Cats Urinary Tract Infection of the bladder
What Exactly is Cats Urinary Tract infection?
Cats urinary tract infection is the term used to describe a range of symptoms and ailments involving the animals urinary tract rather than any specific disease. The urinary tract or more precisely the lower urinary tract involves the bladder where urine is stored before passing out of the body and the urethra which is the tube it passes through as it is expelled. The upper urinary tract involves the kidneys and if left unchecked n infection will almost always eventually affect this part of the body too. Cats urinary tract infection can be the result of many underlying causes ranging from simple infections through to tumours of the bladder or urethra. All cat urinary tract infection can turn serious if left untreated so owners should be aware of the possible symptoms and what action to take. Whilst any cat can suffer from urinary diseases at any time in its life it is more often found amongst cats above the age of four years old and primarily amongst males. The reason for male cats susceptibility to these illnesses is probably due to the narrower urethra. Some vets even suggest that when male cat sterilization is carried out to early in the kittens life this can cause early onset cats urinary tract infections too.
Symptoms of Cats Urinary Tract Infection
Cat owners need to look out for amongst other things for excessive urinating. Be aware however that this is also a possible symptom of diabetes in cats. Conversely another common symptom of cats urinary tract infection is the inability to urinate at all. Even worse some animals may find urination painful and this can be most distressing for both the cat and the owner. Also look out for dribbling due to a weakening of the bladder muscle (sphincter) which may be accompanied with very frequent visits to the cat toilet. Over long periods of squatting in the tray and crying when passing urine are also clear indicators. Much of the above will often induce a fear of using the litter tray. A cat may associate the pain and discomfort with the tray and consequently begin to do its business in other parts of the house. Some animals with cats urinary tract infection actually develop a fear of using the cat toilet. Other symptoms may include constantly licking the genital area, bloody or cloudy urine and a strong accompanying smell of ammonia in the urine. Depression is obviously also a common knock on effect from all the other symptoms as is lethargy and vomiting. Of course all cats are different and may show all or just some symptoms of cats urinary tract infection.
What to do if You Suspect Cats Urinary Tract Infection
By the time many of the symptoms described above are manifest the illness should be considered serious. If the animal is crying out when urinating you should consider it an emergency. Cats urinary tract infection can quickly turn fatal if left untreated. A blockage in the urethra or bladder could cause a kidney to fail or even the bladder itself to burst so it isn’t something to be left unattended. If your cat shows any of the above symptoms you should seek the services of a qualified veterinarian as a matter of urgency. However its worth bearing in mind that most of these symptoms are caused by a form of cystitis (water infection) or crystals blocking the urethra. The cystitis can be remedied using antibiotics and the vet can expel crystals from the urinary tract quite quickly. More complex underlying causes will need diagnostic procedures such as blood work, x-rays and maybe the use of ultrasound to ascertain the cause. Many vets also recommend special urinary diets for cats with such problems and in many cases these prove to be successful both as a cure and preventative measure too. If you need a more detailed explanation of cats urinary tract infection there is an in depth article here.