Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
I know how hard it can be when your little one is sick, so I thought I would share some of my experiences with UTI’s and kitties with you!
UTI’s are pretty easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for. Some signs include:
Struggling to Urinate
If your cat is taking a longer amount of time in his/her litter box I would recommend taking a quick peek. Check to see how much urine they leave behind. If there is a significant decrease in urine this is usually a hard sign that your cat is at the beginning of having a UTI.
Your cat may also walk around the house trying to pee on objects that are not his/her litter box. Usually, when Beau has a UTI he will pee on my backpack (an object I use every day) or on our bed sheets (his safe space) letting us know he’s not feeling well. I know, I know… this is “inconvenient” but I would much rather my cat tell me that he’s sick by peeing on my bed sheets than not tell me at all. Two amazing urine cleaners you can use are Nature’s Miracle and Scout’s Honor, so don’t even worry about the mess till your little one is all better!
Blood in urine
Please, please, please take your kitty to the vet if this is happening! This can mean that your cat is fully blocked and as they pee the crystal is cutting them. Honestly, if that doesn’t make you squirm I don’t know what will!
Frequent Litter Box Visits
This is something Walker did when he had a UTI. He would visit the litter box every few minutes to see if he could go. As things progressed he started using the bathtub as he thought it was the litter that was giving him the pain.
Vocalizations (or screaming) as they try to urinate
If your cat is vocalizing as they pee or hissing at you please take them to the vet immediately. Remember your cat always knows more than you do and if they are in pain, they will tell you!
This one is a harder one. The first time Beau got a UTI he was licking himself a lot. I actually remember asking my significant other if he noticed Beau was licking more frequently and he said no… and within a few minutes Beau was screaming because he couldn’t pee. I know, cat’s lick themselves a lot… but if you do notice an increase keep your eyes on your little one.
Sometimes your kitty will vomit if they are fully blocked. This comes with the upset stomach they get from not being able to pee as well as the amount of strain they put on themselves while trying to pee. You want to avoid this as much as possible because it can also leave your little one dehydrated (dependent on how often they throw up.)
And if you’re still unsure there’s a great at home product called Check Up that will actually tell you if your cat has Diabetes, Kidney Failure, UTIs and a few other ailments. It comes with its own litter, however, it doesn’t come with much. Basically, you let your cat pee in the litter and you use a pipette to collect the urine and drop it onto a pH strip that will tell you if your kitty is sick. It’s easy, affordable and will help you feel better about your vet visit (if you need one!)
A lot of times UTIs are preventable and the following are some great additions you can keep around your house. (Please note that these are preventatives and not ways of “curing” a UTI. Always check with your vet to see what the best solution is as crystals usually need special food to dissolve.)
I 100% stand behind buying your kitty a water fountain it’s the absolute best investment I ever made for Beau and Walker. They drink more, and it carries enough water for a week! My little ones also used to get into fights in the kitchen when they lived together and would always knock over the water bowls. Luckily the Cattit design is 3L, which is much too heavy for a house cat to tip. Fountains do need to be around a power source but usually, come with quite a bit of length so it usually isn’t much of an issue.
I would definitely recommend grabbing some organic crushed cranberries. I actually use Cranimals and I’ve had a great experience with it. Cranberries help inhibit Escherichia coli (the bacteria that is responsible for 80-90% of UTIs.) Cranberries are also great for cats with poor kidney function. So even if your pet doesn’t have a UTI right now, it would still be a good idea to supplement some cranberries into their diet. I advise mixing the cranberries into some wet food. Honestly, that’s one of the only ways we could get Beau to eat the Cranberries. (Cranberries are a bit too tangy for cats at first, but after a couple days Beau didn’t mind.) As always I recommend a Natural Holistic wet food such as Weruva.
And if you can’t get your little one to eat the crushed cranberries there will ALWAYS be a treat you can supplement with. Honestly it’s crazy how many healthy cat treats there are out there! We love the Get Naked brand and have actually even given Beau some of the dog dental sticks. The only downside to them is the fact that they are all made out of chicken, so if your little one has a poultry allergy, it’s not for you. Sadly, Beau isn’t the biggest fan of chicken. He will eat it for a few days and then will stop completely for months. Odd, eh? Either way, these treats are also pretty awesome cause they have some extra taurine for your little one’s eyesight!
However if your kitty starts to strain you should immediately take them to the vet as he/she is at risk of the stone lodging causing a rupture that may cause their bladder to explode or cause kidney failure. At this point the only things that will help are antibiotics, dietary change, fluid therapy or in the worst case scenario: surgery.
I hope you found this article helpful! Has your little one ever had a UTI before? What have you done to make it better?