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What Are The Signs Of A Uti In A Cat

Summary Of Urinary Tract Infection In Cats

Signs My Cat Has a UTI

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.

Diagnosis Of A Urinary Infection In Cats

Diagnosis of a U.T.I. is usually confirmed by a urinalysis. Collecting urine from a cat may be challenging. Owners can try replacing the normal litter with lentils, beans, or Styrofoam packaging peanuts these materials will not absorb the urine, which makes it easier to collect. In some cases the vet may need to perform a cystocentesis, which consists of inserting a needle directly into the bladder to collect some urine.

Signs Of Cat Urinary Infection

Urinary problems in cats are very common these days. They are seen much more frequently in males cats than females, due to the construction of their urinary system.

One of the common denominators of cats developing urinary infections is a dried food diet. Feeding dried food constantly causes chronic dehydration in cats, and systemic problems are the result.

Below are listed are a few of the signs you can look out for. If you notice any of these signs of cat urinary infection, you must take immediate action to check things out. Please be aware that UTIs can also become life threatening, sometimes with frightening suddenness.

Cat urinary infections & blockages can become life-threatening very quickly

Yet early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the condition from developing into a more serious one. When not addressed, a cat urinary infection may often spread. It can seriously affect the cats bladder and also damage the kidneys. The subsequent formation of scar tissue often makes urination difficult and very painful in the future.

Symptoms of Cat Urinary Infection

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Causes Of Urinary Tract Issues In Cats

It is possible for cats to get urinary tract infections that are unpleasant and can lead to bladder infections or renal problems. Recognize the indications of urinary tract infection in your cat so that you may treat it as soon as it appears. Whether youre a human or a cat, It hurts when I pee is not a joke. For both of you, it is a source of frustration when your cat has trouble or pain when peeing. It is difficult for your cat and you to go about your daily routine when he has a urinary tract infection .

A cat UTI may progress to a bladder or kidney infection if not treated promptly.

  • Urinary stones, which grow in the bladder and urethra
  • A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection of the urinary system that occurs after germs have made their way into the urethra. An blockage in the urethra, which may be caused by an accident, a tumor, or an anomaly that has existed from your cats conception
  • A convoluted phrase for an inflammation of the cats bladder whose etiology is uncertain, feline idiopathic cystitis is defined as follows: A typical diagnosis in cats less than ten years of age is hepatitis C. It is possible for a veterinarian to identify the illness after ruling out alternative possibilities.

Diagnosing Feline Urinary Tract Disease

How to Treat and Prevent Urinary Tract Infections in Cats

In order to get the best potential outcome, any bladder or urine problem must be addressed immediately. Untreated urinary disorders in cats can lead the urethra to become partially or totally clogged, preventing your feline companion from being able to relieve himself. Indications of a major medical problem include symptoms such as renal failure or bladder rupture, which can occur swiftly. In the event of a blockage that is not removed immediately, FLUTD can soon become lethal.

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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 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.

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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.

Cats Can Get Urinary Tract Infections

Cat UTI Infection Symptoms

Your cat has started to display some odd behavior lately. Your previously house-trained cat is now urinating in your bathtub or on your bed. Also, your cat strains as if constipated, just sitting there in the litter box waiting and repeatedly scratching.

Not all owners can recognize these key signs of a urinary tract infection . Having worked at a veterinary hospital, I have come across many cats that were thought by their owners to be constipated, or worse, just simply displaying behavioral issues.

Cats that pee in the bathtub or on the bed are doing so for a very specific reason: their trip to the litter box has turned unpleasant. Your cat has tried to urinate in the litter box, but it turned out to be too painful, and therefore, he has started associating the litter box with something negative. To a cat, avoidance is the best solution, so he will try any other place to see if it will, in any way, ease the discomfort.

Another common sign of UTI in a cat is insistently licking the genital area. Cats tend to lick their wounds, so licking their genital area is the way they try to “heal” the burning sensation they are feeling.

If you have happened to find some occult blood around the home, it is very likely coming from the cat. Blood may appear as normal red drops, or it may have a pinkish tint if it is mixed with the urine.

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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.

Diagnosis Of Feline Urinary Tract Disease

Please call your veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect that your feline companion is suffering from difficulties with their lower urinary system, especially if your cat is straining to urinate or screaming out in discomfort. Your veterinarian will do a thorough physical examination to assist in determining the cause of your cats symptoms, as well as a urinalysis to get more insight into your cats condition. It is possible that radiographs, blood testing, and a urine culture will be required.

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How Are Cat Utis Diagnosed

If you suspect your feline friend might be suffering from a UTI, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. While there, your vet will collect a urine sample, typically referred to as urinalysis, by inserting a needle into the bladder and removing urine with a syringe. Thankfully, this is a painless process, so it should be easy to keep even the fussiest cats calm during the procedure.

The vet will then analyze your cats urine under a microscope and watch for bacterial growth. If growth is present, your vet will likely diagnose a UTI. If no growth is present but your cat is still suffering from symptoms, your vet will likely look into another type of bladder infection or disease. In order to properly diagnose your cat, your vet might perform X-rays, blood work, ultrasounds, or biopsies.

The Importance Of A Yearly Urine Test

Vet Talk

Because cats can have a urinary tract infection without showing symptoms, veterinarians recommend a once a year urine screening test. This test can be performed when she comes in for her yearly examination and vaccines too. If your cat has increased risk factors, she may need to have her urine tested more often, such as every six months.

If your cat is diagnosed with a bladder infection, the good news is that her infection will probably clear up in no time with prescribed antibiotics and plenty of extra tender loving care.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pets diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vets opinion.

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Symptoms Of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

The most common symptom of FLUTD is your cat urinating outside the litter box . Inappropriate urination often occurs on clothes, bedding, and rugs. Some cats may choose one location, but others may urinate throughout the home.

Your cat may also make very frequent trips to the litter box but only pee small amounts at a time. Other symptoms include vocalizing while urinating and/or the presence of blood in the urine.

If you see your cat trying to use the litter box and producing no urine at all, or just a few small drops, bring them to the vet immediately. This may be a sign of the most severe FLUTD syndrome: urethral obstruction. This occurs more commonly in male cats but can occur in females as well.

Best Food For Cats With Urinary Infection

The best type of food when dealing with cats urinary infection is a fresh, raw meat diet. Remove all dried food, as this is one of the major causative factors in urinary problems in felines. Raw meat contains lots of liquid as well, and the more liquid passes through your cats system, the quicker the cleaning and healing process will be.

If you need information on this, please read this article: Feeding raw food to cats

Make sure you keep your eye out for any urinary infection symptoms in your cat, especially if you are feeding dry food. And if you notice any signs, get professional advice immediately. Time may be of the essence!

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Other Types Of Urinary Tract Problems In Cats

UTI’s aren’t the only type of urinary tract problem in cats. More commonly, cats develop inflammation or stones.

  • Urine CrystalsCrystals can be problematic because they can develop into troublesome bladder stones. There are several different types of urine crystals.
  • Bladder Stones – Multiple different types of bladder stones exist and sometimes bacteria contributes to their formation. Small stones can cause a cat to be obstructed and unable to urinate which is why they are life threatening.
  • Urinary Tract Inflammation – Also referred to as cystitis, inflammation can be dangerous in a cat. The urethra may swell and cause a cat to be unable to urinate which can be fatal.

Diagnosis Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats

Symptoms for UTIs in Cats and Dogs


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.

Basic Urinalysis

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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How Vets Diagnose Utis In Cats

Vets diagnose urinary tract infections by collecting a urine sample and examining it for the presence of bacteria. These samples must be collected through a process called cystocentesis, where urine is drawn directly from the bladder with a fine needle. This is necessary to prevent contamination of the urine sample from cups, tables, or any other surface the urine may come into contact with.

After cystocentesis, your veterinarian will run a culture-and-sensitivity test. During this test, the bacteria are isolated and studied. This helps the vet determine the best antibiotics for your cats exact infection.

Occasionally, acute infectionsespecially first-time infections that show up suddenlyare treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic without trying to determine which bacteria are involved.

Chronic infections, however, almost always require more testing to isolate the type of bacteria causing the problem and identify the best antibiotic.

What Causes Urinary Tract Infections In Cats

Causes of urinary tract infections in cats include crystals or stones in the bladder, urethral inflammation or plugs, and inflammation in the bladder . Proper identification of the reason for the infection can lead to the fastest resolution and prevention of future episodes, saving your cat pain and discomfort and saving your time, money, and stress!

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Common Cat Uti Symptoms

The good news is that there are a few telltale signs to look out for when identifying whether or not your cat has a UTI. The following are the most common symptoms:

  • Urinating outside the litter box
  • Blood in the urine
  • Painful urination and discomfort
  • Changes to your cats daily bathroom regimen

Frequent licking is one of the most common symptoms of a cat UTI and may look something like this.

Treatment Usually Involves Antibiotics And Pain Relief

Cat Signs Of Uti

Treatment for a urinary tract infection in cats is generally an antibiotic and possibly anti-inflammatory medications and/or pain medications. Exactly which antibiotic is used for cat urinary tract infections depends on the type of bacteria present.

Since a urine culture and sensitivity test takes several days to run, your veterinarian may choose to start your cat on an antibiotic that is effective against the most common bacteria seen with urinary tract infections. If the urine culture shows the bacteria not sensitive to that antibiotic, your vet might switch your cats antibiotic if there has not been a good response to treatment.

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Causes Of Feline Urinary Tract Disease

Since there are multiple causes and contributing factors associated with FLUTD it can be a tricky condition to diagnose and treat. Crystals, stones or debris can gradually build up in your cat’s urethra – the tube connecting the bladder to the outside of your cats body – or bladder.

Other 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

Overweight, middle-aged cats who have little to no access to outdoors, eat a dry food diet or do not get enough physical activity are more susceptible to urinary tract issues, 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, infections, cancer or a blockage.


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