Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common occurrence in cats. Worse still, research has found that urinary tract infections are a major reason why cats are abandoned at animal shelters. This is often the case when the infection is misdiagnosed as the cat acting out — and when the infection is not cured (or even diagnosed), it is common for the cat to be euthanized. For this reason, it is critical to know the symptoms of UTIs and how to treat them. The good news is there are plenty of natural remedies for cat UTIs.
Causes of UTIs in Cats
UTIs usually occur when the sterile urinary tract is exposed to bacteria or viruses. The urinary tract is the system responsible for formation, storage, and elimination of urine. It is made of a number of organs: two kidneys (which filter the blood, thereby turning liquid waste to urine), two ureters (which transport the urine from the kidney to the bladder), the bladder (which holds the urine until it leaves the cat’s body), and the urethra (which transports urine from the bladder to outside the body). An infection in any of these organs will affect the whole urinary tract, causing distress and usually pain for the cat.
Sometimes, a UTI will occur because of a pre-existing disease or illness, such as the feline leukemia virus or diabetes. Other times, it is caused by an outside source, such as a dirty litter box, or by a weakened immune system.
Symptoms of UTI In Cats
There are a few behaviors to look out for if you suspect your cat could be suffering from a UTI.
(1) Frequent Attempts to Urinate
Cats suffering from a UTI attempt to urinate many times each day. This is because they pass very little or no urine at each attempt and the feeling of needing to urinate remains without relief. The cat is therefore unable to rid himself of his urine and subsequent pain.
(2) Painful Urination
UTIs cause cats to experience pain while urinating. The experience might be so painful that your cat licks his genitals to soothe himself or even cries out when he urinates. Cats who experience such pain can be very irritable.
Hematuria is a condition where there is blood in the urine. Cats with UTIs often have discolored or blood-tinged urine.
(4) Straining to Urinate
Inflammation of the bladder is a common symptom of a UTI. It leads to straining when urinating and is often mistaken for constipation.
(5) Urinating Outside the Litter Box
Healthy cats sometimes urinate outside their litter boxes, but when this becomes a frequent occurrence it is a sign of a UTI, particularly when combined with any of the aforementioned symptoms. Your cat may feel as though he can’t make it to the litter box or he may associate his litter box with pain and want to stay away.
Natural Remedies for Cat UTIs
You can easily treat your cat’s UTI at home for a relatively low cost. There are a number of cat UTI home remedies, all of which include a large number of natural herbs and roots. A few of the most effective natural remedies for cat UTIs include:
- D-mannose: The most effective supplement for treating UTIs. A naturally occurring sugar, it is the active ingredient in cranberry juice as well as in many other fruits and berries. D-mannose sticks to the E. coli bacteria that most commonly causes UTIs, meaning it can effectively “flush out” the bacteria when your cat urinates.
- Bromelain: High-potency (with more than 2,200 gelatin digesting units) bromelain can enhance the effectiveness of antibiotics and reduce inflammation in patients with UTIs.
- Uva Ursi Leaf: This powerful natural astringent is capable of attacking the pathogens responsible for UTIs. The leaf can also stop bleeding and reduce bladder inflammation.
Other herbs and fruits that are effective in treating cat UTIs include marshmallow roots, parsley leaves, and cranberries. Giving your cat watery food is also necessary, as plenty of moisture is important for tackling a UTI. For instance, you can add bone broth to your cat’s diet. Mix in some parsley and marshmallow root as the bone broth cooks and strain it out later. Also make sure your cat has plenty of pure water (free from fluoride and chlorine) and try to reduce any stress your cat may be facing.
All the above natural remedies for cat UTIs are very safe, can be very effective, and can be used with other medications, if necessary. We recommend Vitality Science’s Uro Cleanse. D-mannose and bromelain are two of the active ingredients, along with arabinogalactan (a prebiotic fiber) and zeolite. Uro Cleanse is safe for both cats and dogs. In acute cases, contact your veterinarian.