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Comprehensive Care for UTIs in Cats

Urinary tract infections (UTI) in cats are not only uncomfortable but potentially serious and require targeted treatment to effectively alleviate the symptoms and avoid complications. Incorporating an integrative treatment strategy with nutraceutical support alongside conventional treatment fosters significant potential for managing and curing persistent feline urinary tract infections (UTI).

 

In this article, we will delve into the symptoms, causes, and effective treatment support options for kidney, urethra, and cat bladder infections.

 

Symptoms of Feline Urinary Tract Infections

  • Infrequent urination
  • Pain and discomfort when urinating
  • Reduced urine volume
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Bloody urine
  • Urinating inside the house, outside of the litter box
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting

Causes of UTI in cats

Due to a cat’s (especially female) unique anatomy and behaviour, they are more susceptible to UTIs. UTIs can be caused by several factors involved in the introduction and multiplication of bacteria in the urinary system.

1.      Pathogenic Infection:

The most common cause of UTI is the bacteria Escherichia coli (E.coli). Although less common, another pathogenic cause includes fungal Candida spp.

2.      Stress and Anxiety:

A cat’s immunity, hormonal balance, and urinary system can be weakened by stress, anxiety, and other psychological aspects, which increase their susceptibility to infections. Stress caused by changes in their routine, household, or environment can impair their immune function, promote inflammation, and increase their susceptibility to UTIs.

3.      Diet:

The cat’s diet or sudden dietary changes can impact a cat’s overall health and may affect their immune function, increasing their susceptibility to infections.

4.      Litter Box Issues:

A dirty box or the location thereof may discourage cats from urinating regularly, which may increase their risk of UTIs.

5.      Underlying Medical Conditions:

Health conditions like spinal cord issues, neurological illnesses, diabetes, kidney dysfunction, urolithiasis (bladder stones), and hyperthyroidism can change the pH and composition of urine or lead to incontinence, decreased mobility, impaired immunity, and an increased requirement for medications. These factors may significantly impair the function of their urinary system and create an environment favourable for bacterial growth and infections.

6.      Congenital abnormalities:

Congenital abnormalities like an abnormally developed or underdeveloped bladder or an underdeveloped urethra may cause obstructions, inflammation, impaired urinary function, and chronic urinary tract problems.

7.      Urethral Obstruction:

Renal stones or crystals can cause blockages in the urinary tract, hindering the normal flow of urine and encouraging infection.

8.      Inadequate Hydration:

Insufficient water intake may cause concentrated urine, which provides a favourable environment for bacterial growth.

9.      Age and Hormonal Changes:

UTIs can be more common in older cats due to age-related changes and degeneration in the urinary tract. Hormonal imbalances and changes, as seen in spayed or neutered cats, can also impact urinary health.

10.  Immune System Suppression:

Conditions or medications that suppress immune function can increase the risk of infections, including UTIs.

11.  Trauma or Injury:

Physical harm or trauma to the urinary tract as a result of accidents or medical procedures can allow bacteria to enter and cause their proliferation, which results in feline urinary tract infection (UTI)feline urinary tract infection (UTI).

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How to Treat a Cat’s Bladder Infection?

Cat bladder infections can be complex and life-threatening. Should you expect that your feline companion may have a urinary system problem, it is crucial to consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible. The underlying cause of the symptoms will determine the prescribed treatment plan.

Effective treatment encompasses a comprehensive strategy and may involve the following components:

1.      Antibiotics and Symptom Relief:

Antibiotics or medications are prescribed to ease symptoms and treat the infection at its source.

2.      Diet and Hydration:

Good quality nutrition with increased water intake can aid in reducing the risk of future occurrences of UTIs.

3.      Stone Expulsion:

Methods may be applied to assist the natural expulsion of small stones through the urethra.

4.      Urinary Acidifiers:

Supplements that regulate the urine’s pH levels may be prescribed to discourage bacterial growth.

5.      Fluid Therapy:

Fluid therapy to improve hydration can improve overall urinary health.

6.      Medical Procedures:

In male cats, urinary catheterization or surgery might be required to remove urethral blocks.

7.      Natural Urinary System Support for Your Cat:

Nutrient supplementation and nutraceuticals have a longstanding history of effectively treating UTIs and protecting against recurring infections by addressing various aspects of urinary health. Prescribed alongside veterinary medication, they complement conventional treatments owing to their remarkable antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, anti-diuretic, antioxidant, immune modulatory, stress-reduction, and regenerative properties. As part of an integrative treatment plan, nutraceutical support effectively helps to promote overall urinary wellbeing and reduce the risk of future UTIs.

  • Cranberry – Helps prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract walls, reducing infection risk.
  • Uva Ursi – Exhibits an anti-bacterial and diuretic effect and is particularly helpful for recurring or persistent UTIs.
  • Dandelion – Acts as a diuretic, which helps flush out bacteria from the urinary system and supports kidney function.
  • Golden seal – Contains berberine, which has powerful antibiotic properties.
  • Marshmellow root – Has anti-inflammatory properties and, with its soothing effect, may help alleviate discomfort caused by UTIs.
  • Astragalus extract – Research indicates that Astragalus extract is effectively used for UTIs by expelling bacteria from the bladder, inhibiting infection, and reducing inflammation in the urinary tract. Astragalus also has a protective effect on the kidneys.

  • Spirulina – Spirulina is a nutrient-dense superfood that contains powerful anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating, and antibacterial actives. It is also well-known for its significant benefits as an antioxidant. Its multifaceted benefits extend to the urinary system via its protective effect on the kidneys against medication and toxin-induced kidney toxicity. Via its anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating functions, Spirulina also increases the body’s resilience against bacterial and fungal invasion and helps reduce the risk of UTIs. Its anti-oxidant properties help protect the cells from inflammatory degeneration, improving overall urinary tract health.
  • Curcumin – helps alleviate UTI symptoms by increasing immune defences and resilience. Research indicates that during an infection, curcumin can significantly increase immune cell (white blood cell) counts, reduce bacterial counts, reduce inflammation, and inhibit the adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract wall.
  • Siberian ginseng  – with its proven immune-modulating and anti-inflammatory properties, is also well-known as an adaptogen. As an adaptogen, Siberian ginseng helps the body adapt to various kinds of physical and emotional stress, which may weaken the immune system and increase your cat’s susceptibility to infections.
  • Kelp – has diuretic properties, which encourage urine production and help flush out potential pathogenic agents and toxins from the urinary system.

 

Nervous system support and stress management:

While bacterial causes of feline urinary tract infection (UTI) are prominent, psychological aspects are not to be underestimated, especially in the case of recurring UTIs in cats. The intricate mind-body connection plays a significant role in a cat’s overall health. Stress may impair immune function and increase inflammation, which elevates the risk and frequency of bacterial UTIs as well as idiopathic stress cystitis. Understanding this connection can guide pet owners and veterinarians in developing comprehensive treatment strategies to effectively prevent and manage UTIs.

 

Environmental enrichment:

  • Creating a comfortable and predictable environment, providing enriching activities, and employing positive reinforcement techniques can reduce stress and anxiety in cats.
  • Regular playtime, interactive toys, and comforting resting areas can help enhance mental stimulation and reduce stress.
  • In multi-cat households, ensuring that each cat has its own litter box, food bowl, and water supply can significantly contribute to alleviating tension and anxiety.
  • If your cat is struggling with UTIs or incontinence, you can help reduce accidents in unwanted areas like carpets, couches, and bedding by placing several litter boxes throughout your house.

 

Nervous system support:

If your feline companion has persistent or chronic urinary problems, it is crucial to consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health conditions and develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your cat’s unique circumstances, like their health, age, and emotional requirements. Thoroughly examine all the possible causes of your cat’s stress or anxiety and keep a diary to detect patterns of events or changes that could predispose your cat to urinary tract problems.

 

Feline anxiety should be taken seriously due to the potential health implications it poses. Incorporating natural calmatives and fostering a healthy nervous system as part of an integrative treatment plan can significantly affect how your cat perceives and manages stress. It also helps to reduce inflammation induced by the excessive and persistent release of stress hormones and supports the healthy function of the neurohormonal system.

Untamed-animal-health-supplements-for-pets-article 1 Sept 2023-calming-supplements-for-pets

Nervine and calmative nutraceuticals like L-Theanine, Curcumin, Lemon Balm, Passiflora, Chamomile, and Siberian ginseng demonstrate pronounced advantages for emotional well-being and neurohormonal function. Clinical research findings include improved mood, reduced stress and anxiety, increased mental acuity and focus, nervous system protection against age- or toxin-related cellular degeneration, nerve cell regeneration, and the enhancement of healthy nervous system function.

 

Furthermore, these nutraceuticals have pronounced anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-biotic properties, which not only foster a healthy nervous system but also help to improve overall health and resilience to a variety of stressors. Consequently, this can help reduce the risk of urinary tract problems.

 

Consulting a veterinarian promptly is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment success. They will do a thorough assessment and be able to assist with the most effective treatment plan tailored for your cat. Should you prefer to enhance your cat’s treatment outcome with natural support, speak to a Naturopathic veterinarian or a veterinarian following integrative treatment protocols. By adopting a multifaceted strategy that combines veterinary expertise and guidance, conventional treatments, and natural remedies, one can proficiently address UTIs in your beloved feline companion, ensuring their comfort and long-term well-being.

 

Order Urinary system and Nervous system support from Untamed Animal Health here:  Rejuvenmax and Calm.

 

  • Kuhad A, Tirkey N, Pilkhwal S, Chopra K. Effect of Spirulina, a blue green algae, on gentamicin-induced oxidative stress and renal dysfunction in rats. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2006 Apr;20(2):121-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-8206.2006.00396.x. PMID: 16573712.
  • Enhancement of the innate immune response of bladder epithelial cells by Astragalus polysaccharides through upregulation of TLR4 expression. Yin, Xiaolin, et al. [ed.] William J. Lennarz. 2, Baltimore: Academic Press, June 25, 2010, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol. 397, pp. 232-238. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.05.090; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X10009903?via%3Dihub. ISSN: 0006-291X; PMID: 20546703.
  • Xue WY, Qi JC, Du L. Intervention effect and mechanism of curcumin in chronic urinary tract infection in rats. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2017 Jun;10(6):594-598. doi: 10.1016/j.apjtm.2017.06.009. Epub 2017 Jun 15. PMID: 28756925.
  • Dorsch R, Teichmann-Knorrn S, Sjetne Lund H. Urinary tract infection and subclinical bacteriuria in cats: A clinical update. J Feline Med Surg. 2019 Nov;21(11):1023-1038. doi: 10.1177/1098612X19880435. Epub 2019 Oct 10. PMID: 31601143; PMCID: PMC6826873.
  • https://www.ardengrange.com/nutrition-and-advice/fact-sheets/feline-fact-sheets/feline-general-feeding-fact-sheets/fact-sheet-anxious-cat-tips/
  • Garofalo L, Zwickey H, Bradley R, Hanes D. Naturopathic Management of Urinary Tract Infections: A Retrospective Chart Review. J Altern Complement Med. 2021 Dec;27(12):1116-1123. doi: 10.1089/acm.2021.0163. Epub 2021 Aug 23. PMID: 34424727; PMCID: PMC8713254.
  • https://vetmed.illinois.edu/pet-health-columns/urinary-tract-disorders-cats/

 

Note: The guidance offered in this article is intended for informational purposes only and does not substitute for veterinary advice regarding your pet. For an accurate diagnosis and successful treatment, we strongly suggest that you schedule an appointment for your pet with your veterinary doctor.

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