Simple Home Remedies for Your Cat’s Painful Urinary Issues


Feline lower urinary tract infections (FLUTIs) occur when bacteria enter the bladder and multiply, causing inflammation and irritation. While not extremely common in cats, FLUTIs can cause discomfort, pain, and even life-threatening issues if left untreated. Approximately 1-3% of cats with signs of lower urinary tract disease have an actual bacterial urinary tract infection [1]. FLUTIs are more prevalent in older cats and those with other medical conditions. However, urinary tract infections in cats can often be effectively treated at home with dietary changes, increased water consumption, supplements, and herbal remedies. Recognizing the signs of a UTI and addressing it quickly is key. This article provides an overview of the causes, symptoms, risk factors, and home treatment options for feline UTIs.


Cat urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause several symptoms that cat owners may notice. Some of the most common symptoms of a UTI in cats include:

Straining to urinate – Cats with a UTI may frequently go to the litter box but struggle to pass urine. They may cry out or vocalize when trying to pee.[1]

Frequent urination – While only passing small amounts of urine at a time, cats with a UTI may urinate more often and visit the litter box frequently.[2]

Pain when urinating – Due to inflammation and irritation in the urinary tract, cats with a UTI may cry or meow when peeing because it is painful.

Blood in urine – The inflammation caused by a UTI can cause bleeding in the urinary tract, leading to red or pink tinged urine.[3]

In addition to the main UTI symptoms above, secondary symptoms like inappropriate urination outside the litter box, increased thirst, and lethargy may also occur.

If a cat displays persistent urinary difficulties, it’s important to see a veterinarian to test for a UTI or other underlying condition.


There are several potential causes of urinary tract infections in cats:

Bacteria – The most common cause of UTIs in cats is a bacterial infection, usually from Escherichia coli bacteria that is present in feces. The bacteria can enter the urinary tract and multiply, causing an infection (Source).

Crystals – Crystals like struvite and calcium oxalate can develop in a cat’s urine, usually due to concentrated urine. These crystals can irritate the urinary tract lining and potentially lead to an infection (Source).

Bladder stones – Mineral deposits can aggregate in the bladder, forming stones. These stones irritate the bladder wall, which allows bacteria to take hold more easily (Source).

Anatomical defects – Birth defects affecting the urinary tract like an abnormal urethra can predispose cats to UTIs by not allowing proper urine flow (Source).

Risk Factors

Certain cats are at higher risk of developing urinary tract infections. According to research, young cats and older cats are more prone to UTIs [1]. Gender also plays a role. Unneutered males have an increased risk since they tend to have blockages and inflammation. Females are also susceptible after being spayed [2].

Diet is another factor. Cats fed dry food diets are more likely to develop crystals and inflammation, leading to UTIs. This is because dry foods have reduced moisture content. Staying hydrated and urinating regularly can help flush out bacteria [3].

Lifestyle factors like stress and inadequate litter box hygiene can increase UTI risk. Cats that go outside are also more exposed to bacteria. Keeping cats indoors and reducing stressors can help prevent infections.

When to See a Vet

A cat with a urinary tract infection will typically need to see a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. There are some symptoms that indicate a vet visit should not be delayed:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody urine
  • Difficulty or straining to urinate
  • Urinating outside the litter box
  • Excessive licking of genital area
  • Loss of appetite or lethargy

These symptoms can indicate the infection may have spread to the kidneys or other organs, requiring prompt veterinary attention. Even if symptoms seem mild, a persistent UTI that lasts more than a few days without improvement should be evaluated by a vet. They can run tests on a urine sample, prescribe antibiotics if needed, and rule out complications. Getting veterinary care quickly can help prevent the cat’s condition from worsening.


Home Remedies

There are several natural home remedies that can help treat and prevent urinary tract infections in cats:

Increased Water Intake

Increasing your cat’s water intake can help flush bacteria out of the urinary tract and prevent UTIs from occurring. Make sure fresh water is always available and consider getting a cat water fountain if your cat does not seem to drink enough. Cats tend to prefer moving water sources. You can also mix extra water into your cat’s wet food to increase their water intake.

Dietary Changes

Feeding your cat a wet food diet or adding water to dry food can increase their water intake. Avoid dry foods with fish, as the magnesium in fish may exacerbate UTIs. Some vets recommend temporarily feeding a prescription urinary tract diet during a UTI to help acidify the urine and promote healing.


Certain supplements may help prevent and treat UTIs in cats. Glucosamine and cranberry extracts can help acidify the urine and prevent bacterial growth. Vitamin C boosts the immune system. Homeopathic remedies containing herbs like uva ursi may also help treat UTIs. Check with your vet before giving supplements.

Dietary Changes

One of the most effective home remedies for urinary tract health in cats is making dietary changes. The primary focus should be transitioning to a wet food diet. Canned or pouched cat foods have much higher moisture content than dry kibble. Increased water intake helps dilute the urine and reduce crystal formation (source).

Cat foods lower in carbohydrates and salt are also recommended, as excess carbs and sodium can contribute to urinary issues. Look for low-carb wet foods with meat as the first ingredient. Supplements like cranberry extract may help as well by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract (source).

When changing your cat’s diet, transition slowly over 1-2 weeks, mixing the new food in increasing amounts with the old food. This allows the digestive system to adjust and reduces the risk of gastrointestinal upset.

Lifestyle Changes

Making some simple changes to your cat’s lifestyle and environment can help prevent urinary tract infections and problems. Here are some tips:

Give your cat access to plenty of fresh, clean water. Consider getting a cat fountain water dish, which circulates and filters the water. Cats tend to drink more water when it’s moving and fresh. Drinking more water leads to increased urination, which helps flush bacteria from the urinary tract.1

Clean the litter box more frequently – try to scoop it at least once a day, or more if you have multiple cats using it. Scoop out clumps as soon as possible after use. And do a complete litter change 1-2 times per week. Bacteria can grow in dirty litter boxes, so keeping it clean is important.2


There are several steps cat owners can take to help prevent UTIs in their feline companions:

Schedule annual veterinary checkups to monitor your cat’s health and catch any potential issues early ( Routine lab work and urinalysis can identify factors that may predispose your cat to UTIs.

Ensure your cat stays well-hydrated by providing ample fresh, clean water daily. Consider getting a cat water fountain, which encourages drinking and optimal hydration ( Staying hydrated dilutes the urine and flushes bacteria from the urinary tract.

Monitor your cat for early signs of a UTI, like increased urination, straining, and crying in the litter box. Catching it early allows for quicker treatment and prevention of a more serious kidney infection ( Contact your veterinarian if you notice any potential UTI symptoms.

Feeding wet food, which has high moisture content, or adding extra water to dry food can also increase fluid intake. Discuss the ideal diet for your cat with your vet.

When to See Results

Most home remedies for cat UTIs should start showing improvement in symptoms within a few days. You should see increased appetite, energy levels, and bathroom habits returning to normal within 3-5 days of starting home treatment. If your cat’s symptoms do not improve after 5 days of home remedies, it is important to take them to see a veterinarian for further evaluation and potential prescription medication. Lingering UTIs can lead to more serious complications like kidney damage or blockages, so it is crucial not to delay medical intervention if home treatments are not working quickly. Your vet can run tests to determine the cause of persistent symptoms and get your cat appropriate treatment. While home remedies can often clear up minor UTIs, a stubborn infection may require antibiotics or other vet-prescribed solutions for full recovery. So make sure to monitor your cat’s progress closely and don’t hesitate to seek professional veterinary care if their condition does not improve within several days of at-home treatment.

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