Even though our domestic cats are physically and psychologically similar to their wild ancestors, their living conditions have changed since living with humans. Processed foods, targeted breeding in farms and infections cause many diseases in domestic cats that are not found in wild animals. This includes urinary tract infections .
What are the causes of cystitis in cats?
Bacterial infections are the most common cause of urinary tract disease, and are often a recurring problem. During the chronic course of the disease, crystals and bladder stones can form in the bladder. These irritate the wall of the bladder. This disease is painful for all cats, but it can be especially dangerous for males. Indeed, their urethra is naturally very narrow, and may become completely blocked with the crystals. Crystal formation can be accelerated if a cat feeds exclusivelyof dry food and not drinking enough.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection in cats
A urinary infection or cystitis in cats can have many causes, but the symptoms are generally the same. Urinating becomes painful for the cat. He grimaces or meows when he goes in his litter box, if not at all, and relieves himself when he has no choice, anywhere in the house. This is the symptom that you will notice the most easily. UTIs can quickly become a chronic problem that tires out cats and their owners.
Visit your vet at the first sign of infection. They can check your cat from head to toe and determine the cause of the pain. A urine test usually lets you know what’s going on.
Urinary tract infections due to stress
If there is no physical cause for the symptoms, the diagnosis is often idiopathic cystitis. If your cat suffers from a urinary tract infection despite a high-quality, adequate diet, and the absence of stones in the bladder and kidneys, stress may be the cause of the disease. Cats are sensitive animals, and particularly to changes in their habits, whether it is a new cat in the family, a new partner or a move. Chronic stress has a negative effect on the immune system, and can lead to symptoms of illness that appear to have no cause.
If your cat is not clean, it may be helpful to think about where to your cat’s litter box . Cats need to feel completely secure in their litter box. It is for this reason thatmany animals prefer open litter boxes to toilet houses . A quiet place helps your cat to feel safe. If more than one cat lives in your home, the number of litter boxes should equal the number of cats plus one. Three litter boxes are needed for two cats, four boxes for three cats, etc. Thus, each cat can go to defecate at any time without feeling threatened. Are you looking for the perfect litter box for your four-legged friend?
Diagnosis of cystitis in cats
The veterinarian will use a special test strip to examine the pH of your cat’s urine. Urinary pH plays an important role in the formation of bladder stones. If it is too basic, the risk of developing urinary stones increases considerably.
A microscopic examination of the urine also helps identify or rule out the presence of crystals. If crystals are present in the urine, an ultrasound will need to be done to get details of the bladder stones. With the help of a bacteriological examination in the laboratory, infections can be ruled out. These are rare in young cats, but can be favored by conditions such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or hyperthyroidism. A blood test can also help check the general functioning of the kidneys.
Treatment of a urinary tract infection in cats
Treatment for cystitis in cats depends on the exact diagnosis of the disease. Against a bacterial infection, antibiotics are often the only solution. Anticonvulsants can help fight incontinence.
If crystals are already found in the urine, a proper diet is essential. The pH of the urine should be lowered. This can be done with the help of a special diet for urinary disorders, but many masters have also had good results with BARF food . Sufficient hydration is particularly important. As desert animals, cats rarely pass through the water bowl: they absorb much of the water they need through their food. A diet based on dry food reduces the amount of urine, the pH of the urine becomes basic, and the risk of bladder stones increases.Fountains and water bowls distributed throughout the house can encourage your cat to drink.
We wish you and your cat the best!