Feline Urinary Tract Disease
FLUTD is actually a term that covers many clinical symptoms. FLUTD can lead to issues in your cats bladder and urethra, often causing the urethra to become blocked or preventing your cats bladder from properly emptying. Left untreated, these conditions can even become serious or life-threatening.
If your cat is suffering from FLUTD, they may find urination difficult, painful or impossible. They may also urinate more often, or in inappropriate areas outside the litter box .
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.
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.
Feline idiopathic cystitis
Accidents Outside The Litter Box
When your cats urge to pee is a constant and painful struggle, you cant expect them to make it to the litter box every time.
If theyre on the other side of the house, and the pain gets to be too much, they wont make it to their litter box in time. If having indoor accidents is abnormal for your cat, a urinary tract infection could be to blame.
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If Its Not A Uti What Could It Be
Even though your cat is showing all the signs of a UTI, it might not be his or her problem. There is a whole host of other issues with the same symptoms, such as:1
- Blockage of the urethra, as mentioned above. This happens in boy cats and can be fatal.
- Bladder stones
- A bladder infection
Because these symptoms have such wide-ranging and potentially fatal causes, any cat thats in discomfort in the litter box needs to see his friendly neighborhood vet ASAP.
Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatment
Common signs of a cat with a urinary tract infection are:
- Persistent straining in the litter box
- More frequent trips to urinate, but urine often limited to just a few drops
- Inappropriate urination in other areas
- Crying while straining
- Licking the genital area
- Bloody urine
A urinary tract infection in a female cat may seem like a minor issue, though annoying and needing treatment. But in male cats, a urinary tract problem can easily become life-threatening due to the narrowness of their urethra, which can easily become blocked. A urinary blockage can turn out to be deadly if veterinary attention is not sought immediately. A cat with a urinary blockage will produce no urine and become poisoned by a buildup of toxins.
Vomiting, nausea, lethargy, and loss of appetite in a male cat should never be ignored. A male cat urinating a few drops is slightly better off than one not producing any urine at all, but still requires immediate intervention.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Cats With A Uti
Cats may have a pretty predictable bathroom routine, but cats with a UTI might begin exhibiting unusual behavior relating to urination. They might be drinking a lot more water and trying to urinate frequently, but unable to pass more than a little bit of urine at a time. They might also loss control and urinate when theyre not supposed to. All of this can lead to confusion and anxiety that causes them fear or avoid the litter box. Cats with a UTI can also just seem sick, showing signs of lethargy or vomiting.;
What Are The Symptoms Of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease In Cats
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 .
If your cat has FLUTD or a cat urinary tract infection you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Inability to urinate
- Urinating more than usual or in inappropriate settings
- Avoidance or fear of litter box
- Strong ammonia odor in urine
- Hard or distended abdomen
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Stage : Strange Peeing Behavior
Cats who are suffering from urinary tract issues, whether theyre a result of stress, infection or stones/crystals, exhibit several odd symptoms. They may run to the litter box frequently but produce little if any urine. They may cry out when attempting to urinate. They will often lick their genitals furiously after each attempt to pee, and if your cat is a male, you may see his penis sticking out.
Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
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.
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Will My Cats Uti Go Away On Its Own
Getting your kitty the treatment she needs can be a time-pressing matter when dealing with UTIs. As time progresses, the bacteria in your cats bladder continues to grow and reproduce, causing more and more distress. If left untreated, this infection can spread to your cats kidneys which can either result in organ damage or terminal illness. The longer a UTI goes undetected, the more it will cost to revert its damages.
How Long Before My Cats Uti Goes Away
Once on antibiotics, it can take up to a week before your kitty begins showing signs of healing. However, since UTIs can be very persistent, its important to bring your cat for a checkup after she has completed her prescription. Your vet will collect another urine sample a few days after your cat has finished taking her antibiotics.
In normal cases, your kitty should be feeling like herself again in under a week. However,
should your cats behavior continue to alarm you, this could be a sign that there are other factors at play.
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Why Did My Cat Get A Uti
In the animal kingdom, male cats are more likely to contract UTIs than females are, seeing as they have longer and more narrow urethras. There are many reasons why your cat could contract a bladder infection or UTI:
- Theyre overweight
- Theyre strictly indoor cats
- They dont get enough exercise
- They dont drink enough water
- They strictly eat dry food
- They dont always have access to a clean litter box
- They live in a household with multiple cats or animals
- They are feeling stressed
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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How Will The Vet Diagnose My Cat With A Uti
Veterinarians will conduct a series of tests to determine whether or not your kitty has a UTI. The testing process will go something like this:
A Physical Examination
First, your vet will conduct a physical examination to see if the signs of a UTI are present, such as a small and painful bladder.
A Urine Sample
Next, he/she will collect a urine sample and test its concentration. By examining it through a microscope, your vet will be able to determine if harmful bacteria are present. Your vet may also ask you to collect a urine sample from your cat at home, using non-absorbent litter.
A Urine Culture
Your vet may also seek to identify a UTI using a urine culture. To do this, they place your cats urine in a microbiology plate, where they can then grow the urine. Should the offending bacteria be present, they will also grow alongside the urine.
How Will The Vet Treat My Cat For A Uti
The most common way to treat a feline UTI is with oral antibiotics. Should your kitty test positive for a urinary tract infection, your vet will prescribe them antibiotics which they will be required to take for up to 7 days. However, depending on your cats medical chart, your vet may choose to inject them with a dose of antibiotics instead. There are some other methods that are less commonly used:
- Change your cats diet
- Increase their water intake
- Surgery, if necessary
- Urinary catheter or surgery to remove urethral blockage in male cats
Antibiotics is the main solution, and the solutions above would only be used in very mild or very extreme cases where there are additional issues.
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Cystitis And Lower Urinary Tract Disease In Cats
Cystitis is a general term referring to inflammation in the urinary bladder. The term cystitis does not imply a specific underlying cause. In cats, diseases of the lower urinary tract are often grouped under the term feline lower urinary tract disease . The initial diagnosis of FLUTD is based on the identification of signs of lower urinary tract inflammation.
Warning Signs Of Feline Urinary Tract Infections
- 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.
- Blood in urine
- 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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Bacterial Urinary Tract Infections : Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatment
A urinary tract infection usually refers to a bacterial infection of any or all parts of the urinary tract, but it most commonly involves the urinary bladder .
UTIs are common in dogs, especially females, but are uncommon in cats less than 10 years of age. However, cats older than 10 years of age have a higher risk for a UTI, which is often associated with other diseases .
Two things must occur for presentation of a bacterial UTI:
1.;There must be a break, either temporary or permanent, in the animals defenses.2.;Bacteria must migrate into the urinary tract, catch hold and multiply.
How Are Cat Urinary Tract Infections Caused
There are many risk factors identified for cats with FLUTD, a combination likely plays a role in the development of the disease. These are:
- Urethral plugs
- Idiopathic cystitis stress and dietary changes can increase the risk. Many cats will have repeated episodes, but we cannot predict which cats will have relapses. Causes of stress can include multi-cat households, abrupt changes in routine, new pets and territorial disputes.
- Disease such as diabetes and;hyperthyroidismcan lead to urinary tract infections in older cats
Less common causes include injury to the urinary tract, abnormal anatomy and tumours.;
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Tips For Cat Uti Prevention
It’s important to speak to your vet about the best diet and prevention plan for your cat, as age and health all play a role. Your vet may recommend a specific food, such as wet food or a renal diet, and feeding schedule for UTI prevention. Feeding your cat a high-quality diet;is one of the best ways to promote overall good health, including urinary tract health.
Additional steps that may not only aid in preventing UTIs, but will also keep your cat healthy in general include:
- Increase your cat’s water consumption. Make sure their water bowl is clean and filled with fresh water at all times. You can also encourage your cat to drink more by setting up multiple water bowls around the house, ensuring all water bowls are wide and not too narrow, adding a small amount of chicken broth to the water or purchasing a cat drinking fountain.
- Place litter boxes in quiet areas of the house where your cat feels comfortable.
- Keep litter boxes clean. Be sure to scoop them twice a day and change the litter at least once a week.
How To Prevent A Cat Urinary Problem
Preventing urinary infection in cats is aimed at addressing behavioural issues and helping to reduce stress for the cat. As an owner, there are various ways you can help your cat at home and they include;
- Providing fresh water regularly. Fresh, clean drinking water is essential for your cat and a water fountain is ideal as they like running water. The next best thing is a large dog bowl so there is a large surface area for your cat to drink from. Feeding wet food will also help to increase your cats water consumption.;
- Clean litter trays. Providing an adequate number of clean litter trays with the litter the cats prefer, in quiet, safe areas of the house.;
- Changes in routine/providing enrichment. Minimising changes to cats daily routine and providing them with plenty of toys and games will help to keep them occupied and distracted.;
- Reduce stress. Pheromone diffusers such as Feliway and essential oils diffusers such as Pet Remedy can help to relax stressed cats. Where stress may be caused by children, other pets or other cats in their territory, ensure your cat has somewhere he/she can avoid conflict. If necessary place curtains or blinds to prevent other cats staring into your house. Provide scratching posts and allow time for your cat to play.
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How To Tell If Your Cat Has A Uti
Urinary tract disorders are fairly common in cats and its important to recognize the warning signs as soon as possible because in some cases, a urinary tract problem can be deadly. Here, we will talk a bit about UTIs in cats, how to tell if your cat has a UTI, and what you should do if you suspect that this is the case. Know what to look for to keep your kitty happy and healthy!
Q: What Can I Do To Maintain My Cat’s Urinary Tract Health Especially As He Or She Ages
Dr. Leslie:;Water, water, water and water! To increase water in the overall diet, try these techniques: provide multiple water bowls around the house that are wide enough so whiskers don’t touch the bowl, add a water fountain or add more high-moisture wet cat food, such as from a can or pouch.
Signs of a urinary tract issue can be distressing for cats and parents alike. But check out the;4 signs of a happy cat, and you’ll know when everything is a-OK.
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How Veterinarians Diagnose Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
To determine if your cat might have a UTI, your veterinarian will begin by examining your cat and asking you some questions.
During the thorough physical examination, your veterinarian may be looking for the following in your cat:
- Enlarged or small bladder
- Bladder and/or kidney pain
- Blood around their genitals
Your veterinarian might ask you some of the following questions. Give some thought to these questions in advance to make the most of your visit.
- How long has your cat been exhibiting these signs?
- Have you noticed any change in your cats appetite and/or thirst?
- How many litter boxes do you have available for your cat?
- How often do you scoop your cats litter boxes?
- What food does your cat eat?
To make their diagnosis, and depending on what they find on their examination and the answers you provide to their questions, your veterinarian might recommend any or all of the following tests:
Your veterinarian may ask you to bring a urine sample with you, but its more likely they will want to collect a fresh, sterile sample directly from your cats bladder at the visit. This is to ensure that a high-quality sample can be gathered.;So, try not to let your cat pee for a few hours prior to their visit.