How to Recognize Urinary Tract Infections in Cats

Urinary tract infections are very common in cats. It's actually a common reason why they're abandoned or taken to shelters.
How to Recognize Urinary Tract Infections in Cats

Last update: 27 June, 2019

Cats are independent animals and, for the most part, you don’t have to worry about them too much. For one, they don’t need to go out for a walk as they can do their business in a litter-box. The only downside to this device is that it makes it difficult to know when there are urinary tract infections in cats.

In any case, cats express themselves when something isn’t right through specific behavior, just like any other animal. Today we’ll tell you how to identify these bothersome urinary tract infections. (They’re, in fact, a lot more common than you may think.)

What are bladder infections?

This term includes any type of condition that may affect the bladder or the urethra.

Even though these types of infections are common and easily treated, there are instances in which they could be an indicator of a more serious condition. One of them is called Nephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys which would lead to kidney failure. This condition is often the result of an untreated bladder or kidney infection.

If you notice any signs of infection or something abnormal in your cat’s urine then consult your vet immediately. Their lives may depend on it.

Symptoms of urinary tract infections in your cat

A stalking cat, meowing.

It’s important to pay attention to your cat, bad things can happen to them in spite of the fact they’re independent creatures. If something does go wrong, then look for symptoms like the following:

  • You may notice they spin round in circles many times 0r curl up or do funny faces or pretty much any out-of-the-ordinary behavior. This could be a sign they’re having difficulty urinating, or that it may be painful.
  • If the cat urinates often and in small amounts, then this is a sign that something is wrong.
  • When the cat whines when urinating, as it’s probably hurting it to do so.
  • Excessive or compulsive licking of their genital area, which may be due to an infection.
  • The animal urinates out of the litter box, as they’re trying to find relief from their discomfort elsewhere.
  • Blood in their urine is an unmistakable sign that something is wrong.
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite.
  • An overly strong, smelly urine may be a sign of an infection.

So, again, if you notice any of the above symptoms, then consult your vet as soon as possible.

Why do cats get urinary tract infections?

They could be the result of many things; UTIs are, in fact, quite common. Even though most are caused by viruses and bacteria in their immediate environment, there are many other factors that could lead to this condition. Emotional stress or changes in their routine, for example, or a move or the presence of a new pet at home.

Cats like routine, order, and tranquility. So, when something changes around them, especially if it’s unexpected, their immune system gets weaker as a result. Other factors, such as having a sedentary lifestyle, which leads to excess weight gain, can also impact the malfunctioning of their urinary tract.

What to do

A playful kitten looking at the camera.

Above all, consult your vet as soon as possible. Do the following in the meantime if you suspect urinary tract infections in your cat:

  • Feed them smaller portions of food.
  • Provide them with clean, filtered water to drink.
  • If they only eat processed cat food, then add wet food to their diet.
  • Keep their sandbox extra clean.
  • If you have more than one cat, then separate them. Provide a litter box for each one.

Try to minimize any changes in their routine

With these tips, and those you’ll get from your veterinarian, you should be able to partially avoid and/or cure any urinary tract infections in your cat.

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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.