What’s the Deal With Cats and UTIs?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are pretty common in the human world. But did you know that their a major problem for cats, too?

Urinary tract infections in cats can cause serious health problems. Since cats are good at hiding signs of urinary tract disease, it’s up to cat parents to know how to prevent and treat cat UTIs.

Here’s what you need to know to protect your fur baby from the agony of UTIs.

Who’s most likely to get a UTI?

Urinary tract infections in cats are certainly more common in some groups than others. Young cats, for instance, rarely get UTIs. If a young cat is showing signs of a UTI, there may be a more serious problem like kidney disease or feline idiopathic cystitis.

Older cats and females are more likely to get UTIs. However, UTIs in male cats are far more dangerous simply because of male anatomy.

Male cats have a narrower urethra than female cats. When a UTI occurs, the bacteria can cause a change in your cat’s urine pH. High pH can lead to the formation of crystals to form in the urine. If those crystals become lodged in the narrow urethra of a male cat, it can cause a blockage.

A blocked urethra is deadly and should be treated immediately by a veterinarian.

Signs & Symptoms

Urinary tract infections in cats are caused by bacteria that travel up the cat’s urethra. Sometimes the bacteria can travel through the urethra into the bladder causing an infection called bacterial cystitis. In severe cases, bacteria can also invade the ureters in the kidneys causing an infection called pyelonephritis.

To prevent these and other conditions, it’s crucial that pet parents know what to look for when a urinary tract infection first strikes.

When cats suffer from urinary tract disease, they often show signs of difficulty urinating. For example, your cat may feel pain when trying to urinate in her litter box, so she may start to associate the litter box with pain and try to urinate outside of the litter box. Other signs of painful or difficult urination include:

  • Visiting the litter box more often than usual
  • Spending a longer than usual amount of time in the litter box
  • Visiting the litter box but not leaving any deposits
  • Blood in the urine
  • Attempting to urinate in other parts of the house
  • Drinking more water than usual
  • Not eating as much as usual

Detecting & Preventing UTIs

The best way to know if your cat is at risk is by using PrettyLitter. Because bacteria can change the pH of your cat’s urine long before your cat starts showing outward symptoms, PrettyLitter can give you a heads up. If your cat is using PrettyLitter, the granules will turn blue to indicate that your cat may have a urinary tract infection or other health problem.

Taking steps to prevent urinary tract infections in your cat is crucial. Start by always keeping the litter box clean so bacteria doesn’t have a chance to spread. Your cat’s diet is also a contributing factor. Diabetic and overweight cats are at greater risk of urinary tract disease.

Some cats can experience urinary tract disease as a response to stress. Playing with your cat, letting her get plenty of exercise, providing perches and hiding places, and offering at least one food and water bowl per cat are easy ways to reduce stress. If you know your cat is going to be facing some changes in the household - like the addition of a new pet or a baby - make the transition as easy as possible.


If you suspect your cat may have a UTI, take her to the vet immediately. Treating cat urinary tract infections can be a simple process if the problem is caught early.

Your vet will likely recommend dietary changes that will prevent UTIs and the formation of crystals in the bladder. If your cat is suffering from a blockage, she will most likely require hospitalization to drain the bladder and safely remove the blockage.

Some cats are more susceptible to urinary tract infections than others. A cat that has had one UTI is more likely to have another in the future. Monitor your cat’s urinary tract health with PrettyLitter so you’re always three steps ahead of the problem.

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Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell


2 Responses


September 25, 2018

Apple Cider Vinegar saved my cat & UTI have never returned. I am one for more natural approaches to healing and I found that chemicals like antibiotics don’t really get to the roots of the issue (amongst diet change, liter, etc). When I googled natural cures for dog/cat UTI there’s soooo many websites that support ACV method & people commenting on their special way of tweaking for their dog/cat need. Actross the board it takes about 7-10 days (my cat was starting to get relief & stop crying by day 2). She was back to normal by day 6-7. I followed an article suggesting after ACV find a cat probiotic to help along the new flora development in the gut (just like us when we do a cleanse) as a follow up & I found one fairly inexpensive that comes in a powder that you can mix in wet food. I was giving her probiotic on a regular after but I stopped and just buy a jar 2-3 times a year (30 day serving) and give it to her then as a preventive but I most of the other comments from others say they just did the ACV & animal has been superb ever since. Just wanna do a heavy diluted amount. I have a tincture so I did 1 tincture of ACV in a cup and added about 4-6oz of water so it’s a heavy dilution. Then squirt a full tincture in their mouth daily or twice a day (both methods were mentioned & attested too). I did 2x daily for 1st 3 days and 1x daily after. Almost 3 years and not another UTI. Hope this helps cause the bathing thing can be a bear.


June 07, 2018

I have a male cat (Tuxedo breed). A feral adopted. He looks to be no more than 4 y.o. I’m relieved to read that male cats under 6 y.o. often get UTIs., so there is a light at the end of the tunnel – he won’t be suffering these UTIs his entire life. When I first got him, not being a cat person, it wasn’t until he started bleeding that I realized something was wrong – Emergency room, then vet 2 weeks later, then vet again 3 weeks later (chronic UTIs) – got expensive! Anyways, not good for him to be constantly on antibiotics. So now, whenever I observe that he is not sleeping in the living room (in his bed), but sleeps on top of the cabinet near the litter box instead, I soak him in organic apple cider vinegar solution (3 cups OAC vinegar to 3 gallons of water), for several minutes. Without touching his genitals, with hand movement, I try to forcefully move as much water into the area. I don’t towel him dry, but let him lick himself dry so the vinegar gets into his body. This been going on for 8 months. Every other week, it seems, he’ll be needing this bath. Seems to be a viable solution.

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