Urinary tract infections in cats are very common. Just like in humans, they are very painful and uncomfortable. However, cats are very good at hiding their health problems. However, there are symptoms to look out for to rule out a urinary tract infection in your cat.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Urinary Tract Health Adult Wet Cat Food
Purina One Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Cat Food
Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food for Urinary Health and Hairball control
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections in Cats
1.Urinating outside the litter box
When a cat that has been using the litter tray starts urinating at random places, it could be an indication that they have a UTI. However, females on heat tend to spray urine at random places in an attempt to attract males. Therefore, if your cat is spayed/neutered and they start urinating all over the place, take them to the vet as it is a sign of urinary tract infection.
2. Presence of blood in the urine
UTI in cats is likely to cause ulcerations in the urinary tract. Therefore, there may be the presence of blood in the cat’s urine. Also, the urine may appear darker than usual and have a foul smell. Thus, if you notice blood in your cat’s urine, call the vet immediately. If UTI is left untreated for long, it may become fatal to your kitty.
3. Cat crying while urinating
In most cases, urinary tract infections are very painful for cats. Therefore, you will find that your cat is crying or meowing excessively while they try to urinate due to pain.
4. Strong smell from the cat’s urine
Mostly, cats with a UTI pass very smell urine. This is because of the infection on the tract that causes bad odors. Therefore, if you notice that your cat’s urine has a stronger smell than usual, call your veterinarian as it could be an infection.
5.Very frequent urination
Urinary tract infections in cats cause great discomfort to your kitty. Therefore, you may find that your kitty is urinating more than often to ease the discomfort and pain. Also, cats with a UTI may frequent the litter tray, try to urinate, but nothing comes out. This could be due to an underlying UTI.
6. Excessive grooming of the genital area
If you notice that your furry baby is licking their genital area more than usual, take them for a checkup as it could be due to a UTI. Cats with UTI lick their genitals to ease the discomfort caused by the infection.
What to look for in the best food for cats with urinary tract issues
Wet cat food
Keeping your cat well hydrated is one way of preventing urinary tract issues. Hence, feeding your cat with canned cat food ensures that they take enough moisture from their food. Therefore, if you feed your cat with dry cat food only, top it with a little wet cat food and ensure there are enough water bowls. Water flushes out mineral deposits in your cat’s urinary system hence prevents infections. Therefore, moisture-rich food reduces the occurrence of FLUTD.
Food with the right acidity to promote a healthy urinary pH level
The pH level in your cat’s urinary system affects the formation of urinary crystals. Foods with a high alkaline level increase the possibility of struvite crystals forming and a UTI occurring. On the other hand, very acidic food for your cat increases the risk of developing calcium oxalate crystals.
Avoid food with high levels of magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium since they increase the likelihood of urinary crystals formation. These minerals are likely found in animal by-product meals. Therefore, look for minimally processed food with high-quality meat as the first ingredient.
What is the best food for cats with urinary tract issues? Review of the 4 best
1.Purina One Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Cat Food
Purina One Urinary Tract Health Formula helps in maintaining a healthy urinary tract by reducing the urinary pH level and providing low magnesium content. The first ingredient is real chicken, a high-quality source of protein to maintain healthy and strong muscles for your cat. Additionally, the food is highly digestible and has a great flavor that will entice even the picky cats.
Moreover, this cat food has no fillers. All the ingredients are high quality and they provide the essential nutrients that promote good health for your kitty. Additionally, this dry cat food is enhanced with Omega 6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and soft coat for your cat. Also, the food is available in crunchy kibble texture that helps remove plaque from your cat’s teeth and keep them clean and healthy.
2. Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food for Urinary Health and Hairball control
This cat food has the optimal levels of magnesium to supports the entire urinary system. The food has a good natural source of fiber that helps reduce the occurrence of hairballs naturally.
Additionally, it is fortified with Omega 6s and Vitamin E to promote healthy skin and coat for your kitty. The high-quality source of protein helps your cat develop and maintain strong muscles. Moreover, the food is made with natural ingredients that you can trust
3. IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food
IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract food is prepared with real chicken as the first ingredient. It is formulated to reduce the urinary pH and promote a healthy urinary system for your kitty... Moreover, this cat food has Vitamin E to help promote a healthy immune system.
Additionally, it has Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat. Also, it is completely balanced with essential nutrients such as calcium and potassium to nourish a healthy heart for your adult cat.
Furthermore, it is available in crunchy kibbles that help clean your kitty’s teeth and prevent plaque buildup. Also, this food has no artificial preservatives or flavors and no wheat.
4. Purina Pro Plan Focus Urinary Tract Health Adult Wet Cat Food
Purina Pro Plan Focus is made with real salmons the first ingredient. This food helps reduce urine pH by providing low dietary magnesium to help in maintaining a healthy urinary system. Moreover, it is available in a delicious taste that will entice even the pickiest cats. The meal is 100% complete and balanced.
Besides, a high-quality protein source promotes healthy and strong muscle development. The meal is prepared to meet all of your adult cat’s nutritional needs.
How is UTI in cats Diagnosed?
Diagnosing a FLUTD requires a visit to the vet. The veterinarian will do a complete physical examination and take urine samples from your cat. Then, they will perform a urine culture to rule out the kind of infection your kitty has.
Treating a UTI in cats mostly involves oral antibiotics. In other cases, the vet may administer an antibiotic injection. However, if your cat had a severe case of FLUTD whereby it had caused an obstruction, surgery may be done to clear the obstruction.
Common Home Remedies for UTI in Cats
Here are home remedies to help a cat with UTI
1.Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is acidic. Therefore, adding it to your cat’s diet may help in preventing and eliminating harmful bacteria that cause infections. Also, it helps in alleviating some of the symptoms associated with FLUTD if your cat already has a UTI. If your cat doesn’t get any relief from using apple cider vinegar, consult your vet.
2. Bone broth
Introducing bone broth to your cat ensures that they stay hydrated. Therefore, bone broth helps in treating UTI and also helps in preventing it by ensuring that your furry baby stays hydrated.
D-Mannose sugar has antimicrobial properties. When this sugar is present in the cat’s urine, it helps remove the harmful bacteria that could be present in the cat’s bladder and urethra. Therefore, when added to canned cat food, it helps in preventing and treating Urinary tract infections.
4. Juniper berry
This herb is well known for increasing the rate at which kidneys filter out impurities. Therefore, when ingested by the cat, it helps in increasing urine production hence the cats urinate more. Thus, they get rid of harmful bacteria that could be in the cat’s urinary system.
Cranberries are one of the best home remedies for treating UTI in cats. However, since they are very sugary, they should be given to cats in moderation. Alternatively, you can give your kitty cat food with cranberries to promote their urinary health. Moreover, cranberries are a rich source of antioxidants. Hence, they help in promoting a strong immunity system for your cat.
6. Parsley Leaf
Parsley leaf is a very effective diuretic. Thus, it helps in the elimination of waste from the cat’s system which could cause urinary tract system infections. Moreover, it has antiseptic properties thus can treat UTI in cats effectively.
7. Uva-Ursi (Bearberry) Leaf
Uva-Ursi leaf is used by many veterinarians to attack harmful bacteria that are responsible for causing UTIs in cats. Additionally, it helps stop bleeding and inflammations that could be caused by UTI.
8. Marshmallow root
Marshmallow root helps greatly when there is an inflammation caused by UTI. It alerts the immune system that there are harmful bacteria and it eliminates them hence reducing the inflammation. Also, it offers a soothing effect and reduces irritation and discomfort that could be as a result of the infection.
Why do cats get UTIs?
Urinary tract infections can occur to any cat breed and at any stage of life. Typically, they occur due to feeding the cat a poorly balanced diet, lack of enough water intake, and environmental factors such as stress. Also, senior cats are at a higher risk of getting UTIs than a kitten. Therefore, feed your old cats a well-balanced diet that will promote urinary system health.
Dehydration in cats.
Cats, unlike dogs, are stoic. They are very good at hiding anything bothering them. Therefore, you may not realize immediately that they are dehydrated. Dehydration in cats is very common since they do not have a very strong urge to drink water. It occurs when a cat has been vomiting and diarrhea and when the weather is particularly hot.
When a cat loses fluids and is not replaced immediately, they may get dehydrated. Also, cats with health conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, and metabolic disorders are more susceptible to getting dehydrated.
Additionally, cats may avoid drinking water if their water bowl is not clean. Therefore, ensure that their water bowl is cleaned every day and filled with clean water. Also, in multi-cat households, ensure that every cat has their water bowl. Cats would avoid the bowls if they smell the scent of another cat. Moreover, ensure enough water bowls are available throughout your house for your cats to access clean water at all times.
Here are ways on how to tell if your cat is dehydrated
Well-hydrated skin is supple and elastic. Therefore, if your cat’s skin does not go back to normal after you pinch and release it at the back of her shoulder blades, she is dehydrated
2. Check his eyes
When a cat is dehydrated, their eyes appear sunken. Also, they would look dull and lack their normal focus. Therefore, provide water if your cat’s eyes appear sunken to provide hydration.
3. Check his gums
A healthy well-hydrated cat’s gums are pink and moist. Therefore, when a gut is dehydrated, their gums will appear pale and sticky. Also, when you gently press the gum, a white spot forms, and when you remove your finger, it should return to pink immediately. Thus, if this does not happen, your cat could be dehydrated.
4. Observe his litter box habit
A cat who is not getting enough water may get constipated regularly. Also, they may use the litter box less than usual. Therefore, if you find that your cat has not peed in the litter box for some time, offer them water as they could be dehydrated. Additionally, if you find a small hairball instead of normal poop in the litter tray, your cat could be constipated.
In severe cases of dehydration, your cat may appear sickly, sleep more than often, and become less playful. Also, they could have a lower heart rate than normal.
Therefore, it is important to check if your cat shows any sign of dehydration and offer fluids as necessary to prevent dehydration.
What causes dehydration in cats?
- Cats get dehydrated by losing fluids through
- Very hot weather
- Excessive vomiting
- Metabolism disorders such as hyperthyroidism and diabetes
- High fever
- Blood loss
FLUTD is very serious. When left untreated for long, it could cause an obstruction which is fatal for cats. Therefore, once you notice any symptom that indicates that your cat could have a UTI, call your vet immediately. Also, avoid self-medicating your kitty with medicine meant for humans. Instead, try some of the natural home remedies to treat and reduce the discomforts cause by FLUTD.