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Albuquerque VetCo

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It Burns! UTI in Cats

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are terrible. If you have ever had one then you know how painful they can be. If you think they are not painful for your cat, think again. The problem with a cat UTI is they can be harder to identify. 

Causes of UTIs can be:

  • Stones, crystals, or debris in the bladder or urethra
  • Urethral plug, which is a build up of debris from their pee
  • Bladder infections
  • Weak bladder
  • Injury
  • Tumor (it’s not a tumor….sorry, I couldn’t help myself)
  • Stress
  • Spinal cord issues
  • Hypothyroid
  • Diabetes

Unfortunately, our 4 legged friends can’t just tell us that it burns when they pee. It is up to us to pay attention to the signs and symptoms:

  • Passing a really small amount of pee
  • Inability to pee
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Increased frequency of peeing….basically peeing all the time
  • Straining to pee
  • Crying out when they pee
  • Prolonged squatting when they pee
  • Fear of the litter box
  • Constant licking of the urinary opening
  • Strong ammonia smell 
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Increased water drinking
  • Hard and distended belly

UTIs can be life-threatening. If you think that your cat has a UTI you want to call your Albuquerque vet immediately. 

It can be hard to diagnose a UTI. Your vet will often want to get a urine sample, but how do you get one? It’s not like you can ask your cat to pee in a cup for you. There are special cat litters that you can buy that is used to specifically collect urine samples for your vet. If you can bring in a sample, it will help greatly with the diagnosis. 

If your cat is diagnosed with a UTI most likely they will be prescribed an antibiotic. Most of the time a UTI is easy to treat but it will not get better on its own. If it goes untreated it can lead to a blockage in their urethra and completely prevent them from peeing. A UTI can lead to kidney failure or rupture their bladder.