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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

If you notice your cat attempting to urinate frequently with little result, if you observe blood in the urine, or if your cat uses areas outside the litter box such as sinks, bathtubs or floors, your cat could be having a urinary tract issue. Veterinary attention is important. The veterinarian will perform urinalysis to diagnose the problem and provide treatment.

Considerations
Female cats are more prone to bladder infections than male cats, while male cats are more likely to have a urethral blockage issue than female cats.

Types
A change in diet to acidify the urine to the proper pH value of 6 to 6.5 should be ongoing for cat urinary tract health. Antibiotics may be prescribed or immediate treatment may be necessary, if the infection is connected to a blockage of the urethra or to kidney stones.

Time Frame
A blocked urethra could result in death within 24 hours, if left untreated by a qualified veterinarian. Treatment for crystals in the urine and recovery from a blocked condition may take 8 weeks or more.

Function
Antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial infections of the bladder and kidneys. Catheterization due to obstruction of the urethra allows urine to pass out of the body and clears impacted crystallized minerals and sloughed dead cells that are causing the blockage. A change in diet is prescribed for increasing the acidity of the urine produced by the kidneys, in an effort to break up magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals.

Prevention/Solution
Make fresh water available to your cat at all times to encourage hydration. Keep litter boxes clean; cats do not like to use a dirty litter box and may hold onto urine too long, leading to irritation of the bladder wall and infection. Feed your cat a diet designed for urinary tract health. Feed your cat several small meals through the day or allow free feeding on dry food, rather than one or two large meals.

Theories/Speculation
Urinary tract infection (UTI) issues are more common in a cat undergoing stress, such as moving to a new home. A stressed cat is likely to hide and not drink water or use the litter box as often as the cat would when not stressed. These actions put a strain on the urinary tract and can lead to infection or irritation of the bladder and urethral tissues.

         

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