Diseases, Pet Care Basics

Bladder Infection in Cats

Both dogs and cats get bladder infections. Although bladder infections are not unique to one breed, the short leg, heavy-muscle build of certain breeds can increase the tendency of bladder issues. In dogs, females are more prone than males because of their short urethras. In cats, male cats are especially prone to bladder infection because of the position of the prepuce below the rectum. If they have bladder issues, they need to be treated before sandy stones form a plug that prevents urinating.

Cat UTI Symptoms

Often, an early sign of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) in cats is excess licking of the genital area, progressing to burning and then frequent trips to the litter box with little urinating. Cats may also start urinating outside the litter box. UTI will cause squatting for an extended period of time due to bladder spasm infection and stones irritating the urethra. As the infection and spasms progress, small amounts of blood may be seen in the urine.

Why Do Cats Develop Bladder Stones?

With bladder infections, urine becomes more alkaline (like baking soda), and sandy stones tend to form. This sand can harbor bacteria that cannot be killed by antibiotics because the antibiotic cannot get into the crevices of the stone. The bacteria can then set up house after the antibiotic is removed, reestablishing the UTI. Eliminating bacteria and sand where bacteria hide will eliminate the bladder spasm that causes discomfort.

Treatment of Bladder Infections is a Two-Fold Approach

  1. Antibiotic to take care of the infection.
  2. Urinary acidifier Cranberry and Potassium Citrate to remove stones. The acid urine gives the pet two advantages in fighting a UTI:
    • Pulls and holds antibiotic in the urine where it is more effective, rather than in the blood where it wants to stay.
    • The mild acid environment is soothing to bladder tissue and makes urine unfavorable for bacterial growth and stone formation.

Cat Bladder Infection Prevention

If you have a breed that is prone to bladder infection, it is best to prevent an infection before the burning and sand or stones happen. Once a bladder infection is cleared, maintain bladder health with Doc Roy’s­ Potassium Citrate + Cranberry at half the treatment dose. By creating an unfavorable environment for bacteria and stone formation, we can control and prevent bladder infections.

Prevention is always preferred to treatment and a lot more comfortable!

If you need help with a cat uti or cat bladder infection, call us at 800.786.4751.

Written by: Donald Bramlage, DVM

Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.