Urinary tract problems are common in cats. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are just one of the conditions which can cause bladder inflammation and pain. To dodge the discomfort there are many home remedies for cat UTI which may help prevent future episodes
Whatever the cause, the symptoms are the same and include:
- Straining to pass urine
- Crying when urinating
- Smaller than usual puddles in the box
- Visiting the tray and yet no puddle is present
- Frequent trips to the tray or repeated squatted
- Peeing in the wrong places, including outside the box
- An excessive amount of licking around the rear end
- Loss of appetite
If you spot some or any of these signs, contact your vet immediately. Not only is your cat in discomfort, but there is a risk of serious complications such as urinary blockages.
However, once checked by the vet, for cats prone to urinary tract infections or urinary tract problems there are many a cat uti home remedy which may reduce the chances of the problem returning.
Cats are sensitive to stress. But this is NOT a case of anxiety being 'all in the mind'. Stress causes a very real hormone cascade which results in bladder inflammation along with signs of straining and discomfort.
Here are some ways to keep kitty calm and anxiety-free.
1. A Cat-Friendly Environment
Make your home into cat heaven by:
- Hiding places: When the world gets too much, cats cope by hiding. Providing a cosy retreat, such as a cardboard box lined with an old jumper, allows kitty to manage things her way.
- A 3-D World: Cats love to climb. Creating cat walkway systems on the walls allows Kitty to get from A to B without using the floor. This makes cats very happy indeed.
- Individual possessions: Cats are territorial creatures. If they have to share food and water bowls, toys and beds, this is stressful. Make sure each cat has their own things.
- Avoid overcrowding: Much as you love cats, your fur-friends don't like living in large groups. Remember less is more when it comes to cat-contentment, and keep your fur-household at four or below.
- Stop intruders: Stray cats in the yard, or worse entering the house, causes a great deal of stress.
2. Prevent Boredom
A busy mind makes for a happy cat.
- Puzzle feeders: Use puzzle feeders for mental stimulation
- Play session: Three, five-minute play sessions each day does wonders for a cat's mental health
- High perches near windows: Watching birds works like prime-time cat TV!
3. Nutraceuticals and Pheromones
- Herbal Remedies: Skullcap and valerian are tried and true calming agents
- Zylkene: A milk derivative, this product soothes the same brain receptors as diazepam.
- Feliway: A synthetic pheromone that helps cats feel safe and secure
- Scruffy Paws UT Wellness Chews: A delicious kitty taste tested chew that contains 4 science backed active ingredients that help prevent UTI's, crystal formation and support UT health in general
Litter Box Hygiene
Cats hate using a dirty toilet. Not only does it stress them, but they will hold on and avoid peeing, which is bad news.
Make sure the box is cleaned daily and contains deep litter. Use a litter the cat likes (nothing scented or dusty) so it appeals to them. If possible, provide a separate tray for pee and poop, which follows the example of feral cats that use different places for different bodily functions.
In a multi-cat household, provide one tray for each cat, plus a spare tray. Oh, and don't line the trays up, but station them around the house so that no one cat can dominate all the boxes.
Feeding a wet or canned food diet
Research shows us that the biggest single factor that improves cat bladder health is feeding a wet diet.
Switch from dry kibble to wet food. Simple as that for an easy home remedy for cat urinary tract infections.
A healthy thirst helps produce weak urine, which is an important home remedy for cat uti. A weak urine literally dilutes out any bacteria or urinary crystals that may cause problems. Plus, a full bladder makes the cat pee more often, and voids the nasties from the body.
Encourage drinking by:
- Provide large dog bowls of water, rather than small saucers
- Avoid double-dipper bowls, with food and water in the same container. Cats prefer their water a distance away from food.
- Have lots of water bowls, one in every room if possible
- Use pet drinking fountains. Cats love to drink running water
- Consider offering mineral water, as some cats dislike the chemicals in tap water.
Stimulate the Bladder's Natural Defences
Certain nutraceuticals and food supplements help improve bladder health for a drug-free cat uti remedy. Products containing glucosamine work by stimulating the bladder to produce a protective layer over the lining, to insulate the delicate wall from irritation.
Various natural extracts from cranberry, bromelain, glucosamine, and D-Mannose are reported to have beneficial effects.
(All or which are found in the UT Scruffy Paws Wellness Chews - which you can find here)
Adjusting urinary pH
Healthy cat urine has a pH that is mildly acid. This discourages bacteria from growing. A popular cat bladder infection home remedy is to make the urine more acidic. This is often done by adding apple cider vinegar to water or food. However, this can cause more problems than it solves. An extremely acidic urine is an irritant of itself. Also, acid urine encourages crystals to grow and cause serious consequences.
There is no doubt that adjusting urine pH can be helpful, but this is best done under the care of a vet. Prescription diets are the safest way to do this, and reduce the risk of unwanted complications such as bladder stone formation.
Last but not least, keeping a trim waistline aids urinary health. The opposite is also true, that overweight cats carry a higher risk of developing bladder problems. So whilst dieting your cat may not seem much of a cat uti remedy, in fact it's an important way to promote good health.
Encouraging weight loss is best done slowly, and no cat should never starve themself (this can cause liver problems). So work with your vet on an effective diet and encourage the cat to be active with play...which as it happens is the proverbial "two birds with one stone" as being active is also a great cat uti remedy.
Dr. Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVSVeterinary surgeon, Linkedin
Dr. Elliott graduated from the University of Glasgow, UK, with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. She has over three decades of experience working in companion animal practice and is the designated veterinarian for the Cats Protection rescue center, Harrow.