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EmpressPixie's avatar

Any experience with UTIs in cats?

Asked by EmpressPixie (14750points) November 12th, 2008 from iPhone

There us something wrong with the cat. The vet said it is probably a UTI. Any experience with this or what we might expect over the next week or so? Helpful hints or tips for the little guy?

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7 Answers

jsc3791's avatar

Last time my cat had one had to get meds for her. Did the vet give you any?

EmpressPixie's avatar

Yep. But I wasn’t there so I don’t know what kind of other stuff she said. It is actually my boyfriend’s cat. I just want to know what if any extra tips are out there for making sure he is comfortable.

jsc3791's avatar

Well I know it is good to keep his litter box extra clean and accessible. UTIs are so painful that he might just go pee wherever he is – because he has been holding it so long.

They also make special cat food to help with UTIs.

Making sure he has plenty of clean water too.

And extra lovin’ doesn’t hurt. =)

syz's avatar

It is probably not a urinary tract infection – actual bacterial infections are fairly rare. It is more likely to be FLUTD (UTI is a commonly used misnomer).

FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) is typically a chronic condition caused by struvite crystals (more rarely, oxalate crystals) forming in the urine for poorly understood reasons. The pain associated with the syndrome is cause by these very jagged crystals irritating the lining of the bladder and urethra. Hematuria (blood in the urine) is quite common.

The usual treatment is a prescription diet designed to lower urine acidity to dissolve the crystals or a urine acidifier (which is less effective). We’ve had very good success with a diet distributed by Royal Canin called SO – it’s very effective and very palatable. The cat will often also be put on antibiotics, although this is usually a prophylactic treatment – bacteria is not usually found in the urine precipitate during a urinalysis. Pain medications and smooth muscle relaxers can also be used to reduce spasming and pain. There should be a gradual reduction in symptoms over a period of several days.

You should be very aware of the fact that your cat can still suffer a urinary obstruction even on treatment! Monitor his urination carefully. You can expect him to make more trips and spend more time in the litter box than usual because of the pain and irritation, but if he is not actually passing urine, you must get him to a veterinarian or emergency veterinarian immediately. Blocked cats will sometimes hide, often vocalize and cry out, and eventually begin vomiting and become moribund.

When a cat obstructs, a clump of crystals lodges in the tiny urethrra, and urine builds up in the bladder until it reaches the point that it can accept no more urine (imagine how uncomfortable it it is in the morning when you have to pee but you try to put it off – now add 12–24 hours to that). Waste product then begin to build up in the bloodstream. Urinary obstruction will cause death and it’s a very, very painful death. The faster you seek treatment, the less sick your cat will become (and the less expensive the resulting treatment).

Cats who develop struvitis tend to have recurring episodes. He may need to be on a prescription diet indefinitely. Some owners have had to resort to a surgery called a PU, where the penis is surgical removed and a “false” vagina is created to allow for a larger exit route for urine.

azul's avatar

My kitty Chooky got FLUTD… We’ve had him and his brother on prescription food ever since. We are always supposed to feel his belly (towards his hind legs – around where the bladder is I assume) to make sure it doesn’t feel weird and swelled like it did when it happened the first time.

cdwccrn's avatar

wonderful detailed answer.
I would only add that when our cat got it, he stopped using his box faithfully, found other spots to go ( or leak) and never became consistent to the litter box again. Big problem. Good luck.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Well, it turns out he has a bladder stone that is a quarter of the size of his bladder and there were no splinters in his urine so we have no idea which kind it is. Uggg. Thanks for the info on the crystals.

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