Cat Urinary Tract Infection Information
Cat urinary tract infections (Cat UTIs) can be a painful affair for both cats and their owners. Making sure that you know the vital cat urinary tract infection symptoms can lead to quick and easy treatment. This important in making sure your minimize cat health problems.
This article will look at the symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of feline urine infections.
There are certain tell-tale symptoms that indicate that your cat may have a urine infection or in less severe cases cystitis. If you notice any of the following symptoms it’s best to get your cat checked by a vet:
- Uncharacteristically frequent attempts at urination.
- Uncharacteristically prolonged attempts at urination.
- Excessive licking of the genital region (this is, in fact, akin to ‘scratching’).
- Uncharacteristic preference to urinate outside the respective cat’s litter boxes.
- Presence of blood in cat urine (in a few cases).
- Crystals in cat urine (in a few cases)
Note: These symptoms can also be a sign of kidney problems in cats, kidney disease or a cat bladder infection.
Cat UTI causes fall into two broad categories. Those brought on by pathogens, and others by physiological problems.
Pathogenic causes of urine infections
- Diseases (of the urinary tract) induced by bacteria
- Diseases of the urinary tract induced by fungi
- Diseases of the urinary tract induced by viruses (these are rather rare).
Physiological causes of urine infections
- ‘urinary stones’ or crystals
- Urethral plugs
- Cancer (in a few cases).
One challenge that cat owners and veterinarians face is figuring out the causes of irregular cat urination. Telling that a cat is having urination difficulties isn’t hard (going by the symptoms we have identified above). The challenge is in figuring out what is causing the difficulties, seeing, as we noted earlier, that there are so many things that could bring about the said cat urination difficulties. There are nonetheless several methods used in figuring out the causes of cat urination difficulties. These include:
Examining the urine. If, for instance, it is detected that there are crystals in cat urine, it can be concluded that the cat urination difficulties are on account of things like urinary stones. These urinary stones, which lead to the formation of cat pee crystals, are in turn, often associated with the improper processing of minerals in the cats’ digestive systems. This is especially with respect to minerals like magnesium and calcium: keeping in mind that what we characterize as cat urine crystals tend to be, in actual fact, struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) and calcium oxalate crystals.
Subjecting the urine to lab tests. In cases where the cat urination difficulties don’t seem to be on account of things like urinary stones, it becomes necessary to subject the cat urine to lab tests. This will help figure out the cause of your cat’s urination difficulties. As we alluded earlier, cat urination difficulties can also be on account of a cat UTI (that is, a cat urinary tract infection) which is induced by pathogens like bacteria, fungus and in a few cases, viruses. The only way to detect these by taking samples of the cats’ urine to the lab.
Subjecting the cats to advanced diagnostic tests. This is where, for instance, the cat may be subjected to an ultrasound examination, especially if there is reason to believe that the urination difficulties are on account of deep-lying physiological issues.
It is always necessary to take your cat to the veterinary doctor whenever you notice that he or she has urination difficulties.
- If the doctor ascertains that the cat is suffering from some sort of bacterial, fungal or viral infection, he or she will administer the relevant medications.
- If the urination difficulties are probably being induced by urinary stones, the vet may recommend a dietary charge.
- If the urination difficulties are being induced by other deep-lying physiological malfunctions, the vet may have to operate on the cat (and perhaps insert something like a catheter), in order to give it lasting relief.