Cat UTIs Wont Stop!

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Dr. Marc is a veterinarian blogger for Pets Best Insurance.

Hi. My name is Dr. Marc and I’m filming for Pets Bets Insurance, answering some Facebook questions for you guys at Broadway Veterinary Hospital in Boise, Idaho.

This question comes from Emily.  She says that she has four neutered cats and two years ago three of them started getting recurring urinary tract infections, ranging from moderate to severe.  Some of them even included getting treatment such as months of antibiotics, and they even did a PU surgery, which essentially turns a male cat into a female cat to help avoid getting obstructed.  All the cats are on prescription food.  They drink from a fresh fountain.  They take glucosamine to prevent inflammation of the bladder.  And they use phenolate to reduce stress.  She scoops their litter boxes daily.  Her question is, “Can a UTI be viral?  What are the odds of three to four cats getting UTIs within such a close period of time?  And why are they so recurrent?”

Emily, that sounds like a really frustrating situation, but I commend you on what you’ve done so far.  That’s a really great job as far as medications.  I think it’s important for you to know that as many as 50% of cats cannot actually be diagnosed as far as what’s causing these problems.  We do know that there is a neuro-hormone that goes on in those little kitty brains that can actually cause stress related lower urinary tract disease.  And for this reason, I might pursue that a little bit more aggressively.  So we recommend having, at least, one litter box per cat plus one more.  So for you that would be five litter boxes.  Keeping those clean.   We can look at the environment of these cats.  Is there something that’s causing stress that’s leading to these diseases?  A behavioralist can oftentimes come in and kind of look at the interactions and maybe make some recommendations.  And also seeing your veterinarian is important, too, because sometimes even anti-anxiety medications can benefit.  Especially with such an extreme case of these problems for years for you.  Viral problems is not something I can diagnose, unfortunately.  It doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but it is just not something we can pursue at this point in time.  I hope that helps, Emily.

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