent litter like NoSorb or Kit4Cat. Your veterinarian may have these products to send home with you to allow you to collect a sample on your own, or they may recommend keeping your cat at the clinic for a few hours to see if the cat will use them there.
For more at-home urine collection tips, check out How to Collect Your Cats Urine Sample.
If youre using a non-absorbent litter, simply pour off the urine into a clean, dry container . The tricky thing is that these samples are not as sterile , and its hard to know if and when a cat will use the box with a new-to-them litter.
Samples are ideally run within one hour of collection. Older samples, up to six hours old, can be refrigerated while theyre being transported to the veterinarian, but this can cause artifacts and crystals to develop. But the more recent a sample the better! After an hour, crystals can begin to form artificially, even under refrigeration. The older a sample, the less sure your veterinarian can be that these crystals are from your cat’s bladder versus a result of the sample sitting too long before testing.
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What Causes Utis In Cats
In general, urinary tract infections develop when the urethra becomes contaminated with bacteria that normally colonize the rectum and surrounding area. Once in the urethra, the bacteria migrate upstream and take up residence in the bladder.
The presence of mineralized bladder stones or crystals in the urine may also be a cause of UTIs. Because the crystals are hard and irritating to the bladder, theres a greater risk for infection.
Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatment
Common signs of a cat with a urinary tract infection are:
- Persistent straining in the litter box
- More frequent trips to urinate, but urine often limited to just a few drops
- Inappropriate urination in other areas
- Crying while straining
- Licking the genital area
- Bloody urine
A UTI in a female cat may seem like a minor issue, though annoying and needing treatment. But in male cats, a urinary tract problem can easily become life-threatening due to the narrowness of their urethra, which can easily become blocked. A urinary blockage can turn out to be deadly if veterinary attention is not sought immediately. A cat with a urinary blockage will produce no urine and become poisoned by a buildup of toxins.
Vomiting, nausea, lethargy, and loss of appetite in a male cat should never be ignored. A male cat urinating a few drops is slightly better off than one not producing any urine at all, but still requires immediate intervention.
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What Is The Cost Of Treating A Uti In Cats
The cost to treat a UTI can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars into the thousands, depending on the severity of the infection and what needs to be done. Generally, the bigger the city you live in, the higher the costs for medical treatment.
Owners can expect costs to include:
Possible surgery / hospitalization and other life-saving procedures.
As mentioned above, treating most UTIs is very straightforward, so expenses should be very reasonable.
How Are Cat Urinary Tract Infections Caused
There are many risk factors identified for cats with FLUTD, a combination likely plays a role in the development of the disease. These are:
- Urethral plugs
- Idiopathic cystitis stress and dietary changes can increase the risk. Many cats will have repeated episodes, but we cannot predict which cats will have relapses. Causes of stress can include multi-cat households, abrupt changes in routine, new pets and territorial disputes.
- Disease such as diabetes and hyperthyroidismcan lead to urinary tract infections in older cats
Less common causes include injury to the urinary tract, abnormal anatomy and tumours.
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Causes Of Utis In Cats
UTIs are caused by bacteria in the bladder. Typically, bacteria enter the bladder through the cat’s urethra, which is the path urine takes from the bladder to exit the body. There is most often something amiss that prohibits the bodys natural defenses from being able to avoid and eliminate the bacteria. This may be stress, another illness, certain medications, abnormalities in their urinary tract anatomy or function, or an immune system disorder.
Once in the bladder, if the bacteria evade the cats natural defenses, they grow and reproduce to create more bacteria. This overgrowth of bacteria and the toxins they release affect the bladder wall, as well as the urethra, and results in pain and inflammation.
What Can I Do At Home To Prevent Future Occurrences Of Flutd
Depending on the underlying cause for FLUTD, the clinical signs may never, or only occasionally, reoccur. However, recurrence is more common with FIC. To help reduce the chances of recurrence:
- Feed small meals on a frequent basis.
- Consult with your veterinarian about the best diet for your cat. Many commercial diets are acceptable, but some urinary conditions respond better to specialized diets. Canned food may be preferred.
- Provide clean, fresh water at all times.
- Provide an adequate number of litter boxes with the type of litter that the cat prefer
- Keep litter boxes in quiet, safe areas of the house.
- Keep litter boxes clean they should be scooped twice a day and the litter changed weekly .
- Minimize major changes in routine.
- Reduce stress.
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Cats Can Get Urinary Tract Infections
Your cat has started to display some odd behavior lately. Your previously house-trained cat is now urinating in your bathtub or on your bed. Also, your cat strains as if constipated, just sitting there in the litter box waiting and repeatedly scratching.
Not all owners can recognize these key signs of a urinary tract infection . Having worked at a veterinary hospital, I have come across many cats that were thought by their owners to be constipated, or worse, just simply displaying behavioral issues.
Cats that pee in the bathtub or on the bed are doing so for a very specific reason: their trip to the litter box has turned unpleasant. Your cat has tried to urinate in the litter box, but it turned out to be too painful, and therefore, he has started associating the litter box with something negative. To a cat, avoidance is the best solution, so he will try any other place to see if it will, in any way, ease the discomfort.
Another common sign of UTI in a cat is insistently licking the genital area. Cats tend to lick their wounds, so licking their genital area is the way they try to “heal” the burning sensation they are feeling.
If you have happened to find some occult blood around the home, it is very likely coming from the cat. Blood may appear as normal red drops, or it may have a pinkish tint if it is mixed with the urine.
How To Prevent A Cat Urinary Problem
Preventing urinary infection in cats is aimed at addressing behavioural issues and helping to reduce stress for the cat. As an owner, there are various ways you can help your cat at home and they include
- Providing fresh water regularly. Fresh, clean drinking water is essential for your cat and a water fountain is ideal as they like running water. The next best thing is a large dog bowl so there is a large surface area for your cat to drink from. Feeding wet food will also help to increase your cats water consumption.
- Clean litter trays. Providing an adequate number of clean litter trays with the litter the cats prefer, in quiet, safe areas of the house.
- Changes in routine/providing enrichment. Minimising changes to cats daily routine and providing them with plenty of toys and games will help to keep them occupied and distracted.
- Reduce stress. Pheromone diffusers such as Feliway and essential oils diffusers such as Pet Remedy can help to relax stressed cats. Where stress may be caused by children, other pets or other cats in their territory, ensure your cat has somewhere he/she can avoid conflict. If necessary place curtains or blinds to prevent other cats staring into your house. Provide scratching posts and allow time for your cat to play.
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