Updated: May 13
As a cat owner, you may be familiar with urinary tract infections (UTIs) and its associated discomfort and inconvenience for both you and your feline companion. A"UTI" is a common reason cat owners book appointments with their vet, and a common reason they seek help online. But young cats rarely, if ever, get UTIs. Instead, they are more susceptible to another urinary condition known as cystitis. In this blog post, we will explore why young cats are unlikely to get UTIs and why cystitis is much more common in young cats.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Cats A urinary tract infection is an infection that affects the bladder, urethra, or kidneys, caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract. Symptoms of a UTI in cats include frequent urination, painful urination, and blood in the urine. UTIs are more common in female cats, older cats or diabetic cats, but young cats are much less likely to develop them.
Why Young Cats Are Unlikely to Get UTIs One reason why young cats are unlikely to get UTIs is that they have much more concentrated urine than older cats, and bacteria simply cannot live there.
Additionally, young cats have a stronger immune system that can fight off infections more effectively. They are also less likely to have any underlying medical conditions that may contribute to the development of a UTI - such as diabetes.
Cystitis in Cats Cystitis is a condition that affects the bladder and is more common in young cats. Cystitis is caused by inflammation of the bladder, which can be triggered by stress, dehydration, or an inadequate diet. Symptoms of cystitis in cats include painful urination, frequent urination, and blood in the urine. You can learn more about cystitis here.
Why Cystitis Is Much More Common in Young Cats Young cats are more susceptible to cystitis because their urine is likely to be much more concentrated than older cats.
Why is this important?
This is important because the treatment for a UTI and cystitis are completely different. Cystitis is generally self limiting and responds to increased water intake and anti-inflammatories, but many cats still receive antibiotics for their cystitis. When the cystitis resolves, the antibiotics are given the credit, but cystitis would have resolved without them. This results in overuse of antibiotics in veterinary medicine, with the potential for antibiotic resistance in our cats.
What You Can Do to Help Prevent Urinary Issues in Young Cats To help prevent urinary issues in young cats, it is essential to ensure they have a balanced and nutritious diet, access to fresh water at all times, and are provided with a stress-free environment. Regular veterinary check-ups are also important to monitor your cat's health and to identify any potential issues early.
In conclusion, young cats are unlikely to get UTIs due to their concentrated urine and stronger immune system, while cystitis is much more common in young cats. By providing your young cat with a healthy diet, plenty of water, and a stress-free environment, you can help prevent urinary issues and keep your feline companion happy and healthy.