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 feces 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
  • How to Cut a Cat's Nails: A Comprehensive Guide to Understand and Manage Cat Clawing
    How to Cut a Cat's Nails: A Comprehensive Guide to Understand and Manage Cat Clawing
    How to Cut a Cat's Nails: A Comprehensive Guide to Understand and Manage Cat Clawing

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    If you share your living space with a feline friend, you’ve likely experienced the fascinating yet perplexing world of cat nails. From the loud, rhythmic sound of scratching that greets your early morning to those tiny prods every now and then, the claws of cats are as intricate as they are functional. Let's take a journey together to understand why cats scratch and learn how to cut a cat's nails. 

    Why do cats scratch?

    First and foremost, let's understand why your cat is a passionate ‘cat clawing expert’. Cats scratch for various reasons, including claw maintenance, exercise, marking territory, and even attention-seeking. Scratching enables them to remove the outer husk of their claws, revealing a sharp new surface underneath. Additionally, scent and sweat glands in their feet produce a unique smell, which is deposited when they scratch, marking their territory - a clever, multi-purpose act, isn't it?

    Identifying normal cat clawing

    If you're wondering, 'how much cat clawing is too much?', you're not alone. Many cats scratch indoors due to limited outdoor access, comfort, or safety concerns. If you find your cat scratching extensively, especially around doorways and windows, it could be a sign of insecurity or anxiety. 

    How to determine if your cat's nails are too long

    Spotting when your cat's nails are too long is crucial. Overgrown cat nails can cause injuries to their paw pads, lead to changes in gait which can affect their joints, and cause damage to your furniture. Generally, indoor cats require nail trims every couple of weeks, whereas outdoor cats may need them less frequently. 

    Cutting cat nails: A step-by-step guide

    1. Establishing a calm environment for cat nail trimming

      When it comes to cutting cat nails, creating a calm environment is key. Choose a quiet spot and find a comfortable position for you and your cat. You could try trimming their nails when they're sleepy or relaxed, like after a meal. Avoiding distractions such as windows or other pets can also make the process smoother.

    2. Building trust through paw handling

      Get your cat used to paw handling. Gently hold and rub their paw daily for a few seconds. If they're comfortable, extend a nail and reward them with a treat. This slow, rewarding process will make them more amenable to cat nail trimming.

    3. Familiarizing your cat with the nail clipper

      When learning how to cut a cat's nails, it's important to familiarize your cat with the nail clipper. Let them see and sniff it to reduce anxiety. You could also familiarize them with the sound of the clipper by cutting a piece of dry spaghetti near their paw. Always remember to reward their calm behavior.

    4. The process of trimming cat nails 

      Now it's time to clip. Carefully isolate the nail to cut and note where the quick is -- a vein that can cause pain and bleeding if cut. Cut the nail at a 45-degree angle, starting with the very tip. Be patient and careful not to cut the quick. 

    5. Importance of patience in clipping cat nails

      This isn't a race, so take your time when clipping cat nails. If your cat becomes agitated after a few nails, stop the session, and try again later. Forcing the process can cause stress and erode trust.

    6. Cat nail trimming schedule

      Maintaining a consistent cat nail trimming schedule is vital. As a rule of thumb, trim their nails once every one and a half to two weeks. But remember, every cat is different, so adjust as necessary. If you struggle with the process, seek advice from a professional groomer or veterinarian. 

    How to stop your cat from clawing furniture: Enter the scratching post 

    To keep your beloved furniture intact, providing an acceptable alternative to your cat's claws is crucial. A cat scratching post, sturdy and tall enough for the cat to stretch fully, is an excellent solution. These scratching posts mimic the texture and orientation (horizontal or vertical) of their preferred scratching area, redirecting their cat clawing behavior. 

    Caring for kitten nails: The basics

    Kitten nail trimming is similar to adult cat nail trimming, but with a few modifications. Firstly, begin the process of desensitizing their paws early. Show them the nail clipper and make sure it's not a source of fear. When cutting kitten nails, remember they're smaller and softer, so be extra cautious. And, don't forget the kitten scratching post. It's never too early to provide alternatives for their clawing needs.

    With these steps, you're now well-equipped to take care of your cat's claws. Remember to stay patient and calm during the process, and always reward your cat for their cooperation. In no time, you'll become a pro at handling your feline friend's claws, ensuring their comfort and wellbeing.