urinary tract disease

Cat Urinary Tract Disease

Urinary tract disease in cats occurs when crystalline or mineralized materials occupy the urethra and obstruct/impede the flow of urine. This causes urine to accumulate in the bladder that causes the bladder to become distended and inflamed.


Understand Cat Urinary Tract Disease


Dear Simba - My 2-year-old tabby has been diagnosed with FUS (Feline Urological Syndrome).
He normally urinated 4-5 times a day and then suddenly only 2 times a day. We took him to the vet where he was diagnosed with FUS. he is been on antibiotics for almost 2 weeks. We have tried 2 different "prescription" foods, Science Diet CD and IVT. My cat will NOT eat it. I have tried putting some tuna juice over it...nothing works! He does have a 1/2 can of Fancy Feast every night. After 2 weeks, he is urinating just 2 times a day.
Other than that, he is happy and playful. Are there any other foods I might try. We also have a 4 year-old cat that will not eat these foods...but I sneak some to him. Please help. Debbie C.

Dear Debbie C - The best way to get a cat to eat a new food is to transition him slowly. For the first few days feed your Tabby his regular food, with a small sprinkling of his 'prescription food'. Slowly increase the proportion of 'prescription food' in his meal. Do this gradually over 5-7 days.

Cats are finicky eaters and do not like change in their diets or in anything else. With a little time, he will transition to his new food just fine. Simba

PS
Check out Feeding Cats for more information on good meals.

Dear Simba;
I have a 2 1/2 year old kitty named Kramer. He used to be an outdoor cat until he was a shot with a be- be gun and brutally kicked by a neighbor. He has been in and out of the vets office ever since. In addition, he has re- occurring urinary tract infections. He has probably had 5 to 6 infections within the last 14 months.

I am concerned because I know how deadly these infections can be if they are not treated promptly. I always make sure he gets his yearly check up and immediately contact my vet upon the first sign of an infection. Is there anything that can be done for these chronic infections. It breaks my heart to see him continually suffer. His infections also seemed to develop rather quickly. Please let me know what I can do to help Kramer. -Susan


Dear Susan,
My heart goes out to you and Kramer, poor little guy! From your letter I am assuming that Kramer has obstructive urinary tract disease.

A little background. Obstructive urinary tract disease occurs when crystalline or mineralized materials occupy the urethra and obstruct/impede the flow of urine. This causes urine to accumulate in the bladder which in turn causes the bladder to become distended and inflamed. The pressure from this urine retention impacts the kidneys and can result in the rupture of the bladder which can allow toxins, metabolites and electrolytes normally cleared by urine. If crystals or urinary tract calculi ("stones") are present your vet may prescribe a special diet and medication (anti-inflammatory or anti-spasam medications like amitriptylline and others) . Iams has two Urinary Management Formula foods under their Eukanuba Veterinary Diets brand. These formulas are made for the nutritional management of struvite-associated and calcium oxalate-associated crystals. What they do is manage urine acidity (or pH). The way it works is like this:
  • High urine acidity lowers the chance or struvite crystal formation.

  • Low urine acidity lowers the chance of calcium oxalate crystals.
As you know recurrent lower urinary tract disease is a difficult problem to control. In addition to getting Kramer on a vet-approved diet you may want to consider Urethra enlargement operation. One other thing to consider is cystitis, which is a non-obstructive version of feline urinary tract disease. Cystitis is an infection of the bladder and is often used to describe symptoms in which the immune system 'attacks' the walls of the urinary tract. It causes inflammation & can be quite painful. This can also be treated with a proper diet and medication as discussed above. So talk to your vet. He should recommend a particular type of pH level food to meet your cats' needs and should advice you on procedures to prevent future infections. I hope this helps. Keep me posted. Simba


Dear Simba,
I have a 5yr old cat named Symba who has recently had some urinary problems.
He spent 7 days at the Vet and is now on food to dissolve crystals. I also have a Turkish Angora who is about 6yrs old and both cats are overweight. They are both males and I do not want to have any further urinary problems with either of them. My vet says I should put them on Medical. I am wondering if the vet is trying to push the food he sells or if there are other foods on the market "Proven" to help. I have tried to do some research but have not really come up with anything. Can you help to sort through the mess to try to figure out the best diet for both my boys? Sandy & Symba, confused in Canada.

Sandy & Symba
While some vets push a certain brand, I tend to trust their opinion on matters like this. While the food he is recommending is probably very good, there are plenty of other good food brands that are proven to help out kitties with urinary problems. Iams has two Urinary Management Formula foods under their Eukanuba Veterinary Diets brand. These formulas are made for the nutritional management of struvite-associated and calcium oxalate-associated crystals. What they do is manage urine acidity (or pH). The way it works is like this:
  • High urine acidity lowers the chance or struvite crystal formation.

  • Low urine acidity lowers the chance of calcium oxalate crystals.
Talk to your vet. He should recommend a particular type of pH level food to meet your cats' needs. I hope this helps. Keep me posted. Simba



Urination Problem in Kitten



Dear Simba,
My 15month-old kitten, Neo has been having urinary problems the past month. He urinates several times a day and blood is also present. We've visited the vet several times and have tried two different types of antibiotics yet there still is no change. Is there any treatment that might actually help my little guy? Also, is this contagious? Just recently, I have noticed a little blood in the soft stools of his siblings. Francoise

Dear Francoise,
Feline lower urinary tract disease is comprised of a group of problems in the bladder and urethra. These can range from bladder stones, stones with crystals, bacterial infections, tumors, and birth defects and are treated dependent on the cause. Symptoms include straining to urinate, frequent attempts to urinate and the production of little, if any, urine as well as the accompaniment of blood in the urine. Because Neo seems to fit that profile it is possible that he may be ill with it. Your best bet is to have him checked out by a vet and get him treated , because feline urinary tract disease can lead to other problems and can be quite painful for kitty.

Check out Digestive Problems for information that may help you with Neo's siblings. Keep me posted. Simba


Hi Simba,
I have a 5yr old tabby that is sick with a urinary tract infection. He started bleeding when he uses the litter box. We have taken him to the vet’s and they tell us that it is a bladder infection that he got after his surgery. They gave him an antibiotic. Do you think that this is true or that they do not want to admit that he is doing worse than they want us to know?


Hi,
If you ever have a doubt or concern as to the care your cat is receiving, get a second opinion. Your kitty's life and his health, not to mention your emotional well being, are not worth the uncertainty that you now feel. Please visit your local animal care giver, you can find some on the vet and hospital finder links on the front page of KittenCare. Simba



Dear Simba,
We have a sick kitten that was abandoned 3 weeks ago (after her eyes had just opened). We have been feeding her milk replacer-formula. We are trying to get her into some kitten chow. I am wondering if she is developing a urinary tract infection? She cries when she urinates, has developed a slight case of diarrhea, and does not seem to be feeling well. She has quit using the litter box. We are doing all we can to keep her clean and warm. We have had to give her a few baths in warm water, and wrapped her in warmed towels immediately afterward and rubbed gently until dry. We really like her and want to do what we can for her. I have heard that cats are allergic to antibiotics. I am worried about the treatment options available to her. Marie

Dear Marie,
It is important that you take your little kitten to the vet, it seems as though your Kitten may have feline lower urinary track disease. Feline lower urinary tract disease is actually a group of problems in the bladder and urethra. These can range from bladder stones, stones with crystals, bacterial infections, tumors, and birth defects. These are treated dependent on the cause.

As for antibiotics, in general, cats are no more allergic to antibiotics than people. Like all creatures some animals respond better to some than to other. Your vet will determine the best treatment plan, but remember, there have been many advances in veterinary medicine the past several years. Keep me posted. Your Pal, Simba


Measuring pH Levels in Cats



Dear Simba,
Our cat, Prince Albert of Whiskers (Boo for short) is a 12 yr old neutered indoor short hair. He does go outside daily to a completely enclosed cement patio for rolls in the sun and dust. In the last year we have almost lost him twice to urinary tract infections that we now treat with Eukanuba low pH/s dry food and 1/2 can of Waltham S/O Control Formula Diet in Gel. The first time he was hospitalized was for calcium oxalate crystal formation but this second time was for Struvite crystal formation. We have gone back and forth between moderate and low pH diets. How can we determine what the pH of his urine is daily so we can adjust his diet accordingly? He is otherwise in very good health, is active and alert and we want to keep him around as long as possible. Alice D

Dear Alice D,
One of the best ways to monitor Boo's urine pH level is to use pH- paper. You can place several small strips treated with a pH-indicator into the litter. When these sheets are wetted by alkaline urine (high pH), the paper strips treated with pH indicator change in color. As always be sure to handle kitty litter with care, use rubber gloves if available and wash your hands thoroughly after each examination.

Talk to your vet about what types of pH paper may work best for you. Keep me posted. Simba


Help Cat That Does Not Urinate


Hi Simba,
My 5-year-old cat, Coo-Coo, has recently stopped urinating! It began while I was on vacation last week so says the caregiver that came in our home to feed him. Right now, I'm battling with him to get into the cat carrier, he is hiding, so I can take him to the hospital. Any thoughts? Shakurra

Hi Shakurra,
Feline Urinary Tract Infection is a possibility. You are doing the right thing in taking him to the vet. Let me know how it goes. Simba

Follow-up
Dear Simba,
After spending a good portion of last night in the emergency room at our local animal hospital, I was told in no uncertain terms that I have a healthy, fat cat with no signs of bladder problems, etc. I was amazed as I told them about Coo-Coo's lack of eating. They gave me a syringe to force-feed him with instructions to bring him back if he does not eat. Brought the dear one home, opened up the can of moist food the hospital gave me, and Coo-Coo ate until the cows came home!

Doctor's hunches: My going away depressed my cat; he was urinating (she guaranteed methat) and warned me to watch out for telltale signs in my shoes, carpet, etc. as a result of hisdispleasure with me.

Coo-Coo is now walking about the house in the usual self-satisfied kingly manner that only he can get away with. Oi vey!