5 Signs your cat has a urinary tract infection & how to prevent them

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How Do I Know If My Cat Has a Urinary Tract Infection?

Hi. My name is Dr. Sean McPeck. I am the CEO and owner of Tier 1 Veterinary Medical Center.

So a urinary tract infection, obviously, is a bacterial contamination moving from the external area up through the urethra. It can get into the bladder. It can even extend further up into the ureter and into the kidneys.

Not all cats are going to display the exact same symptoms. But, universally, what we see for the most part is a change in their litter box use. Accidents outside the litter box. And one of the big ones, one of the big things that we see behaviorial wise is cats going to use the litter box and as they start to urinate they sense pain and so they launch out of the litter box and then they avoid using it.

One of the reasons why they’re avoiding using it is because they’re associating the use of the litter box with the pain they’re feeling during urination. And then we start to see random spots throughout the house. And sometimes those urination spots, if you look at them, they may have some blood in them.

The other behavior thing that we may see is excessive grooming the genital area and even an alteration in their behavior. Seeming more lethargic. Maybe not wanting to eat. Hiding is a big one with cats because they’re in pain, they don’t understand why but they know if they try to hide instinctively, maybe that pain will go away. Which it doesn’t.

Those are some of the major things that we see.

So early detection and monitoring of your cat to avoid it getting farther up in the kidneys is is really, really key to helping keep good health for your cat.

So recognizing abnormalities in their behavior and doing a little bit of detective work.

One of the things that are going to happen is you’re going to have to obviously give a urination sample, a urinary analysis, a cystocentesis is primarily how we’re going to get that from the cat, because getting a free catch is going to give us a false contamination. There’s going to be bacteria in a free catch and analysis of that.

Sometimes the doctors may want bloodwork to confirm. Looking at the kidney values and seeing how those things are displaying on the bloodwork.

And then a lot of times the therapy consists of some type of an antibiotic and some type of an anti-inflammatory and pain medication.

There’s another part of urinary tract infections that is really good to rule out is whether or not we have the presence of stones or crystals, because a stone in the bladder can actually lead to a bladder infection.

And with the constant inflammation irritation and going through the urinary tract, if there is a lot of sludge and a lot of crystals, we can get the manifestation of what we call FLUTD. F-L-U-T-D. Feline lower urinary tract disease.

And there’s a lot of different reasons for that occurring. Stress is one that can cause that to occur. Changes in their environment, the introduction of a new animal into the house, even a newborn child. But severe changes in moving within the household. If you’re doing remodeling or construction, all these things can impact your cat and cause a significant amount of stress which can then affect their water intake, reduction in urine, a higher concentration of the urine ending up with inflammation in the urinary tract.

But there’s also different diets can impact that also. And so if you do find that you’re visiting the doctor for a urinary issue, talk with your veterinarian and find out if there would be a better diet for your cat than what your cat is currently on.

And then increasing the the water intake for your cat is a great way to help flush the system.

Cats are strict carnivores. Their primary source of energy is protein, and so they have to eat a lot of protein. Protein requires hydrolysis in order to break it down. So you use water in the body to break down the protein, and that can cause them to be literally in a constant state of dehydration.

Cats are not the best water drinkers. And so finding ways to entice your cat, whether it’s a fountain, if they like drinking out of the sink and having that running for them, sometimes mixing in some higher moisture content into the food, even, you know, some cats will enjoy a fresh can of tuna in spring water and draining that water out for your cat.

There is different ways and there are some additives for water also to help encourage the palatability and entice the cat to drink the water. But have that conversation with your veterinarian.

Let us know if this video is helpful, if there’s any other topics that you’d like us to hit on, please leave a comment. Make sure to like and subscribe for future content. Thanks.

Dr. Sean McPeck

A 2010 Graduate of Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Sean McPeck developed his leadership as a Sniper Team Leader and Veterinarian with the US Army Special Operations, 75th Ranger Regiment.

Dr. McPeck has multiple combat deployments, totaling almost 2 years in combat theaters of operation.

He is the recipient of the Combat Action Badge, and is Ranger, Sniper, and Airborne qualified. While serving as an officer in Special Operations, Dr. McPeck was repeatedly recognized for his Honor, Integrity, Courage and Selfless Service in the name of the United States. He was recognized with not one, but two, Meritorious Service Medals.

Under his leadership, Dr. McPeck worked with Working Dog handlers, and canine units, to detain and seize enemy combatants. The canines that Dr. McPeck worked with are credited with savings thousands of United States soldiers deployed in combat areas.

Dr. McPeck authored The RCAP, Ranger Canine Athletic Program, which was the 1st comprehensive Military canine conditioning program.

His specific training and certification classes for Dog handlers to be proficient in Canine Tactical- Combat Casualty Care, and knowledge of current medical equipment and procedures, which led to the successful life saving interventions by handlers in real world operations.

Dr. SaraRose McPeck graduated from Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. A Massachusetts native who attended Becker College for her undergrad, Dr. McPeck has lived and worked around the country and even the world. She served four years in the United States Army as a Veterinary Officer, during which she was stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia, and completed a 12-month tour in Afghanistan.

Her time serving in the Army provided her the experience as the primary veterinarian for over 350 Military Working Dogs, in which she provided all emergency, trauma, surgical, critical, and primary care. In addition to caring for animals, she trained, mentored, and led six Non-Commissioned Officers and twelve junior enlisted Soldiers, giving her not only impressive veterinary experience but also exceptional interpersonal and leadership skills.

As a Veterinary Corp Officer, she received a variety of awards, including a Bronze Star, a NATO Medal, a GWOT Medal, two Army Accommodation Medals, among many others. She gained experiences in which she exemplified impressive leadership skills and the ability to adapt to both clinical and combat support situations. Her years of experience serving our country and in veterinary medicine have equipped her with the knowledge and skills to provide exceptional care to our patients.