Urinary Tract Infections in Cats


Idiopathic Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (IFLUTD) is a general term for disorders defined by blood in the urine, challenging or painful urination, irregular, frequent passage of urine, urinating in inappropriate areas (ie., tub), and partial or total obstruction of the urethra. Likewise called Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC), Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS), or Interstitial Cystitis, this treatable condition occurs in the bladder and urethra of the lower urinary tract; that is, tube from the bladder to the outside, through which urine drains of the body.

Feline Idiopathic Lower Urinary Tract Disease in Cats

Idiopathic feline urinary tract disease, and swelling of the bladder for unknown reasons, are diagnosed just after known causes such as kidney stones or urinary tract infection have been eliminated. Any of the above symptoms or mix of these symptoms might be associated with feline lower urinary tract disease. The very same symptoms might use to diversely different infections, and determining the precise cause for the condition can be complicated, considering that the feline urinary tract reacts to numerous outdoors influences in a restricted and foreseeable style.

This disease happens in both male and female cats. The incidence of blood in the urine, difficult or painful urination, and/or blockage of the urethra in domestic cats in the U.S. and U.K. has actually been reported at approximately 0.5 percent to 1 percent each year. While it can happen at any age, it is found most frequently cats in between the ages of one and four-years-old. It is unusual in cats less than one year of age and in cats greater than 10 years of age.

Related article: UTI in Dogs

Symptoms and types

  • Blood in the urine
  • Urinating in improper areas
  • Blockage of urine flow through the urethra to outside the body
  • Some cats with lower urinary tract diseases show similar symptoms to those observed in humans with interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome)
  • Hard or painful urination
  • Thickened, firm, contracted bladder wall, felt by the veterinarian during physical exam
  • Abnormal, frequent passage of urine


By meaning, this is a disease that develops spontaneously, or for which the cause is unidentified. There are many possible causes, including noninfectious diseases like interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome); viruses, such as a calicivirus, a feline syncytium-forming virus, or a gamma herpesvirus can be some of the prospective causes for an infection. Regularly, idiopathic lower urinary tract diseases will occur without the existence of a substantial quantity of bacteria or leukocyte in the urine (leukocyte spilling into the urine would show that an infection is being battled by the body); research studies of male and female cats with and without blockage of the urethra discovered bacterial urinary tract infections in less than 3 percent of young-to-middle-age adult cats, and around ten percent of senior cats. Stress might play a role in the reason for the condition (due to reduced resistance), or in making the condition even worse, however it is not likely to be a primary cause of the urinary infection.


Your veterinarian will dismiss a variety of conditions in reaching a medical diagnosis. Some possibilities are metabolic disorders consisting of different types of kidney stones and obstructions. A urinalysis will be ordered, as well as blood tests to figure out whether a bacterial, fungal, or parasitic disease is triggering the symptoms. An in-depth physical examination will figure out whether physical trauma, disorders of the nerve system, physiological problems, or something as basic as constipation, could be the factors behind the symptoms.

X-rays work in locating kidney stones if they are believed, and your vet might want to carry out a cystocopy to figure out whether there may be cysts, stones, or polyps in the urinary tract.

Treatment for UTI in Cats

If your cat does not have blockage of the urethra, it will most likely be managed on an outpatient basis, although diagnostic assessment might need quick hospitalization. If your cat does have obstruction of the urethra, it will most likely be hospitalized for diagnosis and management.

For cats with persistent existence of crystals in the urine related to plugs in the urethra that are triggering blockage of the urethra, proper dietary management will be advised. Observations recommend that feeding damp instead of dry foods may decrease recurrence of signs. The objective is to promote flushing of the bladder and urethra by increasing urine volume, consequently diluting the concentrations of toxic substances, chemical irritants, and compounds that can contribute to the components that produce urinary tract stones and lead to swelling of the bladder and urinary tract. Whether prescriptions medications are used will depend upon the medical diagnosis.

Living and management

Your veterinarian will wish to continue to keep track of blood in the urine by urinalysis, and will advise a diet that will help with recovery and prevent reoccurrence. It is smart to keep stress as low as possible for your cat, and you will need to be persistent in offering medications on the schedule recommended by your veterinarian.

If catheters have actually been used to recover urine from the bladders, there might be some injury that could lead to infection. You will need to understand this possibility and look for symptoms. Surgery can often likewise increase the likelihood of infection, and scarring from surgery may narrow the urethra, making urination harder. Signs of urinary tract infection normally decrease within 4 to 7 days following treatment. If they do not go away, you will need to go back to your veterinarian for further treatment.


The methods of avoiding recurrence will depend upon medical diagnosis. If there is something in your family pet’s environment that is discovered to have brought the condition on, you will, of course, be recommended to make modifications.



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