The bladder is a muscular sac that stores urine produced by the kidneys. Bladder infections, also called bacterial cystitis, develop when bacteria that normally lives in and around the lower urinary tract travels up the urethra and infects the normally sterile bladder.
Elderly cats and those with a disease or compromised immune system such as feline leukemia, diabetes, thyroid issues, or the feline immune deficiency virus are more prone to bacterial cystitis. Certain medications can also increase the likelihood a bladder infection will develop.
Most cats with a bladder infection will exhibit symptoms such as those listed below, however in rare cases a cat will be asymptomatic and the infection will be detected through a routine urinalysis.
Infections that last unusually long or that reoccur often may suggest the presence of an underlying problem.
- frequent urination
- difficulty urinating
- urinating in inappropriate places
- excessive licking at genitals
- blood in the urine
Never attempt to diagnose your cat on your own. Your vet will need to perform a variety of tests and discuss medication and supplements that will speed your cat’s recovery. You may also want to speak to your vet about the best way to support your pet’s recovery through proper nutrition.