Cats are loyal companions and most pet parents would consider them to be a part of the family unit. That said, they do get sick from time-to-time with bacterial urinary tract infections being one of the more common causes accounting for approximately 15 percent of veterinarian visits.
While typically not a serious condition when treated promptly knowing the signs that you cat has a UTI can be the difference between a full recovery in 7 to 10 days or the condition turning serious, or becoming chronic, involving a life long regime of low dose antibiotics combined with regular veterinarian visits.
Why Are Some Cats More Vulnerable Than Others?
Age is the primary determining factor followed by partial urinary tract obstruction, a bladder than fails to empty fully, dehydration, regular exposure to litter box bacteria, lack of exercise, imbalances in urine acidity, diseases such as diabetes, being on long-term corticosteroid therapy, and a poor diet.
Additionally, conditions that inhibit mobility such as arthritis may cause your pet to retain urine longer than they should thus giving the invading bacteria a chance to overcome your pets immune system and imbed itself into the bladder wall.
Identifying The Signs That Your Cat Has A UTI
It has been my experience that the symptoms exhibited will have a great deal to do with the stage, severity, and the cause.
For example a very early stage infection one of my cats contracted from exposure to a dirty litter box started off with nothing more than mild fatigue combined with anti-social behavior which ultimately evolved into more serious symptoms including many of the ones listed below in only a few short weeks.
Common Signs and Symptoms
- Frequent attempts urinate producing only small amounts of urine
- Straining to urinate
- Urinating in inappropriate places such as outside the litter box
- Blood in urine particularly at the end to the stream
- Foul smelling cloudy urine whose scent may resemble that of ammonia
- Inflammation around the external genitalia encouraging excessive licking
Other telltale signs that your cat has a UTI could include loss of appetite, incontinence, depression, and defensive behavior when the hind quarter is touched or stroked.
What To Do After Symptoms Appear
The sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian the better as a confirming urine test combined with a round of antibiotics should eradicate the infection in a week to 10 days.
Leaving the condition untreated, or procrastinating hoping things resolve themselves, could open the door to a bacterial infection of the kidneys which is exponentially more serious and much more difficult to fully cure.
Robert D. Hawkins is an indepedent researcher and enthusiastic consumer advocate for natural pet health. To discover more about pet urinary tract health along with information about safe and effective herbal and homeopathic remedies specially formulated for supporting bladder and urinary tract health in pets.
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