Urinary Tract Infections in Cats - Definition
A urinary tract infection, commonly referred to as a “UTI”, is a bacterial, fungal, viral or algal infection that can develop anywhere along the cat’s urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra, and/or prostate gland (male cats only). Fortunately, bacterial urinary tract infections are fairly uncommon in domestic cats.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in cats are caused by microorganisms that enter the urinary tract, travel through the urethra and typically settle in the bladder. The urethra is the tube that connects the urinary bladder to the outside world. Infection of the bladder caused by bacteria is called “bacterial cystitis.” Occasionally, other organisms are the culprit, including mycoplasma, viruses, algae and fungi. Sometimes, the infective organisms migrate from the bladder through the ureters, lodging in
The symptoms of urinary tract infections in cats can vary widely, ranging from mild to extremely severe. Based on reports from people who have had recurrent urinary tract infections, all affected cats probably experience some degree of discomfort, up to and including quite a bit of pain. They may have difficulty urinating and feel a great urgency to urinate, even though they aren’t able to eliminate much urine despite their repeated efforts. These symptoms can
Urinary tract infections often go undiagnosed in cats. The diagnosis usually is made incidentally during a routine annual check-up. A urinalysis is a normal part of a thorough physical examination and is essential if kidney, bladder or other urinary tract disorders are suspected. It is easy and inexpensive to perform. The best way to collect feline urine is by “cystocentesis.” This involves inserting a needle through the cat’s abdominal wall, puncturing the bladder and aspirating
Fortunately, urinary tract infections (UTIs) in healthy cats are not very common. However, when they do occur, UTIs tend to be painful and, if left untreated, can damage the kidneys and other structures of the urinary tract. Bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections can spread through the blood stream and lodge in remote locations, causing systemic illness.The primary goals of treating feline UTIs are to eliminate the organisms that are causing the infection, relieve the