Posted by Farley
Did my headline catch your attention? Yes, I am having trouble peeing. You may remember a few weeks ago I went to the emergency veterinary clinic to remove a hair tie from my belly? Well, at the same time the vet told my Mom I had a urinary tract infection. Not only was I miserable because of a bunch of objects in my tummy, but they found I had a bladder infection.
I didn’t know this, but this explains all the symptoms I was having a few weeks before I ate the hair tie. My mom thought I was going to the litter box an awful lot and straining to get a little bit of pee out. But she sometimes isn’t all that smart and blew it off as just a temporary thing. Luckily, unlike most cats with urinary tract infections, I didn’t go outside the box. I did however, pee out blood the day I went to the emergency place, which is partly why she rushed me to the vet. So what are the main symptoms of urinary tract infections in cats?
- Straining to urinate
- Frequent attempts to urinate
- Painful urination
- Bloody urine
- Lack of appetite
- Urinating outside the litter box
My veterinarian told me urinary tract infections are quite common in cats like me. These infections are caused by many things:
- Bladder stones
- Bladder infections
- Interstitial cystitis (inflammation of the bladder)
- Urethral obstructions like stones or organic debris such as cells, proteins, minerals, tumors or other physical abnormalities. The urethra is the part where your pee comes out. We al have one.
So what are the possible treatments?
- Remove the obstruction: this could mean surgery. Supportive care such as intravenous fluids and monitoring of kidney function and blood electrolyte levels will be necessary too.
- Antibiotics to treat the bladder infection: I got this for my treatment. They gave me shot that was good for two weeks. Mommy thought this would be easier than trying to give me a pill every day.
- New food: I now have to eat the super expensive Royal Canin S/O prescription food. I eat it in dry form and the canned version. Feeding canned food is great because of the increased moisture content. Some cat owners, like my mom, also add additional water to my food.
- Increased water consumption: all cats should have fresh water available at all times. Water fountains and dripping faucets can entice some cats to drink more water. Environmental enrichment should be used to reduce stress for indoor cats. This helps them to drink more. Enrichment includes toys, perches, hiding places, scratching surfaces, and other items to entertain your cat and make him/her feel safe.
- Litter boxes should always be kept clean: care should be taken that your cat is not disturbed or harassed while using the box. In multi-cat households, an adequate number of litter boxes must be provided.
Did you know many cats who have urinary tract infections end up being turned in to animal shelters each year because they are not using the litter box? Some cat parents don’t realize it’s a simple and common disease to treat and doesn’t take much veterinary detective work. These ignorant pet parents often assume it’s a behavioral issue so they decide they don’t want the kitty anymore. The great thing is that often times these animals are given medication and their problems stop immediately. For some, that means going off to new homes. But in some sad cases, especially in overcrowded shelters, it means euthanasia.
Luckily, that is not my fate. But I want everyone to know this disease is completely treatable and a pretty easy fix. At the first sign of trouble , take your cat (or dog) to your veterinarian. But remember, I’m a cat, not a veterinarian so please consult your pet expert to make sure your animal is getting the best Whisker Fabulous medical care possible!