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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30274
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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We believe our cat has a UTI (peed on our bed pillow and a

Customer Question

JA: Hello. How can we help?
Customer: We believe our cat has a UTI (peed on our bed pillow and a couch pillow - very uncommon). Tried giving her 1/8 of a 500mg tablet of antibiotics, but she just threw it up. Is there a good way to administer the medicine so our cat can keep it down?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the cat eat anything unusual?
Customer: Not that we're aware. She eats a grain-free kibble and Spot's stew wet formula. Doesn't care much for human food, although she may have sneaked a few licks of ice cream a couple of days ago.
JA: What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Kiki, age 7
JA: Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about Kiki?
Customer: We took her to a vet last year for an annual check-up. She tends to mark around the house and we wanted to make sure there wasn't a medical issue. There didn't seem to be. She is also about a pound overweight.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Sure, no problem. Thanks for the quick reply.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Kiki. Her history of marking behavior should identify her urinating on the bed and couch pillows also as marking behavior. Cats with a UTI won't selectively choose heavily scented area such as the pillows. Instead, stranguria - frequent attempts to urinate little or no urine - is the hallmark of a UTI and any areas - including Kiki's litter box - are chosen in or on which to urinate. Dosing her with an antibiotic at this time isn't indicated. Kiki's vet can perform a complete urinalysis looking for signs of infection - the presence of bacteria or abnormal numbers of either red or white blood cells. If those signs are present, a broad spectrum antibiotic can be prescribed.

Marking cats, however, aren't expected to have a UTI and, in fact, the lack of bacteria or abnormal numbers of either red or white blood cells is how we differentiate marking behavior from a UTI. I'll post my complete synopsis of feline marking for you in a moment. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish before I do so.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
she does mark specific areas in the house, but never our bed/pillows. She is also frequenting her litter box with little urine to show for it. I've been home for about 1 1/2 hours and she's been in her litter box at least five times.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information. It's best to confirm a UTI with a urinalysis. If you want to presumptively treat her for UTI, however, please tell me which antibiotic you have and its milligram strength and I'll see if I can give you a dose for it. How much does Kiki weigh, please?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
500 mg Cipro. Kiki weighs approx 15 lbs
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. Because of ciprofloxacin's low oral bioavailability in cats, we prefer another fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as enrofloxacin or marbofloxacin. That said, some recommed dosing ciprofloxacin at 10-12.5 mg/lb once daily to cats. That would be 150 - 200 mg daily for Kiki or ~ 1/3 of a 500 mg tablet once daily. You would need to coat the portion of pill in butter or vegetable oil and place it in the back of her throat where it would then slide down and be swallowed. Alternatively, you could powder it into a small portion of wet food she can't resist. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your help :)
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

You're quite welcome. Antibiotics for a UTI in cats should be continued for 7 days and the urine should be checked 2 days after the course of therapy is done to make sure that the urinary tract has been sterilized. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.