Cats can hide pain so well that you would not quickly determine if they are suffering from certain health conditions like feline urinary tract infection. However, a very common sign of urinary tract infection in cats is urinating outside the litter box. Cats with UTIs tend to urinate in cool areas or unusual places, such tile floors, the bathtub or sink, concrete or the corners of your home. Additional feline urinary tract infection symptoms include straining to urinate, strong urine smell, excessive licking of the bladder area, redness or irritation of the bladder area and increased thirst.
One effective way to prevent your cat from acquiring urinary tract infection is by regularly monitoring his health even before symptoms could appear. This instant urinary tract infection home urine test kit is design to detect the indicators of urinary tract pathology – blood, leukocytes (white blood cells) and nitrite – in your cat’s urine. It is safe, pain-free, easy to use and delivers results in as fast as 2 minutes. Checking your cat’s health at home is less stressful to both you and your pet. However, while the results are not meant to replace professional advice, you can use the result as basis for discussing your cat’s health with your veterinarian. Early detection entitles your pet to receive proper treatment to prevent leading to more serious illnesses.
Symptoms of UTI in Cats
Cats suffer from their fair share of diseases, and new cat owners or those planning on getting or adopting a cat should read up on the more common health problems that afflict them. Having an idea what these common diseases are, how to spot the symptoms, how to use some very useful home test kits, what home remedies will help and basically how to be in control of your pet's health care are simply part of being a responsible cat owner.
Lower Urinary Tract Problems
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is among the most common health problems for cats. It isn't actually a single problem, but a collection of clinical symptoms with more than one possible cause. Lower urinary problems in cats often prevent them from completely emptying their bladder or may even cause urethral blockage which can be fatal.1Common causes are:
- Accumulation of debris from urine
- Bladder infections/inflammation
- Congenital abnormalities
- Spinal cord problems
- Stones, crystals or debris accumulation in the bladder or urethra
- Tumor(s) in the urinary tract
- Urinary tract injury
- Weak bladder or incontinence due to excessive water intake
FLUTD is rare in younger cats and is more common among animals that are at least 4 years old. Urethral blockage in particular is more common among male cats because they have narrower urethras than females, but it is the female cat that has a higher risk of developing bladder infections, especially if the cat is overweight, has dental disease, diabetes or other immune system disorders.2
Symptoms of FLUTD
- Unable to urinate or only passing a small amount of urine
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Loss of bladder control, dribbling urine
- Frequent visits to and prolonged squatting in the litter box
- Straining and/or crying out in pain when trying to pass urine
- Fear/avoidance of litter box and soiling in inappropriate places
- Constant licking of urinary opening
- Strong odor of ammonia in urine
- Increased water intake
- Hard, distended abdomen
Knowing that FLUTD is fairly common among cats, be observant of any changes in your pet's behavior and watch out for any or a combination of these symptoms. Seasoned cat owners are fairly good at spotting early symptoms and would often do a home test for UTI first before consulting a vet. Now if your cat is already crying out in pain when trying but failing to urinate, it is a medical emergency and should not be taken lightly. You should seek medical help immediately.
UTI in cats is normally treated with antibiotics, and your vet would most likely prescribe urinary acidifiers, advise some dietary changes and encourage more water intake. More severe cases of cat UTI may need some invasive treatment like expelling stones thru the urethra, surgical removal of tumors or bladder stones or surgical correction of congenital abnormalities.
Upper Urinary Tract Problems
Upper urinary tract problems are categorized under kidney problems. It occurs when the kidneys are unable to process waste products into urine, resulting to the build-up of toxins in the cat's bloodstream.3 There's acute (sudden) and chronic (long-existing) renal failure.
Chronic Kidney Failure in Cats - it is often difficult to identify the exact cause of chronic kidney disease in cats, but these include:4
- An acute kidney episode that damaged the organs and led to a chronic kidney problem
- Chronic bacterial infections of the kidneys
- Chronic urinary tract obstruction
- Congenital polycystic kidney disease
- Cat diabetes
- Long term exposure to toxins
- Immune system disorders such as systemic lupus
- Malformation of the kidneys at birth
Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Failure in Cats
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Drinking water from strange sources
- Increased amounts of urine in the litter box
- Mouth sores
- Bad breath
- Gets tired easily
- Blindness (if coupled with high blood pressure)
Acute Kidney Failure in Cats - while chronic renal failure in cats can be hard to trace to a single cause, acute renal failure is commonly caused by any of the following:5
- Urethral obstruction
- Antifreeze poisoning
- Systemic shock
- Heart failure
- Low blood pressure
- Clotting disorders
- Snake or insect venom
- Heavy metals (arsenic, mercury, lead, thallium)
- Rat poison
- Toxic plants (ingested)
- Bacterial kidney infections
- Feline infectious peritonitis
Symptoms of Acute Renal Failure in Cats
- Loss of coordination
- Bad breath
- Anuria (decreased urination)
- Anorexia (refusal to eat)
The Importance of Urine Tests2
Many cats can have a UTI (whether upper or lower) but be asymptomatic. This results to the condition being left unattended, which can lead to more serious problems later, like chronic kidney disease. Veterinarians therefore routinely advise an annual urine test for cats which can be done during the cat's yearly examination or at home with easy to use urine test kits that even come with their own specimen collection kit. Paying attention to your cat's behavior can help you develop an awareness for subtle changes that may indicate an underlying health problem and catch it at the early stages.
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