Cat Bladder Infection

A cat bladder infection can occur when bacteria find their way into your cat's bladder. There's no one species of bacteria that cause cat bladder infections. Symptoms of cat bladder infections may vary somewhat, and your vet will need to perform a urinalysis to diagnose a bladder infection.

Causes of Feline Bladder Infections

In most cases, staphylococcus and proteus are the bacteria responsible for cat bladder infections.

There are a number of different factors that can make your cat more susceptible to bladder infection. Your cat's bladder wall may become somewhat permeable with time, allowing bacteria to pass into the bladder from outside. Age, weight, habits and state of health can all make your cat more or less vulnerable to bladder infections. Bacteria can even travel up the urethra from outside the body and infect the bladder. This sometimes happens when cats are forced to use improperly cleaned litter trays.

Symptoms of Feline Bladder Infections

Cats with bladder infections may appear tense, irritable and uncomfortable. They may fail to obey commands and may seem to forget their litter box training, often urinating in odd places. Feline bladder infection often causes abdominal pain, and tenderness to the touch in the region of the bladder. Cats with bladder infections may experience decreased appetite, lethargy and depression. They may fail to groom themselves.

The most common symptoms of feline bladder infection are difficulty urinating, passing smaller amounts of urine, and blood in the urine or hematuria. If the infection is quite severe, your cat may also have pus in his urine.

Diagnosing Feline Bladder Infection

Your vet will need to perform a urinalysis to diagnose feline bladder infection. Your vet will find bacteria in your cat's urine. He'll also find that your cat's urine has become more alkaline and that it contains higher amounts of urease, an enzyme present in urine that helps it decompose into carbon dioxide and ammonia once it leaves the body.

Your vet may need to analyze your cat's urine under laboratory conditions to find red and white blood cells in it. The presence of white and red blood cells indicates a bladder infection, even if your vet finds no bacteria in the urine. If your vet finds red and white blood cells and no bacteria in your cat's urine, he'll create bacterial cultures to verify the diagnosis.

Treating Cat Bladder Infection

A cat suffering from bladder infection should be given extra drinking water and should be put on a low protein and magnesium food during the healing process. Your vet will prescribe antibiotics, which your cat will need to take for at least two weeks. Your vet will examine your cat's urine once a week to keep track of his progress in healing. Your cat may need to remain on antibiotics for two to four weeks after symptoms have been resolved.