What Are The Signs Of Flutd
Lets start at the beginning. How do you know if your cat has bladder problems? Chances are your cat will be uncomfortable passing urine and show one or all of the following signs:
- Repeated squatting
- Excessive licking of the rear end
In this video, Dr. Alyssa Mourning discusses FLUTD and how to recognize the clinical signs:
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Your vet may recommend a diet that helps not only with healing but prevents recurrence as well. Certain stone-dissolving foods can help prevent crystals from forming in your cats urinary tract. There are also commercial foods that promote urinary tract health. Consult your vet on what type of food is right for your cat.
Feeding your cat a canned-food diet or mixing wet food with dry kibble helps provide additional hydration.
Because anxiety may play a part in urinary tract disease, its important to keep your cats stress level as low as possible. Cats do not like change, no matter how subtle it may be, so try to keep changes to your cats routine and/or environment to a minimum.
Signs And Diagnosis Of Male Cat Urinary Blockage
The most common sign of what veterinarians call a “blocked cat” is going to the litter box to urinate, getting into position and having nothing come out. Your cat may also seem uncomfortable or yowl when trying to urinate. If the blockage continues, your cat will develop an electrolyte imbalance, which can result in a depressed or altered mental state, vomiting and a slow heart rate. They may also hide or avoid human contact.
The veterinarian will diagnose your cat based on their medical history, a physical examination, blood and urine tests and, possibly, an abdominal X-ray or ultrasound. If they suspect that your cat has a bladder infection, the vet may submit a urine sample for culture.
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Preventing Future Utis In Your Cat
Following your vet visit, you can make other changes to your cats life to decrease the likelihood for FLUTD to come back. Environmental recurrence has shown to reduce the recurrence rate by 80 percent, and can also help your cat use her litter box. This includes spending more time with your cat, giving her access to windows, and giving her more toys. You can also increase the number of litter boxes in your home and make sure theyre properly cleaned.
How Are Cat Urinary Tract Infections Caused
There are many risk factors identified for cats with FLUTD, a combination likely plays a role in the development of the disease. These are:
- Urethral plugs
- Idiopathic cystitis stress and dietary changes can increase the risk. Many cats will have repeated episodes, but we cannot predict which cats will have relapses. Causes of stress can include multi-cat households, abrupt changes in routine, new pets and territorial disputes.
- Disease such as diabetes and hyperthyroidismcan lead to urinary tract infections in older cats
Less common causes include injury to the urinary tract, abnormal anatomy and tumours.
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When To See A Vet
These at-home treatments and remedies may be effective for clearing up minor infections, but more serious infections need to be treated by a professional animal doctor.
If your cat is experiencing mild or moderate symptoms, you can try these remedies to relieve their symptoms. If their symptoms show no sign of improvement in a few days, talk to a veterinarian. If your cat seems to be in pain or is unable to pass urine, see a vet immediately. This could be a sign of urethral obstruction, which can be fatal if not treated within 24 to 48 hours.
A vet may be able to prescribe antibiotics to target the harmful bacteria. Be sure to give your cat the full dose of prescribed antibiotics to prevent the UTI from returning or becoming resistant to treatment.
Even if youre pursuing professional treatment, these remedies can be effectively used alongside antibiotics to strengthen the bladder and balance your cats pH levels. Some can also be used as a daily supplement to prevent the UTI from coming back.
What If My Cat Is Not Peeing But Is Acting Normal
Urinary tract issues usually come with behavioral changes, but there are exceptions to this rule. If your cat cant pee but is still eating, sleeping, and playing normally, youre one of the lucky ones. You noticed the issue before it spiraled out of control.
But even without other signs of illness, a cat who isnt peeing is at risk of serious health consequences. Bring your cat to a veterinarian as soon as you can.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Cats With A Uti
Cats may have a pretty predictable bathroom routine, but cats with a UTI might begin exhibiting unusual behavior relating to urination. They might be drinking a lot more water and trying to urinate frequently, but unable to pass more than a little bit of urine at a time. They might also loss control and urinate when theyre not supposed to. All of this can lead to confusion and anxiety that causes them fear or avoid the litter box. Cats with a UTI can also just seem sick, showing signs of lethargy or vomiting.
Why Is My Cat Lying In The Litter Box
If your cat has been lying in the litter box a lot lately, it might point to stress or illness, but its not always a sign of urinary tract issues. In addition to lying in the litter box, cats with UTIs or other urinary problems will strain, lick at their genitals, hide, meow in the box, and look restless.
If your cat is lying in the litter box and also exhibiting these behaviors, theres a good chance that a UTI or other urinary tract issue is to blame.
Among cats with urinary tract problems, this behavior appears to result from a mix of stress and, perhaps, a need to stay in the box just in case something changes. Imagine feeling like you had to urinate for hours but couldnt get everything outwouldnt you stay near the toilet?
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Why Is My Cat Going To The Litter Box Every Few Minutes
Cats with urinary tract infections or other forms of urinary tract disease spend a lot of time going in and out of the litter box. It might look like your cat is constipated, but if you watch closely, youll notice that theres not a lot of moisture in the box.
Frequent trips to the litter box indicate that your cat needs relief. If your cat keeps trying to pee but only a little comes out, its a sure sign that something is wrong. Bring him or her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
If your cat keeps going to the litter box but nothing happens at all, he or she may be dealing with a complete urethral blockage. In this case, seek emergency veterinary care immediately. Just a few hours of hesitation could be fatal.
Adjusting Your Cats Diet
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Cystitis And Lower Urinary Tract Disease In Cats
Cystitis is a general term referring to inflammation in the urinary bladder. The term cystitis does not imply a specific underlying cause. In cats, diseases of the lower urinary tract are often grouped under the term feline lower urinary tract disease . The initial diagnosis of FLUTD is based on the identification of signs of lower urinary tract inflammation.
Cat Urinary Tract Infection
Although cat urinary tract infections are rare compared to the occurrence of UTIs in dogs, older cats can experience a host of other urinary tract issues that cause similar symptoms. Today our Greensboro vets share the symptoms, causes and treatments for urinary tract infections and diseases in cats.
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Whos Most Likely To Get A Cat Uti
Cat urinary tract infections in cats are certainly more common in some groups than others. Young cats, for instance, rarely get UTIs. If a young cat is showing clinical signs of a cats UTI, there may be a more serious problem like kidney disease or feline idiopathic cystitis.
A urinary tract problem most commonly occurs in:
- Middle-aged/ older cats
- Cats who only eat dry food
- Cats who are not active
However, UTIs in male cats are far more dangerous simply because of male anatomy.
A cat’s urethra size differs based on gender, male cats have a narrower urethra than female cats. When a UTI occurs, the bacteria can cause a change in your cats urine pH High pH can lead to the formation of struvite crystals to form in their urine. If the crystals in cat urine become lodged in the narrow urethra of a male cat, it can cause a urinary blockage . Urinary obstruction is not to be taken lightly!
Urethral issues, specifically a urethral obstruction, is deadly and those clinical signs should be treated immediately by a veterinarian.
The Causes Of Urinary Issues In Cats
A cats urinary system can have inflammation, or suffer from a build-up of minerals in the bladder. These minerals can eventually crystallize and then build and join to form stones, which can irritate the urinary system and block the passage of urine. Older cats with frequent urination can also suffer from chronic kidney disease or other systemic illnesses.
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Preventing Male Cat Urinary Blockage
Unfortunately, once a male cat has a urinary blockage, there’s a higher risk of it happening again. At the first sign of urinary issues, you should have a conversation with your vet about selecting proper nutrition to better support your cat’s urinary health to reduce the risk of recurring issues. In highly recurrent cases it’s also possible for your vet to suggest a cat urethrostomy a surgery that creates an opening in the urethra above the blockage to allow for normal urine drainage.
Water consumption is an important part of flushing debris from your cat’s system and preventing blockage try offering them water from a drinking fountain instead of a bowl, flavoring a second water bowl with some tuna juice and switching them to canned food if they currently eat dry food.
Nutrition can also play an important role in preventing blockage. If your cat already experiences urinary health issues, then a therapeutic cat food may help dissolve your cat’s crystals or make it less likely they form new ones and maintain a healthy urine pH that contributes to overall urinary health. This food is available through your veterinarian and should be fed under the supervision of a vet ask your vet if a Prescription Diet cat food might be right for your cat..
How Would A Cat Get A Bacterial Infection
Like humans, cats encounter thousands of bacteria every day. Most of these are harmless , and your cats immune system will protect them from infection.
However, if your cat encounters a pathogenic bacterium and their immune system is not able to fight it off, they may develop a bacterial infection. Common sources of bacterial infection include contaminated food and water, or being in contact with another animal that has a contagious bacterial infection.
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Is My Cat At Risk Of A Urinary Problem
Overweight or obese cats and those living a sedentary lifestyle are more at risk of urinary problems than cats of a healthy weight and active lifestyle. Older cats are also more prone to chronic kidney disease and other systemic illness like endocrine diseases. There have been suggestions that cats under significant stress are more likely to have urinary system issues. Stress can include new additions to the house, moving, changes in diet, a poorly placed litter box or one that is difficult to access, and living in a multiple animal household. If a cat and their owner have a strong relationship, the cat can even pick up on an owners stress, which can result in health problems.
What About Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
Many cat owners stress about the cost of seeking veterinary treatment when their cat is ill. You might be tempted to search cat urinary tract infection home remedies and want to attempt to treat your cats urinary tract infection at home.
This is not a good idea.
There are no home remedies that can resolve a bacterial urinary tract infection or address a serious urinary blockage. Cat urinary tract infection treatment and recovery will be easier if you seek help early.
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The Signs Of Urinary Problems In Cats
When your cat is suffering with a urinary problem, its behavior when it urinates will change. It may try to urinate more often and only urinate a little, or your cat may fail to do so at all. They may look strained or show signs of pain when urinating, and stay in a urinating position for longer than normal. Their urine might have a pinkish color due to blood in the urine. At other times, they may excessively lick or groom their genital area, demonstrate a loss of appetite or show other behavioral changes.
Treatments For Bladder Infection In Cats
If your veterinarian suspects that your cat is suffering from a bladder infection, theyll carry out a full physical exam. It can be helpful to bring along a urine sample, if possible, so that your vet can check it out. In some cases, they might use an ultrasound to investigate the cause.
Once the vet has confirmed the diagnosis, the course of treatment they prescribe might include a combination of anti-inflammatory medicine to help alleviate any pain, along with antibiotics if theres a bacterial infection.
If crystals are found in the urine, then the cat might require a surgical procedure to remove crystals from the bladder.
While your cat recovers at home, its important to provide a calm and stress free environment for them. In some cases, vets may recommend a change of diet to help ward off the chances of any further infections.
Has your cat ever had a bladder infection? What advice did your vet give you to help your cat recover? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Treating Urinary Tract Problems
If you see warning signs of a urinary tract infection in your cat, its important to see a veterinarian. If a UTI is the prime suspect, your vet may recommend a common antibiotic even before receiving results from your cats urine test.
With a vets diagnosis in hand, you still play a crucial part in helping treat your cat at home. If your vet has prescribed an antibiotic, youll 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 youre 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.
If the antibiotics for your cats UTI are not working, your vet may prescribe a different antibiotic or recommend further testing to see if theres another cause for the problem. UTI treatment costs vary depending on the testing and medicine necessary to get your cat healthy and feeling better.
Treatment: The Importance Of Nutrition
The food your cat eats plays an important role in her overall health and well-being. Cat foods high in magnesium, phosphorus, protein and calcium have been linked to stone formation. Veterinarians believe feeding a bladder health cat food with restricted amounts of these minerals can assist in the dissolution of some types of stones that have formed in a cats urinary tract.
Balanced nutrition is an essential part of an active, healthy lifestyle. If your cat has been diagnosed with a urinary tract problem, its important to feed her the right cat food. The right nutrition can help control mineral levels, maintain a healthy urine pH, and help reduce inflammation to safely resolve urinary issues. For accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian and ask them to recommend the best food for your cats urinary tract health.
Additional ways to manage FLUTD include the following:
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