Causes and Treatments for UTI in Cats
Urinary Tract Infections in cats, also known as “UTIs” are caused by colonized bacteria in the urinary tract. The UTI can affect the cat’s urinary system, bladder, and urethra. This type of infection can be particularly painful for your cat and symptoms can sometimes be associated with other health concerns such as kidney failure. It is very important to recognize the symptoms early as some cases of this condition can be fatal.
How To Tell if Your Cat May Have a UTI
If you think that your cat may have a urinary tract infection it is important to find out in order to have it treated as soon as possible. We have included a list of symptoms for you to watch out for. If you recognize these symptoms you should seek veterinary assistance. While UTIs affect both male and female cats, some cats may be at higher risk than others such as cats that are older, overweight, or have diabetes.
UTI Symptoms and Warning Signs for Cats:
- Urinating is done in short bursts rather than a continuous stream
- Spending more time than usual in the litter box
- Difficulty urinating
- Crying or whining while urinating
- Your cat is urinating before it can get to the litter box
- Urine with any trace of blood
- Excessive licking of the genital area
- Unusual discomfort around the rear area when touched or pet
- The cat is lethargic
- Urine smell is stronger than normal
Why Is My Cat Having Frequent Urinary Tract Infections?
There are many reasons why your cat may be suffering from repeat UTIs, some may be preventable. While there is no way to guarantee your cat will not have another UTI, there may be some things you can do to reduce the likelihood of it happening. In some cases the cause could simply be the age of your cat. While there is nothing that can be done about that, other variables like the cat’s diet can be modified to help.
Other causes of UTIs in Cats:
- Poor hygiene near the genitile area
- Bladder stones
- External or Internal Injuries
- FIV, also known as feline immunodeficiency virus
What Can I Do To Prevent Or Reduce The Likelihood of a UTI in my Cat?
No cat owner wants to see their beloved pet suffer from a UTI. To keep your cat feeling great and reduce the chances of a UTI occurring, follow these guidelines:
- Always provide your cat with fresh water
- Ensure your cat’s litter trays are clean and easily accessible
- Keep an extra litter tray available
- Maintain a stress-free environment for your cat
By following these guidelines you can do your part to help keep your cat healthy, happy, and free of urinary tract infections. If you suspect any symptoms, keep an eye on your pet’s behavior, if symptoms persist or worsen, contact your vet.
Which Remedies or Treatments Can Be Used When Your Cat Has a UTI?
While the severity of the infection plays a key role in what treatments may be used to help your cat when it has a UTI, a minor infection may be treatable at home.
Due to their acidity, cranberries, just like in humans, may be used to help cure a urinary tract infection. The acidity in the cranberries can be effective at lowering the pH of your cat’s urine, helping to reduce the symptoms, or beat the infection altogether. While you may be tempted to treat your cat’s UTI with cranberry juice, it may be better to use cranberry pills or powder due to the high sugar content of cranberry juice.
Another treatment option for your cat’s UTI is apple cider vinegar. This also helps reduce the pH in your cat’s urine. Since your cat will most likely not want to eat the apple cider vinegar on its own, you can try adding a half teaspoon to their food each day or mix it with an onion-free broth.
Before giving your cat cranberries or apple cider vinegar, test their urine for alkaline levels with an at-home kit or specialized cat litter. You can also have the test done professionally by your veterinarian.
Here are some other products that you can use to help support urinary tract infection in your cat: