Urinary problems are some of pet owners’ least favorite reasons to visit the veterinarian. Not only can it mean having a pet who’s in pain, but it sometimes means finding your pet’s urine in an unusual place. Here’s how to know if your cat has a urinary tract infection and what to do.
What Is a Feline UTI?
Most cats get urinary tract infections when tiny crystals or stones build up inside your cat’s urethra, blocking their ability to pee. Male cats are more likely to get UTIs than female cats; it’s especially dangerous for them as their urethras are typically narrower, which can lead to a more harmful obstruction.
Straining To Urinate
One of the most obvious signs your cat could have a UTI is straining to pee without producing much—or any—urine. Some cats may yowl or hiss while straining. If your cat does this, don’t take it personally; your cat is just trying to communicate with you that there is a problem.
Inappropriate urination is the term vets use to describe any urinating that happens in an undesirable place, such as outside the litter box, or manner, like spraying furniture to mark territory. When a cat is suffering from a UTI, they may try to pee in other places.
Why Did My Cat Pee on My Stuff?
Cats may pee—or strain to pee—outside their litter box for a number of reasons. If your cat pees on your pillow, clothes, or somewhere else they’re not supposed to, here’s what they may be trying to communicate:
Excessive Licking of Genital Area
Cats groom themselves to stay clean and soothe themselves when they feel stressed. If your cat’s urethra is hurting, they may try to fix the issue by grooming excessively. This behavior is problematic because it can further irritate your cat’s urethra.
Preventing UTIs in Cats
While no prevention technique is a guarantee, you can lower your cat’s chances of a UTI by making sure they get plenty of water. The best way is to introduce your cat to wet food to increase their water intake, and offer them a water fountain for a constant supply of fresh water.
What To Do if You Suspect a UTI
Now that you know how to tell if your cat has a urinary tract infection, you may be wondering what comes next. If your cat demonstrates any of these behaviors for longer than a 24-hour period, it’s time to visit a full-service vet clinic like Animal Medical Center of the Antelope Valley for professional help. We can determine if your cat is suffering from a UTI and get them the help they need, all in one location.