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.
- 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.
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.
Bladder Stones And Crystals
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Urethral Blockage Is A Medical Emergency
The urethra is blocked. The cat is either passing a few drops or no urine at all.
To a trained hand, the painfully full bladder will transform from a small, slippery balloon into a hard baseball. The waste products that need to get out of your cats body through urination dont leave the body whatsoever. Instead, they begin to leach into other parts of the body, leading to lethargy, vomiting, and, sadly, eventual death.
This condition is most common among male cats, who have a longer and more pluggable urethra. The plug comes in a variety of forms: tumors, bladder stones, or a mix of mucous and protein called matrix.
Urethral obstruction is an excruciatingly painful nightmare and demands immediate treatment. Death usually occurs within 48 hours of total blockage.
A veterinarian can anesthetize the blocked cat and use a catheter to get the urine flowing. In some cases, gentle pressure on the bladder can help to pass the plug.
Although this is an article about home remedies, I would be morally remiss if I told you that any number of home remedies were adequate treatment for this very serious condition. As much as I wish I could tell you that there was a simple home remedy for urethral obstruction, many hours of research make the answer clear.
Administering Apple Cider Vinegar For Urinary Tract Infections
Mix about ½ a teaspoon of ACV into your cats freshwater supply. If they do not like the water once the ACV has been added, try replacing the water with broth to disguise the acidity of the ACV.
Because your cat will ingest it, we recommend using organic apple cider vinegar only. Please be aware that if your cat has been diagnosed with kidney disease you should avoid using apple cider vinegar before discussing it with the veterinarian as these patients do not process acids very well as a result of their medical condition.
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Symptoms Determining The Severity Of Uti
The urinary tract infection can be more or less severe and you need to look for symptoms to see if you can use home remedies or whetheryou will need to get veterinary help.
The symptoms indicating that the UTI is severe include:
- Severe pain when urinating
- Blood and impurities in the urine
If the cat doesnt have these symptoms, at home remedies may be recommended.
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
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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Remedies And Treatments For Cat Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract diseases are common in cats and can cause discomfort and distress. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to partial or complete blockage of the urethra. This can lead to kidney failure or rupture of the bladder, which could be deadly.
Depending on the severity of the infection, a cat UTI can be treated using at-home remedies and treatments.
While cranberries are known as a UTI treatment in humans, they can also be used to treat a cat UTI. The acidity of cranberries can lower the pH of your cats urine, which can help treat a UTI and stop it from coming back.
Many cranberry juices are high in sugar. Instead, you can find cranberry capsules , supplements, or powder to add to your cats diet.
Before giving your cat cranberry, you should first test the pH levels in your cats urine. While the acidity of cranberries may help with some UTIs, in other cases, it could make the condition worse. Only provide cranberry supplements if your cats urine is too alkaline.
Apple cider vinegar can also lower the pH in your cats urine, eliminating and preventing any harmful bacteria. Add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your cats food each day. To reduce the bitter taste, you can mix it in with chicken or beef broth. Just make sure the broth doesnt contain onions, as this is toxic to cats.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
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The Costs Of Cat Uti Treatment
To make an informed decision about whether or not to take your cat to the veterinarian for a UTI, you should first understand the costs and the services that the veterinarian can provide. When your cat has been drinking blood or urine for more than 1-2 days, you should consult a veterinarian. If your cat has clinical signs such as straining to urinate, urinating outside of the litter box, or frequently smaller urinations, or frequent urinations, you should consult a veterinarian. A urine culture test can cost between $500 and $600, and outpatient treatment typically costs between $100 and $200. If the cat does not respond to treatment, an antibiotic may be prescribed by a veterinarian. It is critical to follow all of the vets instructions in order to avoid a relapse or reinfection.
Urinating Outside The Litter Box
Healthy cats sometimes urinate outside their litter boxes, but when this becomes a frequent occurrence it is a sign of a UTI, particularly when combined with any of the aforementioned symptoms. Your cat may feel as though he cant make it to the litter box or he may associate his litter box with pain and want to stay away.
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Check The List Of Natural Treatments For Uti’s In Cats
The two most important are:
Diet – Change to a high protein diet and stay away from dry cat food. This should help alleviate your cat’s urinary tract infection.
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A Note About Cranberry Juice And Utis
Cranberry juice or cranberry extract in supplemental form has long been used as a home remedy for UTIs.
The thought is that the proanthocyanidins in cranberries may help prevent bladder infections by keeping the bacteria from clinging to the bladder wall, says Sonya Angelone, MS, RDN, a nutrition consultant based in San Francisco, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Yet theres scientific controversy over how effective cranberry juice is at preventing UTIs due to conflicting conclusions in studies on the topic, according to an article published in May 2016 in Advances in Nutrition. Some studies have found it might work, while others have found no effect.
Bottom line, there is some evidence it may help, and it doesnt hurt to try it, says Angelone. Just be sure to chose unsweetened cranberry juice . Mix this with sparkling water or plain yogurt, she recommends.
Another low-calorie option choose a cranberry pill that contains d-mannose, she says.
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Important Information On Flutd & Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Feelings of fear and anxiety can affect our cats much like they affect us. Stress can occur in your cat for multiple reasons. Perhaps youve recently moved or brought a new pet or family member home. Whatever the case may be, if you have a stressed cat, there could be an underlying problem. One of the first ways to detect this problem is when your cat stops using her litter box. She may be peeing in a new spot, spraying on a wall, or having trouble urinating.
Unfortunately, inappropriate urination is one of the most common reasons why cats are left at shelters or put outdoors. If your cat starts marking her territory away from her litter box, its not out of revenge or spite its probably because something is wrong. While it could be a behavioral problem, or she doesnt like her litter box for some reason, a medical condition should first be ruled out. One of the most frequent medical causes of a urination problem is feline lower urinary tract disease.
Home Remedies For A Cat Uti
Once you have diagnosed your cat to have a UTI, the next course of action is to find a remedy. UTI in cats are pretty common and can cause a lot of discomfort and distress to your furry friend. If left untreated, the UTI can lead to blockage of the urethra which can be fatal. Luckily there are home remedies to help in the treatment of a UTI in cats.
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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 .
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.
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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.
The Different Types Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
In cats, urinary tract infections can be serious. Urinary tract infections in cats can have serious consequences, including kidney damage and even death. Because UTIs are so common, you should be aware of their symptoms. Each type of UTI requires a different treatment approach. An antibiotic is usually required to treat a UTI that was caused by a bacteria, such as E. coli. If your UTI is caused by a fungus, your veterinarian may recommend antifungal medication. A blood test may also be required, depending on the severity of the UTI. If the UTI is mild, your cat may only require antibiotics. If the UTI is severe, you may need to do more tests, such as blood work and antibiotics, in addition to blood work and antibiotics. Despite the fact that UTIs can be serious, most cats will be completely healed in about 2-5 days, depending on the severity of the infection. If your cat requires medication, make sure it is hydrated and provides plenty of rest to aid in its healing process.
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Cat Urinary Blockage Recovery
Your cat will be uncomfortable as they recover from their urinary blockage. Whether your kitty underwent surgery or endured a catheter for days, itll be feeling sluggish and distressed. Give your kitty some extra TLC during this time theyll certainly need it.
Its not unusual for your cat to still strain a bit during urination while theyre recovering from a blockage. The inflammation can take a few days to subside. Be sure to monitor your cats urinary output and watch for signs of blood in the urine. You will need to bring them back to the vet if the blockage recurs. To help relieve some of your cats discomfort, you can give them non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Onsior or Metacam.
If you dont want to go the pharmaceutical route, CBD products are another option that can aid your cats recovery. Like all mammals, cats have an endocannabinoid system that regulates swelling among other important processes in their body.
CBD interacts with the ECS and can provide some soothing effects for your pet. CBD is a non-intoxicating compound that is well-tolerated by most animals. Your cat wont get high from CBD, and they wont become addicted to the products either.
What Does A Urinalysis Look At
If your cat presents to your veterinarian with urinary signs, your veterinarian will first perform a urinalysis. The urinalysis can reveal so much important information about the urine when a UTI is suspected. Your veterinarian will look for the following:
- urine-specific gravity
Once these levels are measured, the urine specimen is placed into a centrifuge and spun down to allow cells and other debris to accumulate at the bottom of the sample tube. That debris can then be evaluated, revealing the presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, and crystals.
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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.