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Cat Bladder Infection - Guide to Symptoms and Treatment Options

Cat bladder infection can form in any part of your cat's urinary tract (UTI). Infection can be caused by bacteria (28%, viruses (.4%) or fungus. Approximately 1% of cats that visit a veterinarian have a urinary tract infection with the most common type of bacteria being E. coli. Other names for the condition depend on the location of the disease including LUTD or lower Urinary Tract Disease or in the upper urinary tract. Once one part becomes infected, usually it spreads to another part. Because of this it is sometimes difficult to diagnose the exact location of the infection.

Cats tend to contract the infection through the urethra, which is the part of the cat that allows urine to leave the body. For example if this opening comes in contact with a dirty litter box, then bacteria can enter the body and spread up the tract, eventually leading to the bladder causing feline bladder infection. Normal urination can usually keep the urinary tract clean since it is an excellent antimicrobial (bacteria killer), however, if your cat is having bladder problems or is urinating less than usual, then the immune system becomes overwhelmed with the bacteria.

Feline cats that are older than 10 years are at a higher risk to get an infection. It is rare to see the problem in younger cats. Female cats that have been spayed have the highest incidence. Cats that have feline diabetes mellitus are also at risk.

Symptoms of Cat Bladder Infection and UTI

Symptoms of cat urinary infection include blood in the urine (haematuria), excessive frequent urination (pollakiuria), slow and painful urination (stranguria) and urination in inappropriate places such as outside of the litter box (periuria).

Diagnosis of Cat Bladder Infection

The urine will be tested for the presence of an unusual number of white blood cells, the cells which help the body fight infection.

Treatment of Cat Bladder Infection

Antibiotics are used to kill any bacteria associated with the feline bladder infection. The type of antibiotic selected will be based on the specific bacteria causing the infection. Treatment is of a short duration. Some cats may have bacteria which are resistant to antibiotics. In this case different antibiotics and longer term treatment may be required.

The body naturally kills bacteria as urine passes through the urinary tract. Some owners like to supplement the prescription medications with natural remedies which are associated with restoring balance to the entire urinary system and possible a change in diet. Ingredients such as Arctostaphylos uva ursi help maintain the proper PH in the urinary tract so your cat's body can naturally fight infection. Check with your veterinarian on how to combine prescription and natural choices. If your cat eat dry cat food, consider a switch to canned which will provide your cat with more moisture and in turn cleanse the urinary tract due to more frequent urination.

Your cat will be retested several weeks after treatment to ensure that the feline bladder infection is gone.

Prognosis of Cats with Feline Bladder Infection

Treatment in effective in 85% of cats with no additional recurrence. If it is a continuing problem for your cat consider options such as diet and using natural supplements to ensure that your cat's body has the nutrients needed for long term urinary health and the proper PH balance.

Jeff Grill is an editor of the Cat Health Guide and has written on many feline health problems. See this site for more information on Cat Bladder Infection treatment options.

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