Monday, April 15, 2024

How To Help Cats With Urinary Tract Infections

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What To Do If You Suspect A Flutd

How to Treat Urinary Tract Infections in Cats

If your cat is having trouble urinating and displaying other signs of FLUTD, take her to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet will give her a physical exam and collect urine samples. Blood work, x-rays, and abdominal ultrasound may also be recommended for diagnosis.

Most cases of FLUTD improve without medical treatment, but the symptoms can recur. Though they may not be life-threatening to your cat, they can be uncomfortable, so treatment can improve her overall quality of life. While treatment of FLUTD depends on the underlying cause, it is always beneficial to increase your cats water intake. Maintaining a healthy weight, feeding her canned food and encouraging her to use her litter box can also help. However, certain conditions simply cannot be treated at home. Bacterial cystitis should be treated with antibiotics, while stones must be surgically removed.

Its always best to be safe. A simple phone call to your vet when you first notice any of the above symptoms can help diagnose a problem much sooner and save your cat a longer period of discomfort. Its also important to monitor your cat after being diagnosed with FLUTD during treatment to ensure that the problem doesnt reoccur as cats are good at hiding their pain.

What Kind Of Antibiotics Can I Give My Cat For Uti

If a cat has never had a urinary infection before, then it is acceptable to put him on a course of broad spectrum antibiotics that kill a wide range of bacteria commonly found in urine. Typically, these antibiotics are penicillins, such as amoxicillin, clavulanic acid, cephalosporins, or sulphonamides.

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Common Urinary Conditions In Cats

So, if the problem is not a UTI, what is it?

Cystitis and Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease Cystitis is the most commonly diagnosed feline urinary problem and is a painful condition that refers to inflammation of the bladder lining. Cystitis is commonly part of a disease process called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease . Cats who suffer from FLUTD often suffer from the above symptoms, as well as excessive licking of the urinary opening, lethargy, and vomiting.

Cats with FLUTD may display waxing and waning flare-ups of the condition. It can quickly turn into an emergency if the urethra becomes blocked. This can happen if the inflammatory products that cause FLUTD settle in the bladder and form a plug, disrupting the normal flow of urine. Male cats are more susceptible since they have a narrower urethral opening.

Urinary blockage is a very serious and potentially life-threatening situation. If you notice symptoms, especially if you have a male cat, its best to always assume a blockage and seek emergency service right away, as it can lead to kidney failure and death within 24-48 hours if left untreated.

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Signs & Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection In Cats

To catch a UTI early enough to prevent it from developing into a more serious health condition, its important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. Unlike human urinary tract infections, feline UTIs can be asymptomatic, so the infection may be discovered as a result of another medical issue.

If any of the following signs present themselves, contact your vet immediately:

  • Difficult / painful urination: If your cat cries out while urinating, or very little urine passes, a UTI may be the cause.

  • Incontinence: A UTI can cause temporary lack of bladder control.

  • Blood in the urine

  • Urinary blockage: This life-threatening condition occurs almost exclusively in males. If you see your cat anxiously going in and out of the litter box without producing much urine, call your veterinarian immediately .

  • Urinating outside the litter box: In some cases, a cat will urinate in other locations around the house.

  • Overly thirsty: If your cat begins drinking an excessive amount of water, its cause for concern.

  • Lethargy or listlessness

  • Excessive licking at the urethra and abdomen

Feline Urinary Tract Disease

Urinary Support Soft Chew Supplement for Cats

FLUTD, Feline lower urinary tract disease is actually a general term referring to a cluster of clinical symptoms. FLUTD can cause issues in your cats urethra and bladder, often leading the urethra to become obstructed, or preventing your cat’s bladder from emptying properly. These conditions can be serious or even life-threatening if left untreated.

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 .

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S To Prevent Urinary Tract Disease

Maintaining your cats urinary health is not an easy task. Urinary tract infections are one of the leading causes of feline death and they can happen to any cat. The following steps will help you prevent UTIs.

  • Give Your Cat More Water
  • Change Your Cats Diet
  • Reduce Environmental Stress
  • Use Advanced and Quality Litter Box

How Vets Diagnose Utis In Cats

Vets diagnose urinary tract infections by collecting a urine sample and examining it for the presence of bacteria. These samples must be collected through a process called cystocentesis, where urine is drawn directly from the bladder with a fine needle. This is necessary to prevent contamination of the urine sample from cups, tables, or any other surface the urine may come into contact with.

After cystocentesis, your veterinarian will run a culture-and-sensitivity test. During this test, the bacteria are isolated and studied. This helps the vet determine the best antibiotics for your cats exact infection.

Occasionally, acute infectionsespecially first-time infections that show up suddenlyare treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic without trying to determine which bacteria are involved.

Chronic infections, however, almost always require more testing to isolate the type of bacteria causing the problem and identify the best antibiotic.

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How Can Genius Cat Litter Help With Urinary Cat Health

Did you know that cats that use traditional clay litter have a higher risk of developing urinary tract infections or other health issues?

Imagine if you could give your cat a better alternative than traditional clay litter.

With Genius Litter, you can provide that to your kitty. This new product is here to make life easier for you and your feline friend. What do you think?

Genius Litter is made up of silica gel crystals that change color based on the health of your cats urine, detecting blood, alkaline levels, albumin, and abnormal pH levels.

Another top advantage of Genius Litter is that it is non-clumping which means less scooping. And once-a-month refills mean one bag lasts weeks longer than traditional smelly clay litter.

What Is A Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infections in Cats

A urinary tract infection occurs when environmental bacteria enters the urinary system. Bacteria live and grow in warm, damp places, which explains why these bacteria thrive inside the hollow organ that is the bladder.

Although commonly referred to as a bladder infection, UTIs in cats can take place inside any of the parts that make up the urinary tractthe bladder, ureters , kidneys and urethra .

Symptoms of a UTI include:

  • Excessive urination
  • Straining or inability to urinate
  • Vocalization during urination
  • Lethargy or hiding behavior
  • Urinating outside of the litter box
  • Blood in the urine
  • Increased water intake

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Why Is My Cat Going To The Litter Box Every Few Minutes

Cats with urinary tract infections or other forms of urinary tract disease spend a lot of time going in and out of the litter box. It might look like your cat is constipated, but if you watch closely, youll notice that theres not a lot of moisture in the box.

Frequent trips to the litter box indicate that your cat needs relief. If your cat keeps trying to pee but only a little comes out, its a sure sign that something is wrong. Bring him or her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

If your cat keeps going to the litter box but nothing happens at all, he or she may be dealing with a complete urethral blockage. In this case, seek emergency veterinary care immediately. Just a few hours of hesitation could be fatal.

Why Is It Important To Understand Feline Urinary Tract Disease

It is important to understand the symptoms and treatment of feline urinary tract diseases in order to prevent unnecessary suffering and health complications because it is extremely challenging to treat UTIs in cats due to their anatomy and activities.

If left untreated, the result of urinary tract diseases can be painful urination and severe infection which can be life-threatening.

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How Do Cats Get Utis

As mentioned, cats get UTIs from bacterial infections in their bladder or urethra. More rarely, UTIs can be caused by fungal infections. Other causes of cat UTIs include:

  • A suppressed immune system in cats with other concurrent illnesses, like diabetes, Cushings syndrome, or cancer
  • Loss of urethral tone, ectopic ureters, or conditions where the bladder fails to completely empty
  • Recent placement of a urinary catheter for any reason

How Is A Cat Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosed

HomeoPet Feline Urinary Tract Infection Supplement

A combination of tests may be required to diagnose a cat UTI, as it can be difficult to diagnose which factors are involved. Your cat will be examined in afree consultation at Animal Trust where the veterinary surgeon will assess the size of your cats bladder and kidneys. They will also examine if there is any discomfort in these areas for your pet and check for a fever.

Following the physical examination, urinalysis is used to assess the acidity of the urine and check for the presence of crystals, bleeding, sugar, infection and inflammation. A urine culture test may also be carried our if bacteria are detected in the urine sample.

More diagnostic tests including X-rays and ultrasound scans can be useful to help detect urinary stones in the cat, tumours and to assess the thickness of the bladder wall. Performing blood tests will help to check the cats kidney function and to decide infection or any other underlying causes of disease.

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How To Treat A Cats 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 catâs 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.

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Other Types Of Urinary Tract Problems In Cats

If your cat is straining, crying when urinating, urinating outside of the box, or having blood in its urine, it may very well have a condition that is not a UTI. Some of the more common causes include:

Feline Urological Syndrome – Also referred to as sterile cystitis, this is a sterile inflammation of the bladder that is incredibly common in cats. The exact cause for this inflammation is unknown but is likely multi-factorial including stress, genetics, diet, anatomy, and lifestyle. This is a disorder that cannot be cured but requires management in the form of stress reduction, special diets, medications, and sometimes surgery.

Urinary Tract Blockage– More often a problem in male cats, the urethra may become blocked with grit and other debris and the cat will be unable to urinate. This is an emergency! Steps must immediately be taken to unblock the cat to avoid kidney failure and death. Any cat with urinary tract symptoms that is not urinating for more than eight hours or only producing small drops of urine should be seen by a vet right away.

Bladder Stones – Bladder stones may also cause signs that look like a UTI. The cat may strain, urinate frequently, have pain when urinating, and have blood in its urine. Testing with your veterinarian, including a urinalysis and x-rays, is necessary for diagnosis.

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What Are Cat Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

Symptoms of urinary tract infections in cats can be similar whether they have sterile cystitis or they have a bacterial infection.

Common signs of a cat bladder infection or cystitis include:

  • Frequently urinating

If youre seeing any of these signs in your cat, you need to take them to your veterinarian for an examination and additional diagnostics.

Warning Signs Of Feline Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs and Cats
  • Straining to urinate: Feline idiopathic cystitis can lead to straining while urinating, and can eventually lead to more severe situations such as the formation of bladder stones or a urethral plug. Male cats are more at risk to develop a urethral plug this is a life-threatening condition that causes a cat to lose the ability to urinate.
  • Frequent attempts to urinate: Cats with FLUTD have a frequent urge to urinate, but can only pass a small amount each time.
  • Painful urination: If your cat cries out while urinating, this is a tell-tale sign that she may be in pain.
  • Licking the genital or abdominal areas: This is a way for cats to soothe the pain of a urinary tract disease.
  • Urinating Outside the Litter Box: Take note if your cat is urinating in places other than litter box, especially on cool surfaces like tile or a bathtub.

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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.

What Are The Causes Of Flutd


One possible cause of FLUTD is the formation of urinary stones, also called uroliths, in the bladder and/or urethra. These are collections of minerals that form in the urinary tract of cats. X-rays or ultrasound are usually needed to diagnose urinary stones. The most commonly seen uroliths are calcium oxalate and struvite . While a special, stone-dissolving diet can be prescribed to dissolve struvite stones, calcium oxalate stones need to be removed surgically. If the diet fails, or if the stones form again, then surgery may also be necessary for struvite stones. In female cats, it may also be possible for a veterinarian to help a cat pass stones by flushing its bladder with sterile fluids or remove small stones directly from the bladder using a cystoscope when the cat is under anesthesia. A veterinarian may then recommend medication or dietary changes after surgery to help prevent recurrence.

Urinary infection

Infection of your cats urinary tract with bacteria, fungi, parasites or possibly even viruses can cause signs of FLUTD. Although bacterial infections are more common than fungal, parasitic or viral infections, they are still relatively uncommon in cats. If an infection is found, your veterinarian will probably look for another disease or problem that may have put your cat at risk of infection. For example, uroliths and diabetes can increase the risk of urinary tract infection.

Urethral obstruction

Feline idiopathic cystitis

Other causes

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Important Information On Flutd & Urinary Tract Infections In Cats


Feelings of fear and anxiety can affect our cats much like they affect us. Stress can occur in your cat for multiple reasons. Perhaps youve recently moved or brought a new pet or family member home. Whatever the case may be, if you have a stressed cat, there could be an underlying problem. One of the first ways to detect this problem is when your cat stops using her litter box. She may be peeing in a new spot, spraying on a wall, or having trouble urinating.

Unfortunately, inappropriate urination is one of the most common reasons why cats are left at shelters or put outdoors. If your cat starts marking her territory away from her litter box, its not out of revenge or spite its probably because something is wrong. While it could be a behavioral problem, or she doesnt like her litter box for some reason, a medical condition should first be ruled out. One of the most frequent medical causes of a urination problem is feline lower urinary tract disease.

Natural Remedies For Feline Urinary Tract Infections

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Signs your cat has a UTI, plus home remedies for treating feline urinary tract infections naturally

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.

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