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How To Check Cat For Bladder Infection

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Treatment Of Bladder Inflammation In Cats

How to Tell if Your Cat Has a Bladder Infection

The treatment of feline cystitis involves relieving the cats discomfort and treating the underlying cause of the inflammation if there is one. Immediate treatment for cystitis often includes a course of pain medication to reduce the inflammation and keep the cat happy while any potential causes are treated. In addition, efforts should be made to reduce the cats stress at home.

If the inflammation is caused by an infection, the veterinarian will prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat a general infection. Persistent infections often require a culture and sensitivity test to determine the type of bacteria present and the antibiotic it is sensitive to.

Crystals may need to be handled surgically to prevent obstruction of the urethra, a fatal condition in cats. If the condition is minor at this time, the veterinarian may prescribe a diet designed specifically to dissolve these crystals. Stones must be removed surgically, and a prescription diet may be needed to prevent the reformation of these stones.

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How To Tell If Your Cat Has A Uti

Urinary tract disorders are fairly common in cats and its important to recognize the warning signs as soon as possible because in some cases, a urinary tract problem can be deadly. Here, we will talk a bit about UTIs in cats, how to tell if your cat has a UTI, and what you should do if you suspect that this is the case. Know what to look for to keep your kitty happy and healthy!

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Factors That Put Cats At Higher Risk For Utis

Older female cats are the most at risk for UTIs, though any cat can develop an infection. Cats prone to bladder stones or with diabetes mellitus can also be more likely to get UTIs. Other potential risk factors include not having enough litter boxes or stress, such as from a recent move or a change in the household, like a new baby, or .

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How To Diagnose Urinary Tract Disease In Cats

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 5,668 times.

Urinary tract disease is a painful and uncomfortable condition in cats. Either the upper urinary tract , lower urinary tract , or both can be affected. If you suspect urinary problems in your cat, you will need to take her to your veterinarian for a diagnosis. The sooner your cat is diagnosed, the sooner she can be treated and get back to her normal activities.

Symptoms Of Feline Urinary Tract Disease In Cats

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If your cat has FLUTD or a cat urinary tract infection you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Drinking more water than usual
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Strong ammonia odor in urine
  • Avoidance or fear of litter box
  • Hard or distended abdomen
  • Excessive licking of genital area
  • Cloudy or bloody urine

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Recovery And Management Of Urinary Tract Infection In Cats

The recovery period depends on the severity of the UTI and how quickly the cat was treated. If the infection is caught early on, and there are no other developments as a result, a full recovery should be expected within a few days or so of beginning antibiotic therapy. Some cats seem markedly improved after even one dose of antibiotics. However, ALWAYS complete the full course of medications exactly as directed by your veterinarian.

Occasionally, cats will develop frequent, recurrent urinary tract infections. In these cases, a longer course of antibiotics and repeat urine cultures may be necessary.

Yes All This Is Yucky But Important

If your cat has a UTI, not only is she in pain pain which a visit to the vet will help with enormously but if ignored, a UTI can easily lead to severe kidney problems.4 And that can lead to huge vet bills or worse, a trip to the rainbow bridge before Kittys time.

Learn to recognize these signs. If you spot them, its time to call the doctor.

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Urinary Tract Infection Recovery

Although dealing with urinary issues or a bacterial infection in kitties can be really scary, the good news is that when treated early and with a proper treatment and recovery plan, the prognosis is good and most cats make a full recovery within a few weeks. Lets look at what to expect after your kitty goes through a UTI, urinary crystals, or FIC.

If your vet prescribed a course of antibiotics to treat a urinary tract disease or other infection, you should expect to see your kitty returning to normal in about 2 days and a full recovery should take 5-7 days, depending on the diagnosis. Its very important to give your cat the full course of antibiotics, even if they start feeling better.

If your cat had to have a more complicated treatment plan, there are a few things to expect. If he had to have a urinary catheter, you will likely see some redness and swelling around the area. Monitor this area to make sure no infections occur. You may also notice that your cat is licking the area as it heals. Also, after a catheter is removed, some cats may dribble urine. This is different than actually urinating, so dont worry! This is normal after a catheter.

You may also notice that your kitty is nervous to use the litter box. This is because they have associated it with the pain and stress they felt when they were facing their earlier condition. Encourage your kitty to use the litter box by keeping it extra clean at all times and removing any distractions .

Treating Urinary Tract Infections In Cats

How to Tell if Your Cat Has a Bladder Infection

If you see warning signs of a urinary tract infection in your cat, it’s important to contact a veterinarian. The vet will do a physical exam and likely collect a urine sample for urinalysis. If a UTI is the prime suspect, your vet may prescribe antibiotics even before receiving results from your cat’s urine test.

With a vet’s diagnosis in hand, you still play a crucial part in helping treat your cat at home. If your vet has prescribed an antibiotic, you’ll need to make sure to give all the medicine for as long as recommended.

“If your cat is diagnosed with a bacterial condition, it is imperative that you give the medication exactly as instructed,” says Kathryn Primm, DVM at Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, Tennessee. “Otherwise, you risk only killing the part of the bacteria that are most susceptible to the drug and leaving the others to reproduce.”

How long your cat is on antibiotics for a UTI is best determined by your vet. If you’re having trouble giving your cat the medicine, let the vet know. Pills or liquids are options, but an unfinished round of antibiotics may give the bacteria a chance to return, and stronger bacteria can also lead to new drug-resistant strains that harm humans and pets.

Urinary issues can be complex, and each cat is different. A trusting relationship with your veterinarian is your very best tool to manage urinary disease in cats.

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Prescriptions From The Vet

The vet is your first line of contact when you need to treat your cats UTI. If your vet sees it as necessary, they may prescribe antibiotics for the infection. They will likely prescribe an oral medication or an injectable medication. These antibiotics get rid of the infection or reduce inflammation.

What Is The Best Food For Cats With Urinary Tract Issues

Foods with loads of antioxidants and micronutrients support the cat UTI treatment. Foods like cranberries, fruits, and vegetables are great, as well as canned food.

Prescription or over-the-counter urinary food is also a great way to combat the symptoms of a UTI. These are foods that have been scientifically proven to be effective in combatting the symptoms and causes of urinary tract infections. They can also be used in conjunction with mainstream cat UTI treatment.

Foods high in protein and moisture, and low in carbohydrates are great for cats with urinary tract issues.

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Feline Urinary Tract Disease

FLUTD, Feline lower urinary tract disease is actually an umbrella term that refers to numerous clinical symptoms. FLUTD can cause issues in your cats urethra and bladder, often leading the urethra to become obstructed, or preventing your cat’s bladder from emptying properly. These conditions can be serious or even life-threatening if left untreated.

Urinating can be difficult, painful or impossible for cats suffering from FLUTD. They may also urinate more frequently, or in inappropriate areas outside their litter box .

What Are Urinary Tract Infections In Cats

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Urinary tract infections are not common in cats. Only 1-3% of cats with signs of urinary tract disease will have a urinary tract infection.

Because they can resemble so many other conditions, UTIs need to be distinguished from other conditions, such as crystals in the urine. Fortunately, by running some simple tests, your veterinarian will be able to tell the difference.

In most cases, UTIs in cats are usually caused by bacteria. Bacterial urinary tract infections in cats are generally relatively easy to treat and respond well to medications. Chronic infections, or those that do not respond to regular medication, can require more testing to figure out why your cat is at higher risk for urinary tract infections.

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How Do I Keep My Cat At A Healthy Body Weight

Veterinarians are trained to assess your cats body condition. They can create a custom feeding plan to fit your cats unique needs, whether they need to gain, maintain, or lose some weight to be in their best possible health.

For safety, cats should only embark on a weight loss program under the direction and supervision of a veterinarian.

Try to find ways to encourage your cat to exercise. Here are some fun ways to help discover your cats favorite type of toy to chase. Some cats enjoy walking outside on a harness and leash or spending time in an outdoor enclosure.

Helping your cat maintain an ideal body condition will ensure they are able to groom themselves thoroughly and maintain proper hygiene of the genital area. As a bonus, you will decrease your cats risk for other diseases , and may even help them live longer!

What Happens If A Cats Uti Goes Untreated

If left untreated, cat urinary tract infections can cause life-threatening complications such as a blockage in the urethra that prevents them from peeing.

Other possible complications are bladder stones, kidney stones, feline idiopathic cystitis, kidney disease, and kidney failure. All of these not only pose a threat to your cats quality of life but will come with expensive bills from the animal hospital that could have been avoided.

Another possible effect of an untreated UTI in a cat is feline lower urinary tract disease .

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Observing Your Cats Behavior

  • 1Record your cat’s urination frequency. One of the most obvious signs of feline urinary tract disease is an increased frequency of urination. When you are at home, make a note of how often your cat is going to her litter box and compare it to her normal frequency. If she is going more often when you are at home, you can be confident that the frequency is also increased when you are not there.
  • 2Observe your cats urination behavior. In addition to increased frequency, how your cat urinates will indicate urinary disease. For example, you may hear her whine or cry out when urinating, due to pain. She may also squat for a long time, trying to urinate.XResearch source
  • The straining would be due to a blockage of the urethra, which is the structure carrying urine from the bladder and out of the body. Your cat may feel the urge to urinate frequently, but will not be able to urinate much, or at all.
  • Urethral blockage is a medical emergency, particularly in male cats. If left untreated, a cat can suffer serious organ damage, and may even die from the condition.
  • Your cat may also squat if she is trying to defecate. If your cat becomes vocal when squatting, it is probably because she cant urinate.
  • Your cats urinary tract disease may cause her to lose her bladder control and drip urine, which would lead to her urinating elsewhere. She may also have developed a fear of the litter box, if she associates it with painful urination.
  • How To Prevent Cat Urinary Tract Infections

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    There is always a chance, and sometimes a good chance, that your cat’s UTI or other lower urinary tract problem will recur. Some recommendations to help prevent recurrences of UTIs and other issues are relatively inexpensive. You can start by taking steps to keep your cat healthy. In addition, your veterinarian may suggest some options like these:

    Adjust your cat’s diet. Feed measured, high-quality meals on a regular basis and keep your cat at a healthy weight. With your vet’s recommendation, consider a change to a specialized diet for urinary conditions or a switch to wet food . Here are tips from the American Association of Feline Practitioners covering best practices for healthy feeding.

    Manage your cat’s water. Keep bowls clean and fresh at all times. More water intake can lower urine concentration, making it more difficult for debris and microorganisms to clump and multiply. You may also consider getting a drinking fountain since many cats are drawn to flowing water.

    Calm your cat. Avoid major changes in household routine, and watch for ways to reduce your cat’s stress and anxiety. Consider making some changes in your home to enrich your cat’s life. Learn more about your cats’ senses and ways veterinarians think cats get stressedwhich can manifest itself in the form of illness.

    Talk to your vet about the best preventive care and UTI treatments for your cat.

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    How Do You Treat A Uti In A Cat

    There are many cat UTI treatment options. It is most often recommended to seek the advice of a DVM. Going to the vet will ensure your feline friend is being treated appropriately.

    The vet will give your cat the medication it needs to restore and maintain urinary tract health and prevent other urinary tract problems and possible health issues using properly prescribed medication.

    When treating a cats UTI at home, you can use something like Vets Preferred Cat Urinary Tract Chews, which supports healthy urinary tract function with the use of licorice root, astragalus root, cranberry, and nettle leaf.

    All these ingredients are safe and effective treatments for urinary tract infections in cats. Introducing other things like cranberries, apple cider vinegar, and juniper berries help to increase the bodys hostility toward infectious bacteria.

    How Vets Diagnose Utis In Cats

    Vets diagnose urinary tract infections by collecting a urine sample and examining it for the presence of bacteria. These samples must be collected through a process called cystocentesis, where urine is drawn directly from the bladder with a fine needle. This is necessary to prevent contamination of the urine sample from cups, tables, or any other surface the urine may come into contact with.

    After cystocentesis, your veterinarian will run a culture-and-sensitivity test. During this test, the bacteria are isolated and studied. This helps the vet determine the best antibiotics for your cats exact infection.

    Occasionally, acute infectionsespecially first-time infections that show up suddenlyare treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic without trying to determine which bacteria are involved.

    Chronic infections, however, almost always require more testing to isolate the type of bacteria causing the problem and identify the best antibiotic.

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    Signs Causes And Investigation

    Feline lower urinary tract disease is not a specific disease, but rather is the term used to describe conditions that can affect the urinary bladder and/or urethra of cats.

    Clinical signs for these disorders are all very similar so it is often difficult or impossible to determine the underlying cause without doing further investigations. Although many different diseases can affect the lower urinary tract, frustratingly, a number of cats develop a disease without any obvious underlying cause so called feline idiopathic cystitis or FIC. This form of disease appears to bear many similarities to a disease in humans called interstitial cystitis, but in both cats and humans it can be difficult to manage.

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    Difficult And Frequent Urination

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    UTIs can have several different causes. Sometimes, they can be caused by a typical bacterial infection as a result of you not being able to change your pets litter frequently.

    Other times, a UTI can be a secondary symptom of bladder stones. Sharp stones can irritate the mucous membrane on the inside of the urinary bladder and therefore cause an opening for the bacteria that are otherwise normally present in the cats urine.

    All cats that have a UTI have a difficult time peeing normally. Some cats can be in pain and cry while using the litter box. Others can go and try to use the litter box several times over the span of an hour or two, which should give you a clue that something is wrong.

    Since cats dont drink a lot of water in general, they shouldnt pee more than 2 or 3 times a day. If you see an increase in the frequency of urination, go to an animal hospital or see your vet, as some UTIs can be life-threatening.

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