Urine infections are a common problem in both male and female cats. In male cats urinary tract infections can lead to potential life threatening bladder blockages.
Common symptoms include blood in the urine, going to the litter tray frequently and behaviour changes such as pain and aggression. If your cat shows these signs, especially if it is a male cat, please contact your vet immediately.
The causes of urine infections are wide ranging and it can sometimes be difficult to determine the exact cause. We do not fully understand why one cat develops symptoms while another cat, under the same circumstances or living in the same household, does not.
However, we do know one common cause of urinary tract infections is urine crystals. These can frequently appear as a result of excess minerals in your cat’s diet. One solution to this problem can be to change your cat’s diet to a higher quality food. The better ingredients will mean your cat produces fewer waste products, reducing the risk of crystal development. Your vet can also prescribe a special diet based on the type crystals present.
The other common cause of urinary tract infections is stress-induced cystitis. This can be a very difficult condition to control, as it can be triggered by subtle changes owners don’t notice, such as stray cats at the windows and other environmental changes. If you suspect your cat’s urinary tract infections to be caused by stress, calming medications (such as Feliway diffusers, clomicalm and Prozac) can often help.
Finally, cats are also notoriously poor drinkers. If your cat is prone to bladder problems then it is important to ensure there is plenty of clean water available. Offering wet food as well as dry food can also increase their water intake. In addition, some prescription diets are designed to make cats drink more water – your vet can advise the most appropriate for your pet.