Adult cats rarely have problems with E.coli infection, but kittens, old cats, or those with a weak immune system can easily get sick when they come into contact with this bacterium. The presence of E.coli in cats can affect their health in many ways. For example, most urinary tract infections are caused by E.coli. Also, certain E.coli strains cause gastrointestinal problems. Kittens can suffer from an extremely serious form of E. coli infection called Colibacillosis.
In this article we will discuss what E. coli infection represents, the causes underlying it and, of course, about the symptoms that the cat presents during suffering from this condition.
What is E. coli infection?
Escherichia coli, abbreviated E.coli, is a bacterium that is usually found in the lower part of the gastrointestinal tissue of most mammals, including humans and cats. There are hundreds of different strains of E. coli and most are not dangerous. E.coli leads to health problems only when it reaches a part of the body that it does not belong to or when a harmful strain appears in the body.
Cats suffering from E. coli infection may have several symptoms including lack of appetite, vomiting, urinary problems, excessive thirst and fever. Because these infections are bacterial and their symptoms may vary, laboratory tests are required to establish a concrete diagnosis.
Symptoms of E. coli infection in cats
E. coli causes different types of infections and the symptoms are different depending on the bacterial strain and where it is located.
This is the main cause of urinary tract infections in cats. Typical symptoms include: frequent urination; urination outside the litter box; pain during urination; blood in the urine; abdominal sensitivity; foul-smelling urine; fever.
As for gastrointestinal problems, they are generally caused by ingestion of contaminated food and have the following symptoms: lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood).
Kittens are also prone to infection, Colibacillosis being characterized by a series of symptoms that appear suddenly: lack of appetite, vomiting, severe diarrhea, dehydration, low body temperature, lethargy.
Causes of E.coli infection
Each manifestation of the disease has its own method of transmission.
In the case of urinary tract infections, the bacterium is transmitted when fecal remnants reach the urinary tract. This is usually due to the cat’s flushing the intimate areas. Older cats or those with low immunity due to a secondary health problem are most affected.
At the gastrointestinal level, the cause may be insufficiently cooked or raw food. Cats living in outer space are predisposed but sometimes food from the trade can be to blame.
Kittens sometimes dissolve Colibacillosis after exposure to E. coli, which can occur in different ways: in the uterus due to the bacteria in the mother’s body, during childbirth, during breastfeeding due to infected mammary glands or when under hygienic conditions.