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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Utis In Cats
Common symptoms of cat urinary tract infections or other bladder disorders include:
- Frequent urination, but only peeing small amounts at a time
- Urinating outside of the litter box
- Straining or inability to urinate
- Crying in pain while peeing
- Increased licking of the urinary opening
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Drinking more water than usual
Make sure youre always watching out for changes in your cats peeing habits to stop a UTI in its tracks. And if you know that your cat has been diagnosed with bladder stones or has any other risk factors, its always a good idea to keep an extra eye on the litter box and your kittys toileting habits.
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What Does A Urinalysis Look At
If your cat presents to your veterinarian with urinary signs, your veterinarian will first perform a urinalysis. The urinalysis can reveal so much important information about the urine when a UTI is suspected. Your veterinarian will look for the following:
- urine-specific gravity
Once these levels are measured, the urine specimen is placed into a centrifuge and spun down to allow cells and other debris to accumulate at the bottom of the sample tube. That debris can then be evaluated, revealing the presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, and crystals.
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Are There Any Home Remedies For Cat Utis
Unfortunately, there is no good way to treat your cats UTI at home. Particularly in this instance, where medical issues can quickly lead to behavioral issues like peeing outside of the box, its important to get your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the cause and treatment.
True infections are actually much less common than sterile inflammatory episodes, and these are treated very differently. Additionally, UTIs in male cats can sometimes lead to urinary obstruction, a life-threatening emergency. To avoid costly treatments and frustrating behaviors from developing, seeking veterinary care promptly is ideal.
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.
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How To Treat Your Cat’s Urinary Tract Infection
All pet owners know how difficult it is see your pet in pain and diagnosing the source of your pets discomfort can lead to even more frustration.
Because our pets are unable to communicate their symptoms we must resort to what we can observe, which often requires trial and error and expensive vet visits. Sometimes the symptoms are subtle, like minor lethargy.
Other times, an illness is apparent with obvious symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. The truth is, even the smallest behavioral changes can indicate a serious problem. When it comes to urinary tract infections, sometimes the first signs are easily missed. But UTIs are not to be taken lightly as they lead to even more severe infections if left untreated.
Diagnosis Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Your vet may collect a sample of your cats urine , called cystocentesis. This process will involve inserting a needle directly into the bladder to collect an uncontaminated sample of urine. In order to reach an accurate diagnosis, the urine must be free from contaminants found in the environment.
The urine may be sent to a lab to allow for cultures to grow. This way, the vet can see the specific type of bacteria present in your cats urine, which will aid with diagnosis and treatment.
The urinalysis will reveal the amount of blood present in the urine, as well as the urines pH balance, glucose, and protein levels. The vet will then analyze the urine using a microscope, looking for bacteria and uroliths, or stones in the urinary tract.
Your vet may perform an X-Ray on your cat in addition to the urine culture and urinalysis. Any crystals or stones in the bladder will show up on an X-Ray.
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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.
What Is The Prognosis For A Urinary Tract Infection
A good prognosis is usual for spontaneously resolved and quickly treated UTIs. Even patients that have rapidly developing symptoms and early pyelonephritis can have a good prognosis if quickly and adequately treated. The prognosis begins to decline if the UTI is not quickly recognized or treated. Elderly and immunosuppressed patients may not have the UTI recognized early their prognosis may range from fair to poor, depending on how much damage is done to the urinary tract or if complications like sepsis occur. Like adults, most adequately treated children will have a good prognosis. Children and adults with recurrent UTIs may develop complications and a worse prognosis recurrent UTIs may be a symptom of an underlying problem with the urinary tract structure. These patients should be referred to a specialist for further evaluation.
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When Should I Take My Cat To The Vet
Besides the presence of blood in the urine, there are several other serious urinary tract infection indicators. All of these mean you may need to take your cat to the veterinarian.
If theyre particularly vocal or unusually lethargic while simultaneously experiencing other symptoms, a vet visit may be in order.
Severe cases of infection can lead to more serious complaints, including blockages of the urethra as a result of, for example, inflammatory material or urinary stones. Left untreated, a complete blockage can cause the bladder to rupture a potentially fatal condition. If you suspect a blockage, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Meanwhile, if you suspect a urinary tract infection but have been unable to treat the problem at home, you should also make an appointment.
On which note, and without further ado, what follows are seven tried-and-tested at-home remedies for a cat UTI.
How To Prevent Utis In Cats
With your feline companion now hopefully on the mend, its important to take steps to prevent future urinary tract infections. If youve been asking yourself, how do I treat my cats UTI at home? and have successfully healed your cats UTI, you may now be wondering how to prevent future infections.
Even where a cat hasnt experienced a UTI before, the same measures can be taken preventatively. Preventative measures will help safeguard against possible future infections. These include the following recommendations:
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Signs Of Utis In Cats
- Straining to urinate
- Urinating outside of the litter box
- Licking at the urethra
- Increased frequency of urination
Cats that have urinary tract infections are likely to be uncomfortable when they urinate. This discomfort or pain may sometimes cause them to cry or vocalize when they urinate. Straining to urinate and urinating small amounts frequently is also commonly seen.
A cat with a urinary tract infection may also lick at its genitals in an attempt to ease the discomfort and will also often urinate outside of the box. This may occur on the floor right beside the litter box or in other places such as the bathtub or carpet.
Some cats with urinary tract infections will also have blood in their urine and this may be seen in the litter box or on the floor, but can be hard to see in clumping litter.
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How Does A Cat Get A Urinary Tract Infection
There are a variety of conditions that cats can get that affect the urinary tract that is labeled a feline lower urinary tract disease .
A bacterial UTI occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract, usually by ascending up the urethra and entering the bladder. There are numerous causes for cat UTIs, whether bacterial or inflammatory.
These urinary conditions can occur at any age, but are usually seen in middle-aged, overweight cats that dont have a lot of environmental enrichment, are in multi-cat households, are prone to stress, and eat a dry kibble diet.
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How Do You Treat Utis
Urinary tract infections are usually treated with antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider. The length of antibiotic treatment depends on the severity of the infection, whether you have had a UTI before, and if your symptoms go away quickly. If you are prescribed antibiotics for a UTI, it is important to take them as instructed by your healthcare provider.
There are additional medications and treatments available over-the-counter that may help ease symptoms and pain or prevent additional UTIs such as urinary pain relief tablets, cranberry pills, and heating pads.
Home Remedies For Cat Utis And Other Urinary Issues
If you notice that your cat is having trouble urinating and suspect that they have a UTI, take them to the vet to make sure nothing else is wrong . This professional recourse is the safest bet.
That being said, there are a few home remedies you can try to help alleviate a UTI or prevent urinary problems from popping up in the first place.
If your cat is also experiencing vomiting as a sign or symptom of their UTI, take a look at our article on home remedies for cat vomiting to help alleviate your cats pain!
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There Are Ways To Help Your Cat
Having gone through the agony of knowing that my cat was struggling to urinate, I know that you dont want to sit on your hands when your cat is in pain.
Home remedies arent always the cure, but they absolutely can help. The following are remedies and treatments that can help to manage the pain and encourage healthy urinary tract function. Theyre backed up by other real people who have used them to treat their cats urinary tract infections or other urinary tract diseases.
After we go over some gentle home remedies for your struggling kitty, check out the tips for urinary tract disease prevention. Recurrence is common and its important to take the right steps to make sure that your cat stays healthy after they recover.
While home remedies and even veterinary treatments can be hit-or-miss, prevention isnt quite as complicated.
Which Cats Are Most At Risk For Utis
While any cat can get a UTI, some cats are more susceptible to infection than others. For example, older cats and cats with bladder stones and diabetes mellitus are more at risk for developing a UTI. The cat breeds thought to most commonly suffer from bladder stones include Himalayans, Persians, and Siamese cats.
Whats more, male cats are more likely to suffer from Urethral Obstructions, as their urethras are longer and thinner than those of female cats. Due to a more narrow passage, the male urethra is more likely to be blocked.
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection And How Do You Treat It
A Urinary Tract Infection is as uncomfortable as it sounds. Symptoms of a UTI often include painful urination , frequent trips to the bathroom, and a feeling of urgency. Other UTI symptoms may include lower abdominal or pelvic pain and pressure, blood in the urine, milky, cloudy, or pink/red urine, fever, and strong smelling urine. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.
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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.
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What Is The Best Food For Cats With Urinary Tract Issues
The best food for cats with urinary tract issues is a special veterinary diet that changes the pH of the cats urine.
The diet should make the urine more acidic or more alkaline depending on the type of mineral sediment thats accumulating in the kittys pee.
Avoid feeding your elderly cats an acidic diet.
The Experts Guide To Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease Diet
Feline lower urinary tract disease is a common disease in cats, affecting upwards of 60% of the feline population.
Thats why most vets recommend urinary tract food for cats who have a urinary tract infection.
There are so many diets to choose from and most pet parents dont even realize they have a choice.
They just grab a bag of food at the pet store, hand it over to their cat, and not give it another thought until it is time to buy more cat food.
However, the situation is not that simple. Just like we have different human nutritional needs, so too do our pets.
This can be especially true if your cat has a feline lower urinary tract disease .
In this article, Ill discuss some of the best foods to feed your cat if they are suffering from a feline urinary tract infection.
There are an awful lot of cat food brands and types available nowadays, but theres a pound of research backing up the ones were going to mention.
Ill walk you through the most common feline urinary diets.
Any medical condition that affects any of the above organs are usually classified as FLUTD.
Common conditions include:
2. Urinary stones
It involves symptoms such as painful irritation of the urinary bladder to chronic dangerous conditions that require urgent attention.
Because cats with FLUTD experience painful irritation while using the litter box, they associate the pain with using the litter box and abandon the box eventually.
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Azo Urinary Tract Defense
This is a relatively new OTC drug that has appeared in 2016 in pharmacies all over the USA and also could be ordered on.
Once you swallow it, Methenamine will work by slowing down the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the urinary tract.
When exposed to acidic urine, Methenamine turns into formaldehyde to kill the bacteria, but its not strong enough to eliminate an infection completely. It cant cure an active infection but may slow down its progress.
AZO Urinary Tract Defense has been created to prevent UTIs, as well as to provide quick relief at the first signs of infection.
On top of this, Sodium salicylate, an analgesic, also acts as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug .
Taking an NSAID could help to reduce inflammation while fighting a bladder infection. This analgesic, though, will not change the color of your urine and is not linked to cancer.
Quick Tip: In order for AZO Urinary Tract Defense to work to its full potential, youd need acidic urine. For that, take Ascorbic Acid with the drug.
An alternative to AZO Urinary Tract Defense in Canada, Europe, or Australia is Hiprex, which works similarly.