Urinary tract infections
Urinary Tract Disorders - what you need to know
Your cat can't tell you if she's poorly, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for any health problems that may arise. One such problem could be Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). Here's what to look out for:
- Pain when urinating – straining, crying or any other obvious discomfort
- Changes in behaviour – urinating more frequently (possibly with little result), having accidents or passing urine in unusual places
- Blood in the urine – seen as pink spots in the litter tray
If you notice any of these symptoms, please don't hesitate to take your cat to the vet. FLUTD can be painful and if left untreated, can even be life-threatening as stones can form in the urine and cause a blockage.
Getting your cat back on form
Try not to worry as FLUTD can be easily treated in most cases, meaning your cat will be back to her usual self in a short while. However if you’re concerned, visit your vet and tell them your cat is suffering from one or more of the symptoms listed above. They may carry out a simple test on your cat’s urine (you may also be asked by your vet to take a fresh sample with you to the surgery). After that, a diagnosis will be made and treatment prescribed – this could include antibiotics and a change of diet.
Special food can make a difference too
Your vet will probably also suggest you switch to a food that’s specially formulated to aid your cat’s recovery. There are specific foods designed to ease the discomfort of bladder and kidney problems, such as Hill's Prescription Feline c/d and Feline k/d, both of which are formulated for adult cats. A special food can make a real difference to your cat’s speed of recovery so ask your vet for advice on the best diet.
Increasing your cat’s fluid intake
One of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of FLUTD is encourage your cat to drink more. Here are a few tips:
- Leave more water bowls in different areas around the house
- Use bigger water bowls – cats’ whiskers are extremely sensitive and some don"t like drinking from bowls if their whiskers touch the side
- Fill the bowls to the top – cats can be fascinated by their own reflection so if they see it in their water bowl, it may encourage them to drink more
- Make sure the taste of the water on offer hasn't changed – you may think investing in a new water filter's a great idea, but cats have a very highly developed sense of taste and may be put off by any sudden change to their water. Be aware of this when you move house as well
- Try to ensure your cat doesn’t drink from the toilet bowl as the cleaning products you use are likely to upset her stomach