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Cat Urinary Tract Infection: Signs and Treatment

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.

If your cat makes more trips to pee but few drops come out, they may have a UTI.

If your cat makes more trips to pee but few drops come out, they may have a UTI.

Cats Can Get Urinary Tract Infections

Your cat has started to display some odd behavior lately. Your previously house-trained cat is now urinating in your bathtub or on your bed. Also, your cat strains as if constipated, just sitting there in the litter box waiting and repeatedly scratching.

Not all owners can recognize these key signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Having worked at a veterinary hospital, I have come across many cats that were thought by their owners to be constipated, or worse, just simply displaying behavioral issues.

Cats that pee in the bathtub or on the bed are doing so for a very specific reason: their trip to the litter box has turned unpleasant. Your cat has tried to urinate in the litter box, but it turned out to be too painful, and therefore, he has started associating the litter box with something negative. To a cat, avoidance is the best solution, so he will try any other place to see if it will, in any way, ease the discomfort.

Another common sign of UTI in a cat is insistently licking the genital area. Cats tend to lick their wounds, so licking their genital area is the way they try to "heal" the burning sensation they are feeling.

If you have happened to find some occult blood around the home, it is very likely coming from the cat. Blood may appear as normal red drops, or it may have a pinkish tint if it is mixed with the urine.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Common signs of a cat with a urinary tract infection are:

  • Persistent straining in the litter box
  • More frequent trips to urinate, but urine often limited to just a few drops
  • Inappropriate urination in other areas
  • Crying while straining
  • Licking the genital area
  • Bloody urine

A UTI in a female cat may seem like a minor issue, though annoying and needing treatment. But in male cats, a urinary tract problem can easily become life-threatening due to the narrowness of their urethra, which can easily become blocked. A urinary blockage can turn out to be deadly if veterinary attention is not sought immediately. A cat with a urinary blockage will produce no urine and become poisoned by a buildup of toxins.

Vomiting, nausea, lethargy, and loss of appetite in a male cat should never be ignored. A male cat urinating a few drops is slightly better off than one not producing any urine at all, but still requires immediate intervention.

Diagnosis of a Urinary Infection in Cats

Diagnosis of a UTI is usually confirmed by a urinalysis. Collecting urine from a cat may be challenging. Owners can try replacing the normal litter with lentils, beans, or Styrofoam packaging peanuts; these materials will not absorb the urine, which makes it easier to collect. In some cases, the vet may need to perform a cystocentesis, which consists of inserting a needle directly into the bladder to collect some urine.

Treatment of a Urinary Infection in Cats

Treatment is based on findings. Bladder stones or crystals in the urinary tract may cause symptoms like those of a UTI. If this is the case, surgery or a diet change may solve the problem. If a UTI is confirmed, a round of antibiotics will help fight the infection. When a urinary blockage is present, a catheter may be inserted in the male cat's urethra and flushed to unblock it. Special diets may be prescribed if necessary.

So next time your cat is urinating in odd places, don't assume it's a behavioral issue; have him checked to rule out this dangerous condition. Many times it turns out to be just a moment of stress or a dirty litter box, but the saying "better safe than sorry" becomes a savvy one when dealing with your feline companion's health.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: Will my cat stop peeing or trying to pee all over the house after the vet has given a shot of antibiotics to clear up a UTI?

Answer: If the cat's urinary tract infection is indeed causing accidents around the house, then there are very good chances the accidents will subside. When my cat had a UTI she was always going to pee in the bathtub, after a week of antibiotics, she went back to using the litter box. Now, that is the best case. Problems may be encountered at times if the cat started associating the litter box with the pain of the UTI and therefore still practices litter box avoidance even after healing.

Question: My cat is lethargic. He is licking and scratching his belly, and we found a hard white substance on the tip of his penis. What is going on?

Answer: What you are seeing can be either crystals or a urethral plug which is preventing him from urinating. This is an emergency considering that being unable to urinate means that the bladder is very distended and can lead to a bladder rupture or kidney failure. Please take him to the vet as soon as possible. As the article outlines, it's important for male cats to be seen ASAP due to the narrowness of their urethra. The vet will likely need to insert a catheter to help him empty the bladder and help him urinate.

Question: Is a cat licking their privates and meowing signs of a UTI?

Answer: They sure can be. Just as it happens in humans, UTI's can burn and be painful. Cats as other animals, tend to use their tongues to try to alleviate any pain. They may think there's something down there irritating. Please have your cat see the vet. And bring a urine sample if you can. When you call your vet, ask for directions on how to collect that.

Question: My cat is vomiting and covered in urine. What's happening to him?

Answer: This is not at all normal. If your cat is vomiting and covered in urine, I would assume something serious may be going on. Please see your vet.


Sarah on August 23, 2020:

My cat had his bladder completely blocked. We took him to the vet and he had a catheter put in. He stayed at the vet for 3 days and was peeing while he was there. We brought him home and all he does is yowl. He's still peeing and we gave him all of his antibiotics for his UTI. He's been home for almost 3 weeks and still hasn't stopped. He's not responsive, paces around and yowls when he's awake. We don't understand what's causing this. We called the vet and they said it could still be from pain but its been almost 3 weeks. Do you have any idea what's causing this behavior or what we can do to fix it. Thank you!

Terri Ellis on July 03, 2020:

My cat from what I’m reading does have a UTI so with this being holiday weekend what can I do til Monday?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 20, 2020:

Hi, I hope your kitty is doing better. I agree in having him checked out by another vet just to play it safe and have a second opinion.

Unknown 97373 on June 18, 2020:

Ok so I have a 7 year old Scottish fold he’s a male and we recently moved homes. He was peeing and pooing normally under a little stress but he was OK we checked on him and he was always upstairs but he went to his litter box just fine, the other day he was just in a urinating pose in the cat litter but nothing came, we waited thinking he might pee somewhere so we let him at his business, when we realized he only urinates droplets we started worrying and took him to the vet asap. He has no stones, but blood in his urine, we had 3 options that cost a lot of money either way one was take him to the hospital, put him under a catheter to clean his stomach or inject him with some medicine and take him home. So my mum chose to inject him and send him home, at the home he was very sleepy etc. He drinks and eats just fine but urinates droplets and licks he’s genitals a lot after he stands in a pose and doesn’t pee, he doesn’t poo or sleep either .The doctor did confirm that this was because of stress but we are going to take him to the vet again to get him checked again. Any advice on how we could help him out?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 13, 2020:

Pamela, please follow up with your vet or get another opinion. Vets assume that when we see them and prescribe meds to our pets, and don't hear from us, everything is going well. I would give your vet a call and ask what the next step would be since he's still not eating/drinking.

pamela roy on June 08, 2020:

hi brought my cat oliver to vet he was vomiting and going to litter box frequently to try and pee...she did x-ray said no blockage or crystals, hydrated him and pain med...brought him home still not eating or drinking...any other thing i need to do? thank you ps could it be a kidney issue? came on so suddenly

Myfanwy Rees on May 26, 2020:

Last night, my eighteen year old Birman cat, followed me, as is usual, upstairs to bed. As he reached the top step, he let out an awful howl; wet himself and began to frantically pant. He hadn’t been in the sun and did not feel hot. Nevertheless, I wiped his face and head with a cool, wet flannel. After some twenty mins, he stopped panting and fell asleep. This morning, he appears fine. He jumped on and off the bed; drank water, but did not want his breakfast. He did, however, eat a few of his “goodies”.

I really have no notion of why this occurred. It was so distressing. I thought he was going to die.

He’s fast asleep now, which is perfectly normal for him.

I’m shielded and, therefore, unable to leave my home.

I’m so concerned. He’s my baby.

Crystal Kuras on May 23, 2020:

Hi I have a female cat that is about 9 yrs old and I noticed just recently she started sitting down in the litterbox while peeing and basically sits right in her own pee. She'll spend a lot of time in there digging and scratching when she goes to the bathroom. Is this normal behavior?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 08, 2020:

Hi Star Miller, with male cats, because they are more prone to complications, it's important to follow up with your vet on this to play it safe.

Star Miller on April 22, 2020:

How long does it normally take for antibiotics to kick in? My cat who is 7 months old received antibiotics as an initial treatment from my vet after he started becoming very vocal, licking himself more then normal and peeing on towels, blanket's and clothing. But here we are 48 hours later and he is still peeing on things.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 15, 2020:

Debbie, I hope you take your cat to the vet as soon as possible! In male cats, this can get life threatening quickly.

Debbie on January 09, 2020:

My cat peeing on himself,throwing up some ,maybe a little blood in urine.drinking water alot ,not eating hardly andlaying around

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 01, 2020:

Susana Tanner, best wishes for a speedy recovery for your kitty.

Susana Tanner on December 30, 2019:

Thank you for you help

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 06, 2019:

Gemkhalid, did you cat have PU surgery? That's perineal urothrostomy? After PU, it is possible to leak urine because the urethra is smaller than it was before and it is possible your cat doesn't have much control of his urinary sphincter. Please contact your vet to make sure all is going well to play it safe.

GemKhalid on September 06, 2019:

My 3 years old male cat couldn't pee for a day then I took him to the vet. The vet gave him an antibiotic shot. The day after,in the early morning, he started leaking urine all over the place and it won't stop. I can't understand what's going on, is it normal for him to do so? Please help

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 28, 2019:

Mona, this may be urine marking, but mention to your vet to make sure there is nothing medical going on.

Mona on July 17, 2019:

Hi my cat is showing some odd behavior he comes and moves his tail and then 2-3 drops come out of urine. He is doing this since a month specially if I dont listen to him..He is not urinating in the litter box too i dont know what has happened to him

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 18, 2019:

Brensi, it's always good to emphasize this so thank you for stating it. Many cat owners aren't aware that there are emergency centers open 24 hours. And if money is an issue, Care Credit can make a difference.

Brensi on June 12, 2019:

hi, would like to add to your advice to get these kittys into their vet or if after hours to an emergency veterinarian-its very likely that some of the kittys with possible urinary problems may be in urgent trouble and you can not always tell how serious it is. Do nott waste any time taking action. There are so many sad stories because pet owners did not know how close to the end their pet was. If any doubt call your vet or call an emergency vet-it does not cost anything to make a call and to know what to do! The emergency veterinarians are there all night! I promised someone that I would help Adrienne to stress how important time is to at least call to see if your cat is in a bad situation.

LoL and Thanks to Adrienne for all your good information!

Katie on February 21, 2019:

My female cat has gained a lot of weight and she is fixed their is stuff coming out of her butt and she has been peeing out around the house what could be going on with her

Daisy on October 23, 2018:

About 9 months ago I took in a male stray. Recently he started peeing everywhere. He uses the litter box fine. I found some blood in the urine so I called the vet. After testing his urine they found bacteria and diagnosed him with an UTI. He has been on antibiotics for 7 days so far. But he is still peeing. I am worried it is something more. I am on disability so I really can't afford to keep bringing him to the vet. I was only able to afford this appointment because somebody donated money to me. Is it normal for him to still be peeing after 7 days? He only has about three more days on the meds. Could it be that he is still not neutered or could it be something worse? He is not in pain nor is he straining to pee. I don't know what to do because if I Surrender him I am afraid he will be euthanized and that will break my heart. What is your advice?

Stephanie on October 22, 2018:

I just adopted a one year old stray who had been living outside for probably his whole life, but very friendly. He was checked by a vet, tested positive for FIV, and given Metronidazole for some parasite problems. Seems to be cleared and he is using his litterbox. He is not yet neutered, and is going in for the procedure tomorrow at a clinic (not his normal vet). I have only had him a few days , but once a day at he has been peeing on the floor. I did however witness him pee in his litterbox, so I'm not sure if this is a form of marking? It is a full puddle on the floor, not like spraying against a wall. He does lick himself a lot, so I'm conflicted as to if this might be UTI related, or because he hasn't been neutered yet. He is eating and drinking fine, and seems to definitely be able to urinate, just not doing it in his box all the time. Keeping box clean so I don't think that is the issue. Just concerned he has a UTI v. a territorial issue.

Theresa on October 09, 2018:

My approximate 12 week old male kitten is having issues with drops of urine every few moments and he has stopped going to the litter box.My finances are very limited and I was hoping for a home remedies that may be helpful.Does anyone have some advice for my Houdini, I just got him about a week ago. Thank you

Diane Eckenrode from Bay Saint Louis, Ms. on September 28, 2018:

Hi, My cat Demon for a couple of weeks started crying when he poos and pees. He's also been losing his hair Its hard to treat him with anything he gets so stressed out, and he runs and hides. I really can't afford to take him to the vet cause I'm no a fixed income. And even trying to get him in a carrier it's not right. Anyone can help me out; I'm getting terrified.

Karen on July 09, 2018:

Our Cat is a 17 year old male and love him dearly but he has been diagnosed almost a year ago with Kidney failure so moving forward hes been fine up until about a month ago took him to animal hospital per vet due to his UTI discovery and was given antibiotics and now a month later his UTI seems to be back neither the vet nor the hospital want to prescribe him anymore meds but wont tell me to do anything with him they don't want to tell me to put him down because he is a cool cat .. WHAT DO WE DO????

Jackie Nell.Davis on July 06, 2018:

My cats acting mean and now I have him in the wash room but running out of him what is that

thomas on July 05, 2018:

Hi please help, my cat has the symptoms of this disease. Awhile back she started to pee around the house. We took her to the vet once and they said she had a bladder disease. They gave us medicine for her but it didn't really work. We took her back 2 months later and they said she had UTI. They gave us medicine which you give her, over the span of 25 days. It's been 9 days and nothing has improved. I'm worried about her. Could the veterinarian be wrong? Or should I just wait until the 25 days are over.

Caroline on March 13, 2018:

My cat has a UTI and she keeps licking her genital area. Should I let her lick there? I've been trying to see online if I should and they didn't say anything.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 23, 2017:

She might have felt pain when she was using the litter box and has associated it with pain and now prefers to use the plastic tray. You can try to gradually "morph" the plastic tray into the litter box, by placing it on top of it or right next to it and gradually making the plastic tray smaller and smaller until you can remove it entirely.

Kim on November 18, 2017:

I took my female cat (6yrs old) to the vet because I thought she had a uti - all the signs. Vet gave me stuff to collect her urine to test it and it turns out it's not an infection but there are small crystals forming. Vet gave her anti-inflammatory and pain killer and wants to see if the anti-inflammatory helps before an x-ray. I bought a cheap plastic tray for collecting her urine. Now on the medication-she won't go in the litter box but she will pee in the empty plastic tray (it just has a few of those plastic litter bits the vet gives for collection.) I'm feeding her urinary SO that I've added water to because she's off dry food for a while per vet order. Is there a way to wean her back to her litterbox?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 10, 2017:

I would not postpone because it painful and she is at an age where she can get dehydrated easily.

Yvonne on November 04, 2017:

My 14 yr old female cat has another uti. She was just treated for one a couple of weeks ago. Can she wait until Monday to see the vet?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 03, 2017:

It can be he is having trouble urinating due to formation of crystals which are blocking the urethra or perhaps there is inflammation. While it's good your male cat eventually peed, I would suggest reporting this to your vet to determine the underlying cause. A urinary blockage in a male cat can be quickly deadly.

Robin on September 01, 2017:

My 9 year old male cat just started peeing in side on the carpets or different places in the house he squats like he is peeing he shakes his tale then he doesn't go or sometimes he does pee. I try to make him move to stop him so he can run outside but he just stays in the same position meows low I try again samething again and again then all of a sudden he runs away but no pee.Later that day he peed in the living room a lot he has never done this but it's more frequently what can be wrong with him??? Please help !!!

Al on August 22, 2017:

Cat not drinking water or not eating drags hind leg

Jolee Owen-Cartee on July 13, 2017:

Ok so my male cat biggy had a procedure done not that long ago they had to unblock his bladder he had crystals they went in the first time with a catheter an unblocked him or so they thought an he took his catheter out when he woke up completely so they went in the next day an did it again an sedated him we have had him home for about a week an a half an he just recently started peeing on beds bookbags floors you name it he has pretty much done it an his litterbox is cleaned out three times a day so I don't know if I should take him in again or seek another vets attention he finished his anti biotics last week we brought him home the day before the 4th of july so I could really use some helpful guidance

The contrary dyslexic on February 11, 2017:

There is a essential amino acid called DL-Methionine that works wonders on UTIs. It used to be prescribed for urinary troubles in the mid 90s on back. It's in that uti health pet food we buy. Food company's and vets don't want us to know so the can get all our money. Demand DL-Methionine from your vets for UTIs and watch you animal get better and stay better. You can get 1000 200mg tablets for 25 dollers!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 05, 2017:

Jack, I am hoping you were able to find a vet or an emergency vet, blockages in male cats can be very dangerous and need immediate attention.

JACK on February 04, 2017:

My male cat has been acting weird. This morning he was just fine, went to the bathroom like he always does in the morning. I let him into our courtyard as I always do (he has no way to leave the small area. It has extremely tall walls) and now he's acting weird. He's been sitting in a weird position, lifting his leg while shaking, and crying out. Every few minutes he gets up and walks slowly to a new area and continues. It looks like he is trying to go to the bathroom, but can't. There is also this liquid that comes out in a few drops (it looks like urine). He keeps crying out in pain and it breaks my heart. The vet isn't answering the phone and we've called another one, but they are closed.

miss Kitty on January 10, 2017:


I have a cat that has blood in her urine, she is a very sensitive cat with allergies to foods - she gets ear infections, break outs under her chin.

I have remedied her food allergies and we've cleared the ear infection.

Over the weekend she started dragging her rear end on the rough carpet and rubbed herself raw! I rushed her to the vets and she cleaned her up, she has an infection now, a very sore private area.

The vet gave her an injection of cortisone, antibiotic. But later towards the evening, she started going to the litter box and was not able to urinate. Then, I noticed when she did, it was pink!

I immediately went to the Pet Smart and bought a dog kennel big enough to place puppy pads, and a small litter box in. This way, when she has to go, which presently she has little puddles about every hour, I can change out the puppy pads. My house is safe from letting her roam about. She is happy (well, as happy as can be expected) safe and warm in the kennel and contained. she's right by the fireplace, and I can socialize with her in the living room, but she is contained.

We go back to the Vets this afternoon, hopefully we can find a quick answer - it's probably bladder stones or gravel, but will know more.

I'd say, consider investing in a large dog kennel when any of your cats are sick. You can buy the sanitary puppy pads, and save yourself lots of frustration. The cat can be monitored at home better too.

Food that are commercial seem to be alot of the problem.

Hope this suggestion helps. I'm giving her ACV with a little organic honey & water - she also has some other herbal tinctures for this issue, and I'm giving ascorbic acid powder mixed in some water & honey - I've read they need to acidify the urine to heal up and it unclogs the stones too.

Don't give up on your pets, just become more informed and help them by making them safe, and your home safe from urine accidents.

Patty on October 03, 2016:

Hi. I just noticed that my 3 year old male cat keeps trying to pee but nothing is there! He's otherwise acting fine, eating and playing. Its 10pm and vet doesn't open till 8am! What should I do???

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 01, 2016:

As my article outlines, urinary problems in male cats are a medical emergency, see your vet at once.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 01, 2016:

SC, if you are finding brown discharge that smells bad it could vaginitis or it could be a problem with the anal glands. You should get a culture done by the vet to determine what it is and determine the proper treatment.

SC on August 31, 2016:

I have a 10 year old female cat who had a UTI last year. Alongside her UTI last time she had a terrible odor around her backside, like old urine. I have not seen any litter box related issues recently however in the past few days she has started to smell so terrible I do not want her on the bed with me. I started doing what her vet previously told me to do, and have been using baby wipes on her backside. However as these are unscented they don't seem to be doing much. I'm being sure to not use the same wipe on her genital and anal area. There seems to be a brown discoloration on the baby wipes every single time but I cannot tell if this is discharge or just old urine in her fur, as I've seen old cat urine stain things brown. She's also overweight and not able to reach back there, making it hard to tell if she is overgrooming or can't completely reach and thus is undergrooming. I'm unable to tell if she has inflammation or not. I also recently took in another cat, who she does not like very much, so she is a bit stressed, and from her upcoming vet visit, I'm not going to have much money. I'm very neurotic about my cat's health and I can't decide if I should go into debt over this or keep an eye on her and keep cleaning her off. The last time she had a UTI, the first round of antibiotics were liquid and hard to get into her properly, so she ended up having the UTI for a month or so, so I know that it's not an immediate veterinary emergency as it is in male cats, but this is still worrying me.

Trina on August 30, 2016:

I have a 4 year old persian. Last week he urinated on the spare bed. I notice his urine had some water pink blood. Nothing since, last night he started crying when i picked him up. Today when i went home for lunch he was under the end table, when i ppicked him up he was crying. I got him some more water and food. He jumped on the bed crying. I was petting him and rubbed his belly he was crying and crying. what do i do.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 17, 2016:

It's not normal that your kitty hasn't used the litter box as he normally would. Please see the vet as blockages can turn into emergencies quickly in male cats.

Michelle on June 10, 2016:

My cat is a neutered male not quite yet 2 years of age. He has always used the litter box with no accidents. Recently, I lost my beloved dog of 14 years who was always close to my cat. The very next day my cat started peeing and pooping outside of the litter box. I did change his litter, so yesterday I dumped the litter, cleaned the box thouroughly and went back to his old litter. Last night he peed and pooped in his litter box but after he peed he licked himself for a very long time which is not normal. Today, he was sleeping next to me and I was petting him when all of a sudden he meowed at me and a little tiny bit of white stuff came out of his pee/penis hole. He has not yet used the litter box today as he usually goes after I feed him in about an hour. Any ideas of what this could be? Should I be worried? Was it sperm?

Jsherwood on May 23, 2016:

My 3 yr old male started growling while cleaning after using the litter box. :(

xhulia on May 23, 2016:


my 2 year old male cat has his genitals inflamed i just saw it. tomorrow i am sending him to vet can someone advice me what has happen whith him

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 22, 2016:

In male cats, things can get downhill fast, in females it's less urgent, but nonetheless painful.

Marie610 on May 14, 2016:

I think my cat has this. The problem is I'm worrying about how much time we have to get her to the vet. I saw something about it being fatal after 48 hours is this true? And do all vets have the cat stay overnight?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 03, 2016:

Only your vet can really give you a prognosis, hopefully he'll be recovering soon, some cats bounce back quickly.

Nickt33617 on May 02, 2016:

My boy kitty roly poly seemed fine one day then the next day was vomiting an crying out like he was in pain we rushed him to the emergency vet!! Do u think he will be ok or did we wait to long ? The kept him over nite. I worried now after seeing that this is life threatening

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 20, 2016:

Did they send your cat home with some medication? It's not unusual for a cat to have some residual inflammation just from the catheter placement, on top of the bladder inflammation in the first place. At this point, I think you should call your vet tomorrow morning just to be sure. It's good that he seems to be peeing normally, but be extra watchful for any symptoms suggesting he is re-blocking. Hopefully, it's just inflammation from the catheter. Perhaps he needs medication to help relax the urethra ?

often seen that cats will re block after it is removed.

Blockage occurs either from sludge/crystals physically blocking the urethra or more commonly from spasm of the urethra and the tube narrows so much that urine cannot be passed.

I would expect there to be continued discomfort and inflammation, but ideally not enough to cause blockage.

Usually, these cats require more prolonged anti-inflammatory medication following discharge home to keep on top of the inflammation, sometimes they are also sent home with a drug which relaxes the urethral muscles.

You are right that stress is a known cause/contributor to this condition and this can be worsened by the stress created from pain, so a vicious circle develops, which is why appropriate pain relief is paramount in cats with bladder/urethral inflammation.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 20, 2016:

Call you local shelters and see if they have any sources for you. VCA/Banfield animals hospitals often offer a free first vet visit, bu you will have to pay for meds/tests. If your cat is a male and has trouble urinating, this is a medical emergency.

julied on April 20, 2016:

I just got my cat back home after a 2 1/2 day vet visit. He was taking forever trying to pee in the litter box, then started squatting on the rug and nothing but a drop would come out. He'd also lick his privates more often than normal and hissed at me after climbing out of the litter box.

They told me his bladder was a little big but not too bad and they wanted to keep him a couple days. They did a catheter and said he did have some blood in his urine but they took the catheter out once it started running clear and kept him another day to monitor his urine.

My question is: since he's been home, he's been super affectionate and seems more tired than usual (deeper sleep) maybe even lethargic but I'm not sure. The main thing that scares me is he is still grooming his privates more than usual and I watched him pee, which seemed normal, but then he started whining when he got out of the box and started licking himself. Should I be worried or is this normal behavior for what he's been through?

Lady Lenox on April 18, 2016:

I need help for my cat but can't afford a vet coming out or getting my cat to the vet where do go?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 30, 2016:

Unfortunately, if your cat has a blockage (even if partial) antibiotics are unlikely to work. The treatment is to get the blockage taken care of. Left untreated, in a cat who cannot urinate, the toxins will accumulate and things can go downhill fast.

kp on March 30, 2016:

I have an indoor male cat, 9 yrs old. Since yesterday morning, 4:30 am I awoke to a noise I have never heard before, like a groan/meow. He was laying on his side (his right side), and lifting his left leg and liquid was expelling outward. He then got up and seemed to struggle to pee or "mark" the wall...and I have never seen him do either of these things since he is fixed, and uses a litter box just fine. I then did my research and thought ok, he may have a UTI, I have cipro on hand and have given him so far since 5 am yesterday, 3 doses @ 120 mgs every 12 hrs. I would hope I would see a little sigh of relief by now?? He seems still uncomfortable and still "spotting" like trying to pee...some comes out though...I literally gave him this med the third time like I said 3 hours ago and debating on vet now. I am just scared of my financial situation and what they will charge, but obvi, I have to do what it takes for my baby. How long does it normally take when u treat a cat with cipro for it to at least "calm down their symptoms"??

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 24, 2016:

If it was a partial or total blockage and then you kitty peed, he still can be in danger from the accumulation of toxins. After being unblocked our vets would flush the cat's kidneys with IV fluids and offer supportive care. I would call around several vets and tell them your situation. Some emergency vets have trained nurses who can sometimes give you an idea of what may be going on or at least ask tell you how to check vitals to determine how critical things can be, but they will tell you to bring the cat in because they can't legally make a diagnosis over the phone. Call around also because there are vets who know of shelters with low cost options or you can apply for care credit. But please call or see a vet as you kitty sounds like he is suffering.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 24, 2016:

SL please see the vet if this continues. Male cats can die if they are unable to urinate. The symptoms sound very alarming. How is your cat doing today?

SL on March 23, 2016:

We do not have money for vet, the cat has also never been to the vet. He is a year old. We kind of just took him in because he was not wanted by anyone. He also has two extra toes so maybe he isn't "normal".. He is in a bundle of towels now still breathing but he is limp and seems very weak. I'm not sure if it could be a UTI because he was in a pretty big puddle of pee, and in the bath he peed a normal amount too. And the water was not pink..just yellow. I'm sure it could be numerous things because he hasn't been to the vet, stays outside a lot, and so on. Just trying to figure it out because it breaks our hearts not knowing.

SL on March 23, 2016:

I am not sure if my cat has a UTI or could possibly just be dying. Sounds strange I know. But one morning I woke up and prepared him some food and he just laid in the floor waiting for it. Which was weird because he is always jumping up trying to get to the food as fast as possible. Then I noticed he didn't finish all of his food. Maybe half of it. Thinking not much of it, I put him outside for a few hours. He is an inside cat but he is potty trained to go to the bathroom outside and he comes in during night time. Or just whenever he decides to come to the door to be let in. But I called for him and as he was jogging, then kind of just stopped and laid in the grass. I went to pick him up and he was panting, his tongue was sticking out, & he was somewhat drooling. I thought he was just dehydrated so I put him inside. He wouldn't drink anything or eat the rest of the day. He just laid in one spot. He is breathing a lot faster too. He also can't walk without having to lay down constantly. We kept him in our room and woke up to him in a puddle of pee. I didn't want to but the smell was so bad so we ran some bath water. He hated it but didn't fight me. He also just laid in the tub (which was strange for him) and then started peeing in the water.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 18, 2016:

Sounds like a urinary tract infection or bladder stones. You will need to have your kitty see the vet.

klaudia on March 16, 2016:

I mean she keeps licking around her vulva area. There is also a clear looking discharge around it.

klaudia on March 16, 2016:

My female cat Hazel, has recently been having some problems urinating. It all started today, she was peeing into her litter box and right afterwards she started licking her urinary tract area. Throughout the whole day I caught her licking that area. Then hours later she went to pee and she meowed in pain, she then got out of her litter box and wiped her butt on the carpet. She has done this several times today. I am not sure what may be causing this. I did change her diet this week and her litter to a different brand can this be a food or litter allergy?

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on January 23, 2015:

Yep my two adult male senior cats did it last summer. Thanks for the tips. I do know about Care Credit for veterinary services. I would have to make calls next week.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 23, 2015:

Do you mean your kitties are urine marking after a recent move? Many stressed cats do this, and since you're seeing it in both cats it's most likely a stress-related issue. Some cats improve with Feliway, if it's stress-based. Could be too the previous owners had cats and your cats are marking over previously soiled areas. But yes, definitively best to see the vet to rule medical problems out, also since they're older cats. The vet visit shouldn't be incredibly expensive, call some vets offices around and ask what it may cost for a physical exam and urinalysis. I know VCA animals hospitals and Banfield often run specials where you get a free vet visit, but then you must pay for tests and treatments.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on January 23, 2015:

Real useful information. This sounds like my two adult cats lately. Before it was doing the pre-moving stages last summer and now they're doing it a little bit here and there. They're 17 years old. I'm thinking of taking them to the vet to be sure, since I've steam-cleaned, vacuumed the floors with baking soda, sprayed the floor with Gone spray, and used a vinegar water solution. Right now I'm using a plastic carpet runner under my desk with 4 doggie training pads, which is working now. Any ideas for affordable vet care solutions?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 18, 2015:

Oh my, those vet bills seem to add up to incredible amounts. With stones, it's helpful to determine if they're calcium oxalate or struvite stones. Often these are determined for sure after surgery after they are removed, but sometimes a urinalysis can give some clues as calcium oxalate stones mostly develop in acidic urine while struvite stones mostly develop in alkaline urine. Also, crystals of these stones may appear microscopically in the urine sample. Generally, struvite crystals may dissolve through prescription diets, whereas,

calcium oxalate crystals typically do not dissolve and unfortunately need surgical removal. If so, maybe you can call around and see if there are other clinics that charge considerably less?Also, inquire if any do a procedure known as urohydropulsion, where the bladder is expressed to empty it of stones if this is a feasible option.

jessica on January 18, 2015:

My baby bubba is not sitting in the emergency vet. He just got neutered two weeks ago and two days ago he was acting strange. He never hisses and he started to his which made me follow him I followed him to the litter box and he went in and just started crying. I had a bad feeling that something was wrong and I was right. I took him to the emergency vet they said his bladder was small and they couldn't feel anything and he peed in the crate but he only peed because he was scared. My bubba is a big baby but a loveable and kind hearted cat and always purring. He sleeps next to me every night and follows me. So they wanted me to take him but I told them I wanted them to just check and they took him in the back and the got some pee sample and they said it looked dark ish and cloudy so they wanted to keep him for the day. After 8 hours he didn't pee and when trying nothing came out. So they put him on a catheter and they said he started to pee and they did an xray and he has stuff in his bladder. After 12 hours he blocked and they had to redo the catheter bc they couldn't unblock it. They did an ultrasound and they think they see a stone and a lot of grit in his bladder. They are keeping him there till Monday with a catheter to make sure he doesn't block and then going to take it out and see if he can pee by himself. I just don't understand how there is nothing that can be given to help reduce the size of the grits or stone. I am so lost without him and the vet bills are so expensive. It went from 300 to 500 and now it is 3000 to 5000 and now they want to do the surgery which is another 4000 dollars.. he is only one and I can't afford that money and I can't see him in pain but I will have to put him to sleep which is breaking my hurt bc I can't see my life without him. Please any advice I would appreciate thanks

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 14, 2014:

There are cases where a real cause is never found. In sensitive cats, stress at times can be a trigger. At the vet's office we used to call these cases "feline idiopathic cystitis" and it was really frustrating for owners. Here's an article that discusses that:

confusedmomma on December 13, 2014:

My 3 yr old male cat had a UTI then a blockage, he was hospitalized for 8 days. After all of that we got him home and not 2 weeks later he seems to have a UTI again. He is still urinating, and his appetite is healthy. He is going to his litter box, but he strains then after going he gets out of the box and grooms. While grooming he fusses at his privates. When all of this started we had just gotten rid of our dog, and someone dropped a stray cat out at my home. This is not my first time with feline UTI, but it is confusing me as to what is causing it. The vet gave him antibiotics, but I am worried this may not be that simple. What are your thoughts?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 13, 2014:

I am not a vet and no longer work for a veterinarian hospital, so I can't give an answer based on experience. What I can give you though is information I have found on this drug. According to the Convenia website "Peak blood levels of CONVENIA are seen within 2.0 hours in the cat. This means that CONVENIA can start killing the bacteria quickly. However, this is not when you would expect to see a difference in the skin. Based on the severity of the infection, your veterinarian is best able to share that expectation with you". I would expect the same to happen when treating a UTI, it may take time to see the cat back to 100 percent, but your vet can truly let you know if the drug is helping as he has seen how severe the infection was. Did your vet do a culture to determine what bacteria were found in the urine? If finances are an issue, ask how much it costs for a recheck. In the vet office I worked for rechecks cost much less since it's something the vet already took care of. Ask for the pricing. Also, consider you can just call your vet and give the receptionist an idea of what is happening. Most likely, your vet will call you back and tell you what to do or he will let the receptionist call you and give you directions or tell you to come back for another type of antibiotic.This can save you an unnecessary vet visit if your vet thinks it's a matter of time.

Ally on August 13, 2014:

I should also mention, he kept on licking himself starting on Sunday, and it has continued. In fact, he is doing that right at this moment, and just was a few minutes ago. Overall he seems improved, with less frequent signs, but still showing signs of an issue.

Ally on August 13, 2014:

My cat started showing signs of UTI on Sunday (I found pee spots and blood droplets in his cat bed). For a few days before, he acted strange. Very clingy to me, seemed depressed and did not beg for food like normal. Sunday he started squatting where his cat bed used to be, in the basement by his litter box, in his litter box, and even on our bed! A few drips would come out each time. I called my vet right away on Monday. My cat is very friendly and outgoing, and was perfectly normal acting at the vet. She diagnosed him as UTI and said he did not feel blocked and his bladder was empty. She gave him a shot of convenia. it is not wednesday evening. Even though my cat is in better spirit and I haven't seen him squatting, I found him sitting in his cat box in the basement today, for like 10 minutes. He came out and went back in and was squatting again. I am concerned that he should be just about healed by now, but maybe my expectations are not realistic? He certainly is not acting sickly anymore. I could barely afford to take him to the vet the first time, I can't imagine what it would cost if I had to go back. I am hoping i may just be overreacting and need to wait, but should he be fully healed at 72 hour mark, or just improving?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 14, 2014:

Always see a vet promptly when a male cat has symptoms of a uti. Things can go downhill quickly. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Megan on July 13, 2014:

my cat is having a bladder problem so he uses the bathroom only on my bed . he sometimes cries cause he' s in pain . but we will take him to the vet and he should be alright. the vet will probably check his stool for any blood. my cat takes after me like they say animals take after there owners so he has a little Ocd like myself.

crycarla on April 16, 2014:

today, which is Monday, I found my cat, Duke, dead. I took him to the vet on Saturday to be treated for urinary obstruction. he was at the vet all day Saturday and I picked him up Saturday night with antibiotics and a new diet of wet food. when the vet brought him in he was still heavily sedated and the anesthesia had not worn off completely and that was understandable. then the next day he still was not himself, he was still sedated and I assumed, like an idiot that it was normal because of the pain medication, burenex. it said on his script that it couldcause the animal to act sedated. he was urinating but it was green and I thought that that was due to the meds as well and I was happy that at least he was peeing. I tried to feed him the wet food he was not eating it he was on a dry food diet before but I thought giving him some ctime because of my medication to get his appetite back would be okay for the first couple days then Monday I covered him up after getting his medications at 9 p.m. I put his blanket on him to keep him warm and snuggly and when I came homeTuesday at 9 a.m. he was dead. rigamortis had set cause he this was as its hard as a rock. I feel like shit I feel like shit like I should have done a better job at giving his medication and taking care of him and I just want some answer lik when did he die was he scarex or in pain or did he go peacefully in his sleep. was it my fault did I give him his medication correctly could have been prevented am I a bad mom did I kill my baby bear? Pls help me

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 12, 2014:

Sounds like this kitty should be seen by a vet. Is mother cat trying to take care of it or is this kitten separated and by itself? Is mother cat cleaning this kitten's bottom?

cameron on April 12, 2014:

Hi, I am 14 years old and we have a litter of 4 kittens, but one in particular has poop in it and it wint get up, its definitely alive. I have no idea what to do please help.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 10, 2014:

No it's not normal to go to the litter box every 20-30 minutes, with only a little bit of pee coming out every time. You should see your vet at once as in male cats this can quickly become an emergency.

Tanya on April 10, 2014:

My Male Cat Not Long Came Out Of Hospital

He Had A UTI.

They Didn't Tell Me What His Samples Will Be Like...... He Goes On Letterbox Every 20-30 Minutes And Only A Little Is Coming Out.

Im Just Wondering If This Is Normal

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 16, 2014:

You'll need to have him see the vet. Licking so much can be a sign of pain, his anal glands maybe bothering him or he may have a urinary tract problem. Meowing all day can be his way of manifesting discomfort. Is he neutered? if not ,there may be a female in heat somewhere. Only your vet can tell for sure what's wrong with him, but it sounds like something is bothering him, please have him seen, best wishes!..

fufu92 on February 16, 2014:

my 2 years old male cat is meowing all day except when he is asleep he eat normal but hungry all day and he keeps liking his anal area plus from time to time he spry over my desk and room plssss tell me what could be wrong with him ?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 04, 2014:

When I worked for a vet, we had to do what was known as phone "triage" to determine which pets needed same-day appointments or emergency visits. In male cats, we were mostly concerned about those who weren't urinating at all, and their bladder was enlarged. We often had these come in as emergencies. Since your cat urinated without straining and a lot too and he seems to be active, I wouldn't think it was a blockage, BUT walking slow and having trouble moving around and vocalizing is seen in cats with blockages but often have also other accompanying signs (straining in litter box, blood urine etc), and it could also be a variety other things. To play it safe and for peace of mind, I would take your kitty to the vet. Since you spent already a lot of money on this kitty, have you tried getting a free vet visit at your local VCA hospital. If you google "VCA free visit" and have never been there before they can give you a free visit, but you'll have to pay for meds and tests.I hope your kitty is doing better by now, best wishes!

Tammy on February 03, 2014:

Hi - We have a male cat - Chaos - 6 years old - who has had 4 blockages in 5 years. The first two blockages was when he was only a year old. He stayed in hospital for a week both times! It ran us $3000. He was fine for four years until this last Dec when we noticed he wasn't urinating in his box, walking slow, meowing while trying to lick himself & vomiting right before we rushed him to vet. They cath'd him & sent him home after with meds. Vet said he was ok to go home as he was eating & pee'd well right after Cath. We changed his diet to the special urinary wet only - no dry ever (he was previously on dry) & no treats. Also lots of water. He did great for three weeks and blocked again. We took him back to Vet & repeated the same as last time. He has been doing great again! It's been almost 5 weeks.

Tonight - he DEF used his litter box normally. I was right there when he peed in box! And it was a lot - no blood - no straining - nothing. He ate normal too! Was running around & being our normal Chaos! Then about an hour ago - he walked slowly to my bed - jumped up (he always comes to bed with me) - and kinda meowed weirdly as if he couldn't lick himself. He kept lifting his back leg out but couldn't get there & would meow like a baby kitten as if he was in pain. But now has been sleeping normal. He isn't getting up to lick. He is still sleeping.

Is the walking slow & trouble lifting leg to lick a sign of a blockage again??? I'm so worried! Not only is this costing me a billion dollars, but, I'm so afraid he is sick again. He is our WORLD! And he has his brother - Binx - a gray kitty who beats up on him daily but still they love each other. They eat together - chill together - everything.

Am I just paranoid? If he urinated normal a couple hours ago can he block up that fast?? He has been fine!

Anyway - I'm sorry for all of you who have to go through this. You all love your cats so much & I send hugs to every one of you. I'm sorry for those who have lost their previous angels to this too. Don't blame yourselves either. This is a tricky thing to deal with and VERY $$!!

Ty to the person who answers too :) your help is very much appreciated by not only me but my cat too ;)

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 04, 2013:

Maegan, please don't blame yourself. things can go bad really quickly with urinary blockages in males. many were put to sleep by our vets because it was too late. Some arrived dead already at the clinic. It's one of those horrible conditions that give little time to act and are often confused with other conditions--if this was a urinary blockage to start with. Sending you my deepest condolences.

maegan on November 03, 2013:

Our 5 year old cat Simba just passed away from evrry sign of the UTI you have explained he was our baby and we just thought he was constipated. Now his brother who was brought home with him is going around the house crying for him. Simba layed down in his bed next to his daddy and died. It happened Oct. 19 and we still cry all day and all night I feel so guilty he was our baby and your supposed to protect your babies how can I ever live with myself

CatLover2012 on November 07, 2012:

No problem. I wasn't aware of them until about 18months ago either when a friend me about them. Real easy to use as well.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 07, 2012:

Oh wow, wasn't aware there was such a product to detect dog and cat urinary tract infections, thanks for sharing!

CatLover2012 on November 06, 2012:

You can take a lot of the uncertainty and worry of knowing if your cat has a UTI or now by doing your own home UTI test. Its a lot easier than it sounds (honest!) .... much better than sitting over a long weekend waiting to see the vet or trying to get an emergency appointment. One such kit is: :-)

BYRON on August 14, 2012:

my nine year old male cat bo_bo had all the signs ... he would try like heck to use his litterbox straining 4 ever wth just a little pee ... 4all his pain n strain .... then he would try 2 pee anywere he could wth same small amounts of pee .... no blood though day he was vomiting white foam fluid in the early morning .... an would only get up to vomit crying when he did ... then he'd lay back down .... he didn't look very good ... by the time i figured what was going on ... it was past 5 o'clock pm so we found a 24/7 emergency vet that was 45 min's away .... we got him there in time the vet doctor checked him out an thats what bo_bo had a UTI ..... an that she could save him if i had $1,200 dollars that included all the test .... i lost my job an told her i didn't have that kind of money 2 spend ...... she wouldn't let me do a payment plan ....but would give me a break on putting bo_bo down for $ 250'00 dollars ..... then in her own words she said that would be better 4 him then letting him suffer?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 10, 2012:

Things can go quickly downhill with male cats.Is he urinating at all? If it was a female things would be slightly different. I would see an emergency vet which is open 24 hours. I am surprised your vet did not suggest that.

Saya on July 09, 2012:

My male cat is showing signs of UTI but the very cannot see him til friday andit is monday will he be ok til then?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 02, 2012:

No, you did not link, you copied it. There is a difference in this. If you want to link, you post 50 words with a link back to my article. What you are doing now is called plagiarism.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 21, 2012:

Chris, having worked for a vet I agree. But many people are not aware of this and my hub has helped people rush to their male cat to the vet.

Chris Hugh on June 21, 2012:

UTI's in male cats are a veterinary emergency. Blocked cats can die within 24 hours. If they are blocked they have to be catheterized. Twitch has had many blockages. I give him special fool (Hill c/d), subcutaneous injections and I always have a Feliway going.

A few years ago, when nothing was helping I had the doctor flush out his bladder.

People should not be looking for veterinary advice here. Yes, educate yourselves, but call a vet.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 06, 2012:

You may need to do some investigative work and figure out if he is straining for a bowel movement or urine. If he is urinating well, not crying out or displaying any signs of a UTI, then perhaps you are dealing with constipation since you mention he is having less bowel movements. here is a link for cat constipation.