Urinary tract diseases in cats are serious matter and should never be ignored. It is one of the most common reasons cats are surrendered in shelters. Unfortunately, some senior cats with urinary issues end up being euthanized because they are often the ones left unadopted in shelters.
If caught early, urinary tract infection in cats is treatable. There are also many medical and nutritional advances that help resolve this health problem.
Signs of Urinary Tract Infection in Cats
Straining to Pee
Bladder inflammation or feline idiopathic cystitis is the most common cause of lower urinary tract disease in cats. This condition may cause your cat to strain when peeing.
It’s always best to catch this disease early as it can eventually even lead to more severe issues like the formation of bladder stones or a urethral plug.
Licking of Genitalia
If your cat has been licking his genitalia more than usual, then there is a chance he is feels pain when he pees – and by licking it, he’s trying to soothe the pain away.
Just like in humans, frequent urination is a sign of urinary tract infection in cats. If your cat has been going in and out of the litter box every now and then – especially if there is little to no urine each time goes in – chances are he is suffering from a urinary tract disease.
Blood in Urine
Another sign of urinary tract infection in cats is hints of blood in their urine. Female cats are at greater risk for developing urinary tract infections that lead to blood in the urine compared to male cats.
Peeing Outside the Litter Box
Peeing outside the litter box can be a behavioral problem and is not always a medical issue. But if this behavior is combined with the signs mentioned above, it’s a good idea to take your cat to the veterinarian to have him checked.
Are Urinary Tract Diseases in cats a serious problem?
Urinary tract diseases in cats are a serious problem. Urinary tract diseases can cause the formation of stones in the bladder, kidney, and urethral plug. If not treated early, your cat may stop urinating due to the blockage – making his body unable to excrete toxins.
How are Urinary Tract Diseases in Cats Diagnosed?
To determine if you cat has urinary tract infection; the veterinarian will need to do some laboratory tests like urinalysis and x-rays. The veterinarian may also need your cat’s blood work.
How are Urinary Tract Diseases in Cats Treated?
If the cat shows no infection and no stones or crystals are seen in his or her urine, then the veterinarian will only prescribe pain relievers and sometimes, anxiety medications.
Cats that are found with stones or crystals will need a special diet to keep the urine’s acidity or pH at appropriate levels. If the stones found in your cat is large, your cat may need to undergo surgery to have those stones removed.
Cats with obstruction in their urinary tract will need to be admitted in an animal hospital as soon as possible as it is important to have his bladder decompressed. To do this, veterinarians perform a cystocentesis — a method wherein the veterinarian places a needle into the urinary bladder through the abdomen. If needed, the veterinarian may also place a catheter on the cat to relieve the obstruction of the urethra. This procedure will require hospitalization for several days.
But if your cat has multiple recurrences of obstruction, then the veterinarian may need to perform a perineal urethrostomy, a surgery that widens the cat’s urethra thus, preventing further obstruction.
Urinary tract diseases in cats often become a lifelong problem and this can be stressful and disheartening not only for cats but for owners, too. The good news is recurrence can be prevented with stress management and proper care and diet.