Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are infections that affect the organs and tissues that urine passes through before being eliminated. The bladder, urethra, and even the kidneys can be affected. You probably already know that people can develop UTIs, and you may have suffered from one yourself, but you may not know that cats can also get them. Here are four things cat owners need to know about UTIs.
What are the signs of UTIs in cats?
UTIs make your cat feel the need to urinate more frequently, so you'll see them making frequent trips to their litter box. They will only release small amounts of urine each time, so even though they're using their litter box a lot, you won't need to clean it any more often than you normally do.
In addition to frequent urination, you may notice that your cat is in pain. When cats are in pain, they're more likely to bite or scratch you, so if your normally-friendly cat bites you, consider the possibility that they're in pain. You may also notice that your cat is excessively grooming itself or not moving around as much as it normally does. If you notice these signs, make sure to take your cat to a vet right away.
How do cats contract UTIs?
Cats can develop UTIs if their litter boxes are dirty. Since cats are clean animals, they won't want to urinate in a dirty litter box. Instead, they hold their urine in the hopes that you'll clean their litter box soon, and holding urine can lead to an infection. Make sure to clean your pet's litter box regularly so that it meets their cleanliness standards.
UTIs can also be caused by factors like stress. Your cat may become stressed if you bring new pets into the household, so make sure to introduce any new friends slowly.
How do vets treat UTIs in cats?
Your vet will need to take a sample of your cat's urine to test it for bacteria. If bacteria are present, your vet will prescribe an antibiotic that is designed to target those specific bacteria. This antibiotic will be used for between 10 and 14 days.
Taking a urine sample is important because most cases of urinary tract inflammation in cats aren't caused by bacteria. This inflammation can mimic the signs of an infection, but since bacteria aren't present, antibiotics won't help. If your vet determines that your cat has inflammation, they will prescribe medications to reduce the inflammation and pain, like prednisone.
If you think your cat has a urinary tract infection, take them to a vet like Honolulu Pet Clinic LLC The right away.