Natural Remedies For Feline Urinary Tract Infections
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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Our feline friends cant tell us when they feel sick, but we can tell you that a cat with a UTI or a bladder infection, is one sad kitty. A number of things can be responsible for causing your cats discomfort, but thankfully there are ways to monitor and prevent UTIs from recurring.
Treating Utis In Cats
Antibiotics will be prescribed to kill the bacteria in the bladder and symptomatic treatment may also be necessary to ease a cat’s discomfort. This usually includes pain medications. Probiotics may also be recommended to restore a healthy population of bacteria in the gut after the antibiotics since beneficial bacteria may also be wiped out by a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
The choice of antibiotic should be guided by the culture and sensitivity results, however, ease of administration, such as pills vs. liquid vs. injection, may also play a role in addition to any underlying conditions your cat may have.
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Symptoms Of Cystitis In Cats
- Straining to pass urine sometimes crying out in pain.
- Urinating, or attempting to urinate, more frequently than normal.
- Urinating in unusual places, outside the litter tray possibly due to pain.
- Over grooming around the genitals and lower abdomen often causing hair loss.
- Changes in behaviour or behaviour that is out of character, for example, hiding more, or aggressive behaviour when being handled.
- Blood present in the urine this can be seen as clots or just pink urine.
- Inability to pass urine usually seen in male cats.This represents a medical emergency as it is extremely painful and very quickly leads to life threatening complications.
If you suspect your cat has Cystitis you should contact your vet straight away for advice as they will know your cat and be able to advise on the available treatment options.
How Do You Know When Things Are Not Improving What You Should Do
If, at any point, if your cat is straining to urinate and not producing urine or the urine appears bloody, this can be an emergency. Unfortunately, male cats are more likely to get urinary obstructions where the urethra is completely blocked, preventing urination. This can be life-threatening, and your cat should be taken to the vet immediately. Read more about urinary obstruction if you suspect your cat is suffering.
If your pet has not shown any improvements on the medications after 1 week, you should schedule a recheck with your veterinarian. At this time, your vet will likely recommend x-rays, ultrasound, or bloodwork to check for diseases that may be causing your cat’s urinary issues .
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How Often Should My Cat Be Examined By A Veterinarian
Cats should visit the veterinarian for a general check-up at least once per year. Many veterinarians like to see senior cats every 6 months, and more frequent visits may be needed to monitor cats with chronic health conditions.
Regular examinations, bloodwork, and urine testing can identify changes in your cats health that could increase their risk of developing a UTI, which in some cases might offer a chance for prevention.
Featured Image Credit: Yaya Photos, Shutterstock
How To Treat Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
Almost all urinary tract infections can be treated on an outpatient basis. In addition to antibiotics, your veterinarian may recommend an injection of subcutaneous fluids to help rehydrate your cat, as well as a short course of pain medications . Occasionally, if a cat is debilitated or if the UTI has spread to the kidneys , hospitalization may be recommended.
Diet plays a part in treatment and can help prevent additional UTIs. Drinking plenty of water will help flush out the bladder, and get rid of crystals and cellular debris that can lead to the creation of urinary tract stones. If there are excess crystals in the urine, a special diet will be necessary for a few weeks to change the pH of the urine, which will help dissolve the crystals. Once the crystals are gone, talk to your vet about a preventative diet that will prevent the crystals from reforming.
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How Is Flutd Diagnosed
Because FLUTD has many causes, it can be difficult to diagnose. Based on your cat’s symptoms, your veterinarian will do a physical examination and most likely will run a urinalysis assessing urine pH and concentration and presence of crystals, bleeding, inflammation and infection. If the cause is still not identified, tests such as urine culture, x-rays, blood work and additional urine tests may be recommended.
Factors That Put Cats At Higher Risk For Utis
Older female cats are the most at risk for UTIs, though any cat can develop an infection. Cats prone to bladder stones or with diabetes mellitus can also be more likely to get UTIs. Other potential risk factors include not having enough litter boxes or stress, such as from a recent move or a change in the household, like a new baby, or .
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Are Some Cats Predisposed To Utis
Older female cats, and cats with diabetes mellitus , develop UTIs more commonly than the general population. Cats who have bladder stones are prone to recurrent UTIs, pointing out the importance of getting a complete diagnosis whenever there are signs of disease in the urinary tract. Bladder stones must be removed or dissolved in order to restore bladder health .
Symptoms Of A Cat Uti
Although a urinary infection in cats can be a dangerous concern, the good news is that there are some telling signs that are easy to spot.
The most common signs or a cat experiencing a urinary disorder include:
- Going in and out of the litter box frequently
- Only being able to urinate a small amount
- Howling or crying while urinating
- Excessively licking their genitals
- Urinating outside of the litterbox/in inappropriate places
- Frequent or prolonged attempts to urinate
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.
Urinary Tract Infection Recovery
Although dealing with urinary issues or a bacterial infection in kitties can be really scary, the good news is that when treated early and with a proper treatment and recovery plan, the prognosis is good and most cats make a full recovery within a few weeks. Lets look at what to expect after your kitty goes through a UTI, urinary crystals, or FIC.
If your vet prescribed a course of antibiotics to treat a urinary tract disease or other infection, you should expect to see your kitty returning to normal in about 2 days and a full recovery should take 5-7 days, depending on the diagnosis. Its very important to give your cat the full course of antibiotics, even if they start feeling better.
If your cat had to have a more complicated treatment plan, there are a few things to expect. If he had to have a urinary catheter, you will likely see some redness and swelling around the area. Monitor this area to make sure no infections occur. You may also notice that your cat is licking the area as it heals. Also, after a catheter is removed, some cats may dribble urine. This is different than actually urinating, so dont worry! This is normal after a catheter.
You may also notice that your kitty is nervous to use the litter box. This is because they have associated it with the pain and stress they felt when they were facing their earlier condition. Encourage your kitty to use the litter box by keeping it extra clean at all times and removing any distractions .
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How Did This Happen
UTIs are caused by bacteria that grows in the bladder. Based on the way your cats urethra is shaped, on genetics, and on the pH level of the bladder, some urinary tract environments are more prone to growing bacteria.
Older, female cats tend to get more UTIs than males due to their anatomy. Cats with diabetes and those with bladder stones are at higher risk for getting UTIs.
Cystitis can occur as a result of stress for your cat, which can include a new home, guests, new animals in your home, moving furniture, or even a change of litter box or litter type.
Tips For A Successful Recovery
Here are a few things you can do to aid in your cat urinary tract infection recovery and help them feel better fast:
- Make sure you keep the litter box extra clean. You want to make it as inviting as possible to make it easier for your kitty to go
- Monitor for any changes in symptoms and isolate the kitty if needed to make sure you know when they go
- Use a health-tracking litter to see any changes in pH
- Switch them to a prescription food focused on urinary health
- Make sure they are getting enough water and supplement water intake with wet food
- Reduce stress if possible
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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.
Summary Of Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
Urinary Tract Infections in cats are a fairly common condition, but can become serious if left untreated. They can sometimes be asymptomatic, but common symptoms include frequent, difficult or painful urination, or urinating in places outside the litterbox. Usually UTIs can be easily treated with antibiotics, but if theyre caused by bladder stones, these will also need to be treated. To help prevent recurrent UTIs, keep your cat at a healthy weight, ensure they get enough water and speak to your vet about whether dietary changes could help.
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Everything You Need To Know About Urinary Tract Problems In Cats
Jul 1, 2018 | , Emergency Situations
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.
Treatments For Bladder Infection In Cats
If your veterinarian suspects that your cat is suffering from a bladder infection, theyll carry out a full physical exam. It can be helpful to bring along a urine sample, if possible, so that your vet can check it out. In some cases, they might use an ultrasound to investigate the cause.
Once the vet has confirmed the diagnosis, the course of treatment they prescribe might include a combination of anti-inflammatory medicine to help alleviate any pain, along with antibiotics if theres a bacterial infection.
If crystals are found in the urine, then the cat might require a surgical procedure to remove crystals from the bladder.
While your cat recovers at home, its important to provide a calm and stress-free environment for them. In some cases, vets may recommend a change of diet to help ward off the chances of any further infections.
Has your cat ever had a bladder infection? What advice did your vet give you to help your cat recover? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Diagnostic Tests To Rule Out Cat Uti
A urinalysis must be done as the first step for ruling out whether your cat has a bacterial infection thats causing the urinary symptoms like commonly peeing outside the litter box.
You should never just put your cat on an antibiotic since stress cystitis is the number one reason for cat urinary problems.
Other diagnostic tests your veterinarian may recommend include bladder ultrasound to rule out sludge and bladder stones, an abdominal radiograph to rule out bladder and kidney stones, and a urine culture.
A urine culture is very helpful to make sure the right antibiotics are used if your cat has bacteria in its urine on the urinalysis. Antibiotic resistance is, unfortunately, becoming a bigger issue and many commonly used antibiotics are not working as well.
Doing this test will speed up treatment and help your cat feel better, usually meaning less vet visits and expenses in the long term.
Reducing Stress For Your Pet
Reducing stress for your pet can help prevent urinary tract infections from coming back or developing into a more serious condition.
Try these tips for reducing stress for your cat:
- Spend more time together.
- Give your feline friend access to windows or more toys.
- Regularly clean litter boxes or increase the number of available litter boxes.
Catching a urinary tract infection early can help ease the stress and discomfort for both you and your cat. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, please contact us.
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Inflammation Of The Bladder
Commonly referred to as a urinary tract infection, this problem in cats is more properly called idiopathic cystitis in veterinary terminology. Cystitis just means inflammation of the bladder, while idiopathic means the problem arises spontaneously and without a known cause.
Inflammation is a useful aspect of the bodys immune response, serving to increase blood flow to an injured or infected area to facilitate healing. In the case of cats with urinary tract disease, however, sensory neurons trigger the inflammation of the bladder not because of infection or injury but in response to stress.
Feline Utis Cannot Be Treated At Home
Most cats with a bacterial infection need to be treated with antibiotics to get rid of that infection.
If you do not get rid of the infection that is causing the problem, the things you can do at home are not going to help, and the infection can end up moving to the kidneys and eventually killing your pet.
That said, there are things you can do to help ease your cat’s cystitis if there is no infection present.
For cats with urinary inflammation and no infection, dietary changes and cranberry supplements can make a big difference.
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