A Guide to Cat UTIs and Their Symptoms

Posted by Dr. Roth on

Cat sitting, a guide to cat UTIs and their symptoms
No pet parent wants to have a sick kitty. Like people, though, cats are susceptible to many illnesses, and feline urinary tract disorders are some of the most common causes for concern. One type of urinary tract issue cats can get is a urinary tract infection, abbreviated as UTI. While cat UTIs aren’t as common as other disorders, they can create a lot of discomfort and stress for the cat and worry for the pet parent. 

What Is a Cat Urinary Tract Infection?

A UTI is an infection in a cat’s lower urinary tract, most often in the bladder, although it can first develop in the urethra and spread to the bladder as well. Bacterial infections from Escherichia coli bacteria are most common, but infections can also occur if a virus, fungus, or other organism gets into the urinary tract. An At-Home Urine Test Kit is one way pet parents can see if their kitty has picked up a urinary infection. 

At-Home Urine Test - Cats, A guide to cat UTIs and their symptoms

What Are Some Cat UTI Symptoms?

Pet parents who notice certain signs and symptoms should reach out to a vet for cat advice on UTI and other feline health questions. 

Common cat UTI symptoms include:

  • Peeing frequently or trying to pee frequently
  • Straining to pee
  • Passing tiny amounts of urine each time
  • Crying or meowing while peeing
  • Licking their genital area frequently
  • Peeing outside of their litter box
  • Peeing urine with blood in it
  • Passing urine with a different smell

How Common Are Feline UTIs?

Feline UTIs are not as common as pet parents might think. While UTIs are a type of feline lower urinary tract disorder, or FLUTD, and they result in similar symptoms as other cat health disorders, they only account for about 1 to 3% of all FLUTD cases in young to middle-age cats. 

This is because urine in younger cats is more concentrated and has higher acidity. Urine acidity and viscosity decreases as cats age, which is why cats older than 10 years are more susceptible to them. Cats with diabetes or kidney disease are also more likely to get a UTI because their urine will be higher in sugar, and because the cat has special dietary needs. Overall, about 10% of older cats and cats with diabetes get feline urinary tract infections.

Are UTIs and Urethral Blockages Related?

While both male and female cats can get a UTI, females are more likely to get the infection. For any cat with a urinary tract infection, though, antibiotics are the most common treatment method. When male cats get a UTI, they’re more likely to also get a cat urinary tract blockage called a urethral blockage. This is because they have very narrow urethras compared to female cats.

A urethral blockage is a serious condition caused by urinary stones blocking the passage. They can also be caused by urethral plugs, which are soft masses made of minerals, tissues and proteins. A urethral blockage is a cat health emergency that needs immediate medical attention to avoid toxins building up in the kidneys. However, whether a cat has a UTI or a cat urinary tract blockage, they should get proper attention from a vet to help them feel better.

Fuzzy Vets and Cat Advice

Pet parents with more feline health questions or other cat advice can reach out to Fuzzy Vets for a 24/7 Live Vet Chat. Sign up for a Fuzzy membership today for expert help on cat UTI symptoms and more.

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