Cat Urinary Tract Infection Prevention and Maintenance

Cat urinary tract infections (UTI) mainly affect the cat urethra and the urinary bladder. Feline lower urinary tract infections that have no known cause are called idiopathic urinary infections. Since cats experience a lot of discomfort and pain when they have urinary tract infections, a proper diagnosis that determines the underlying cause of the urinary infection is necessary.

Cats exhibit various symptoms of urinary tract infections. Most cats are able to mask their discomfort and hence pet owners find it difficult to determine if their cats are sick. Before understanding the treatment options for feline urinary tract infections, it's necessary to watch for certain symptoms in your cat.

Symptoms of Feline Urinary Infection

  • Frequent urination
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Straining to urinate
  • Pain or discomfort in the litter box
  • Spontaneous urination in unusual places in the household
  • Blood in the urine, in certain cases

Treatment of Cat Urinary Infection

Two known causes of feline UTI are urinary stones or uroliths, and urethral obstructions. Cats suffering from urinary tract infections related to uroliths are prescribed certain dietary foods that will help dissolve struvite uroliths. Surgical removal of stones may be necessary for uroliths that are made up of different minerals. The infection will subside once the stones are eliminated. Pets may also have to continue the diet plan to prevent the stones from forming again.

Uroliths or urethral plugs can cause urethtral obstruction in pets. Cats may pass little urine, even though they feel the urge to urinate often. Such situations require emergency medical care, as the cat may die due to improper fluid balance in the body and lack of elimination of toxins. The vet will conduct a procedure called catheterization and follow with IV fluids and antibiotics to revive the cat. Pets that need surgery for urethral obstructions may occasionally suffer from minor bladder infections in the future. Cat urinary problems may not always require surgery or hospitalization. Some infections can be cured with prescribed cat antibiotics and proper dietary management.

Tips to Manage Cats with Frequent UTI

  • Consider feeding your cat a diet that reduces the formation of struvite. Cat food that promotes acidic urine is also beneficial.
  • Encourage water consumption and consider using a combination of wet and dry cat food for pets that don't drink sufficient water. Water may also be flavored to make it more palatable.
  • Litter boxes should be kept clean and the litter should be changed daily.
  • Dietary intake of magnesium should be carefully monitored, as diet plays an important role in preventing feline urinary tract infections.

Along with preventive tips and antibiotic medication, there are several herbal or natural remedies that may help cats with varying urinary infections. If your pet is already being treated with prescribed medication, avoid a combination of herbal and antibiotic medication unless otherwise directed by the vet.

Since these infections can be fatal in certain cases, it's necessary to conduct a vet check on pets that show symptoms of feline urinary tract disease.