Feline Urinary Tract Issues
Are you the proud owner of a cat? Congratulations! Cats are great! As a cat owner, it is important that you are aware of urinary tract issues that can occur in cats. It does not matter how old your cat is urinary tract issues can creep up. Urinary tract issues in cats can be very painful and very serious. If not treated they can spread beyond the urinary tract and become a more systemic infection, which can be deadly. Tracking your cat’s urinary health is important to their overall health.
You may have noticed a change in your cat’s bathroom habits. UTI’s are just as painful for your cat as they are for humans. First, let’s look at symptoms your cat may exhibit when having a problem.
Symptoms of a UTI in cats
- Urinating outside of the litterbox
- Blood in the urine
- Straining to urinate
- Crying when they attempt to urinate
- Excessive grooming of the urinary opening
- Only peeing a tiny little bit, especially if they are straining.
UTI’s are typically caused by bacteria in the urethra causing an infection in the bladder. An obstruction in the urethra is also a cause of some of these symptoms. Your cat will become more agitated as time goes on due to being unable to urinate. Male cats are more prone to obstruction because they have a longer narrower urethra than female cats. If you suspect your cat has an obstruction, they need emergency treatment right away.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs or FLUTD) can also be a danger to your cat. A UTI can spread from the bladder to the kidneys. Once in the kidney’s the infection can become deadly if untreated. Older cats tend to be more at risk than younger cats. This is typically due to grooming habits being not as good in older cats. If your cat is overweight and/or diabetic, they can end up with a urinary tract infection.
Some things that you can do to prevent future cases of FLUTD (Feline lower urinary tract disease) in your cat can include providing fresh clean water all the time. Cat fountains are great to encourage your cat to drink more water. Make sure you have plenty of litterboxes. It is often a good idea to have 1 litter box per cat in your home. Keep the litter boxes cleaned out by scooping them twice a day.
Making sure your cat’s overall health is good will help decrease the likelihood of a UTI. Check their weight to make sure they are not overweight. Make sure they get their annual vaccines so they don’t contract any other diseases.