What Causes Lower Urinary Tract Problems In Cats
When you take your cat to the vet, they may have questions about your cat’s symptoms to try and narrow down the cause of the problem. There are several common reasons for urinary tract problems in cats, including the following.
Urinary Tract Infection
Cats get UTIs when there is a bacterial infection in their bladder or urethra. Your vet will need a urine sample to diagnose this condition.
Urine naturally contains minerals that can clump up and form tiny crystals, and even large stones, in your cat’s bladder. They can irritate the lining of the bladder or urethra and cause bloody urine and pain while urinating.
Your vet will need to do urine tests, x-rays, or an ultrasound to diagnose urinary stones.
In some cases, your cat’s urethra can be completely blocked, either by stones or by a build-up of minerals and tissue called a “urethral plug.”
A cat with an obstruction like this won’t be able to pass urine at all. An obstruction of the urethra is a medical emergency and you should call your vet right away.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis
Occasionally, the inside of a cat’s lower urinary tract will get irritated without an infection or stones being present. Sometimes it can be a symptom of stress or a reaction to a change in diet.
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.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is usually a bacterial infection in the urinary tract and can be quite uncomfortable for cats. Most commonly, bacteria travel up the urethra and into the sterile bladder. The bacteria then grow and cause infection. Cats historically also have cystitis, or bladder inflammation, that accompanies a UTI. But they can also have inflammatory cystitis where no UTI is present.
Signs of urinary tract infection or inflammatory cystitis can include bloody or cloudy urine, urinating small amounts frequently, urination outside the litter box, straining to urinate, or crying.
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Choosing A Location For Expressing A Cats Bladder
The location where you express the cat varies with the temperament of the cat and your situation. You can express:
- Onto a towel, piddle pad or litter box on the floor
- From a counter into a sink or toilet, or onto a towel or piddle pad
It is important to find the position most comfortable for both you and the cat. If you are stressed or worried, the cat will sense it and may react by tensing up, blocking the internal flow of urine or by squirming so much that handling the cat is impossible.
Dont worry about urine getting on your surroundings. It happens. Better to get the urine out of the cat than to worry about the environment, which you can easily clean and sanitize afterward. Focus on the cat and keep your intentions positive and confident.
It is normal for some cats to vocalize during the process. Try not to let the cats voice unnerve you. If the volume and intensity escalate enough to indicate pain or a high stress level, stop and set the cat down. You can approach and refresh your friendship with the cat later in the day and try again.
This process is one that the cat needs to get used to as well. The cat will learn to identify you as the person who helps her empty her bladder. The cat may never enjoy it, but if you can visualize that you are working with rather than working against each other, the process will go much more smoothly. Consider it teamwork, even if the cat doesnt seem to agree with the idea.
Everything You Need To Know About Urinary Tract Problems In Cats
FLUTD or feline lower urinary tract disease is a common cause for many feline emergency veterinary visits. This condition comes in two forms the obstructed and non obstructed forms. In some cases the unobstructed form can progress into the obstructed forma life threatening, emergency condition.
The causes of FLUTD are many and varied. They include trauma, urinary stones, a mucus plug, UTI, underlying kidney disease, and it can have no discernible cause whatsoever. Cats are mysterious! No matter how it happened, the result is inflammation of the urinary tract. Why is that bad? If your kitty cant pee, it will buildup urine, distending its bladder. This can lead to electrolyte abnormalities that poison its blood. The bladder itself rupture from the buildup of urine that has no way to escape.
Common signs that your cat is in urinary distress include:
- Blood in the urine
- Meowing while attempting to urinate
- Expressing pain if you touch its abdomen
- Many owners also notice their cat straining to defecate
- Some cats excessively groom their nether regions, or drag them across the floor.
As we stated at the outset, the most frustrating thing about FLUTD is the difficulty in figuring out its causes. If you notice any of the signs of FLUTD in your kitties, please dont try to figure out whyTake them to a veterinarian immediately. Prompt treatment can save your cats life.
For more information, contact our team at VETSS!
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Causes Of Feline Urinary Tract Disease
FLUTD is a complex condition to diagnose and treat since there are multiple causes and contributing factors to this disease. Crystals, stones or debris can gradually build up in your cat’s urethra or bladder. Some other common causes of lower urinary tract issues in cats include:
- Incontinence due to excessive water consumption or weak bladder
- Spinal cord issues
- Urethral plug caused by the accumulation of debris from urine
- Bladder infection, inflammation, urinary tract infection
- Injury or tumor in the urinary tract
- Congenital abnormalities
- Emotional or environmental stressors
Urinary tract disease in cats is most often diagnosed in overweight, middle-aged cats who have little to no access to outdoors, eat a dry food diet or do not get enough physical activity, although cats of any age can get the condition. Male cats are also more prone to urinary diseases since their narrower urethras are more likely to become blocked.
Using an indoor litter box, emotional or environmental stress, multi-cat households or sudden changes to their everyday routine can also leave cats more vulnerable to urinary tract disease.
If your kitty is diagnosed with FLUTD it is essential to determine the underlying cause. FLUTD symptoms can be caused by serious underlying health issues such as bladder stones or infection due to cancer or a blockage.
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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Diagnosing Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
When diagnosing a UTI, your veterinarian will begin by taking a complete medical history. The vet may ask about changes in your cats water consumption, frequency of urination, amount of urination, how the urine looks, and any behavioral changes. Your vet will also perform a physical examination to assess the bladder and kidneys, as well as the genitalia and sometimes the rectum. If there is trouble with urination, a neurological exam may be conducted.
Your cats urine and blood will also be tested. Urinalysis is one of the most important and useful tests for diagnosing a UTI. It will look for the presence of certain chemicals or substances in the urine, like sugar, ketones, bilirubin, blood, and protein. A urinalysis is best conducted on a fresh urine sample to prevent inaccurate results.
Based on the findings, additional testing may need to be conducted. In particular, a urine culture may be performed to confirm the presence of an infection and to determine what type of bacteria are involved. Since it often takes 3 to 5 days to obtain final culture results, your veterinarian will likely start your cat on broad-spectrum antibiotics in the interim. The typical duration of antibiotic therapy is 7 to 14 days.
When To See A Vet
These at-home treatments and remedies may be effective for clearing up minor infections, but more serious infections need to be treated by a professional animal doctor.
If your cat is experiencing mild or moderate symptoms, you can try these remedies to relieve their symptoms. If their symptoms show no sign of improvement in a few days, talk to a veterinarian. If your cat seems to be in pain or is unable to pass urine, see a vet immediately. This could be a sign of urethral obstruction, which can be fatal if not treated within 24 to 48 hours.
A vet may be able to prescribe antibiotics to target the harmful bacteria. Be sure to give your cat the full dose of prescribed antibiotics to prevent the UTI from returning or becoming resistant to treatment.
Even if youre pursuing professional treatment, these remedies can be effectively used alongside antibiotics to strengthen the bladder and balance your cats pH levels. Some can also be used as a daily supplement to prevent the UTI from coming back.
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Best Remedies For Bladder Infections
About bladder infections
The urethra is the tube that takes urine out of the body. Once bacteria go into the urethra, they can attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly.
The resulting infection can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as the sudden urge to urinate. It may also cause pain while urinating and abdominal cramping.
A combination of medical and home treatments may ease these symptoms. If left untreated, bladder infections can become life-threatening. This is because the infection can spread to the kidneys or blood.
Here are seven effective bladder infection remedies.
S For Maintaining Your Cats Urinary Health
Cats are notoriously plagued by urinary problems. Kidney disease, chronic bladder inflammation, and urethral obstruction are common feline medical conditions, and many owners want to know how they can maintain their cats urinary health and keep these problems at bay. Whether your cat has a history of urinary trouble, or you hope to prevent disease development, use these five tips:
#1: Increase Your Cats Water Intake
A higher urine water content dilutes the toxins, minerals, and urinary irritants that can lead to problems. Concentrated urine is more likely to form crystals and urinary stones, and irritants can contribute to chronic bladder inflammation. Increasing your cats water intake is one of the most important steps toward keeping her urinary tract healthy. More water also means your cat will stay hydrated and urinate more frequently, which will flush out toxins and maintain kidney function.
Try incorporating these ideas into your cats daily routine to increase her water intake:
#2: Reevaluate Your Cats Diet
Before changing your cats diet, consult your family veterinarian. Many urinary diets are available, and she can help you choose one that is appropriate for your cats needs. She can also counsel you about gradually changing your cat to a new food so she will accept it. Cats are creatures of habit and may not do well with a sudden switch.
#3: Reduce Your Cats Environmental Stress
#4: Provide Environmental Enrichment for Your Cat
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What Is Feline Cystitis
When cats have cystitis it means that their bladders are inflamed. Feline idiopathic cystitis or FIC describes cystitis which has an unexplained medical cause. It is a really common condition and is not normally a serious health concern, but can be very uncomfortable for your cat. FIC is more common in younger felines and episodes tend to reduce with age. FIC is different from a bladder infection, bladder stones or more serious urinary tract conditions, but can often present the same symptoms.
How Effective Is Apple Cider Vinegar For Feline Uti Treatment
Apple cider vinegar provides relief to a cat with feline UTI.It’s important to have your cat’s urinary tract infection diagnosed bya veterinarian to try to determine the cause. Many urinary tractinfections are caused by an excessive amount of bacteria in the urinarysystem. If this is the case with your cat, the holistic vinegartreatment can help.
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Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
While cats often have urinary tract issues, our kitty companions are more prone to urinary tract disease than infections. Cats that do develop urinary tract infections are typically 10 years of age or older and often suffer from endocrine diseases, including hyperthyroidism and diabetes mellitus.
If your feline companion is displaying symptoms of a urinary tract infection and is diagnosed with cystitis, your veterinarian will prescribe and antibacterial to help battle your cats UTI.
The most common symptoms of urinary tract infection in cats include reduced amounts of urine, straining to urinate, pain or discomfort when urinating, not urinating at all, urinating around the house , and passing urine tinged with blood .
These symptoms may be caused by a urinary tract infection, but there are also numerous feline lower urinary tract diseases that may cause your cat to display the symptoms of UTI listed above.
Dont Ignore Urinary Problems In Cats
Urinary tract disorders are relatively common in cats, according to Dr. Arnon Gal, a veterinarian who specializes in small animal internal medicine at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. But unlike urinary tract infections in people, in cats these problems are not usually caused by bacteria.
Generally speaking, infectious agents such as bacteria are infrequent in urinary tract disease in cats, says Dr. Gal. Instead, the problem in cats is usually stress induced.
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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.
How To Help Prevent Feline Urinary Tract Infections & Inflammation
There are some things cat owners can do at home to try to help prevent urinary tract infections from occurring in their pet.
- Offer wet food, even if part of a mixed diet, to increase water intake
- Ensure plenty of fresh water is always available
- Provide clean and sufficient kitty litter trays for indoor cats always keep trays clean and have more than one available in case one is used and your cat does not like to re-use a dirty tray
- Minimise stress for your cat provide safe housing and a good routine
Taking care of these parts of your cats routine will help keep them in good health, reducing the risk of illness, including urinary tract infections and infections. Urinary tract infections are seen more often in middle-aged to senior cats, as well as cats with diabetes.
Be sure to pay attention to any abnormal behaviour, particularly surrounding your cats toileting routine.
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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.
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.
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