Currently fighting a UTI in my cat

by Rebecca
(Houston Texas)

I have been struggling to cure my cat’s urinary tract infection. Two weeks ago, I noticed the signs and took her to the veterinarian immediately. We came home and all seemed better. Five days later, however, the symptoms came back, so back to the veterinarian we went.

My cat is currently on Zeniquin and, for 5 days, she was fine. But today, again, I noticed a tiny spot of blood in my cat’s urine. This is so frustrating. I am unsure what to do next. Do you have any tips?

Dear Rebecca,

5 days of an antibiotic is usually not enough to resolve a bacterial urinary infection in cats. So, to start, I would recommend that you continue with the current feline medication for a much longer period before deciding that your kitty’s infection is not getting any better.

You didn’t mention whether or not a urinalysis was conducted on your cat. If a urinalysis was not done, it should be as soon as possible. There are many other cat health conditions that can cause blood in the urine besides bacterial infections, including inflammatory conditions, urinary crystals, or kidney or bladder stones. A urinalysis will allow your veterinarian to look for crystals, and to check your cat’s white cells to aid in identifying whether the cause of her cat illness symptoms are bacterial or not.

If after at least 10 days the cat antibiotic hasn’t helped, your cat’s urine could be cultured to make sure that Zeniquin is the proper cat medication for treating the type of bacterial infection she has. If, however, it is determined that the cause is not a bacterial infection, you could proceed with x-rays to rule out bladder and kidney stones.

In general, feeding an all canned cat food diet to cats is the best for their urinary health, and if you aren’t doing so already, I would recommend trying to transition your cat to canned food only. You could also purchase a water fountain, like the ones seen here, for your kitty to encourage her to drink more. Urinary health in cats can be greatly improved by increasing their intake of water.

For cats with a history of or recurrent urinary problems, I have found Royal Canin’s Urinary SO to be a life-saving diet for many cats. Because it is a prescription veterinary diet, I would suggest that you also ask a veterinarian about using this food, even as a preventative tool.

Best wishes,
Dr. Neely

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