cat recovers from urinary tract disorder with vet treatment

Does Stress Cause a UTI in Cats: Yes or No?


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Help, my cat has a bladder infection! If this is you, you’re probably one of the many pet parents googling ‘does stress cause UTI in cats‘ and/or ‘are there any cat urinary tract infection home remedies?’ You’ve come to the right place.

Firstly, when it comes to UTI in cats, stress can play a role. Age is a top contender too, as are health conditions like diabetes or obesity. Also, male cats are more likely to get a bladder infection than females.

Many symptoms turn out to be something other than a UTI. In fact, dogs are more likely to experience the condition than cats. Either way, if symptoms are present your cat is very likely suffering from something that needs treating. The below should help you figure out whether it’s a UTI or not.

What is a UTI in cats? Is it dangerous?

A UTI (urinary tract infection) in a cat is essentially a bladder infection and it can be dangerous. Without immediate medical attention, cats – especially male cats – can die from a bladder infection.

owner wonders if stress cause UTI in cats

Stress, bacteria and UTI causes in cats

Scientifically speaking, the main culprit is bacteria. But from a holistic point of view, stress can be a contributing cause of UTIs in cats. Stress increases cortisol production and diminishes the immune system’s resources. This makes it easier for harmful bacteria to infiltrate and spread behind enemy lines. Nasty little critters, huh?

Generally speaking, a cat’s bladder and urine (whilst still in the bladder) are fairly clean or sterile. But if a sneaky bacteria manages to inveigle its way into the urinary tract, through the urethra and into a cat’s bladder, an infection sets in.

Left untreated, a cat UTI can spread, causing kidney failure and even death.

Other than a UTI, stress can cause a whole array of urinary tract disorders in cats that share the same symptoms. Any noticeable symptoms deserve your attention and – more importantly – your vet’s.

Symptoms of a UTI in cats

A bladder infection is uncomfortable and painful for your cat and it can make it hard for them to pee. You might see your cat heading to the litter box and straining to pee, or not peeing at all. They might make more frequent trips in the hope of adequate relief.

This puts a lot of strain on your cat and they may start to associate the discomfort with the litterbox itself. This means another common symptom is for cats to give up using the litterbox. You might discover your perfectly well house-trained cat peeing in all sorts of unsanctioned places, like sinks or cupboards.

Another symptom you may find (but not always) is blood in your cat’s pee. As you can imagine none of this is very becoming for your cat’s happiness or health and the sooner it’s treated, the better.

vets diagnose whether cat has a urinary tract disorder or bladder infection

Cat urinary tract infection home remedies

Besides wondering whether stress causes urinary tract infections and disorders you’ve probably hoped there are some cat urinary tract infection home remedies you can use.

To be sure, there are if it’s a mild UTI. However given the serious nature of a cat bladder infection, in that it can cause significant damage or be fatal, taking your cat to see a vet is highly advisable.

A vet can rule out whether your cat has a UTI, a urinary tract disease or something else. If your cat turns out to have a urinary tract infection, your vet may even recommend home remedies in conjunction with antibiotics and/or surgery.

Some examples include:

  • Canned food. In the debate over dry cat food or wet, it seems wetter is better for bladder infections due to its higher water content.
  • Pet pheromones. Pheromone sprays can help keep pets calmer and reduce stress.
  • Hydration. Encouraging an increase in water intake in other ways, like via a pet water fountain, can help alleviate symptoms.

Regardless of whether stress and bacterial overload are the cause of UTIs in cats, there are steps to take to find the correct diagnosis. If your cat struggles to pee and experiences pain, there could be a blockage that can become fatal within the timeframe of a day.

Seriously, why wait to see the vet, especially if you have an affordable cat insurance plan? The cost of waiting could far outweigh one trip to the animal doc. Your cat deserves a helping paw and a softer landing. You also deserve the peace of mind that brings.

cat urinary tract infection home remedies usually aren't enough without vet treatment

Culture and sensitivity test for a urinary tract disorder

As you may already know our bodies (both cats’ and humans’) are home to oodles of bacteria. There’s an endless number of good bacteria that we need, but also untold numbers of harmful types.

To find out which type of icky bacteria is causing your cat’s urinary tract infection or disorder, a vet does a culture and sensitivity test. This means taking a urine sample, which as you can imagine isn’t quite as simple as getting a human’s urine sample.

According to PetMD, a thin needle takes a urine sample directly from the cat’s bladder to avoid sample contamination. The sample is sent to a lab to check what type of bacteria it is. This helps identify what type of antibiotic the vet should prescribe.

While we’re talking cat health, read about PD cat Mittens’ close encounter with a feline urethral obstruction (and surgery). Also watch our PD Pet Care vlog for tips from Dr Cath Watson on dealing with a UTI in cats:

Put your best paw forward

Your cat might not show any signs of stress or symptoms of a UTI – especially when it’s chronic. For this reason, you’ll want to feed your cat for health every day, get regular vet checkups as part of your routine pet care regime and offer older cats that added health-focused TLC.

Another good way to put your best paw forward is choosing a cat insurance plan early. It’s usually cats that are ten years or older who are prone to getting a UTI. Having pet health cover before any condition arises means you’ll have a broader and more effective cover. Your pet’s plan will help pay for so many health related costs, from non-routine vet visits to surgery.

Another consideration is damage caused by your pet – your pet insurance can also helps cover these costs. A sick or injured cat might lash out. But with third party liability in your pet insurance and a clean pet behaviour history, bills from damage to other people or their stuff won’t rest on your shoulders alone.

Get one or more months of FREE pet insurance with PD Insurance when you sign up today. Click below to find out more or start a plan.

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