Urinary tract infections are not uncommon among cats. Cats are not the biggest drinkers. They have low thirst drives and will go on for some time without drinking some water. That is why they are more likely to develop UTIs compared to other domesticated animals such as dogs.
As pet parents, one of the most painful and frustrating things is seeing your pet suffering, and you cannot do much to ease it because you realize you do not know any treatments. UTIs can cause so much discomfort to your cats, and no pet owners want that. For most pet owners, their automatic recourse is to go to the vet, but this can be quite costly. Now you may ask if there are other options for you.
What causes UTIs in cats?
UTIs are a result of a bacterial infection. The urinary tract is made up of several organs – two kidneys, two ureters, the urethra, and the bladder. These organs made up the system responsible for the formation, storage, and disposal of urine. An infection to any of these organs could affect the proper functioning of the whole system.
Sometimes, UTIs can also be caused by an already existing disease such as diabetes or the feline leukemia virus. Cats who have poor diets or live in a stressful environment are also more prone to develop UTIs.
What are the symptoms of UTI?
If you have suffered from a UTI before, you will know how painful and uncomfortable it is. But unlike humans who can easily express and say what we feel, cats cannot do that. They have no way of telling you that something is hurting their body. It is then up to you to observe your cat and watch for any symptoms that your cat is suffering from UTI.
Some of the most common symptoms of UTIs in cats include the following:
- Blood in the urine: It is best to check your cat’s urine after they urinate. Cats with UTI would tend to have blood-tinged urine.
- Straining to urinate: UTI would cause inflammation of the bladder that will cause straining when your cat is trying to urinate. There might even be failed attempts to urinate because of discomfort and pain caused by the inflammation.
- Abnormal urination patterns: If you notice a change in your cat’s bathroom patterns or that they frequently urinate more than usual, it may be because of a UTI. They also tend to urinate outside their litter box.
- Crying or whining while urinating: UTI makes urinating very painful for cats so you may notice strange sounds coming from them when they urinate.
- Licking of the genitals: Cats tend to lick their genitals to ease the pain and discomfort.
What treatments are available at home for a cat’s UTI?
If your cat is exhibiting some UTI symptoms, there are measures available for you to treat your cat’s UTI at home. Sometimes, a vet visit could be quite costly, and it is a relief for pet owners to know that there are home treatments that they can turn to.
However, it is essential to note that these treatments are only for mild cases of infection. If your cat is suffering too much or their condition is not getting any better, you have to stop your home treatments and go immediately to the veterinarian.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It is an effective treatment to regulate your cat’s pH level. Its component can help keep the urinary tract of your cat bacteria-free and less prone to any infection. On ways to use ACV as treatment – you can mix a bit of apple cider vinegar with your furry friend’s food. The amount should not be more than half of a teaspoon.
Cranberries are known as a universal remedy for urinary problems. It works well for humans and is also the same for cats to regulate their urine. However, experts do not advise buying cranberry juices commonly found in the market because of their high sugar levels. You can go for ones that come in capsule form for your cat to take. Or you can look for cranberry powder that you can easily mix with your cat’s food.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are typically known as joint pain cures, but these can also help treat your cat’s UTI. Glucosamine replaces a compound that is found in your cat’s bladder. This compound is essential for your furry friend’s bladder regulation and to rid of any present bacteria and infection. Chondroitin, on the other hand, keeps the compound from collapsing. Ultimately, these two supplements help reduce any inflammation in your cat’s urinary tract and protect it from any further infection.
Marshmallow root has mucilage that is a gelatinous substance commonly found in root plants that help strengthen the wall and lining of your cat’s bladder. The sticky component provides a layer of protection against bacteria and infection. It can help kill and treat any bacterial infection found in your pet’s system and ease the inflammation. It also improves the efficient flow of your cat’s urine out of their system.
Bone broth ultimately helps keep your cat hydrated throughout the day. If your cat is suffering from UTI, one of the most crucial things is to make sure that they get enough liquid in their body per day. This is to flush out the bladder and get rid of any harmful bacteria that may be present in your cat’s system. Bone broth is also good for your cat as it is rich in minerals that your cat’s body needs to help treat the infection.
D-Mannose is an absorbable sugar. The market has these in capsule or powder form. It is used to treat UTI because of its antimicrobial properties that help fight off the harmful bacteria that may be present in your cat’s urinary system.
When should I call the vet?
Take note that the treatments listed above are all for when there is only a mild case of infection. Your cat’s case is mild when your cat can still urinate, although with a bit of difficulty. When your cat is still eating and is only showing mild discomfort, their condition is not that bad. If your cat is suffering too much – when they are already crying in pain – then it is time to bring them to the vet.
UTIs, if left untreated, can be life-threatening. If you see your cat unable to urinate or that every time they urinate there is blood in it, this is not just a minor infection. Your cat cannot tell you how they exactly feel. It is then up to you to observe and assess if your cat is not doing so well. If your cat shows any UTI symptoms and you try treating it using the treatments listed, but their condition just keeps getting worse, it is best to bring them to your local veterinarian for them to undergo the proper tests and treatment from experts.
What preventive measures can help so my cat will not develop UTI?
Prevention has always been better than cure. Nobody would want to see their pet suffering from so much pain. As a pet owner, you can help prevent your cat from developing UTI and overall boost their health by doing these simple things.
One thing is you have to make sure that your cat gets enough hydration every day. Give your pet easily accessible clean water and encourage an increase in their daily water intake. You can also give your cats canned food instead of dry foods. Canned foods contain proteins and a lot of moisture that will help keep your pet hydrated.
Always clean their litter boxes and keep their environment stress-free. Stress is a contributing factor to your cat’s urinary issues. To help your cat develop a relaxed and stress-free disposition it is highly encouraged to play with your furry friend and provide plenty of space for them to move around and play.
Urinary tract infection is not something that you can just brush off. It is very painful for our feline friends and could lead to more complications if left untreated. At this point, you already know what the common symptoms of UTIs are. If your four-legged friend is showing some signs of UTI, it is best to act as early as you can. Observe your pet and act accordingly.
As a pet parent, your main question would be how can I treat my cat’s UTI at home? We have already answered it for you and provided you with several home treatments and remedies you can use to treat your pet’s UTI. These home treatments allow you to treat your cat’s conditions immediately. It is best to act while it is still early and is easily treatable. Those listed home treatments are effective but this also depends on how severe your cat’s condition is. If your cat’s UTI is already complicated, it is best to check in to your local vet.