" Supporting Cat bladder health always involves a plan that addresses the lower urinary tract and in some cases, the kidneys. Urinary tract problems, like calculi or stones, infections, neoplasm (abnormal cell growth) and stress in the urinary bladder, are some examples of problems a cat may face. Diagnosis of bladder problems is never easy. It usually requires a detailed urinalysis. Laboratory examination of urine samples, taking a biopsy if needed and x-rays are other methods of confirming specific cat bladder issues. Different options for addressing these issues include medications, diet and surgery."
A cat's urinary system is of vital importance in maintaining the health and physiology or the normal functioning of a cat’s body. The kidney, ureter, urinary bladder, and urethra are all important organs in this system; each playing its own role in the excretion process which includes byproducts of the blood, tissues, or organs. Some glands are associated with the excretion process in that they regulate organ function.
The bladder collects the urine; which is excreted by the kidneys through the ureter and then disposes of it through the urethra, in the collective mechanism of urination. The main function of the bladder is to regulate the intervals of urination and the mechanism so that voluntary maturation (Urination) is completed vs. random involuntary leaking.
Problems in the bladder directly or indirectly effects the entire urinary system, specifically the lower urinary tract. Different health issues, such as abdominal pain, difficulty in urination, and bad habits, have been identified as being correlated with the bladder. These may be due to different causes, factors and abnormalities.
Infections, Calculi (forms into cat bladder stones) and Neoplasms (abnormal cell growth such as cancer) in the bladder are the main cat bladder problems.
In cats, urinary tract problems require a urinalysis or detailed examination of urine samples for pH, concentration, consistency and content. It not only helps in diagnosing possible health issues, but it also helps in deciding the most effective mode of treatment.
Clinical signs and history are other options, but symptoms usually are common to many issues associated with the urinary system and bladder including straining, abdominal pain and difficulty urinating, with the frequent passing of a reduced volume of urine.
Radiography, ultrasonography and detailed clinical examination can reveal the exact cause. The Culturing of urine samples is required in case bacterial infection is suspected.
Once the exact cause of any cat urinary tract issue is diagnosed, different treatment plans can be applied.
It is highly recommend that a cat be provided large volume of clean and hygienic drinking water. Dietary adjustments may be required, in case of bladder stones.
Cat bladder Infections can be treated by administering broad spectrum antibiotics for at least 2 weeks. Antibiotic therapy may be continued for 3–6 weeks, depending upon the cat's condition and the results of urine cultures carried out every 3–5 days.
Mild cases of bladder stones can be treated with a dietary adjustment which increases the magnesium content in the diet. Severe and chronic cases may require surgical removal.
Neoplasm or cancer on the other hand is treated surgically, but this is not effective, due to the malignant nature of tumors. Other treatment options such as chemotherapy can only prolong the life of affected cats; with the prognosis for such cases considered “Grave”.
There is a homeopathic natural remedy available called UTI-Free Formula which has been formulated to help prevent urinary tract and cat bladder problems. It contains Berberis vulg (positively impacts the bladder, urinary tract and supports the immune system) and Cantharis (supports urine flow) and Staphysagris (urogenital health).
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The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health
J.K. Dhun, Textbook of Small Animal Medicine (Elsevier Health Sciences, 1999)
University College of Veterinary Medicine
Washington State Uinversity College of Veterinary Medicine
Cat Health Library Search