Is Your Cat Suffer? Learn How to Treat Cat Urinary Tract Infection

how to treat cat urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in cats are a common and serious condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.

If left untreated, UTIs can lead to severe complications and even life-threatening conditions.

In this blog post, we will outline the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for cat urinary tract infections, as well as provide additional tips for supporting your cat’s urinary health.

Signs and Symptoms of Cat UTI

Recognizing the signs of a UTI in your cat is crucial for early intervention.

Common symptoms include:

Frequent urination

If your cat is making frequent trips to the litter box but only producing small amounts of urine, this could be a sign of a UTI.

The infection irritates the bladder, making your cat feel like they need to urinate constantly, even if there’s not much urine to pass.

Straining to urinate

Cats with UTIs often strain while urinating.

You might see your cat spending a lot of time in the litter box, adopting a hunched posture, or crying out in pain.

This straining happens because the infection causes inflammation and discomfort, making it hard for your cat to pass urine.

Blood in urine

Blood in the urine, known as hematuria, is a clear indicator of a urinary issue.

You might notice a pinkish tinge in your cat’s urine or find spots of blood in the litter box.

This occurs because the infection can cause irritation and bleeding in the urinary tract.

Urinating outside the litter box

Cats are usually very clean and prefer to use their litter box.

However, if they start associating the litter box with pain, they might begin to urinate in other places around your home.

This behavior indicates that something is wrong and needs attention.

Excessive licking

Cats with UTIs often lick their genital area excessively to soothe the discomfort.

While grooming is normal, too much licking in this area can signal an underlying problem.

Strong-smelling urine

A change in the smell of your cat’s urine can also be a sign of a UTI.

The infection can cause the urine to have a particularly strong or unusual odor, which can be noticeable when you clean the litter box.


Diagnosis of Cat UTI

Proper diagnosis is crucial for effectively treating a urinary tract infection (UTI) in your cat.

Your vet will use a combination of tests to identify the presence and cause of the infection.

Here’s a detailed look at how this process works:


A urinalysis is often the first test your vet will perform.

This involves examining a sample of your cat’s urine to look for signs of infection, such as bacteria, blood, and crystals.

Bacteria and white blood cells indicate an infection, while blood can show irritation or inflammation.

Crystals in the urine might suggest a risk of bladder stones, which can complicate the infection.

Urine culture

To find out exactly which bacteria are causing the infection, your vet might do a urine culture.

This test involves growing bacteria from the urine sample in a lab to identify the specific organism.

Knowing the exact bacteria helps the vet choose the most effective antibiotic for treatment, ensuring your cat gets the best care possible.

Blood tests

Blood tests can give additional insights into your cat’s overall health and help rule out other conditions that might be contributing to urinary problems.

For example, high levels of certain substances in the blood can indicate kidney disease or diabetes, which need to be addressed alongside the UTI.


In some cases, your vet may recommend imaging tests such as X-rays or ultrasounds.

These can help detect underlying issues like bladder stones, tumors, or structural abnormalities in the urinary tract.

For instance, bladder stones can cause recurring UTIs and may need to be removed or dissolved to prevent future infections.


Treatment Options for Cat UTI

Once diagnosed, your vet will recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Common treatments include:


Antibiotics are the primary treatment for bacterial UTIs.

Your vet will prescribe antibiotics that target the specific bacteria causing the infection.

It’s crucial to give your cat the entire course of antibiotics, even if they seem better before finishing the medication.

Stopping early can lead to a recurrence of the infection and make the bacteria resistant to treatment.

Pain relief

UTIs can be very painful for cats.

To help manage this, your vet may prescribe pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications.

These drugs can help reduce pain and inflammation, making it easier for your cat to urinate and feel more comfortable during recovery.

Increased water intake

Encouraging your cat to drink more water is essential.

More water helps flush out bacteria from the urinary tract.

You can make water more appealing by providing fresh water daily, using cat water fountains, or adding water to their food.

Wet cat food also contains more moisture than dry food, helping to keep your cat hydrated.

Diet changes

Special diets designed to support urinary health can be very beneficial.

These diets are usually low in magnesium and phosphorus, which helps prevent the formation of crystals and stones in the urinary tract.

Some of these diets also promote a slightly acidic urine pH, which can discourage bacterial growth. Your vet can recommend the best urinary health diet for your cat.


Probiotics help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your cat’s gut, which supports overall health.

A healthy gut can boost your cat’s immune system, making it easier to fight off infections, including UTIs.

Your vet can recommend a suitable probiotic supplement for your cat.


Tips for Supporting Your Cat’s Urinary Health

Keeping your cat’s urinary system healthy is all about providing the right care and taking preventive steps.

Here are some tips to help you support your cat’s urinary health:


Make sure your cat always has access to fresh water.

Cats can be picky about their water, so you might notice they prefer running water.

Consider getting a pet water fountain to encourage them to drink more.

Wet cat food is also a good option because it has more moisture than dry food and helps keep your cat hydrated.

Proper litter box maintenance

A clean litter box is key to preventing urinary issues.

Scoop the litter box daily to remove waste and keep bacteria from growing.

Change the litter regularly and clean the box with mild soap and water.

Place the litter box in a quiet, easy-to-reach spot where your cat feels safe.

A clean and comfortable litter box will encourage your cat to use it regularly and help you spot any changes in their urination habits.

Regular vet check-ups

Routine visits to the vet are important for catching potential urinary issues early.

During these check-ups, the vet can examine your cat and run tests to make sure their urinary system is working properly.

Regular check-ups also help identify other health problems that could affect urinary health, such as diabetes or kidney disease.

Balanced diet

Feeding your cat a balanced diet that meets their specific needs is crucial for their overall and urinary health.

Ask your vet to recommend the best diet for your cat based on their age, health, and any existing conditions.

Special diets designed for urinary health can help prevent the formation of crystals and stones in the urinary tract.

These diets are usually low in magnesium and phosphorus and promote a slightly acidic urine pH.

Stress reduction

Stress can harm your cat’s urinary health. Create a calm and stable environment for your cat.

Provide plenty of opportunities for play and enrichment to keep them mentally and physically active.

Make sure your cat has quiet, safe spaces to retreat to when they need to relax.

Reducing stress can help prevent stress-related urinary issues, such as feline idiopathic cystitis.


How to Prevent Cat UTI?

Preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs) in cats involves practicing good habits for their urinary health.

Here are practical tips to keep your cat’s urinary system healthy:

Monitor your cat’s urination habits

Pay attention to how often your cat uses the litter box and the amount of urine they produce.

Changes like more frequent visits to the litter box, difficulty urinating, or urinating outside the box could signal a problem.

If you notice any of these signs, consult your vet right away for advice.

Encourage regular hydration

Make sure your cat always has access to fresh water.

Some cats prefer drinking from a flowing water source, like a pet water fountain.

Wet cat food contains more moisture than dry food and can help increase their overall water intake.

Good hydration is important for flushing out bacteria from the urinary tract and maintaining urinary health.

Regular vet visits

Schedule regular check-ups with your vet.

These visits allow your vet to monitor your cat’s health, including their urinary system.

Routine exams and tests can catch any urinary issues early before they become serious.

Your vet can also recommend preventive measures tailored to your cat’s specific needs.

Weight management

Help your cat maintain a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise.

Obesity increases the risk of UTIs, so feeding your cat a balanced diet appropriate for their age and activity level is essential.

Engage your cat in play and physical activity to keep them active and at a healthy weight.

Supplementary products

Consider using supplements that support urinary health, but always consult your vet first.

These supplements may contain ingredients that promote bladder health or help prevent the formation of crystals in the urinary tract.

Your vet can recommend safe and effective products for your cat.



UTIs in cats can be a significant health concern, but with timely diagnosis and proper treatment, your cat can recover fully.

Always consult your veterinarian if you suspect your cat has a UTI, and follow their recommendations for treatment and preventive care.

By keeping an eye on your cat’s health, providing a supportive environment, and maintaining regular vet visits, you can help prevent future urinary issues and ensure your cat lives a healthy, happy life.


What causes UTIs in cats?

UTIs are typically caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract. Other factors include bladder stones, urinary crystals, and underlying health conditions.

Can a cat’s diet affect their risk of developing a UTI?

Yes, a diet high in certain minerals can contribute to the formation of urinary crystals, increasing the risk of UTIs. Special urinary health diets can help prevent this.

How long does it take for a cat to recover from a UTI?

With prompt treatment, most cats start to improve within a few days, but it’s essential to complete the full course of prescribed antibiotics to ensure the infection is fully cleared.

Can I prevent my cat from getting UTIs in the future?

Yes, by ensuring your cat stays hydrated, maintaining a clean litter box, providing a balanced diet, and keeping stress levels low, you can reduce the risk of future UTIs.

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