Abnormal cat behavior is usually associated with psychological stress as cats are highly emotional creatures that react to environmental changes very quickly. At the same time odd behaviors can also result from an underlying disorder or infection. For example, if your cat suddenly develops a dislike for her litter box and urinates at odd places, more likely than not it is the first sign of an infection in the lower urinary tract.
High frequency and difficulty in urination are the most prominent signs of feline urinary infection. The cat feels the urge but is not able to empty the bladder and is able to pass out only small amounts at a time, usually accompanied with severe pain. It perceives the litter box to be the cause of discomfort and starts avoiding it.
Urinary tract infections can also be caused by bladder stones that obstruct the urinary passage. This leads to feline urinary incontinence problems – a situation where the bladder is full but the obstruction does not let the urine pass easily. However, the urine somehow finds its way through the obstruction and leaks out involuntarily causing incontinence.
As an owner there are three steps that you should take to rule out urinary tract infection in cats.
Check the cat’s urine on the floor and look for signs of crystals or blood in it.
Try to feel the bladder through the stomach. If the bladder is full, the pet is sure to shriek or flinch with pain.
Get the pet evaluated from a veterinarian to be doubly sure.
There can be other reasons behind the symptoms and a complete check up will reveal all and lead to a proper mode of treatment that should be followed. Urinary infections respond very well to antibiotics. However, if there is a prevalence of bladder stones, the veterinarian may suggest dietary modifications in the diet or surgery. You have another treatment option in herbs and herbal antibiotics. Alternative medicines like homeopathy also have some very effective remedies for urinary tract infection.
Urinary tract infection in dogs is more common than in cats. Recurrence of bladder infection and stones is also seen more prevalent in dogs than in cats. Despite this, if your cat has once been diagnosed for infection in the lower urinary tract, it is advisable to take precautions with simple home care measures.
- Make sure you feed your cat with a diet that is not conducive to formation of bladder stones. If struvite stones are of concern, the diet should promote formation of acidic urine.
- Provide enough clean water at all times.
- Put more than one litter box. If you have more than one cat in the house, put one extra litter box.
- Feed small meals more frequently.
- Get the cat’s urine examined on a regular basis.
Courtesy of Tess Thompson, PetAlive.com