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Urinary tract disease in cats

Urinary tract diseases are one of the most common problems in both female and male cats. Here we have listed the most common urinary tract diseases in cats.
Indoor cat with bright eyes

Urinary retention is very serious! If your cat cannot urinate, contact your vet.

Common urinary tract diseases in cats

  • Idiopathic cystitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urinary stones
  • Urinary retention

Causes of urinary tract diseases

Common reasons why the cat suffers from urinary tract problems are stones in the bladder or urethra, plug in the urethra in male cats consisting of cells and crystals, spasm in the urinary tract, urinary tract infection or tumor.

Does my cat have a urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infection caused by bacteria is very uncommon in cats, compared to dogs. However, there are other causes of symptoms from the urinary tract, which means that cat owners often think that the cat has an infection.

Idiopathic Cystitis – FIC

Idiopathic cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder with no known cause and this is the most common cause of urinary tract problems in cats. The inflammation can be locally triggered due to an irritation in the bladder or centrally triggered due to stress. To make the diagnosis, you first need to rule out other causes of the symptoms, such as urinary stones.

A cat with FIC urinates little and often, often urine mixed with blood. The cat often screams when urinating and can urinate in the wrong places.

There is no simple treatment for idiopathic cystitis. Symptoms may subside spontaneously within a few days. Painkillers can help. But the most important thing is to try to dilute the urine through wet food or a special diet, increase the water intake, for example through several water bowls in different places in the home, and enrich the environment the cat lives in and reduce stress. It is also important to increase the cat's water intake.

Urinary stones in cats

It is not uncommon for male cats to develop urinary stones, but female cats can also be affected. In male cats, it is common for them to have trouble urinating and small stones can block the urethra as the urethra is narrow in male cats. Often affected females can still urinate but instead have blood in the urine and urinate more often.

Urinary retention requires veterinary care

Urinary retention is very serious! If your cat does not urinate for several hours despite trying, you must seek veterinary care urgently. Urinary retention mainly affects male cats. It can be stones in the urethra or accumulation of inflammatory cells and crystals that block the urethra.

A blockage in the urinary tract can be life-threatening, as the kidneys can be damaged by the urine not being passed out. If the urinary retention has started to affect the function of the kidneys, the cat shows signs of lethargy and refusal to eat, among other things.

Diagnosis and treatment of urinary problems

The initial diagnosis is made by the symptoms the cat has. But if possible, you need to find the cause of the symptoms, such as detecting infection, inflammation or urinary stones by taking a urine sample, bacterial culture, blood test, X-ray or ultrasound.

Cats at increased risk of urinary tract diseases:

  • Middle-aged cats
  • Castrated cats
  • Overweight cats
  • Indoor cats
  • Cats that only eat dry food

Make sure the cat drinks to prevent urinary tract disease

Cats have concentrated urine, which increases the risk of urinary tract problems. It is therefore important to ensure that the cat gets enough water. The water must be changed daily, kept fresh and clean because cats are clean animals. Water bowls should be displayed in several places and not near the food, as cats want to eat in one place and drink water in another. Many cats prefer shallow and wide water bowls and they should preferably not be made of plastic. Water fountains can also be a good option. The cat can also ingest a lot of water through the food, so preferably the cat should be fed wet food.

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