Urinary tract infection in cats

As many cat owners will tell you, cats are delicate creatures. They often like to have routine and a predictable life. Many things can cause a cat stress and sometimes it is something so small the owner will not even realise it is going on. Lots of cat owners come to us reporting a change in their cat’s demeanour with no change in routine at all. Occasionally there are health reasons behind this.

Many cats will go outside to urinate and defecate and so owners will not be able to monitor this habit very easily. For this reason if there is an issue it is very common not to notice straight away. It is not unusual for cats to contract cystitis or urinary tract infections; this can sometimes trigger the formation of crystals within the urinary tract, other causes of this include; unsuitable diet; dehydration; a change in urine pH; certain medications can have an effect and sometimes breeds are just predisposed to this problem.

Crystals can stay small or grow to several millimetres, this can cause trauma to the bladder wall. If the crystals are larger they can block the ureter and leave your cat unable to urinate – this is now a dangerous situation. Male cats are much more likely to suffer with this than a female purely because of anatomy.

Toothless was one of the unlucky ones – he is a four-year-old male cat who suffered with bladder stones. When he was brought to us, his ureter was completely blocked and required a general anaesthetic to enable us to pass a urinary catheter and unblock him. After unblocking him for the second time we were hopeful that he would recover and continue to pass urine on his own, but unfortunately this didn’t happen. The best option for him now was a perineal ureterostomy. This is a surgical option which involves creating a new opening in which Toothless can urinate from. After this complex surgery Toothless is now at home recovering with his family and doing very well!

If you are noticing that your cat has any of the following symptoms it is vital that you contact us straight away:

  • Straining when urinating (especially if the straining produces no urine).
  • Uncomfortable urination.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Passing urine in abnormal places.
  • Licking genital area persistently.
  • Continuous attempts or frequent urination.