How do cats get urinary tract infections?

Urinary tract infection in cats also known as feline urinary tract disease can be fatal if left untreated. The cat would suffer from intense pain but aside from this fact, the disease can be the cause of the cat’s death. UTI can result to a completely obstructed urinary tract. The blockage can cause permanent damage to the kidneys, a condition that can lead to the death of the pet. A lot of factors can lead to the development of urinary tract infection. Bacterial and viral infection can cause UTI. Cats that suffered from trauma and stress can get urinary tract infection. This disease can develop due to congenital abnormalities, due to a tumor in the urinary tract or to the formation of crystals in the cat’s urine. Cats can get this disease if the diet has high levels of magnesium that increases the risk of the development of kidney stones. Cats are known to be poor water drinkers. This condition can contribute to the development of UTI. The gender, the age, behavior and environment of the cat are other factors that can lead to urinary tract infection.

Bacteria and viruses in the cat’s urethra or bladder are one of the common reasons why these pets get urinary tract infection. These infectious agents can travel to the bladder through the opening from where urine is excreted from the body. This is one of the reasons why UTI is more common in female cats. The shorter urethra predisposes female cats to UTI. The shorter urethra makes it easier for bacteria and viruses to enter the bladder and infect the urine. Long haired breeds are also predisposed to UTI as the feces tend to accumulate on the hair around the anal area. The formation of bladder stones and crystals in the urine is another factor that leads to urinary tract infection in cats. Cats with improper diet are mostly affected by this infection. A diet that has high magnesium and other mineral content would result to the infection of the bladder. The excessive minerals in the diet would not be entirely taken up by the digestive system. The mineral deposits would form into crystals that would eventually bind together to develop into stones. Stones in the bladder would cause inflammation and irritation. The mineral deposit could have been washed out of the cat’s system if only the animal drinks ample amounts of water. Cats though are poor water drinkers. The situation is aggravated if the cat is provided with dry kibble instead of wet or canned pet foods.

Physical trauma, urinary tract tumors, congenital abnormalities in the anatomy of the bladder and urethra are other reasons why cats get urinary tract infections. Intentional urinary retention is another reason why cats get affected by urinary tract infection. This situation is common in pets that are not provided with suitable places to void. Cats are clean animals. These pets are known to cover their feces and would rather not poop or pee if the litter box is not cleaned. Urinary tract infection would occur if the bladder is not emptied regularly.

As mentioned, an untreated urinary tract infection can result to permanent urinary tract and kidney damage. These conditions can lead to the death of the cat. Once the cat is noticed crying and straining to urinate, once the pet passes bloody urine or passing malodorous urine, it is imperative to take the cat to a veterinary facility for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment. An antibiotic course is commonly prescribed for the infection. In cases of bladder stones, the cat may need to undergo a surgical procedure. A change of diet may also be necessary.

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