I’ve chosen the title because people use it to search for information on the internet. They also use other phrases such as “how to treat a cat UTI at home”. In order to save money some cat owners want to treat feline UTI at home.
Here comes the first problem. It is perhaps almost impossible to provide an answer about home treatment for domestic cat UTI because the first barrier is that we have to decide what “UTI” means.
To some people it means a domestic cat who is suffering from urinary tract “problems”. In other words a general problem, a disease, a condition of the urinary tract which is a much wider matter than an “infection”. For other people UTI means “urinary tract inflammation”. This is a different topic to an infection although there is an overlap.
The second barrier is that non-qualified people should not provide veterinary information and vets would not normally provide advice about holistic, unconventional, cat treatments on the internet. Despite that, here goes…..
For the sake of clarity, in this short article I’ve decided that “UTI” means urinary tract infection. This is its usual meaning. It is a very specific meaning because the only sort of infection that can take place in a domestic cat’s urinary tract is by bacteria. Most bacterial infections of the urinary tract occur when bacteria travels up the urethra from the outside world. From the bladder, an infection can go to the kidneys.
A reliable veterinary source says that otherwise healthy cats (meaning cats with no illness other than a UTI) have an approximate 1 to 2% chance of having a unitary tract infection. It appears therefore to be relatively rare health issue as a freestanding illness. Yet veterinarians commonly prescribe antibiotics for a UTI. The conventional treatment therefore is to administer antibiotics. It is perhaps fair to say that they are usually over-prescribed by vets. The cost of vet treatment should not be that high, incidentally, and therefore cat owners who want to home treat might reconsider.
Administering antibiotics is not possible at home without seeing a vet first. You’ll need a vet’s prescription. Therefore, it cannot be a home treatment which is what people are looking for when they are seeking a natural cure for domestic cat UTI.
In researching this article one home treatment came to the fore. That is raw apple cider vinegar (ACV). There is an interesting story on a blog written by Eileen in which she recounts how she treated her cat who had a UTI.
She first gave her cat a product that you can buy on Amazon: URI Soothe For Urinary Support with Cranberry and Blueberry. She blended this with her cat’s usual cat food.
She also mixed her cat food with ACV. When she did this she found that her cat urinated slightly more successfully, as she describes it. Very soon afterwards her cat began to urinate properly. Until then he had urinated as if he had cystitis by which she means he was urinating too frequently in small amounts (sometimes it can be bloody urine).
This personal story encouraged me to research whether ACV is really a possible home treatment for domestic cat UTI. I ended up on a veterinary managed website, vetinfo.com, which confirmed (if one is to believe them) that ACV – apple cider vinegar provides relief to cats with feline UTI.
Apparently a study has been conducted which has been referred to on an holistic website in which 43 cat owners were polled. All of their cats had presented signs of urinary tract infection. Forty-one of the cat owners reported that their cat’s health improved to the point where they were back to normal and in good health having given them apple cider vinegar. This is a high percentage and encouraging.
ACV is acidic which makes it hard for bacteria to flourish. Apparently, ACV also keeps a bacterial infection of the urinary tract at bay.
It would seem almost impossible to give a domestic cat apple cider vinegar. Holistic veterinarians recommend a quarter teaspoon twice a day. How do you administer it? I think you’d have difficulty.
The only way that I can think of it working is that you mix it with wet cat food. An alternative is to mix the apple cider vinegar with filtered water and then squirt the product into your cat’s mouth. If you have better ideas, please tell me in a comment. And also do you have personal experience of using ACV for cat treatments?
Okay, ACV, may be useful and it certainly can be a home treatment. I would suggest that it is at least worth trying because I don’t see any downside except for the great difficulty in administering it.
Another important thing is that your cat should be fed wet cat food and plenty of water. A good tip is to provide your cat with, for example, boiled fish with added water to make a kind of soup. This might help your cat to take in more water than usual because as we know, cats do not drink a lot of water. This thins the urine. Concentrated urine is a better medium for bacteria.
Sometimes it is possible to confuse cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) which is due to a bacterial infection with non-bacterial cystitis caused by stress. It is important to provide a holistic approach towards a domestic cat UTI. De-stress the home (this can be more difficult for some people than giving ACV to their cat!). Vets sometimes recommend Rescue Remedy.
I’m not a qualified vet. I have written this on research and given it some thought. Truthfully, a layperson should not write about this sort of subject. A veterinarian would probably not recommend this sort of home treatment which is why I have stated in the beginning of this article that it is very difficult, almost impossible to write about home treatments for domestic cat UTI.