Q:

How do you prevent urinary tract infections in cats?

A:

Quick Answer

To prevent a cat from developing urinary tract infections, keep the litter box clean, make sure clean water is always available, feed wet food instead of dry, and maintain normal body weight through calorie restriction and exercise. If a cat develops urinary tract infections frequently, a vet can suggest a prescription diet or add glucosamine supplements. Look for cat food low in magnesium and high in L-methionine.

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Full Answer

Indications that a cat is suffering from a urinary tract infection are short, frequent trips to the litter box, blood in the urine or peeing outside of the box. In worst-case scenarios among young male cats, the urethra is blocked with crystals, stones or plugs, preventing them from peeing entirely; the only outward symptom is straining, which owners may mistake for constipation. Urinary tract infections can be life-threatening.

Treatment varies significantly based on a cat's diagnosis. For a cat that presents with no infection, a veterinarian recommends minimizing stress while alleviating pain. A cat with crystals or stones needs its diet changed to lower the pH of its urine, sometimes requiring surgery to remove the largest stones. A cat with an actual obstruction needs to be hospitalized immediately. If infections reoccur frequently, a vet can suggest surgery to widen the urethra.

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