Has anyone here had any experience (good or bad) with using cranberry for UTIs in cats?
One of my cats has had three UTIs in the past six months. The first one I treated naturally with cranberry paste/gel (I bought it from a holistic pet store), which I mixed into her wet food. It seemed to clear up (she was peeing regularly again) ... and then it came back after discontinued use. The second time, I broke down and wet to the vet, who gave her a seven-day course of antibiotics (I believe it was Clavox/Amoxycilin – sp.?), which was in liquid form and I mixed it into her food. The UTI cleared up again, and she was fine for a few weeks after the antibiotics. Last weekend, it came back for the third time. This time, the vet gave her an injection of a two-week time-release antibiotic (Convenia). She’s improving and not trying to pee every two minutes with nothing coming out. The vet said her blood tests came back OK (liver and kidneys are working fine), but she has crystals (not stones) in her urine. He said the injection should clear it up. Man, I hope so. The poor kitty has been through so much! This last time the UTI occurred, she was very sick – she couldn’t pee, she stopped eating, she vomited. I just want her to be well again.
I’m on a tight budget right now. I’ve spent so much money already on expensive, grain-free canned food, plus vet bills. So, if I may, I have a few questions for you cat experts:
1. Is there anything that I can do to help prevent future UTIs?
2. Is there a healthy, but less expensive cat food that I can use? (I’m currently feeding Innova Evo.)
3. What’s your take on wet vs. dry food?
4. What’s your opinion on brewing natural cranberry tea (tea bags from Whole Foods Market) and mixing 1 tbsp into her food as a prevention method?
5. Can I use the cranberry along with the antibiotics or should I wait until the injection has run its two-week course?
6. She stopped eating this last time that she had the UTI but now is eating a little bit (still not normal). It’s only been two days since the injection. The vet said give it three days for her appetite to return. Right now, the only thing she’ll eat is canned tuna and canned Fancy Feast (ugh! junk, I know - but at least she's eating something). I prefer her to eat her regular cat food (canned Innova Evo), but she won’t, so I’m giving her whatever she’ll eat. She can’t afford to not eat and lose weight – she’s on the thin side already. Do you agree with my vet – it takes a few days for the appetite to return? Should I be worried or just keep feeding her whatever she wants for right now?
I totally prefer the holistic/natural approach to healing and well-being, but I didn’t want to risk it and wait this time because she was so sick. Hence, the vet visit and antibiotics.
Please, share your thoughts and knowledge with me. Any advice/tips/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.