Cat Bladder Infection Symptoms

"Cat bladder infection symptoms refers to cat urinary problems caused by inflammation of the urinary bladder. It is caused by bacterial agents, directly or indirectly. Infected cats may experience severe difficulty urinating, may pass a reduced volumes of urine, with the presence of blood and puss mixed into the urine at the end of the urine stream. Stress and disease can cause a cat to be restless. Cats may fail to follow common commands and ignore litter box training i.e. Cats may urinate in inappropriate places. On abdominal palpation (when examining by touching the abdomen), cats may experience severe pain. Other cat bladder infection symptoms include anorexia (avoidance of food), depression and the bladder appears swelled and thickened."

General Cat Bladder Infection Symptoms:

Infection in any part of the cat’s bladder (also knows as cystitis) is indicated by the appearance, volume and how easy or difficult it is to pass urine. Cats suffering from infection or any problem in the urinary tract will initially experience difficulty urinating since infection causes inflammation, which is a narrowing of areas affected. The volume of urine will be reduced as the infection progresses. In cases where severe infection is present, the stream of urine will contain blood mixed with puss.

Cats, due to disease, experience stress and may not follow common commands of that they have been trained to follow, specifically “litter box training”. The infection may cause signs of generalized illness (illness that impacts the entire body), such as fever and coat dullness.

Clinical Cat Bladder Infection Symptoms:

Clinically, cats appear to have a dull coat and rough skin, since the cat may stop grooming itself. On abdominal palpation (examination), a cat may react in severe pain that emanates from the lower abdomen. The bladder will appear to be larger, filled, and painful.

Infected cats try to urinate but fail. Infection causes inflammation in in the urinary tract, which causes it to narrow, causing pain whenever urination is attempted. A reduced volume of urine will be notable, with a cat frequently trying in vain to urinate.

Cat bladder infection can also change the appearance of the urine. Blood in the cat's urine may be noted in cases of urinary tract problems. If puss is noted and mixed with blood, it indicates a sort of infection in the urinary tract. Blood mixed with pus is only notable at the end of the urine stream. Palpation and examination of the urinary bladder clinically, can help in differentiating cat bladder infections.

Diagnosis of Cat Bladder Infection:

Clinically, feline bladder infection symptoms can only help in suspecting that an infection is the cause of a cat's urinary problem. A diagnosis can only be confirmed with a urinalysis (examination of the urine in a laboratory). Both clinical examination and urinalysis can confirm a feline bladder infection. The culturing of urine samples for identification of type of bacteria causing the problem may also help in treating bladder infections in cats.

Symptomatic Treatment of Cat Bladder Infection:

Systemic treatment, by using broad-spectrum antibiotics is highly recommended only after conducting a resistance and sensitivity test, to see how a specific cat will react to treatment.

Cat bladder infection symptoms can be treated in order to support the overall treatment plan and to restore the deprived physiology of the cat’s body.

Anti- inflammatory drugs, Non Steroidal Anti- Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID) can be used to reduce the effects of inflammation; which cause pain, swelling and deprives the physiology of the cat’s urinary tract.

In case of generalized illness, fever can be treated with these drugs, but only under the advice of a veterinarian.

Adjustments in the cat’s diet is necessary, by reducing proteins and magnesium content. Water on the other hand should be supplied in excess quantities and should be clean and filtered. Consider adding an additional water dish at another location in the house to encourage drinking. Supportive vitamins should only be administered after completion of the antibiotic course, as recommended by the veterinarian. 

Prevention of Future Cat Bladder Infections:

In addition to the steps mentioned above (change in diet, increased water consumption), there is a homeopathic (natural) supplement available called UTI-Free Formula that contains ingredients known to help improve urinary system health in cats.  These types of products help the urinary system operate within a normal range which allows the body to fight bacteria on its own.

The addition of a juice product such as orange or cranberry to the diet could also provide a protective boost.  The acid in these products will improve the acidity of the urine, which is natures way of killing bacteria.  Most cat's do not like the flavor, so mixing some in a water dish might be the way to go.


The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Washington State Uinversity College of Veterinary Medicine