Cat Urinary Tract Infections
Feline Urinary Tract Infections is an important topic that cat owners must understand. FLUTD, which is the medical term for Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. It is a term used to describe any group of disorders or diseases that affects the lower urinary tract (bladder or urethra) in cats. This problem can cause urination outside of the litter box and can be painful and if left untreated can be fatal. FLUTD is associated with the formation of stones or crystals in the urinary tract. The two most common types of crystals are struvite and calcium oxalate. These stones will cause extreme pain when urinating. Urinary Tract infections are serious and requires immediate medical attention. The recovery rate with treatment and proper nutrition is very good.
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection
While there are many factors causing FLUTD there is no single cause of urinary tract disease. Contributing factors are, kitties that are overweight and lack exercise, cats over a year old are also at risk. Male neutered cats have a greater risk of lethal urethral obstruction, however both male and female cats can get the disease.
Other contributing factors include not having a good supply of clean drinking water and a poor grade cat food. Poor cat food that has an abundance of calcium(salt), magnesium and phosphorus will contribute to urinary crystals.
Stressed cats are prone to urinary infections. Stress could include strange people, conflicts with other cats or an inability of places to rest or find isolation.
Recently my pretty little Siamese cat Esther started peeing outside of the litter box. I collected a urine sample and took her to the vet. The vet found crystals in her urine plus bacteria. She is now on an antibiotic plus a diet change. In two weeks we go back to the vet for a checkup. There will be a good recovery because we caught the problem early. It is not necessary for me to collect a urine sample, but it was handy. Vets can do this easily at the clinic.
Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections
If your kitty is not using the litter box it is important not to blame the cat with a behavioral issue until all factors have been looked at. Cats have been surrendered to the shelter because of a problem that could be easily corrected by medical attention.
The Litter Box
This is the key to the monitoring of your cats health. If your cat is not using the litter box, first off, is it clean enough. The litter box should be scooped often and have fresh litter it. A cat will not use a full dirty litter box. It is also important to watch your cat while they are in the litter box so you can observe the cats behavior. You will be watching for struggling to pee or crying while peeing and what texture of poop is left behind. Pink or bloody urine will require a trip to the vet. Cats that are doing lots of genital licking are likely suffering from an infection and are trying to relieve the pressure or burning. Also observe your cats general behavior. A cat that is lethargic or has lost an interest in their normal routine might be a sign that an infection is present. All this information is necessary for your vet to help with a diagnosis.
When my senior cat Lexi started to pee where ever she was sitting it was discovered that she had a UTI and with antibiotics and a diet change she was cured in ten days.
Recurring Urinary Tract Infections
With veterinary attention and a proper diet UTI is easily treatable, however there is always a chance that it will reoccur.
The first step in management and prevention of FLUTD/UTI is to provide a constant source of fresh water. A proper diet is necessary with both wet and dry food. A constant source of poor dry food will leave your cat constantly dehydrated and is a contributor to crystals in the urine.
One of the questions to ask your vet is to determine if your cat is eating foods that are allergenic or pro-inflammatory. If your kitty has been eating the same protein for months or years on end it might be causing an inflammation of the cats bladder. Please follow this link to my “Maintaining Your Cat” page for two good articles on cat food.
As you determine if your cat’s litter box problems are behavioral or medical do not hesitate to ask for the appropriate tests so that your kitty is not given antibiotics unnecessarily. This means insisting on a bacterial culture. We all suffer from the overuse of unnecessary antibiotics and our pets do too.
I have had two of my cats diagnosed with a Urinary Tract infection. I just took my boy Soxs in to the vet for a wellness check because he was peeing out of the litter box.
I think I caught these problems early because I watch my cats closely for unusual behavior. I clean the litter boxes often and I try to watch as many cats as possible use the litter box. This does not mean I can’t rest without chasing the cats to the litter box, but if I am there I watch. When something doesn’t look right I do more investigation.
If your cat is peeing outside the box, crying while peeing or the is blood in the urine, a visit to the vet is necessary. If you collect your own urine sample it should be delivered to the vet within 24 hours in order for it to be an accurate sample.
Feeding good food might be expensive, but good food is cheaper than vet visits.
Do not be afraid to ask questions of your vet. Ask for culture tests. Get a second opinion if something doesn’t feel right.
The internet is full of advice. Internet advice does not supersede the advice of a qualified Doctor Of Vetrinary Medicine.
That’s my story for today. I think its an important story not only for the cat but for your own peace of mind. There is nothing more sad than a kitty taken to the shelter because of something that could be fixed by a visit to the vet.
If you have any questions or would like to just make a comment please do so at the bottom of this post. Now have a wonderful day and do something green for the environment.
Don’t forget to check my Cat Care Products page for all your cat care needs.
Todays Helpful Hint
While I was preparing my Husky dog China’s breakfast I put her antibiotic pill on the cupboard. I turned away to do something and one of the cats came up and ate it. I phoned the vet and there is no problem, however if it was some other drug it could have been serious.
The lesson here is BECAREFUL with drugs and don’t let the wrong cat or dog eat it!