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Clindamycin to Treat UTIs in Cats

| Updated September 26, 2017

One of the most common conditions seen in cats is a urinary tract infection. The infection can be caused by several things, but antibiotics are usually required to cure it. The use of Clindamycin is not usually indicated, as other antibiotics are more successful in treatment of the infection.


Urinary tract infections are a common problem in cats. Infections can be caused by bacteria alone or, more frequently, bladder stones that irritate the lining of the bladder setting it up for infection. If an infection is present, antibiotics are needed to kill the bacteria and cure the condition The typical signs of infection are frequent low volume urination, urinating in inappropriate places and reddish bloody urine. If any of these signs are noted, you should seek medical attention for your cat as this is a very uncomfortable or painful condition.

The vet will often take a sample of the urine through a sterile process called a cystocentesis where a needled is poked into the bladder through the abdomen, ensuring the sample is not contaminated by the lower urinary tract. This sample is sent to the lab, where a determination is made about the type of bacteria and its susceptibility to antibiotics.

Clindamycin is not typically used to treat bladder infections in cats, as it does not kill the most commonly found cause of urinary tract infection. (See www.drugs.com for Clindamycin indications.) It is most often used for oral infections or infections of the bone. However occasionally the bacteria identified is sensitive to Clindamycin and it is prescribed. This must be determined by a veterinarian though through microscopic analysis. Most commonly, other antibiotics like Clamamox and amoxicillin (both penicillin types) are most effective, as they reach high concentrations in the bladder.

Some pet owners trying to avoid the cost of a visit to their vet will give Clindamycin to their pet when they think it has a UTI. This not only doesn’t help the UTI but will often induce a severe stomach upset in their pet, causing vomiting and diarrhea. Vomiting, diarrhea, and GI upset are the most common side effect of this drug. If it is given persistently to an animal that is having GI upset, the animal can become dehydrated and more serious problems, like kidney damage, may develop.