Signs of UTI:
1. Pain while urinating, frequent urination, small or no urine at all, are among the first signs to look for.
2. Excessive grooming of genitals, crying while doing it and blood in urine are almost certain symptom of urinary infection in cats and dogs.
3. If your cat has stopped using its litter box and urinates outside of it, you can suspect presence of UTI.
It's very easy for a cat to get UTI - more so if the cat is on a dry kibble diet.
There are many causes:
The most common cause of cat UTI is urolithiasis, the formation of stones in the urinary tract. The most common stone seen in feline urinary tract, struvite, is made up of minerals like magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate. The acidic and alkaline properties of these minerals disturb the pH level in cat’s urine, which in turn results in formation of struvite stones.
Urine pH is also influenced by the proteins present in diet and excessive intake of fish and meat can increase acidity. Cat foods that contain rich plant protein such as soybean meal can make urine more alkaline than required. If your cat’s diet contains more than the required quantity of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate, it can lead to formation of urinary stones, or uroliths. When the diet contains more magnesium than is required to maintain body functions, the extra magnesium is passed on to the urine.
As cat diet is naturally rich in proteins, the frequency with which you feed your cat can have a direct impact on his developing UTI. Urine pH becomes alkaline after meals. If the cat has access to food all the time, he will keep on nibbling that does not let the urine pH become as alkaline as required.
A urine pH level of less than 6.8 means that it is less alkaline and requires a large amount of magnesium for formation of stones. If the urine pH level is more than 6.8, it will require a lower amount of magnesium for stones to form.
To minimize risk of struvite stones a cat’s diet should produce acidic urine with a pH level of less than 6.8.