Feline urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common illness that occurs in cats, especially male cats, from time to time. You can make a difference and ensure good pet health by knowing the signs of a feline urinary tract infection, and what to do if you suspect your cat has one. It's also important to know that there are various types of feline UTIs, and some are quite serious. Any UTI requires immediate action on the pet owner's part.
Symptoms of a Feline UTI
If your cat is passing only small amounts of urine, straining and making many attempts to urinate, there's a good chance he has a feline UTI. Watch to see if he is licking the genital area often and going outside the litter box. There may be blood in the urine as well. These are all signs that your cat needs to be seen by a veterinarian.
Causes of a Feline UTI
There are no conclusive answers as to what causes feline UTIs. They could be bacterial, viral or triggered by parasites or funguses. Other disorders, such as urinary stones, cancer and urethral plugs, can have the same symptoms of a UTI. These are extremely serious and pose the risk of death. When the cause of infection is unknown, the disorder is called Idiopathic Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, or IFLUTD.
For some cats, feline UTIs clear up on their own. It is still important to take your cat to the vet for a diagnosis, to rule out more serious causes of symptoms.
Diet can be a factor in healing, as a diet that promotes the right pH balance for urine is important. Feeding small meals frequently or giving your cat unlimited access to food can be of help. Be sure your cat has plenty of fresh water to drink, and an extra litter box that is clean. The vet may prescribe medication, and there are some new medications that may reduce the need for invasive treatment or surgery. Ask your vet about them.
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