Cats who may have urinary tract infections generally show similar symptoms. These signs can include:
- blood in the urine
- crying out while urinating
- excessive licking of the genital area
- frequent and/or prolonged attempts to urinate
- straining to urinate
- urinating outside the litter box, often on cool, smooth surfaces like a tile floor or a bathtub
Frequent urinary tract infections can also indicate that the cat may have lower urinary tract disease, which can be difficult to diagnose. This disease can cause urinary stones, urethral plugs, and cancer, among others.
If your cat is showing any of these symptoms, it's best to contact a veterinarian. Based on your cat's signs, your vet will perform a physical examination and request to collect urine so that they can run a urinalysis. Other testing may also be needed such as bloodwork, x-rays and a urine culture.
There are also other steps you can take to reduce the chances of the cat developing urinary tract issues.
- Clean the litter box frequently. It should be scooped at least twice a day and the litter changed whenever it smells. In a multi-cat household, be sure you provide one extra litter box than the number of cats in the house. Also make sure that litter boxes are kept in quiet, safe areas of the house.
- Provide fresh, clean water all the time.
- Encourage your cat to exercise with regular play sessions and make sure you provide only the necessary amount of food.
- Cats react differently to stress, so minimize major changes to your routine whenever possible.
Again, if your cat is showing any of these symptoms, please contact a veterinarian. The earlier, the better.
Want more information? Check out:
- Healthy Pets with Dr. Karen Becker: February 21, 2014, Is Your Cat Stressed? It May Show Up as Feline Idiopathic Cystitis
Source: Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Feline Health Center