Urinary tract infections occur more often in female cats, but male cats do contract Cystitis, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease or FLUTD, UTI’s, urethral obstruction and other problems that often go unnoticed until the cat is obviously in distress.
Male cats in particular will try and hide their illness. This is purely an instinct to protect them from pray. Also, they will try to urinate, but either they will not pass any urine or it will be a very small amount. You might notice something is wrong when they refuse to use the litter box. They may prefer using the bathtub, tile or any other location that is cool and smooth as it is soothing to the area by the urethra. An infection or any feeling of pain, whether from bacteria or crystals that have formed, blocking urine, can as you imagine, be very painful and irritating.
Urinary track health for cats can be improved and further complications in the future can be prevented but you need to make sure you are doing the following:
Cut out dry foods and only use moisture rich canned foods. Make sure the foods first ingredient is meat and not full of fillers like corn which also contribute to UTI’s. Feed smaller meals more often. Dehydration has been linked to urinary tract infection in male cats.
Have plenty of water available at all times. Filtered is best to reduce the harmful chemicals that the kidneys and bladder are exposed to.
Make sure your cat’s litter box is clean at all times so they don’t hold their urine and enjoy using the litter box. If you have more than one cat you should have an extra box per number of cats.
The more water they drink and urinate will help immensely with their bladder health and urine pH.
If you suspect that a urinary tract infection in your male cat may be more serious, such as him becoming more distraught and crying with pain, or becoming obsessed with licking himself to relieve the pain, you must see a veterinarian as the infection is out of control and cannot be fought off by his immune system. He could even have a urethral obstruction which can be quite serious. Don’t wait until the kidneys become involved and can no longer cleanse his blood, causing an electrolyte imbalance, impacting his heart and causing heart failure.
There are different types of crystals that can cause blockage and symptoms similar to a UTI can be caused by some of the same reasons as urinary tract health in cats mentioned above, but has also been linked mainly to food content, urine pH, lack of water, even stress.
The minerals in the urine of a cat that either doesn’t drink enough fluids or holds their urine for long periods, because of a dirty litter box, will have concentrated urine, abnormal pH and more crystals that are not flushed causing the perfect scenario for formation of crystals and blockage.
Urinary track health for cats is attainable if a new lifestyle of food and exercise (overweight cats have a higher incidence of bladder infections) is implemented. If not the chances of continued UTI’s and crystals are probably inevitable. There are also supplements available to help to prevent further problems and relieve current issues like frequent urination and discomfort. They also soothe the urinary tract and improve urine flow and prevent leakage for all around bladder health.