Your feline friend is likely to be susceptible to urinary tract disorders (UTDs), but getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) is not that common. However, it is not impossible that a cat can contract a UTI. As it is with humans, a UTI is painful and causes plenty of discomfort.
UTIs do not go away by themselves, and a trip to the veterinarian should follow immediately if you suspect your cat may have contracted one. Infections require antibiotics as a treatment, and only a vet can prescribe them.
Causes of Cat UTIs
In any mammal, a UTI is caused by bacteria traveling from the urethra to the bladder. The urethra is a tube that delivers urine from the bladder for excretion. A preventative cat UTI remedy prevents this from happening, protecting your kitty from getting an infection that needs medical treatment. Many brands, nowadays, such as HomeoPet, Scruffy Paws Nutrition, and GNC Pets offer excellent choices that are both nutritious and affordable to purchase.
The bladder requires a sterile, bacteria-free environment to remain healthy. Therefore, when germs enter it via the urethra, it no longer functions properly. Bacteria find the bladder an ideal environment for reproduction. As these germs multiply, they cause greater damage, and the resultant infection becomes more complex to treat. A severe infection or one left too long before initiating treatment could lead to bladder stones and other health complications.
Diagnosis of cat UTIs
Upon taking your cat to a veterinarian and explaining any symptoms that lead you to suspect a UTI, they start by performing a urinalysis test. It requires getting a urine sample from the cat, placing it in a sterile container, and subjecting it to a brief test using a stick that detects the presence of specific chemicals and elements in urine.
First, a vet examines a cat’s urine’s appearance to assess how cloudy it is. This is also known as looking at a cat’s urine concentration. A pH reading is established as this could indicate a bacterial presence. Ketones and glucose levels are examined to eliminate the possibility of feline diabetes. The presence of blood or proteins in urine will also show on the urine stick test.
If this test reveals concerns, a vet will want to conduct further tests to view any solids in the urine. A sample is placed in a tube inside a centrifuge and spun at high speed until cells and solid materials settle at the bottom of the test tube. These substances are examined on a slide under a microscope, looking for red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, and crystals. This intensive analysis will reveal the nature of your cat’s infection and guide a vet’s medicinal intervention.
Treatment options for cat UTIs
As mentioned before, a vet’s point of departure when treating a feline UTI is a course of antibiotics. This medicine kills the bacteria infecting the bladder. Additionally, a veterinarian might prescribe some painkillers as a UTI is uncomfortable and causes pain and irritation during urination.
Some dietary changes might also be recommended to prevent future infections. Cats tend not to drink enough water, which affects the urinary system. They get most of their water from cat food. Therefore, your vet might recommend that you feed the cat more wet food than dry as it contains a higher percentage of fluids. A vet will also advise you to ensure that your cat has several fresh water sources to encourage it to drink more often.
After a severe UTI, a vet might insist on doing another urinalysis test on your cat to ensure that their UTI has cleared up and no bacteria remnants remain present. They could cause the infection to flare up again, leaving your cat to undergo the same discomfort, diagnosis, and treatment again.
Prevention of future UTIs
Following the dietary recommendations above is essential for preventing more feline UTIs. Keeping a cat’s bladder flushed through increased water intake is a primary measure for avoiding UTIs. So is keeping your kitty’s litterbox clean as bacteria thrive in feces and could find their way into a cat’s body when they use a dirty litterbox.
Another way to prevent a full-blown UTI is to know what signs to look for to facilitate early intervention. These include difficulty or pain during urination, unsuccessful or unproductive attempts to urinate, bloody urine, and excessive licking of genitalia. Getting a cat to a vet early can make the diagnosis and treatment of a UTI less complicated than waiting for the infection to take hold and get out of control.
Seeking medical attention
Unlike humans, cats cannot put their symptoms into descriptive words. This makes diagnosing a cat’s problem challenging. It is preferable to involve a veterinarian early as these professionals are trained to read the cat’s behavior and determine symptoms for an accurate diagnosis.
If your cat has had one urinary tract infection, there is a high likelihood that it could get another. Some kitties are predisposed to UTIs, including older female cats and diabetic felines.
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