Urinary tract infections in cats are almost as common as in humans. They occur due to a buildup in bacteria in the urinary tract. Symptoms include blood in your cat's urine, strain while trying to urinate or urinating outside of the litter box in unusual places. It is possible to use a natural approach to eliminating the infection. Just like any other severe health problem, if symptoms persist despite home treatment, contact a veterinarian immediately.
Vitamin C helps to build your cat's immune system and reduce its risk of contracting the disease, according to the article "Cat Urinary Tract Infection Home Remedies." It is a natural anti-inflammatory and therefore benefits the bladder lining. A diluted form of vitamin C, like Ester C, will help prevent any irritation of the digestive system caused by the acidic vitamin. Vitamin C can cause diarrhea, so cat owners may have to adjust the dosage based on individual tolerance.
It is important to make sure your cat is getting enough fluids and drinking enough water, and in turn urinating regularly. Chemicals in the water will discourage the cat to drink and cause the urine to thicken. If the cat doesn't seem to like its water, try improving the quality by using filtered or spring water. Feeding your cat wet food or adding chicken broth to dry food will also increase fluid intake.
Teas and Tinctures
Since the chances of repeat infections are fairly high, it is important to try to prevent them. An herbal tea, generally called the Urinary Tea Blend, is made from goldenrod, horsetail, parsley, marshmallow root and elderberry. It will help to keep your cat from contracting the infection. Natural-pet-care.com recommends that cats should be given 1 tsp. of cooled tea three times a day. Symptoms should clear up within a few days. A tincture made from pipsissewa, buchu, uva ursi and echinacea in equal parts can be added to food. The website also states that tinctures are not recommended for long-term use in cats.
While it might be difficult to get a cat to drink cranberry juice, there are concentrated extracts available for feline use. According to the online article "Home Remedies for UTI in Cats," cranberry naturally prevents infection from sticking to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract by making the urine acidic.
In the article "Urinary Tract Infections" on preciouspets.org, the herb cantharis is recommended for pain relief and to ease discomfort during urination. It comes in pellet form. The recommended dosage is two or three 30C pellets when infection is first detected. Repeat on the hour for three hours. Symptoms should subside within 12 hours.
cat image by Maksym Dyachenko from Fotolia.com
Kathleen Durkin is a photojournalist in Charlotte, N.C. where she shoots and edits the local news. A freelance writer on the side, Durkin's work has been published on AOL's CitysBest.com and other websites. She graduated with degrees in English literature and film production from University of North Carolina, Wilmington.