Knowing the signs and symptoms of kidney infections in cats can help you determine if your cat should be taken to the vet for testing and treatment. The medical term for kidney infections in cats is pyelonephritis. If left untreated, a cat may go into kidney failure and die.
Litter Box Activity
If your cat is going to his litter box frequently, yet seems to have little success urinating, he probably has a kidney infection. If your cat looks in pain, is straining, passes only a small amount of urine or makes painful noises while in his litter box, this can also be a sign of a kidney infection.
If your cat has a litter box and he suddenly starts urinating elsewhere, this can be a sign that your cat has a kidney infection. Cats may start to associate the litter box with their kidney pain and may change potty locations. Tile floors, bathtubs and sinks can be favorite places for a cat to urinate.
Appearance of Urine
If your cat does urinate outside of the litter box, check the urine to see if it looks abnormal. If you see blood in your cat's urine, this is a sign that your cat has a kidney infection. However, blood does not have to be visible to the naked eye for a cat to have a kidney infection.
A cat that has a kidney infection will often groom his genital region excessively. The urine of a cat with a kidney infection will be stronger than normal and it can remain on the fur. Excessive licking is an attempt by the cat to clean himself of the urine odor and to help relieve the pain that he is experiencing in his urethra.
If your cat is exhibiting personality changes and not acting as he once did and he is showing other symptoms of a kidney infection, take your cat to the vet. Kidney infections can make cats listless and they may appear depressed. For instance, things that would normally perk up and interest your cat may not get more than a bored glance.
Food Intake, Diarrhea and Vomiting
Cats with kidney infections can become uninterested in food and suffer from rapid weight loss. They may also develop vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat is not interested in his food and he develops vomiting or diarrhea he is at risk of becoming dehydrated. The kidney infection and dehydration will both require medical intervention.