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Cat parents may be surprised to know that many health conditions
that we suffer can be experienced by cats too. Anxiety disorders,
hip dysplasia, UTIs – you name it. What makes this worse is that
pets cannot vocalize their pain. It is important to monitor their
behavior for signs that they may be suffering from an urinary or
What is an UTI?
An UTI or Urinary Tract Infection is an infection that affects
the urethra, urinary system or bladder. It can also spread to
damage vital organs like kidneys. It may also lead to cell damage
due to bacterial invasion.
Symptoms of Cat UTI
These are the primary signs that may indicate that your cat be
suffering from an UTI –
- Having difficulty passing urine
- Crying out in pain while urinating
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent urination
- Urinating in odd locations and not in their litter box
- Blockage in the urethra or urine flow
- Licking genitalia
- Stronger than usual urine odor
- A thick, hard and contracted bladder wall which the vet can
feel during a physical
Even if the results come back negative for an UTI infection,
there is still possibly reason to worry.
Causes of UTI in cats
When a bacteria moves up the urethra and into the bladder, it
grows and multiplies there resulting in an UTI. Cats usually
experience urinary tract disorders more often than urinary tract
How does a vet diagnose UTI in cats?
A vet runs an urinalysis to diagnose a positive or negative UTI.
An urinalysis is an in-depth examination of the properties of
urine and is significant for determining the presence of any
bacterial infection. E.coli is the most common culprit behind
UTIs but not the only one which can be held responsible for the
infection. The vet needs to identify the agent of the disease
properly in order to treat it effectively. A blood count may also
be asked for, to check if the symptoms displayed can be a result
of more serious health complications.
Antibiotics are prescribed by vets in order to treat the
infection. Follow up appointments are usually advised to ensure
that the infection has been taken care of and won’t risk other
parts of the body.
Older female cats and diabetic cats stand a high risk of
developing UTIs. Cats which have bladder stones are also at risk
of developing UTIs. Take your cat for regular vet visits and
perform urine tests on them from time to time to prevent your cat
from contracting an UTI. Maintain his/her cleanliness and hygiene
and you shouldn’t have to worry about your cat coming down with
Signs Your Cat May Be Suffering From Feline Lower Urinary Tract
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases or FLUTD are one of the most
common diseases among cats. It refers to a bunch of diseases that
attack the lower urinary tracts, which are the bladder and the
urethra, making it difficult and painful to urinate. There are
various causes like bladder stones, infection or inflammation,
diabetes or crystalline blockage to name a few.If left untreated,
this condition can be dangerous and can even lead to
life-threatening consequences. For vocal cats, it may be easier
to recognize when they are in pain. If you have a quiet cat that
hides signs of discomfort, it is of utmost importance that you
know your cat well to identify any symptoms that could point to
this.So if you notice any of these signs, it is recommended that
you take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
Is the stomach bloated?
If your cat has a bloated or tightened stomach, and cries out in
pain when pressure is applied, it is likely that he has
difficulty urinating. But make sure to get diagnosis from a vet,
as bloating is a common symptom for many other illnesses too.
Is the litter box empty
If the litter box is unusually empty, it means that your cat does
not urinate as frequently as he is supposed to. If you suspect
your cat is suffering from FLUTD, make sure to check his litter
box regularly to keep track of his urination. He may be
experiencing a condition called “dysuria”, which simply means a
painful passing of urine. He will feel the need to urinate, but
may strain or cry out in pain as it will be difficult.
Does your cat pass out bloody
“Haematuria” or a condition where your cat passes out bloody
urine is another indicator that he is suffering from FLUTD. If
you see that your cat’s urine is red in colour, you need to take
him to the vet immediately. Sometimes, the blood may not be so
visible and obvious. The blood content may be microscopic, which
means it can only be seen through tests by your vet.
Does your cat lick itself
Sometimes cats who find it difficult to urinate lick their
urinary areas excessively, often in an attempt to soothe the
pain. This is mostly due to the pain, irritation or infection in
the urethra and bladder. This excessive licking or over-grooming
can lead to loss of hair if it is severe enough.
Does your cat urinate in odd
“Periuria” is a condition where your cat keeps urinating in other
places except where he is trained to – his litter box. If you
find that your cat passes urine in odd or inappropriate places
like his bed, on the couch or on the floor, it means that he
cannot get to his litter box in time due to urethral or bladder