PetMeds® How Do You Know Your Cat Has a UTI? (Symptoms)

Feeding your cat dry food only as part of his/her diet can increase your cat's risk of developing a UTI

In many cases a client will come in and 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

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.

Factors that can potentially increase a cat’s risk of developing a UTI include cats that are indoor-only, on all dry food diets which are left out for them to nibble on throughout the day, obesity and 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 homemade diet can help in minimizing episodes. Minimizing stress in the home and feeding such good quality diets like Nature’s Variety wet food or Halo canned cat food can help.  In spite of this, many cats will still have frequent recurrence and need chronic management by their veterinarians.


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