If your cat is urinating frequently or straining to urinate, he or she may be experiencing a urinary tract infection. Other common signs of a birman cats for sale urinary problem include changes in the size of the litter clumps (lots of little clumps, for example), or accidents outside the litter box.
While urinary illnesses are relatively common in male and female cats, they can be uncomfortable and painful for diagnosed cats and potentially lead to other health issues if left untreated.
Interestingly, male cats get slightly different urinary illness than female cats, and we will explore how that translates to the approach for treatment and prevention in this article. Knowing the potential causes, various symptoms, treatment options available, and ways to prevent urinary issues in cats can help keep your cat healthy and save you from an unexpected vet bill.
What is a Cat UTI?
UTI stands for urinary tract infection. The ‘infection’ portion of the phrase implies that bacteria is the cause for the problem. Animals (and people!) are not sterile creatures, and it is possible for bacteria on the outside of our bodies to travel through the urethra into the bladder, causing an infection. This is the most common cause for urinary tract disease in female cats.
Feline Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)
Interestingly, many male cats can have urinary illness that is sterile, meaning it doesn’t stem from a bacterial infection at all. In these cats, the urethra becomes inflamed, and in response, it swells, causing painful urethral spasms and the persistent urge to urinate. FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) is the medical term veterinarians use to describe this illness in male cats.
It is important to differentiate between the two and confirm the presence of bacteria, since antibiotics are indicated in a true UTI, and not with sterile inflammatory urinary disease.
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms in Cats
One of the hallmark signs of urinary tract illness in cats is an increase in the frequency of urination. Usually the amount of urine eliminated is very small as well. This may be evident by smaller urine clumps in the litter box, or if the urine is voided inappropriately outside the box, you may notice it is a small volume than normal.
Many times, the urine will be pink tinged, indicating the presence of blood, and occasionally you may notice a strong or unpleasant urine odor.
Crying or straining to urinate can stem from pain. Painful straining to urinate without the production of any urine is always an emergency.
Causes of Feline Urinary Tract Infections
In a true cat UTI, bacteria is always the actual cause for the infection. Female cats are more at risk for a bacterial urinary tract infection due to the wider size and shorter length of their urethras as compared to male cats.
Obesity can exacerbate bacterial UTIs in male and female cats, since overweight cats have a harder time reaching to keep themselves clean by grooming. Weight loss can help prevent this from recurring.