Feline Urinary Tract Disease
Feline urinary tract disease doesn’t refer to just one specific medical problem. Instead, it refers to disorders that affect the bladder or urethra in cats, otherwise known as the lower urinary tract. One of the most common conditions is cystitis, which occurs when there is inflammation of the urinary tract.
A common cause of urinary tract disease in cats is infection or inflammation of the bladder. The development of bladder stones may also be responsible. These stones can form whenever there is an excess of minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, or calcium. An excessive amount of these minerals may form in the urine and may eventually develop into stones.
An obstruction of the urinary tract can also lead to feline urinary tract disease. An obstruction is particularly serious since it will leave the cat unable to pass urine, allowing waste products to build up in the bloodstream. Urinary tract obstructions are typically a problem for male cats since their urethra is narrower than their female counterparts.
Urinary tract disease in cats can cause them to urinate in inappropriate locations outside of their litter box. You may also notice them having a difficult time passing urine, and going to the bathroom more often as a result. Urination may be painful or bloody. Cats may also become more irritable or lose their appetite when dealing with lower urinary tract problems.
The vet may start diagnosing the issue by taking a urine sample from the cat. The sample will be used to see if a bacterial infection is causing problems. If the cat is unable to pass urine normally, then a sample can be taken from the bladder by inserting a fine needle directly into it. In addition to taking a urine sample, an x-ray or ultrasound of the bladder or urethra can also prove useful. This will help see if the bladder has been physically corrupted or if there are stones present.
Treatment of feline urinary tract disease depends on the particular issue causing problems. An obstruction will obviously need to be removed either through use of a catheter or through surgery. Surgery may also be necessary to remove bladder stones. In the case of bladder infections, antibiotics may be prescribed for your cat.
Feline urinary tract disease can more easily occur whenever your cat doesn’t drink enough water. Always provide plenty of fresh water throughout the day. It’s also important to be careful of the diet you’re feeding your cat. It’s also important to keep the litter box well-maintained. If you have multiple cats, then it may be best to provide multiple boxes.