How to Keep Your Cat’s Urinary Tract in Tip-top Shape
How to Keep Your Cat’s Urinary Tract in Tip-top Shape

UTI in Cats: Symptoms, Causes, Home Remedies & More

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What is UTI in cats?

UTI, also known as Urinary Tract Infections, are any infection in the urinary system. Such infections are not common in cats. In fact, not every cat with UTI symptoms has a urinary tract infection. According to NCBI, only one to two percent of cats suffer from urinary tract infections. However, UTIs resemble several other feline diseases; hence, it is imperative to visit a vet for further diagnosis.

Symptoms of UTI in cats

Since Urinary Tract Infections can cause severe pain and discomfort, every cat parent must learn about cat UTI symptoms. Here are a few major UTI symptoms in cats:

  • Frequent urination but in small amounts
  • Blood in the urine

  • Constant licking of the urinary opening

  • Crying out while passing urine

  • Urinating outside the litter box

How is cat UTI diagnosed?

In order to diagnose UTI in cats, veterinarians first test urine samples. This test helps them detect any bacteria in the urine. Doctors directly draw urine from the bladder with a needle to avoid contamination. Once the urine sample is tested, the vet will then isolate the bacteria to study it further. This step is called the Culture and Sensitivity test. It helps determine the right medicines based on the cat's infection.

First-time infections or acute infections are generally cured using broad-spectrum antibiotics. However, if your cat is suffering from a chronic infection, the vet might recommend additional tests to start bacteria-specific medication. 

Causes of UTI in cats

There are multiple factors that can lead to UTI in cats. Let's explore a few common causes of cat UTI:

  • Weak immune system due to medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, etc.
  • Replacement of the urinary catheter

  • Bladder stone

  • Issues with the cat's gastrointestinal tract

Cat UTI prevention

Although UTI is rare in cats, it's best to take the right measures to prevent it at all costs. Here are a few points on how to prevent UTI in cats:

  • Ensure that your cat drinks enough water. Clean the water bowl regularly and fill it with fresh water every day.
  • Do not forget to clean the litter box frequently. Scoop the litter twice daily. Moreover, make sure to replace it with a new box once every two weeks.
  • Monitor any changes in the quantity or colour of the urine while cleaning the litter box. In case you see any changes, consult a vet.
  • Learn about diseases that are most likely to further cause UTI in cats. If your cat contracts any such disease, consult a vet immediately.
  • If your cat is old or overweight, it may have a hard time reaching the backsides of its body. Hence, assist your fur baby in cleaning itself.

Can you treat cat UTI with home remedies?

There are multiple cat UTI home remedies like cranberry juice, apple cider vinegar, bone broth, etc. And most of them are believed to alleviate the symptoms of UTI. However, we do not know if these remedies heal you completely. Hence, it is best to consult a veterinary doctor for cat UTIs.  Moreover, in some cases, especially if left untreated, UTIs can be recurrent. The vet will provide the right medication to get rid of the bacteria.

Frequently asked questions

  1. How to tell if a cat has UTI?
  2. A cat with UTI will exhibit following symptoms:

    • It might urinate frequently, but in small quantities
    • It might whine while urinating
    • It might lick its urinary area excessively due to irritation
    • It might have blood in its urine

    If you see any of the above symptoms, rush your cat to the doctor.

  3. Can cat UTI go away on its own?
  4. Certain Urinary Tract Infections can heal on their own. However, to understand whether it's a mild or chronic condition, you must visit your veterinarian. In case it is a chronic case, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics.

  5. Can lack of water cause UTI in cats?
  6. Water is essential for cats. Lack of water not only causes dehydration but also Urinary Tract Infections in cats. So, make sure that your fur baby drinks sufficient water throughout the day. 

  7. How do indoor cats get UTIs?
  8. Cats contract Urinary Tract Infections when harmful bacteria enter their bladder. Does that mean cats that live indoors won’t get UTIs? No. Cats make use of a litter box to excrete every day. If you do not clean this box regularly, it can turn into a breeding ground for countless deadly bacteria. Hence, as a cat parent, you must clean the litter box at least twice daily. The bacteria around your cat's faeces can enter its urethra every time your fur baby urinates. While this is one of the major causes of UTI in indoor cats, sudden changes in their routine, stress, and poor immunity can also lead to Urinary Tract Infections.

How to Keep Your Cat’s Urinary Tract in Tip-top Shape
How to Keep Your Cat’s Urinary Tract in Tip-top Shape
  • Anti rabbies Vaccine
    Anti rabbies Vaccine
    Anti rabbies Vaccine

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    Rabies is a dangerous virus that affects the warm-blooded animal kingdom. It spreads through the bite or starch of an infected animal, making the infection easily transmissible amongst animals and humans alike. Since there is no effective rabies treatment yet, the only solution to combat this fatal virus is through vaccination. Veterinarians recommend anti-rabies vaccine for pets to protect them and their humans from this deadly virus.

    Anti-rabies vaccine is one of the core vaccines for cats, in addition to the 4-in-1 cat vaccine. It helps prevent the cases of rabies in cats and kittens, contributing to the overall health of your feline friend. However, before getting your cat vaccinated with rabies injections, it is essential to know a few details about this disease and how to prevent it. So, let’s dive right into it.

    How does rabies spread?

    The rabies virus depends on the host body for survival. As the virus cannot survive outside of the host body, it spreads through open wounds and mucous membranes in the eye, mouth, and nose. The virus transmits through the saliva of the infected animal. If a rabies carrier bites or starches your pet, then it too becomes infected with the virus. Typically, the incubation for rabies in cats ranges from a few days to a few years.

    Since rabies is a deadly infection, it is imperative that you, as a cat parent, watch out for its symptoms. So, let’s take a look at a few signs of rabies in cats:

    1. Fever

    2. Lethargy

    3. Low appetite

    4. Difficulty breathing

    5. Hypersalivation

    6. Difficulty swallowing

    7. Abnormal behaviour

    Curing rabies is not an option post-incubation as there is no proper medication available in the market yet. Hence, keeping this fatal infection at bay is of paramount importance. And how can you do that? By ensuring that your cat is vaccinated with an anti-rabies injection.

    Do indoor cats need rabies vaccination?

    Anti-rabies vaccine for cats is a must. Veterinarians monitor rabies shots for both indoor and outdoor cats. While there is a misconception that rabies vastly affects dogs, it can find its way to cats and other warm-blooded animals as well. Cat’s rabies vaccination prepares your indoor kitty to fight the deadly virus. Hence, do not skip on annual booster shots for both indoor and outdoor cats.

    While you may think, your indoor cat is safe from the fatal disease, it is best to ensure complete healthcare for its overall well-being. Cats often socialise with outside cats by licking, sniffing, or starching each other. Indoor cats can get the rabies virus if they socialise in this manner with an infected outdoor or stray cat. Anti-rabies vaccination is the best way to avoid any remote possibility of your kitty getting infected. It builds antigens in the cat’s body, so your fur baby can tackle the rabies virus.

    How often should cats receive rabies vaccination?

    Various brands offer anti-rabies vaccines for cats in the market. Hence, it is best to seek a veterinarian’s advice regarding  vaccination. They will take multiple factors, such as your kitty’s age, breed, and lifestyle, into consideration before recommending a brand. Similarly, when it comes to the frequency of taking the anti-rabies vaccination, it all depends on the type of vaccine recommended for your pet. If your vet recommends an adjuvant vaccine, your cat might have to be inoculated once every year. On the other hand, if they suggest a non-adjuvant vaccine, you must note that these vaccines are generally administered once in three years. 

    When to schedule feline anti-rabies vaccination

    Anti-rabies vaccine is one of the core vaccinations for cats. It prepares your cat to fight the virus by boosting immunity. The first dose of the anti-rabies vaccine is administered once the kitty turns 12 weeks old. After the initial dose, depending on the type of vaccine, you will need to get your feline friend vaccinated either annually or once in three years.

    Side effects of the anti-rabies vaccine

    As a cat parent, you must know the potential side effects of this vaccine. So, let’s take a look at them:

    1. Low-grade fever

    2. Lethargy

    3. Low appetite

    4. Swelling and redness at the injected site

    Cat parents should monitor not only the anti-rabies vaccine but also other core vaccines like 4 in 1 cat vaccine, FeVac 5, and 3-in-1 cat vaccine. Regular vaccination and annual health check-ups ensure your kitty leads a healthy life. So, ascertain that you provide your fur baby with all the care it requires.