From shorthair cats to persians and tuxedos to tabbies, our feline friends make our lives better every day. You want the best for your cat, and that means knowing when he or she is in need of veterinary care. Cats don’t always give us obvious clues when they’re feeling pain, so understanding the signs of illnesses like UTIs can help you look out for your pet.
UTIs are not a common ailment in cats, and only 1-3% of cats presenting signs of urinary tract disease will have a urinary tract infection. However, one urinary problem for kitties that is far more common, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), has very similar symptoms. The only way to be sure of what’s going on is to visit the vet’s office and get a diagnosis.
How Do Cats Get UTIs?
When bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viruses get into your cat’s urinary tract they cause an infection. UTIs in cats often resemble a number of other illnesses like FLUTD or Crystalluria, so your vet will confirm the cause of the symptoms with a few tests.
Since UTIs are so uncommon, if your kitty does have one, your vet will likely look for a larger cause like diabetes, uroliths, or kidney disease. Chronic UTIs will also require more testing to determine why your cat is at such a high risk for infection.
UTI Symptoms in Cats
UTIs are a very uncomfortable condition for your pet and can be an indicator of a more serious problem. If you suspect your cat may have a UTI, schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.
Noticeable signs of UTIs in cats include:
Frequent, Unsuccessful Urination
You may notice your cat visiting the litter box more often than normal. When they do, they will likely strain to go, but produce only a small amount of urine or none at all.
Blood in the urine may be more common for female cats, but just because your male cat’s urine isn’t bloody, doesn’t mean he is UTI-free.
Avoiding the Litter Box
Since urinating can be painful with a UTI, cats may associate the litter box with discomfort and try to do their business elsewhere. Peeing in the sink, bathtub, or laundry hamper doesn’t always mean your cat is naughty—they might be sick.
Since they can’t tell us, it can be hard to tell when a cat is hurting. Constant licking of the genitals could indicate pain due to a UTI.
Vomiting and Lethargy
It might not be a hairball! Male cats are especially prone to vomiting and lethargy as a result of UTIs.
It is important to note that cats with chronic UTIs may show no symptoms at all. This is why it is important to bring your cat in for routine veterinary appointments to make sure they’re healthy.
Treatment for UTIs in Cats
Depending on the severity of your cat’s urinary tract infection, there are several different treatment methods. Common methods include fluid therapy, urinary acidifiers, and antibiotics. The cause of the UTI will be a major factor in the treatment your vet recommends.
See a Vet About Your Cat’s UTI
At Anasazi Animal Clinic, your pet’s health is just as important to us as it is to you. We are proud to provide the community of Gilbert, Arizona, with caring, comprehensive veterinary services.