Checking for urinary tract infections
Urinary tract disorders - what you need to know
Your kitten can't tell you if she's poorly so you need to keep an eye out for any health problems that might arise. One such problem could be feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). Here's what to look out for:
Pain when urinating. Straining, crying or any other obvious discomfort.
Changes in behaviour. Urinating more frequently (possibly with little result), having accidents or passing urine in unusual places.
Blood in the urine. Seen as pink spots in the litter tray.
If you notice any of these, don't hesitate to take your kitten to the vet. FLUTD can be painful and, left untreated, can even be life-threatening, as stones formed in the urine may cause a blockage.
Getting your kitten back on tip top form
Don't worry. Feline Lower Urinary Tract disease can be easily treated in most cases and your kitten will be back on top form in no time. Go to your vet if you are concerned that your kitten is suffering from any of the listed symptoms. They may carry out a simple test on your kitten's urine (you might be asked by your vet to take a fresh sample with you to the surgery). After that, a diagnosis will be made and treatment prescribed, this could include antibiotics and a change of diet.
Special food can make a difference too
Your vet will probably also suggest you switch to a food that’s specially formulated to help your kitten to recover. Hill’s kitten food is proven to lower the risk of FLUTD. There are also specific foods designed to ease the discomfort of bladder and kidney problems, such as Hill's Prescription Feline c/d and Feline k/d, but these are designed for adult cats.
A special food can make a real difference to getting your kitten on the road to recovery. Ask your vet for advice on the best diet.
Stepping up your kitten's fluid intake
One of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of FLUTD is encourage your kitten to drink more. Here are a few tips:
Leave more water bowls in different areas around the house.
Use bigger water bowls. Kittens’ whiskers are extremely sensitive and some of them don't like drinking from bowls if their whiskers touch the side.
Fill the bowls to the top. Kittens tend to be fascinated by their own reflection. If they can see it in their water bowl, it sometimes encourages them to drink more.
Make sure the taste of the water on offer hasn't changed. You may think investing in a new water filter's a great idea but your kitten might not agree! Kittens have a very highly developed sense of taste and may be put off by any sudden change to their water. This could also happen if you've moved house.
You may be trying to get your kitten to drink more, but one place you don't want her drinking from is the toilet bowl. The cleaning products you use in there may be good for the toilet but they certainly aren't good for your kitten!