Cats can be afflicted with a number of urinary tract issues, generally referred to as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). Feline urinary tract infections (UTI) are one of the types of FLUTD afflictions. As the name suggests, a UTI refers to an infection caused by bacteria (E. Coli, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus and Proteus) or viruses within the normally sterile urinary tract. These microorganisms damage the cells and blockage of the urethra causes pain and straining during urination. The urinary tract normally filters and cleans the blood and produces, stores and eliminates urine. Seldom seen in cats under one year old, a UTI can affect cats of any age and is more common in males.
Veterinarians usually treat UTIs with antibiotics and, in extreme cases, surgery. However, none of these will prevent your cat from getting another infection. One of the easiest things you can do to prevent the onset of a UTI is to ensure that your cat drinks enough water throughout the day. Feeding a diet of raw or wet food can help ensure that your cat has enough moisture in her diet. You may also want to try a feline water fountain as a more attention-grabbing alternative to a water bowl to encourage your cat to drink more often.
Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection
The symptoms of a UTI are generally obvious. The most common signs of a urinary tract infection include:
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Straining to urinate
- Going to the litter box more frequently than normal
- Making sounds of pain within the litter box
- Seeing blood in the litter box
- Evidence of pain, including crying or hunching her back
- Drinking more water than normal – your cat needs the water but cannot drink enough to cure the problem.
How to Cure Your Cat’s Urinary Tract Infection with Apple Cider Vinegar
Organic apple cider vinegar is the most popular and effective natural cure for a cat’s UTI. UTIs are the most common reason cat owners bring a cat to the vet. As described above, it will be obvious to you when your cat is suffering. After you have treated the current UTI, you will want to prevent a recurrence by ensuring that your cat drinks enough water.
Organic apple cider vinegar works against the microorganisms causing your cat’s UTI in two ways:
- The apple cider vinegar creates an environment too alkaline for the microorganisms to thrive; and
- The vinegar is a potent antimicrobial (as you may know if you use vinegar to clean your house) and kills the weakened microbes causing the UTI.
Emergency Dose: Fill a needle-less syringe with a 50/50 mix of organic apple cider vinegar and water. As you can imagine, cats don’t appreciate the taste of vinegar so you may need to wrap your cat in a towel or have somebody help you. Injecting it straight into his mouth is the best way to make sure your cat is ingesting it especially if he won’t eat or drink. In extreme cases, it may take up to three doses of the vinegar. This beneficial effect of the vinegar can take up to four hours to manifest, especially in serious cases. If you don’t notice any urination after 4 hours you should contact your veterinarian immediately as a urinary tract blockage can be fatal.
Standard Dose: Mix 1-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into 1 cup of water. Use the needle-less syringe or a medicine dropper to get about 1/8 cup of liquid into your cat’s mouth. Give this mixture to your cat several times a day until the UTI symptoms disappear. You can also dip your cat’s paw into a bowl of the vinegar/water mix so that he will lick it off his paw.
Updated on 3/16/2016
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