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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Does Your Cat Have A Urinary Tract Infection

Does Your Cat Have a Urinary Tract Infection?

PetSmart Margaret Dinchak/myPetSmart.com

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Has your cat suddenly started urinating in areas outside her litter box like, say, on a carpeted area or a piece of upholstered furniture? Your cat could be exhibiting symptoms of a urinary tract infection.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) or feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) are often caused by the accumulation of urinary crystals in the lower urinary tract that form stones and prevent urine from passing, says Dr. Robyn Jaynes, PetSmart veterinary expert.

Has your cat suddenly started urinating in areas outside her litter box like, say, on a carpeted area or a piece of upholstered furniture? Your cat could be exhibiting symptoms of a urinary tract infection.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) or feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) are often caused by the accumulation of urinary crystals in the lower urinary tract that form stones and prevent urine from passing, says Dr. Robyn Jaynes, PetSmart veterinary expert.

It is simple for your veterinarian to test for and treat in the early stages. However, UTIs left untreated for a long time can be life-threatening.

Symptoms include: 

  • Frequent urination without passing much liquid
  • Straining or difficulty urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Urination outside the litter box or in inappropriate places
  • Tender lower abdomen (in the area of the bladder)
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Howling or crying during urination
  • Excessive licking of the genital area

Other signs of UTI

Signs of an UTI are easy to overlook and are often times confused with behavioral problems. If your cat has sudden, unexplained changes in litter box habits such as urinating outside the box or in inappropriate places, it is important to rule out possible medical causes.

There are some litters available that are specially formulated to spot the signs of an oncoming UTI.  These litters detect microscopic changes in your cat’s urine by changing color.  

Treatment

If a UTI is present your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and may recommend a specially formulated prescription diet cat food to aid in treatment.

Prevention

A good way to prevent UTIs is to encourage your cat to drink more water. Since cats enjoy drinking from flowing water, try using an automatic pet waterer to encourage your cat to drink more fluids if you’re having trouble.

Nutrition is also an important factor in treating and preventing UTIs. Look for foods specially formulated for urinary health that have been tested and reviewed by the FDA.

Be sure that your cat has ample access to their own clean litter box. If you have multiple cats in your household, set up one litter box per cat and clean them daily.

 

 

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