Dealing with Urinary Tract Infections in Cats
It is always distressing to spot the first signs of a urinary infection in our cats, especially if they appear out of the blue. Known as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), the symptoms can include pain and bleeding when passing urine, going to the toilet more or less often and a change in behaviour, for example high levels of anxiety and not using the litter tray.
According to Cats Protection, FLUTD is not a single condition but the umbrella term for infections of the bladder and urethra (though not usually the kidneys). Triggers can range from bacterial or viral infections to urinary stones, stress and even cancer of the urethra and/or bladder and kidney disease. Worryingly for owners, the charity says that in 70 per cent of cases, no underlying cause can be identified so a diagnosis of idiopathic (or spontaneous) FLUTD will usually be given.
What are the symptoms of FLUTD?
Like any illness, it is important to catch it early before it causes too much damage. FLUTD can cause obstructions to our cats, which means they will not be able to purge waste products and may even poison themselves. Spotting a cat urinary tract infection is relatively easy, according to the RSPCA, as you normally see your kitty behaving differently and/or showing signs of discomfort.
The common signs for FLUTD are:
- Regular attempts to urinate
- Difficulty urinating or painful urination
- Bloody urine
- General irritation
- Lack of appetite
- Urinating outside of the litter box
- Depression and lethargy
How can I treat my cat’s urinary infection?
As FLUTD covers a wide range of conditions, it is important to book an appointment with the vet straightaway. Left untreated, your kitty could experience extreme discomfort or even kidney failure. Diagnosis normally involves a urine and/or blood sample however the vet may also recommend an x-ray or ultrasound if stones are suspected or a biopsy in the case of cancer.
Bacterial infections are relatively straightforward to treat with antibiotics, while stones may call for a combination of medication and changes to a cat’s diet and exercise regime. If stress is a factor, speak to your vet about what could be behind it, for instance a new baby or pet in the family. He or she may suggest rotating their toys to keep them entertained or prescribe anti-anxiety medication.
Whatever the cause of your cat’s urinary problems, always seek medical help to get a diagnosis. Don’t be tempted to treat the condition yourself, even if you have successfully done so before and remember it is always easier to treat when you catch it early.
Our Facebook and Twitter pages have regular information about cat health so join in the conversation at www.facebook.com/hilifecat and @HiLifeCat.
25 April 2017
- Not all heroes wear capes! Why these top dogs have been nominated for HiLife... 21/01/19
- HiLife’s pawsome pet food range recognised in Grocer’s Top Products Survey 2018 13/12/18
- Top dog friendly holiday rentals for your summer break 20/08/18
- Blood Donor Dogs: Is Your Dog a Canine Hero? 30/07/18
- Is your cat expecting kittens? How to tell if a cat is pregnant 10/07/18
- The best hypoallergenic dog breeds for allergy sufferers 5/07/18
- Our favourite famous dog movies 5/07/18
- How to make friends with your cat (and become their favourite human) 14/05/18
- Running is more fun with your best friend in tow 19/04/18
- Healthy Pet - Happy Pet! 3/04/18