How To Prevent Utis 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.
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Both sudden and chronic urinary tract infections are caused by bacterial infections. The bacteria involved in UTIs usually come from either the gastrointestinal tract or lower down the urinary/reproductive tract. If your cat is older or has other medical conditions, they are more likely to develop bacterial urinary tract problems.
Crystals In Cats Are Dangerous
In some patients, stones will lodge in the urethra and cause a dangerousblockage. Cats will be unable to produce urine or will only produce it in verysmall amounts. Some of these stones that have lodged may be small enough thatthey can be guided back into the bladder safely, relieving the blockage andallowing the cat to urinate once again.
Vets can perform a technique called retro hydropulsion, whereby thestones are encouraged to move back into the bladder via pressure and the use ofsaline under high-power. As this can be quite uncomfortable, it is eitherperformed under a heavy sedation or general anaesthetic. Once the stones havebeen moved from the riskier place to the bladder and the cat can pass urineagain, the stones can then be dealt with. So, if the stones are calciumoxalate, a surgery will still be on the cards. Surgery to remove stones fromthe bladder is far safer than one which involves making an incision in thesmall urethra. If the stones are struvite, this procedure can mean that asurgery to remove the blockage is unnecessary and we have now bought some timefor the diet to work.
In male cats in particular, this procedure is particularly tricky asthey have such narrow tubes, but it is possible with very small instruments.Sometimes, a laser will be used at the same time as this procedure so that thestones can be broken up, allowing for easier removal.
Seeking Help From A Veterinarian
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What Causes Urinary Tract Disease
FLUTD is a multifactor disease. There is no single cause of feline urinary tract disease. Veterinarians do recognize that there are components that may contribute to the prevalence of the disease. For more detailed information, always contact your veterinarian. Risk factors include the following:
- Cats more than 1 year of age are most susceptible.
- Overweight cats, lack of exercise.
- History of chronic kidney disease or urinary tract procedures.
- Both male and females cats get the disease with equal frequency, but neutered male cats have a greater risk of life-threatening urethral obstruction from the crystals or stones.
Nutritional Risks: You already know that the food you feed your cat is extremely important to her overall health. But feeding the wrong food can contribute to the development of a urinary tract disease . With FLUTD, crystals or stones form within the urinary tract and cause irritation, pain and possibly blockage. In severe cases, this can lead to kidney damage or may even be fatal if not properly treated.
- An abundance of certain minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium — often found in grocery store brand cat food — can cause crystals to form in the urine, which sometimes leads to urinary stones.
- Food influences the pH, or acidity, of urine. Urine should be moderately acidic for a healthy urinary tract because its harder for struvite crystals to grow in an acidic environment
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Cephalexin For Chronic Uti
If this is not your first UTI, know one thing: you may not be fighting single-celled free-floating bacteria in your bladder. Most likely, you are fighting bacterial biofilms.
Cephalexin stops the growth of the cell wall, which bacteria need to survive. However, bacteria eventually learn how to hide from the antibiotic attack, allowing them to become resistant to Cephalexin.
One method is for them to team up, cover themselves with a protective slime, and hide in the deeper layers of your bladder lining. This allows bacteria to wait until you stop taking antibiotics before renewing their activity.
This bacterial method of defense is called bacterial biofilms.
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Feline Urinary Tract Disease
FLUTD refers to a number of clinical symptoms. FLUTD can cause issues in your cats urethra and bladder, often leading to obstruction of the urethra, or preventing your cat’s bladder from emptying properly. These conditions can be serious or even life-threatening if left untreated.
If your kitty is suffering from FLUTD, urinating can be difficult, painful, or impossible. They may also urinate more frequently, or in inappropriate areas outside their litter box .
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Treating Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
If you see warning signs of a urinary tract infection in your cat, it’s important to contact a veterinarian. The vet will do a physical exam and likely collect a urine sample for urinalysis. If a UTI is the prime suspect, your vet may prescribe antibiotics even before receiving results from your cat’s urine test.
With a vet’s diagnosis in hand, you still play a crucial part in helping treat your cat at home. If your vet has prescribed an antibiotic, you’ll need to make sure to give all the medicine for as long as recommended.
“If your cat is diagnosed with a bacterial condition, it is imperative that you give the medication exactly as instructed,” says Kathryn Primm, DVM at Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, Tennessee. “Otherwise, you risk only killing the part of the bacteria that are most susceptible to the drug and leaving the others to reproduce.”
How long your cat is on antibiotics for a UTI is best determined by your vet. If you’re having trouble giving your cat the medicine, let the vet know. Pills or liquids are options, but an unfinished round of antibiotics may give the bacteria a chance to return, and stronger bacteria can also lead to new drug-resistant strains that harm humans and pets.
Urinary issues can be complex, and each cat is different. A trusting relationship with your veterinarian is your very best tool to manage urinary disease in cats.
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
- Bladder stones
- Loss of urethral tone, ectopic ureters, or conditions where the bladder fails to completely empty
- Recent placement of a urinary catheter for any reason
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Prescription Urinary Tract & Kidney Treatment For Cats
Help fight uncomfortable feline UTIs and kidney problems with urinary tract & kidney medicine. Chewy carries many types of prescription UTI medicine for fighting infections, plus kidney disease treatment for kitties with chronic issues.
Cats who suffer from urinary tract infections usually need prescription treatment. Your vet will need to examine your kitty and will likely prescribe UTI antibiotics. UTI treatment requires a full course of antibiotics, so make sure to finish your cats prescription and administer the recommended dose every day. Younger cats may need special medicine for kittens or adult medicine in smaller doses.
Aging cats sometimes suffer from reduced kidney function or chronic renal disease. Your vet may prescribe a kidney failure treatment or other medications for kidney function support. Common kidney medications for felines include diuretics, enzyme inhibitors, electrolytes and potassium supplements. You may also need to rehydrate your cat at home using IV fluids.
Find everything you need to help treat UTIs and help cats with kidney disease feel better in the Chewy pet pharmacy. We carry prescription cat medicine for a range of ailments and kidney and urinary tract medicine for dogs, as well. Check out our selection of urinary tract & kidney medicine and find just what you need for your best friend!
Frequently Asked Questions aboutPrescription Urinary Tract & Kidney Treatment for Cats
What prescription cat urinary tract and kidney medicine is best?
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
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What Are The Chances Of Flutd Coming Back
Urinary tract disease is potentially a lifelong disease. Any cat that has been treated for urinary tract disease runs the risk of contracting it again. Even with the best treatment, some cats may have recurring signs or periodic episodes. Therefore, it’s important to continue your veterinarians food recommendation to manage the disease with a urinary health cat food and watch closely for recurrence of signs and symptoms.
Male Cat Urinary Blockages: Causes Symptoms & Treatment
Urinary blockage is a painful and life-threatening condition that typically affects male cats. If your male cat has urinary blockage, it means their urethra the tube that drains urine from the bladder to the penis and out of the body is blocked by inflammatory material. When the urethra is blocked and urine can’t exit the body, the bladder becomes overfilled or “hyperextended”. And if the blockage goes on too long, the kidneys may start to swell and become damaged, leaving the bladder to potentially rupture or tear.
Male cat urinary blockage is extremely common, especially among neutered male cats therefore, it’s critical for pet parents to know the signs of the condition. The sooner a cat receives proper treatment, the more likely they are to have a healthy recovery.
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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.
Antechs Rapid Urine Culture
According to Michelle Frye, DVM, SM, owner of Echo Lane Animal Clinic, in Houston, Texas, veterinarians must gather a detailed history report from pet owners. She recommends asking questions about the duration, the frequency and location of the accidents, and urine color.
If its a suspected UTI, the next step begins with Antechs FIRSTract test, the first reference laboratory automated assay for quick urine culture, delivering accurate and reliable results within hours.11
FIRSTract utilizes 500 µL of urine inoculated into a proprietary culture broth optimized for aerobic bacterial pathogen growth and incubated in a controlled and fully automated setting. During the incubation process, the samples are temperature-controlled and continuously mixed, minimizing sedimentation, flotation, and growth abnormalities typical of several microorganisms. Interference from erythrocytes, leukocytes, and dead cells is minimized by obtaining an initial baseline reading of turbidity. Light scatter is measured and assessed from the sample turbidity of the inoculated broth. Measurements are taken every 5 minutes and continually monitored for an exponential increase in turbidity that is consistent with the presence of any viable bacteria replicating in the patient urine sample.
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Diagnosing Utis In Cats
If a cat owner is observing symptoms of a urinary tract infection in their cat they should schedule a visit with their cats 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.
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Which Antibiotic Will Work Best
Your doctor will take a urine sample to confirm that you have a UTI. Then the lab will grow the germs in a dish for a couple of days to find out which type of bacteria you have. This is called a culture. Itâll tell your doctor what type of germs caused your infection. Theyâll likely prescribe one of the following antibiotics to treat it before the culture comes back:
Which medication and dose you get depends on whether your infection is complicated or uncomplicated.
âUncomplicatedâ means your urinary tract is normal. âComplicatedâ means you have a disease or problem with your urinary tract. You could have a narrowing of your ureters, which are the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder, a narrowing in the urethra which transports urine from the bladder out of the body, or, you might have a blockage like a kidney stone or an enlarged prostate . Its also possible you have a urinary fistula or a bladder diverticulum.
To treat a complicated infection, your doctor might prescribe a higher dose of antibiotics. If your UTI is severe or the infection is in your kidneys, you might need to be treated in a hospital or doctors office with high-dose antibiotics you get through an IV.
Your doctor will also consider these factors when choosing an antibiotic:
- Are you over age 65?
- Are you allergic to any antibiotics?
- Have you had any side effects from antibiotics in the past?
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Capsules And Tablet Treatments For Cat Urinary Health
Many medicines and supplements come in capsule or tablet form to make it easier to dose. While it may be tricky to get your cat to take these, mixing them in with their food usually works. We stock a variety of options, from preventative cystic supplements like Feliway Cystease Capsules to prescription cat antibiotics for UTI treatments.
When Should You Go To The Vet
If left untreated, a UTI can get worse and cause additional problems for your feline. Bladder stones and even kidney infections can develop if the UTI isnt addressed in time. Worse, UTIs can even lead to FLUTD.
At the first sign of any UTI symptoms, you might be able to head off the infection and cure it early with one or more of the at-home natural remedies weve shared with you. But if things continue to get worse, youll need to take your cat to see a professional and ensure it gets the proper care necessary for treating a full-blown UTI.
If your cat is completely unable to urinate, youll need to take it to the vet. Likewise, if you see that their urine is bloody, things might be getting serious and you need to see a vet. Also, seek professional help if your cat is in high levels of pain.
Your vet can determine whether a UTI is the real issue or not and then treat the problem from there. They often use antibiotics to cure such ailments and this might be the only option if your cats UTI has progressed past the beginning stages.
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