|Often times, a cat owner will ask, “How would I know if my cat has a urinary tract infection?” The most common symptoms of cats with urinary tract inflammation and/or infection include straining to urinate often small amounts, frequent trips to the litter box, blood in the urination, vocalization at the litter box when urinating, etc.|
Many times cats can develop mucous plugs or crystals in their urinary tract which can especially be problematic for male cats that are more prone to urinary tract obstruction than female cats. Despite decades of research, there is no single cause of urinary tract inflammation in cats, and in most cases bacterial infections are not involved as the primary causes. Risk factors of a urinary tract infection include:
– Indoor-only cats
– Being fed an all dry food diet which is left out for them to nibble on throughout the day
– Stress in the home
If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms it is important to have a veterinary exam as soon as possible. In many cases medications to relax the urinary tract and ease discomfort can be helpful. Supplements like Cosequin for cats can often provide soothing nutrients for the lining of inflamed bladders. In some cases that recur frequently, veterinarians will often prescribe a prescription diet. In other cases feeding a mostly meat based, low carbohydrate wet food diet or proper home made diet can help in minimizing episodes.
Minimizing stress in the home and feeding good quality diets like Nature’s Variety raw food or Halo canned cat food can help. However, it is important to note that for many cats they will still have frequent recurrence and need chronic management by their veterinarians.