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How Rapidly Should Feline Bladder Infections Resolve When Treated?

My three-year old spayed female cat is being treated with Clavamox for a UTI. She's had five doses of the Clavamox over the past 2...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Jun 25th 2009


My three-year old spayed female cat is being treated with Clavamox for a UTI. She’s had five doses of the Clavamox over the past 2 1/2 days, but is still spraying urine and also calling loudly as though she were in season. She has never done this before, but has also never had a UTI before. Is this to be expected? How soon should I expect a reduction in symptoms?

Scotti
Cypress, TX

Bladder infections are common in both cats and dogs. In dogs and in older cats, they are the most common causes of uncomfortable urination, bloody urine, and inappropriate urination (cats, dogs). However, in young cats such as yours, another syndrome can have identical symptoms to a bladder infection: feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).

FLUTD is a process in which urinary chemistry imbalances lead to painful urination. It is linked to crystals in the urine and abnormal urine pH levels. In all cats it is very uncomfortable. In male cats it is linked to a potentially fatal complication called urinary obstruction.

Most bladder infections improve dramatically with one or two doses of antibiotics. If your cat has not had urine tests to confirm a bladder infection, I am suspicious that she may not have an infection. You should talk to your vet about this.

FLUTD usually is treated through dietary changes. It is a chronic problem that can cause intermittent pain and, in male cats, chronic risk of urinary obstruction. It is important to determine with certainty which problem your cat has.