Cats, like humans, can experience problems with their bladder and urinary tract at virtually any time in their life. Unlike humans, however, cats can’t talk about their problems so it is much more difficult to identify the differences between true medical issues such as a urinary tract infection and other common problems. Understanding common behaviors and symptoms to watch out for in your cat is an important part of keeping your cat healthy. In addition to knowing the symptoms to watch out for, it is important to learn about the potential causes. There are many things which can cause urinary tract problems so learning the cause is the first step in implementing a cure.
Feline Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
There are several primary things to watch for if you believe your cat may be experiencing a urinary tract infection. While each of these three things may be just normal behavior when it happens on occasion, it can be cause for concern when it begins happening regularly for more than a day or two.
- Urination Problems – If your cat appears to be in pain while urinating, is urinating much more frequently than normal or only urinating very small amounts this may be an indication that there is a urinary tract infection.
- Blood in Urine – Noticing blood in the urine is a sure sign of a problem. This is especially true when there is a noticeable amount of blood in the litter box because can be hard to detect when mixed in with the kitty litter.
- Excessive Grooming of Genitals – While all cats will groom themselves regularly, excessive grooming of the genital area can be an indication that there is a problem. This is especially true if the cat is ‘crying’ while doing it indicating that it is painful.
- Urinating Outside the Litter Box – When a cat stops using its litter box and has ‘accidents’ in other places it can be a cause for concern. This could mean that the cat is experiencing sudden urges to urinate, which can be an indication of a urinary tract infection.
Causes of Feline Urinary Tract Infections
There are several causes of urinary tract infections in cats, and identifying the cause can often help with treatment and prevention of future infections. Whenever you suspect your cat is experiencing a urinary tract infection you should bring them to a vet to confirm the diagnosis and get help with finding the cause. In the majority of cases these infections are caused by one of the following things.
- Blockage from bladder stones or other things
- Bacterial or Fungal Infections
Treating Feline Urinary Tract Infections
Treating the infection should start with a visit to the vet to rule out any more serious problems and see if there is a blockage which needs to be removed. Once the vet has confirmed your suspicions that it is a urinary tract infection they will often prescribe antibiotics. In more severe cases the doctor may give
them an initial dose of the antibiotics through an injection in the office.
Make sure to give your cat all the medication prescribed according to the instructions provided by your vet. This will ensure that not only is the infection cured, but also will help keep it from coming back, which can happen when the cat does not finish the full prescription.
Prevent Future Infections
After going through the worry and stress of a feline urinary tract infection you’ll want to take all possible steps to prevent future problems. The first thing to do is make sure your cat always has access to fresh, clean water. Also make sure you’re feeding your cat the proper food based on the breed, size and environment. Help your cat avoid stress by ensuring it has a safe place it can go to be alone, and helping it avoid stressful situations. Finally, follow any specific preventative instructions provided by your vet.