Chronic UTIs in a Ragdoll Cat: Need Reader Input

| September 25, 2014 | 13 Comments
Dusty Blue Bicolor Ragdoll Cat

Dusty

Need Reader Input:

Dusty’s mom, Jerri, writes, “My 8 year old male was diagnosed with a kidney infection, followed by a urinary tract infection (UTI) about three years ago.  The kidney infection left his kidneys slightly compromised, but his labs have been very stable at just slightly above normal.  He’s been extremely healthy since then.  In May 2014, he was diagnosed with another UTI.  He was on a long round of antibiotics and got better.  Now, just 4 months later, he was just diagnosed with another UTI.  Anyone have any experience/advice with chronic UTI’s and how they can be prevented?  He’s already on an all wet food diet with high quality, low phosphorous food.  I refuse to use the vet prescription diets! (He wouldn’t eat them anyways!)  Thanks!”

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About the Author ()

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

Comments (13)

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  1. DeidreC says:

    Water, water and more water! My vet tells me to add a little water to even wet canned food to help avoid any issues with my male Ragdoll. If your kitty doesn’t already have a water fountain, that might be something that would encourage him to drink more.

    • RagdollCatMom says:

      Dusty already drinks quite a bit of water, but I’ve been pondering getting them a fountain. I’ve been eyeing the nice ceramic ones by Thirsty Cat Fountains, might be time to pick one out! I’ll try adding a little water to his wet food too – to see if he’ll notice the difference. He’s pretty picky!

  2. lrunning says:

    Hi- one of my cats had chronic UTI’s and we finally put her on low dose of antibiotics phophylactically. I know it’s not an ideal solution, but I would prefer she get a low dose daily and not suffer with the symptoms and have to go on a higher dose of antibiotics for several weeks due to UTI’s. The low daily dose kept her clear of UTI’s for several years when she succumbed to CRF at 20!

    • RagdollCatMom says:

      I’m waiting to hear back from my vet about what our follow up plan will be. We ended up at the Emergency Vet last Sunday, so have been working with them but they are keeping our regular vet updated. I’m not a fan of long term antibiotics, but I see how it might be preferable to constant UTI’s.

  3. LoveThe4Seasons says:

    Our dearly departed Ragdoll, Honeybear (aged 15.5), also had this same problem – an undetected UTI that damaged his kidneys. In addition to your kitty’s canned diet, be sure that food contains NO grain (rice, barley, wheat, corn, etc.) and NO wheat gluten. Or try a raw diet (we feed Primal) or a combo of raw and canned. Seek out a good feline kidney supplement, there are many out there to try and see which your kitty will like. Check to see if he’s got litter on his fur around his wee-wee after using the litter box, this can cause UTI’s also. Honeybear ended up with inflammatory bowel disease/constipation and secondary kidney failure. He became anemic from the kidney failure so make sure they watch your kitty’s PCV’s also. Keep an eye on his hydration, you may need to supplement with sub-Q fluids, which is what we did. A well-hydrated body are the kidneys friends. Good luck! 🙂

    • RagdollCatMom says:

      His food is grain free, gluten free and mostly carrageenan free. I’m pondering the benefits of raw – but it’s a bit intimidating, and know it would take a while before he’d adjust to eating it. Dusty goes to the vet every 6 months for labs – he’s been very healthy in the last three years since the scary kidney infection when he was so sick. The vet did mention that sometimes cats when they groom themselves after urinating they can create infections. I actually comb him after he comes out of the litter box (when I see him go) to make sure no litter sticks! But I know I can’t watch him 24/7. I’ve been considering consulting with a holistic vet as well!

  4. Patricia McDermott says:

    i would think it would be much like us. lots of water ! i don’t know about antibiotics long term. again.. just like us.. you take antibiotics for a long time, then they will stop working and can cause even more issues. have you checked out “pet alive” through “native remedies”? they have all natural products for humans and animals and “UTI Free” has a lot of great reviews from people that had cats with utis. i trust vets like i trust doctors these days.. i don’t. they always want to prescribe antibiotics. i know sometimes they are necessary but they are over prescribed i always start doing research and the vet is my last resort. i remember being put on antibiotics for a uti once and not only didn’t it work, i got a yeast infection on top of it. the next one i took vitamin c in big doses and chugged non sweetened cranberry juice and it went away. here’s something else i found on a site that i frequent http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/01/06/prevent-urinary-tract-infection-in-cats.aspx this d-manose is also recommended for people with utis. you can get great deals on it at swansons.com. good luck to you and your kitty. he is a beauty!

  5. Patti Johnson says:

    Hi, Jerri! First, Dusty is such a handsome boy. Love his picture. Second, I am so sorry to hear about his kidney and UTI issues. I can only imagine how stressful this situation is for both of you!

    I have used a product (recommended by our vet) from Amazon.com called “Uromaxx.” This worked great on our Ragdoll girl (Miss Pink Sugarbelle) when she had her first UTI earlier this year. I still have the bottle in the fridge to use again, if needed. It really helped her a lot. We changed her diet, too, and have always ensured she gets plenty of fresh water each day, too. But it sounds like you are feeding the perfect diet already. 🙂

    That’s really the only advice/solution I can offer based on my experience with Kitty UTIs.

    Wishing you the best of luck in getting a solution that will work for you and Dusty!

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂 <3

    • RagdollCatMom says:

      I’ll check out that supplement! I’m thinking something needs to be added to his diet, just not sure what … I like to take a holistic approach when I can.

      Dusty is a very photogenic boy … he’s the most amazing Ragdoll. He and his two brothers make my life a joy, so I want to do everything I can for him. It hurts to see him suffer!

  6. Beth says:

    Dusty is gorgeous and I can see how sweet he is! 🙂 I’ve been blessed with many wonderful kitties, only two Ragdolls (both male). Three of my other boys each had urinary blockages… two just once and one twice. My neighbor’s male tuxedo cat is troubled with blockages fairly often. I wish I had some good advice for you and I wish Dusty the very best!

    • RagdollCatMom says:

      He is the sweetest boy … he just looks at me and I melt! Fortunately, he’s never blocked … I’ve always caught it early when I noticed his frequent trips to the litter box, and it’s just been an infection. I was just surprised that he had them only four months apart, and only two weeks after having a clean urine culture! (We were still testing monthly after the LAST UTI!) I’m waiting to hear from the vet if it was the same bacteria as 4 months ago, and if we just didn’t get it cleared up.

      Thanks for the compliment. 🙂

  7. SoCalBohoGal says:

    I’d ask your vet about coconut oil or coconut water (no sweeteners) & perhaps organic, unpasturized apple cider vinegar (small amounts in his water if he’ll keep drinking as much, ir perhaps with a dropper from the side of his mouth, although not likely going to like that…

    I’d at least try the coconut oil, probiotics & perhaps Libby’s canned pumpkin in his food.A canned food (with no grains, byproducts (if possible)yet with cranberry may help as well.

    I have a senior kitty I just adopted that has many health issues (I was told he’s a ‘Hospice kitty’, although things have improved with coconut oil, probiotics & canned Libby’s plain pumpkin (the ladder for constipation) mixed into canned food.

    Constipation can cause or make worse UT issues IMHO, so I’d keep an eye on his stools too.

    There are car litters with a reagent in them that is an early UTI alert via urine pH. There are also litter additives or you can get pH yest strips from the local pharmacy & put them in the cat box (although litters have their own pH, so I’d stick to the litters that change color to indicate an infection. There are different types on the market (clumping, crystal, etc.)

    Coconut oil & probiotics can help with fungal infections as well, where antibiotics can actually create a fungal problem in humans, so I expect the same is true for cats? I’d check with your vet for questions about that (preferably a holistic vet, as many have no training in use of diet, etc. other than commercial prescription diets.)

    I read to start with about 1/4 teaspoon & work up to 1 tsp per 10 lbs. I noticed too that it shines up my new kitty’s coats too!

    If not already done so, a thyroid panel (blood test) is in order as well as thyroid problems can increase the possibility of kidney stones.

    Slippery Elm is a good herb as well.

    I fond a great resource online at http://www.felinecrf.org/kidney_stones.htm

    And if your kitty can’t pee that is an emergency! Take him to the kitty ER immediately!!!

    An ESWL (Lithotripsy)can shatter the stones & he will no doubt be on pain medicine until they pass (they can tell by imaging). It may sound scary, but it’s not bad with pain under control at all & will get rid of the immediate problem if they can’t be dissolved or are small & pass on their own.

    Finding out why they are forming to prevent them again is key to keeping them from returning. If you’re in a hot area if the country, that can be a contributor of crystals forming, yet not likely a cause in & of itself.

    Definitely run ANY & ALL treatments by your vet! I’m not a vet & this is just for information.

    I hope your kitty (& you) are feeling better soon! Will send prayers &

  8. culla52 says:

    Use D-Mannose. Google it. I use it for myself and for my dog as well. Will use it on my new kitty if necessary when I get her in a couple of months. Works like a charm!!

    D-Mannose is a wholly absorbable sugar that you feed to your kitty. It comes in capsule or powder form, which you include in your cat’s food. It’s a non-metabolizable sugar, which means it doesn’t wreck pH balance, it doesn’t wreck blood sugar, it doesn’t prompt additional pancreatic stress (insulin release), and it doesn’t change the level of good to bad bacteria in your cat’s digestive tract.

    Your cat absorbs the sugar wholly and it is excreted through the kidneys and into the bladder. Bacteria are attracted to an energy source, so when D-mannose is present in the urine, the bacteria leave the lining of your cat’s bladder, clinging to the D-Mannose, and your cat voids out the bacteria.

    It’s not a true antibiotic but D-Mannose absolutely has anti-microbial properties, which means it does a great job of fighting infections, naturally.

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