Cat Bladder Infection Symptoms

Recognizing cat bladder infection symptoms is important, because felines are very susceptible to bladder and urinary infections. Bladder infections are classified as lower urinary tract infections. The lower urinary tract includes all organs and systems responsible for producing urine, once it has entered the bladder. 

In most cats, the organism responsible for infection enters the body through the urethra. While some sources of infection are identified, many are not. In some instances, infection is secondary to another underlying condition. Parasites, bacteria and viruses that are present in the bloodstream often cause secondary infections. 

Symptoms thought to be the result of infection, could be symptoms of other urinary tract disorders. Urethral obstructions and stones are serious conditions that pet owners often mistake for infection. A feline displaying symptoms of possible infection needs immediate medical care. 

Cystitis, Feline Urologic Syndrome and Feline Lower Urinary Tract Syndrome all share similar symptoms and are indistinguishable without further testing. 

Cystitis and Bacterial Cystitis

Cystitis is classified as an inflammation of the bladder. This inflammation will progress without treatment. Some causes of cystitis include bacteria, small particles of foreign substances, yeast infection, medications and diabetes. 

Female cats are more prone to cystitis than males. The female urethra is shorter, allowing easier transmission of bacteria. In rare cases, parasites can also invade the urethra. Additionally, the feline urethra is very close to the anus, allowing greater contact with infected fecal material. 

Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS)

Feline urologic syndrome is often used to describe any infection, disease or blockage in the lower urinary tract, where blood is present in the urine of straining cats. 

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Syndrome (FLUTS)

Feline lower urinary tract syndrome affects the bladder and/or urethra. This may be caused by fungal infections, bacterial infections or parasites. Felines with immune disorders and viral infections may be prone to secondary infection. The stress of an existing condition or cancer often weakens the immune response, putting a cat at greater risk of developing infection.

Feline Idiopathic Lower Urinary Tract Syndrome (FILUTS)

Feline Idiopathic Lower Urinary Tract Syndrome is used to describe disorders and infections of the bladder and/or urethra when the cause in not known. It is often seen in cats that suffer from reoccurring conditions. 

Common Bladder and Urinary Infection Symptoms

  • Frequent urination in amounts less than normal
  • Urinating in inappropriate areas around or in the home
  • Struggling to urinate
  • Crying in pain while attempting to urinate
  • Urine may have strange or bad odor
  • Presence of blood in urine
  • Excessive licking and grooming of genital region
  • Urinating on cool surfaces 

Symptoms of infection may indicate a more serious condition. A feline suffering from bladder or urinary stones may exhibit symptoms similar to the symptoms of infection. 

Male cats have narrow urethras and are prone to developing urethral obstructions. These felines will struggle to urinate, but there may be no urine flow or a very limited flow. This condition requires emergency medical treatment. Urethral obstructions can be fatal within hours.