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.
What Are Cat Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
Symptoms of urinary tract infections in cats can be similar whether they have sterile cystitis or they have a bacterial infection.
Common signs of a cat bladder infection or cystitis include:
- Frequently urinating
If youre seeing any of these signs in your cat, you need to take them to your veterinarian for an examination and additional diagnostics.
Causes Of Uti’s In Cats
Bacteria causes urinary tract infections when it enters a cat’s bladder. Typically bacteria enters a bladder through a cat’s urethra, which is the path urine takes from the bladder to exit the body. Once in the bladder, bacteria grow and reproduce to create more bacteria and infiltrate this once sterile space. Simple things like a dirty litter box, dirty bed, or an overall dirty environment that a cat spends time in can allow bacteria to enter a urethra and cause a urinary tract infection.
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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.
What Are Urinary Tract Infections
Sometimes, urinary tract conditions can be associated with other diseases, including chronic kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. However, in many cases, there doesnt seem to be an underlying cause at all in this case, the technical diagnosis would be feline idiopathic cystitis .
Feline lower urinary tract disease, or FLUTD, is the umbrella term for urinary tract conditions in cats. A feline urinary tract infection is typically characterized by painful and difficult urination. Urinary tract infections in cats can range from mild to fatal, so it is important that you consult a vet right away if you suspect your cat is suffering from a UTI.
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My Veterinarian Sent A Sample Of Urine To A Laboratory For What She Called A Culture And Sensitivity Test What Is This
All urinary tract infections are NOT created equal! Even though the most common organism to cause UTIs in cats is Escherichia coli , there are several other organisms that may be involved. The only way to identify which specific bacteria is causing the UTI, is to grow it in a laboratory. At the same time, the laboratory can also test which antibiotic is best suited to treat the infection.
“The only way to identify which specific bacteria is causing the UTI, is to grow it in a laboratory.”
Often, a veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic that is among the most commonly used for treating UTIs in order to try to provide immediate relief to the cat. They may also prescribe pain medications , and may recommend a diet change.
Once the culture and sensitivity results are received, an appropriate antibiotic will be prescribed. After the course of antibiotics is given, it is important to recheck the urinalysis to confirm that the infection is resolved. If it is not, then it will be important to look for other issues that may contribute to a persistent UTI.
What Are Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Urinary tract infections are not common in cats. Only 1-3% of cats with signs of urinary tract disease will have a urinary tract infection.
Because they can resemble so many other conditions, UTIs need to be distinguished from other conditions, such as crystals in the urine. Fortunately, by running some simple tests, your veterinarian will be able to tell the difference.
In most cases, UTIs in cats are usually caused by bacteria. Bacterial urinary tract infections in cats are generally relatively easy to treat and respond well to medications. Chronic infections, or those that do not respond to regular medication, can require more testing to figure out why your cat is at higher risk for urinary tract infections.
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How Can I Prevent My Cat From Getting Another Bladder Infection
Unfortunately, there is no magic recipe when it comes to the prevention of FLUTD. However, there are a few ways you can boost your chances of making your cats UTI a one-time thing rather than a recurring problem.
When it comes to FLUTD, environmental factors are usually the culprits. And so, promoting a clean urinary tract opening is a great way to prevent infections. Here are a few ways you can achieve this:
- Give each cat in your household their proper litter box
- Keep your kittys litter box clean
- Regularly wash your cats bed and/or blankets
- Give them access to clean water
- Improve their diets
How To Prevent Uti’s 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.
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Treatment For Utis In Cats
If you see any signs of UTI in your cat, take them to the vet. For male cats, it can be fatal to wait even a few hours. For female cats, feed them canned food only and see the vet within 24 hours. You should not try to treat the UTI at home with things like cranberry products, which have not been proven to be effective for UTIs in cats.
Urinary tract infections in cats are usually treated with antibiotics. Often, vets also recommend feeding an all-canned diet for a period of time since dry foods often result in a more-concentrated urine, which can lead to urinary tract problems.
If your cat is particularly uncomfortable, your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory pain medicationespecially if treatment is delayed a few days while you wait for test results. Acute infections usually receive a relatively short course of antibiotics, while chronic UTIs may require longer antibiotic use.
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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How Does A Vet Determine If A Cat Has A Uti
With regard to feline urinary tract disease , your vet will examine your cats symptoms, htology Your vet will perform a complete physical exam to help assess your cats symptoms and perform a urinalysis to get further insight into your cats condition. There may also need to be x-rays, blood tests, an oral culture, and an ultrasound.
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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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.
Recovery Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Your cats recovery will depend on the underlying cause of the infection. Generally, cats will start to show improvement within 2-3 days of treatment, if the case is not serious.
Always follow your vets treatment instructions. Be sure to provide clean water at all times. Encourage drinking where you can and ensure that litter boxes are clean. This can help reduce your cats stress and may speed up recovery.
Urinary tract infections can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your cat has a urinary tract infection or is at risk, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion. Find the pawfect plan for your pet in just a few clicks!
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Urinary Tract Infections Average Cost
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How To Prevent Cat Urinary Tract Infections
There is always a chance, and sometimes a good chance, that your cats UTI or other lower urinary tract problem will recur. Some recommendations to help prevent recurrences of UTIs and other issues are relatively inexpensive. Your veterinarian may suggest some menu of options like these:
Adjust your cat’s diet. Feed small meals on a frequent basis and keep your cat to a healthy weight. With your vets recommendation, consider a change to a specialized diet for urinary conditions or a switch to canned food. Here are tips from the American Association of Feline Practitioners covering best practices for healthy feeding.
Manage the water. Keep bowls clean and fresh at all times. More water keeps the flow going!
Improve your litter box hygiene. Offer enough litter boxes . Dont hide them away where theyre hard to get for your cat, Primm says. Scoop the boxes twice daily and replace all the litter at least weekly. Note your own cats preference. Primm says some cats like covered boxes, some dont, and different litter appeals to different litter box users. The American Association of Feline Practitioners has helpful tips on how to manage and prevent cat house soiling, covering everything from litter box size to the location of the box within the home
Talk to your vet about the best preventive care and UTI treatments for your cat.
Obsessive Licking Of Genitals
When your cat is in pain, they attempt to soothe themselves and make the pain go away. Licking is the best way they know how to do that.
All cats lick their genitals occasionally. But thats not a a sign of a urinary tract infection. The red flag comes up when a cat starts licking with an urgent obsession. Distractions wont last for long, and your cat might choose to lick themselves instead of play with their favorite toy.
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Cat Uti Home Test For All Forms Of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Are you worried your cat may have a urinary tract infection or bladder stones? These are symptoms of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. These problems are extremely common, especially in older male cats and those that eat dry food. They can occur in any cat however and this product can save much worry and hassle as well as cost. If your cat pees outside its litter box suddenly, cries when going to the litter box or has other symptoms, you need to get it checked. Luckily, there is now an easy way to do a first level check at home. If your cat has blood in the urine or other serious symptoms, like inability to pee, dont waste time with this! Take him straight to the vet! If you just dont know why your cat peed outside the box, or want to do a periodic check just to be careful, then here is a cat UTI home test for you!
This is the Ultra brand Monthly Monitor-Early Illness Detection cat litter additive.
The Ultra Monthly Monitor cat litter additive allows you to check the pH of your cats urine anytime. The directions say to sprinkle a layer on top of freshly changed cat litter. You are supposed to watch and look at the color of the crystals after your cat uses the box. If you wait more than 10 or 15 minutes the results may not be accurate. It takes a few minutes for the color to develop however.
What Is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Feline lower urinary tract disease describes a variety of conditions that affect the bladder and urethra of cats. Cats with FLUTD most often show signs of difficulty and pain when urinating, increased frequency of urination, and blood in the urine. Cats with FLUTD also tend to lick themselves excessively and may urinate outside the litter box, often on cool, smooth surfaces like a tile floor or a bathtub.
While FLUTD can occur at any age, it is usually seen in middle-aged, overweight cats that get little exercise, use an indoor litter box, have little or no outdoor access, or eat a dry diet. Factors such as emotional or environment stress, multi-cat households, and abrupt changes in daily routine may also increase the risk that a cat will develop FLUTD.
Major signs of feline lower urinary tract disease include:
- Straining to urinate
- Frequent and/or prolonged attempts to urinate
- Crying out while urinating
- Excessive licking of the genital area
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Blood in the urine
Note that cats with a urethral obstruction will also show these signs but will pass little or no urine and become increasingly distressed. Urethral obstruction is seen more often in males than female cats due their longer, narrow urethra. A urethral obstruction is an emergency and requires immediate veterinary treatment.
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How To Recognize And Treat A Cat Urinary Tract Infection
Cats rule the world, or maybe it just feels that way to their owners. Our feline companions can be the light of our lives. Pets can turn any bad day into paw-somely purr-fect one. However, when your furry friend isnt feeling their best, it can cause stress both for the cat and you as a pet parent.
Because February is National Cat Health Month, we would like to highlight a common feline issue: urinary tract infection . This time of year, we see more cases of UTIs, especially in males.
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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