Urinary tract infections in cats are one of the leading reasons why cat moms and dads rush their feline family members to the vet. Urinary disease is excruciatingly painful, and it can lead to several other serious health issues.
And while we all want to keep our cats healthy, we have a big problem.
Cats are notoriously good at hiding their pain. They face illnesses and injuries with stoic strength, and that can leave us humans grasping for straws when things suddenly go wrong. The best way to help your cat is to recognize the early signs that they’re in pain.
Signs Your Cat Has a UTI
Here’s a list of the most common symptoms of urinary tract infections in cats. Learn these signs now so that if the time comes, you don’t hesitate to get your cat the help they need.
Frequent Trips to the Litter Box
If you’ve ever experienced a UTI yourself, you can imagine how it can make a cat feel.
When a cat has a urinary tract infection, they will visit the litter box a lot more often than usual. It’s because the urinary tract disease is causing inflammation that makes it feel like they constantly have to go to the bathroom.
They have the urge to go often, but that doesn’t mean they’ll release urine every time. If your cat is trying to pee often but doesn’t always leave a wet mark in the litter, it could be a UTI.
Accidents Outside the Litter Box
When your cat’s urge to pee is a constant and painful struggle, you can’t expect them to make it to the litter box every time.
If they’re on the other side of the house, and the pain gets to be too much, they won’t make it to their litter box in time. If having indoor accidents is abnormal for your cat, a urinary tract infection could be to blame.
A Strong Odor
Even the biggest cat lovers have to admit that cat pee is not a great smell. But when your cat has a urinary disease, the smell will get worse.
You won’t need to stick your head in the litter box to tell the difference–it’s a pungent, unmistakable odor.
Straining to Urinate
While your cat might feel the need to pee often, the actual act of urinating won’t bring them relief. Instead, it will cause them a lot of pain.
Cats with urinary tract infections often moan or cry out when they attempt to urinate. It’s heartbreaking to hear, and it’s a clear sign they need help from a vet.
Even if your cat is silent, watch their body language before, during, and after they go to the bathroom. Look for any indication of tension or discomfort.
It should be obvious that blood in your cat’s urine is never a good sign.
Bloody urine is harder to detect than you might think. Sometimes it’s only a few drops of blood that barely changes the color of your cat’s urine. And depending on what kind of litter you use, it can be difficult to notice.
Obsessive Licking of Genitals
When your cat is in pain, they attempt to soothe themselves and make the pain go away. Licking is the best way they know how to do that.
All cats lick their genitals occasionally. But that’s not a a sign of a urinary tract infection. The red flag comes up when a cat starts licking with an urgent obsession. Distractions won’t last for long, and your cat might choose to lick themselves instead of play with their favorite toy.
What To Do Next
After you identify signs of a urinary tract infection in your cat, it’s your responsibility to act quickly. If the infection goes on for long, your cat could develop a blockage. When that happens, they’ll need to be hospitalized while their bladder is drained and the blockage removed.
Your cat will be much happier if you can catch the UTI early on. In these cases, treatment is usually a round of antibiotics. Your vet might also suggest a diet change to prevent future infections.
Either way, if you suspect your cat is suffering from a urinary tract disease, your next move should be to call your vet. Professional treatment will bring your cat fast relief and prevent further suffering.
Do you know the signs of respiratory infections in cats? It’s another common ailment that many cats face. Find out the signs of respiratory infections in felines here.