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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 bladder problem.
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 infections.
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 an UTI.