If you have a cat, you may already be aware that it is sometimes difficult to notice when they are having an ailment or condition that needs attention. Cats are very good at hiding their symptoms, so it is important to routinely observe their actions in case they need medical help. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the conditions that may go unnoticed unless you are aware of the signs your cat will display if they need help. Here is some information about feline urinary tract infections and what to do if you suspect your cat is suffering from one.
What Happens If My Cat Has A UTI?
In felines, a urinary tract infection is often caused by the type of diet the cat eats. If they do not have enough moisture in their food, their chances at getting a urinary tract infection increases. Cats of all ages can get a urinary tract infection. In a female, the condition is bacterial and will cause some pain in the genital area when the cat tries to urinate. In males, the condition will obstruct the flow of urine, which is extremely painful and should be treated by a veterinarian right away.
What Symptoms Should I Look For?
In male cats, the symptoms of a urinary tract infection are easier to spot as they will most likely become aggressive. The cat may walk around the house hissing or yowling and it may have the tendency to lash out at someone who tries to pet it. In both males and females there will be excessive licking of the genital area in an attempt to relieve pain. The cat may get in and out of the litter box several times in a short time span, and there may be no urine output during their visits.
Check the litter box for signs of blood and observe your cat each time it gets into the litter box. If it appears to be straining, if the urine comes out in small dribbles, or if there is a pungent ammonia odor when the cat uses the litter box, there may be a problem. Cats will often increase their water intake, making the pain worse as a result.
What Should I Do If I Suspect A UTI?
If you suspect your cat is suffering from this condition, do not waste time and get them to an emergency veterinarian. Do not wait out the condition until the next morning if your cat is struggling during the night. Waiting to get help for a urinary tract infection is not recommended, as there is risk of kidney damage that could escalate into a life-threatening situation. A professional emergency vet, like Robert Irelan DVM, will determine if your cat can be healed using antibiotics or if surgery is necessary to remove the obstruction.