Did you know that cats have a low thirst drive? In the past, felines had a majority of their hydration needs met from the prey they ate rather than stopping to drink from water sources where they’d be open to attack. Because of this, cats are susceptible to a variety of urinary health concerns such as urinary tract disease and UTIs.
If your cat gets a UTI, there’s no need to panic. We’ve compiled 13 natural remedies for your cat’s UTI that you can try at home, as well as the common symptoms of a UTI to help you diagnose it. These solutions can help to relieve the discomfort associated with a UTI and reduce or eliminate the infection. But sometimes, the case is serious enough to warrant a trip to the vet, so we’ve also included the signs you should look out for.
Symptoms of a UTI in Cats
So, how do you know when your cat has a UTI? There are quite a few urinary problems that cats can develop, so it’s important to be sure that your cat has a UTI before you start treating it.
Other problems like lower urinary tract disease and bladder stones can sometimes have serious consequences and can even become life-threatening. These conditions may require professional help, but a simple UTI can often be effectively managed with home remedies.
If you see your cat straining to urinate or attempting to urinate but failing, then it’s likely caused by a UTI. Likewise, if your cat is crying or whining when they urinate and grooming excessively afterward, then it’s probably a UTI. Bloody urine is also a sign of a UTI.
While cats will always make use of the litter box under normal circumstances, they’ll often urinate outside the litter box if they have a UTI. They might also become very lethargic or develop a fever or even a sore back.
If you observe one or more of these symptoms in your cat, then they likely have a UTI and you can start administering a natural home remedy to help relieve the issue.
13 Natural Home Remedies For Cat UTIs
Once you’ve determined that your cat’s symptoms are congruent with a UTI, it’s time to start treating the issue with one of the following 13 natural home remedies. You can start anywhere you like and even combine these solutions to help heal your cat quickly.
1. Drink More Water
Dehydration can help to cause or exacerbate urinary tract problems like infections. When your cat isn’t getting enough water, the bacteria in their urinary tract have a chance to grow and multiply. These bacteria can often cause UTIs or even worse.
While drinking more water isn’t going to eliminate a UTI on its own, it will definitely help to reduce the symptoms, aid other cures in eradicating the UTI, and will also help to prevent more UTIs from occurring in the future. Ensure that your cat always has plenty of water and that it’s in an easily accessible place where they can always reach it.
2. Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two supplements that are commonly given to cats to ensure their joints remain healthy and supple as the cat ages. But as it turns out, these useful supplements can also help with FLUTD, feline lower urinary tract disease. This is different than a UTI, though repetitive UTIs can cause FLUTD.
But UTIs and FLUTD have very common symptoms and they can both be painful for the cat. Glucosamine has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to protect the bladder’s lining, especially when paired with chondroitin. This can help to reduce the level of discomfort your cat is experiencing while also allowing the UTI to heal faster.
3. Juniper Berry
Juniper berry is an herb that helps the kidneys to effectively filter out impurities at a higher rate. This can, in turn, increase urine production, helping to flush your cat’s system out and expel the harmful bacteria that are infecting the urinary tract.
This herb has also been shown to work well at reducing inflammation, which can help to alleviate your cat’s suffering and reduce the pain they’re experiencing from the UTI. What’s more, juniper berry can also kill bacteria and fungi that are antibiotic-resistant, helping to completely kill any UTI your cat may be experiencing.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an all-natural cure for several ailments that cats commonly suffer, including UTIs. But it can be harmful in heavy doses, so be sure to keep the dosage to a minimum.
Because apple cider is so acidic, it can help to prevent bacteria from growing in your cat’s urinary tract. This can help to reduce and eliminate any UTIs your cat is currently suffering from.
You’ll want to dilute the apple cider vinegar with water before giving it to your cat; never give them the apple cider vinegar straight.
For smaller cats under four pounds, a few drops added to their water each day will suffice. Larger cats that are over six pounds can have up to half a teaspoon each day. Medium-sized cats that fall between four and six pounds should be given 1/4-teaspoon each day.
Echinacea is widely used to treat multiple types of infections in humans, including yeast infections and UTIs. But it can be just as helpful for your cat. It’s commonly used to treat a variety of infections in cats, particularly upper respiratory infections. Because it can kill infections, a small dose can help to relieve your cat’s UTI symptoms and alleviate the infection.
6. Uva Ursi
Uva ursi has long been thought to be an antiseptic, diuretic, and antibacterial for the urinary tract. People have taken this herb and given it to their cats as well to treat UTIs.
According to studies, drinking cranberry juice can help to cure a UTI in a person. It does this by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract. If the bacteria can’t stick to the urinary tract, then it can’t cause an infection.
Unfortunately, cranberry juice is too high in sugar to feed to your cat. But there are alternatives. You can try a few drops of a cranberry concentrate that won’t have as much sugar as cranberry juice.
Alternatively, you could get a pet-specific cranberry supplement such as Cranberry Relief by NaturVet. It’s a safe and effective way to supplement your cat’s diet with cranberries without giving them too much sugar. The formula also includes echinacea, so you’re getting extra protection against UTIs.
D-Mannose is a sugar that doesn’t get metabolized and doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. This is the same sugar that’s in cranberry juice that makes it an effective cure for UTIs in cats as well. Once consumed, bacteria in the bladder bond to the D-Mannose molecules. Then, the D-Mannose is excreted from the body in the urine, taking the offending bacteria with it.
If you’re looking for a D-Mannose supplement to help cure your cat’s UTI, then check out this one from Nature’s Pure Edge.
9. Bone Broth
We’ve already discussed the importance of keeping your cat well hydrated when it comes to curing and preventing UTIs. But as the old saying goes: you can lead a cat to water but you can’t make it drink…or something like that. So, how do you get your cat more hydrated if you can’t force them to drink water?
Bone broth is a great alternative to plain water. It will help get lots of fluids into your cat to keep them well hydrated and will also provide helpful nutrients for fighting any existing infections. Cats love bone broth and you should have no difficulty getting your cat to drink some, so use this anytime you aren’t sure if your cat is hydrated enough.
Nettle is often used in UTI treatments for people. It’s a natural diuretic that helps to flush the system and increase urination. It also helps to reduce inflammation and pain.
But this helpful herb isn’t just for humans; it can also help when your cat has this unfortunate infection. It can help to flush the harmful bacteria from their system while reducing their discomfort and even helping to alleviate the inflammation of their urinary tract.
11. Parsley Leaf
Since hydration is such a key factor in healing UTIs and preventing them altogether, it’s important to get your cat to drink as much water as possible. Parsley naturally encourages thirst, so using some parsley leaf can help to get your cat drinking more water.
But that’s not where this herb’s usefulness ends. It’s also a natural diuretic with antibacterial properties. It will cause your cat to urinate more, which can help to flush the infection from their system. But it can also help kill the bacteria in your cat’s urinary tract, healing the infection.
12. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is full of a substance called mucilage, a mucus that helps to coat membranes, soothing irritation and reducing inflammation while killing off harmful bacteria. Moreover, marshmallow root gives a kickstart to the immune system, kills bacteria, and reduces inflammation.
When your cat has a UTI, the mucilage can help to reduce the discomfort and pain they’re experiencing since the urinary and digestive tracts are linked by mucus membranes. Meanwhile, it helps to kill off any bacteria that’s causing the UTI while also reducing the inflammation that’s causing your cat discomfort and pain. It’s also great for your cat’s digestive tract and can help reduce constipation and diarrhea as well.
13. Corn Silk
Hydration is key to reducing or curing UTIs, so you may think that a diuretic would make things worse. But corn silk, a natural diuretic, can help to flush the system out by increasing water elimination. This means your cat will need to drink plenty of water!
But the combination of increased water intake and increased urination from the corn silk can help to flush your cat’s urinary tract and get rid of unhealthy bacteria, stones, crystals, and more.
How to Prevent UTIs in Cats
Once your cat has a UTI, you have to take whatever measures are available to cure it. But the best cure is to prevent it altogether. There are several steps you can take to help prevent UTIs in the future, mostly centered around proper hydration and nutrition.
Ensure Adequate Hydration
This has already been mentioned, but it’s so important that it warrants a repeat. Cats have a very low thirst drive and tend not to drink much water. This can be a major factor in UTIs and urinary tract disease.
To help prevent these unfortunate urinary tract complications from occurring, you’ll want to ensure your cat is always fully hydrated. This starts with leaving water within reach of your feline at all times, but that may not be enough.
Since their thirst drive is so low, you may need to entice your cat to drink through other methods. Try giving them bone broth; a tasty alternative to water that will hydrate them sufficiently and should be easy to get any cat to drink.
Use Canned Cat Food
For dogs, eating dry food is par for the course. But dogs don’t have a low thirst drive like cats. When you combine a low thirst drive with dry food that can actually dehydrate your cat further, you’re exacerbating the dehydration issue.
In the wild, cats get most of their water intake from the live food sources they eat. Your cat may be well domesticated, but you can still offer it hydration through its food by using canned cat food instead of dry food.
Canned cat food holds plenty of moisture that can help keep your cat hydrated. And you’ll probably never have a difficult time getting your cat to eat some moist cat food, even if they don’t seem to want to drink any water.
Avoid Stressful Situations
As it turns out, humans and cats are affected pretty similarly by stress. Just as your health can decline when you’re going through stressful situations or periods in your life, your cat’s health can erode when it becomes too stressed.
This stress can cause inflammation within the bladder, infections, and other health issues. By assuring your cat isn’t getting too stressed out, you can prevent a myriad of health concerns from becoming a reality.
When Should You Go To The Vet?
If left untreated, a UTI can get worse and cause additional problems for your feline. Bladder stones and even kidney infections can develop if the UTI isn’t addressed in time. Worse, UTIs can even lead to FLUTD.
At the first sign of any UTI symptoms, you might be able to head off the infection and cure it early with one or more of the at-home natural remedies we’ve shared with you. But if things continue to get worse, you’ll need to take your cat to see a professional and ensure it gets the proper care necessary for treating a full-blown UTI.
If your cat is completely unable to urinate, you’ll need to take it to the vet. Likewise, if you see that their urine is bloody, things might be getting serious and you need to see a vet. Also, seek professional help if your cat is in high levels of pain.
Your vet can determine whether a UTI is the real issue or not and then treat the problem from there. They often use antibiotics to cure such ailments and this might be the only option if your cat’s UTI has progressed past the beginning stages.
UTIs are fairly common in cats, particularly due to their low thirst drive. By ensuring your cat is adequately hydrated by feeding it moist, canned food and getting it to drink plenty of fluids, you can help to prevent UTIs from ever developing. But if your cat does get a UTI, you can try some of our natural home remedies like apple cider vinegar, D-Mannose, or parsley leaf.
Remember, if your cat is in obvious pain, unable to urinate, or is peeing blood, you need to take it to the vet right away. If caught early enough, these natural remedies might help to heal and eliminate a UTI. But if it gets past the beginning stages, your cat might need antibiotics or other help that only a professional can offer.
Featured Image Credit: photosforyou, Pixabay
- Symptoms of a UTI in Cats
- 13 Natural Home Remedies For Cat UTIs
- How to Prevent UTIs in Cats
- When Should You Go To The Vet?