If you’ve ever experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI) yourself, you know they can be pretty uncomfortable. But did you know that cats can get these infections too?
A UTI occurs when bacteria, or sometimes an infection, enter the urinary tract. In cats, bacteria from the anal region sometimes makes its way into the urinary tract. Other common causes of UTIs in cats include a cat who holds on to urine for too long or dirty little trays. Diabetic cats are at a higher risk of developing a UTI, while medical procedures and instruments such as catheters can also introduce infection.
As a pet owner, you can watch out for signs of UTIs. Get your cat to the vet straight away if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Frequent visits to the litter tray that produce only a small amount of urine.
- Blood in the urine.
- A cat who doesn’t make it to the litter box or who cries out when she’s there.
- Your cat is licking at her genitals or seems uncomfortable when you pet her.
Your vet will perform tests on your cat to make a diagnosis. These can include an analysis of the urine, a bacterial culture, an ex-ray or ultrasound. If your pet does have a UTI, your vet will prescribe antibiotics.
There are also things you can do at home to help treat the infection and reduce the risk of future infection. A pet who doesn’t drink much water is more prone to infection, so always ensure she has plenty of fresh, clean water nearby and try introducing wetter food into her diet. Clean out litter trays to encourage her to go, as some cats can be fussy and will hold on if the tray is dirty. Be aware of the symptoms and if you notice any, get her to the vet quickly.