Infection? Maybe not!

Author: Kathryn Mattick, DVM

April 5, 2012

Tinkle, tinkle, little Star, you've been in your litterbox six times so far!

He must have a bladder infection! This is a common complaint I hear almost every day from clients. Most people think a bacterial infection is to blame and a prescription for an antibiotic will cure the problem. Did you know that bladder infections actually account for less than 25% of urinary tract diseases?

How do you know if your cat has a urinary problem? If your cat is making frequent trips to the litterbox (more than three times a day), urinating outside of the litterbox, or has a change in the amount of urine he produces, you should have him examined by your veterinarian.

Some cats do not have a medical cause, but rather have a behavioral issue responsible for the aversion to the litterbox. The answers you provide during your appointment will help determine this as well as the appropriate tests to run and proper therapy.

The first test performed is usually a urinalysis, which will look for an infection, but will also search for many other factors such as crystals or blood in the urine. A radiograph (x-ray) may also be recommended to look for a stone within the urinary tract or abnormalities in the spinal canal.

If your cat is unable to urinate normally due to an obstruction, this is a serious health condition that requires immediate treatment to alleviate the blockage. Your veterinarian can determine this during the physical exam.

Your cat may not have a bladder infection, so if you are noticing a difference in his litterbox usage, please call us to schedule an appointment.