Urinary Tract Infections In Cats – Holistic Answers
Many cats are plagued with urinary tract infections, or UTIs. These can become a serious problem. In fact, among older cats, chronic UTIs are a leading cause of death.
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The good news is that most UTIs can be prevented. And they’re easier to treat if you catch them early.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has A Urinary Tract Infection?
There are several symptoms. The biggest one is a change in litter box habits. If your kitty suddenly starts peeing in places other than his litter box, take notice. The biggest reason for this is an undetected UTI.
Other symptoms include:
- Drinking more water and urinating less.
- Straining to pass urine.
- Blood in his urine.
- Strong-smelling or dark urine.
- Arching his back when he’s walking, hesitation when jumping, sleeping in a strange (for your cat) position.
- Acting like he’s in pain when you touch his lower belly.
Get your cat to the vet quickly if you notice these symptoms. He could have an infection or blockage in his bladder or kidneys.
Preventing UTIs Begins With Your Cat’s Diet
Most of us feed dry cat food without thinking about it. But your cat’s diet has a lot to do with whether or not he’ll develop Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they are designed to live on meat, not dry food. A mouse contains 70%-85% water. Cats out in the wild don’t drink a lot of water. They don’t need to, as they get most of their water from their food.
When we bring cats into our homes and feed them a diet they aren’t meant to eat, problems can arise. Most cats who eat dry foods don’t drink enough water, which means they’re in a chronic state of dehydration. This leads to your cat’s urine becoming more concentrated. Plus if your cat’s urine is too acidic or too alkaline, mineral crystals can develop in it. These crystals cause inflammation or even blockages in your kitty’s urinary tract.
Feeding your cat a high-quality, more natural diet is probably the best way to prevent UTIs from ever starting in the first place.
Can Herbal Remedies Help With Your Cat’s UTI?
Herbs have been used for urinary tract infections in people for centuries. And they’re certainly effective for your cat, too.
Cranberry juice is an old home remedy for UTIs. It’s doubtful that you cat will drink it, though, so you may want to try Solid Gold Berry Balance, from Only Natural Pet Store. This product is a blend of cranberry and blueberry extracts, along with marshmallow, which soothes and protects your cat’s bladder.
Cranberries and blueberries contain hippuric acid, which keeps bacteria from sticking to the walls of your cat’s bladder.
Another great natural remedy is PetAlive UTI-Free. It contains the following:
- Uva ursi maintains normal pH levels in the urinary tract. I use this one myself when I have a bladder infection, and it’s quite effective.
- Barberry supports healthy immune functioning. Like goldenseal, it also acts as a natural antibiotic. But unlike goldenseal, it’s not endangered, so it’s a good choice.
- Cantharis (6C) and Staphysagris (C6) are homeopathic remedies for bladder problems.
Want to know more about herbal remedies for your cat? You may be interested in All You Ever Wanted to Know About Herbs for Pets by Gregory L. Tilford, a well-known veterinary herbalist.
Some information in this article is courtesy of Animal Wellness Magazine.