Looking for home remedies to treat cats with UTI, I came across apple cider vinegar. So, I tried it and I am so amazed at the results, I had to share it!
My female cat, Pudding, is getting on a bit, but still in her late prime. In recent years, she often has UTI trouble. A UTI means urinary tract infection, or cystitis. Pudding has all the symptoms… problems with frequent urination, sometimes with blood in it. She will spend ages squatting in the garden, passing small amounts. It is upsetting to see.
This time, it seemed a little worse. Peeing around three times an hour, and in freezing temperatures outside. She always stays in at night time, so in the morning there was numerous surprises waiting for me.
Thinking I would have to take her to the vets again, I googled some home remedies. The trouble with taking Pudding to the vets is that it really distresses her as she is pretty feral at times, and I know she’ll be given antibiotics that will work, but the UTI will also return at some point later. Frequent trips to the vets is costly, so I was keen to see if there was anything I can do to help her myself.
Please note… if you are unsure what is wrong with your cat, take it to get checked by a professional. This is an ongoing problem with my cat, so I know exactly what it is. Also, if you have a male cat, UTI can be more serious as the urethra can become blocked, stopping them from peeing. It’s best to get a vet’s advice.
I have always been aware of the medicinal benefits of apple cider vinegar. I know it is often used to treat poultry complaints, but I never knew it could be given to cats. Pleased to learn it was safe for cats, I thought I’d give it a try.
Reasons why Apple Cider Vinegar works for Cat UTI
One reason why apple cider vinegar helps cats with cystitis is because it is acidic. UTI’s can develop because the contents of the bladder is often alkaline, especially if a cat is fed dry foods. This means small stones and sandy grit can form, that can irritate the bladder or block the urethra. The acid in apple cider vinegar works to neutralise the alkali, helping to dissolve stones.
Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial properties. The power of vinegar at fighting harmful bacterial has been well documented. When ingested, apple cider vinegar is thought to help fight off infection.
How to give a Cat Apple Cider Vinegar
I did read a few methods of how to give a cat apple cider vinegar. One included putting a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a cup of water and dipping the cat’s paws in in three times a day. The idea is that the cat will absorb some through the skin and will ingests the rest while grooming.
Pudding is not a picky-up sort of cat, so there is no way I could dip paws. She does, however, love tuna.
I mixed up a tablespoonful of tuna and a tiny bit of mayo.
To that I added half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar that I had in the cupboard and mixed well. I tasted it and I could barely tell it was there, so I offered it to Pudding who ate the lot. This was about 10 o’clock at night.
Did it Work?
As you can guess from the opening of this post, the result was nothing less than amazing. After the first dose, I went to bed and, yes, the next morning there was some pee on the bathroom floor.
Thinking it might take some time to work, I mixed up another half teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and gave it to her for breakfast. By lunchtime, I could see a difference!
I let her out and she had one pee, came back in and slept for two hours! The day before she was going outside to pee every 20 minutes! Later in the afternoon, she went out again and she did spend quite a while squatting, so not cured yet. But, when she had finished, she again slept for a long time. So, since giving my cat apple cider vinegar, the frequency of needing to pee radically slowed down. It was a start!
Later that night, I again gave her half a teaspoon in tuna, and I’m pleased to say there was even more improvement. No peeing in the house during the night and when I let her outside she did her business quickly. As the day went on, she still spent a longer time squatting than what is normal, but it was improving and, again, the frequency was much less.
After being given half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar three time per day, for three days, Pudding seemed pretty much back to her normal self!
I have never tried apple cider vinegar to treat cat cystitis before, but I really can’t believe how well it worked. I’m sure Pudding is relieved too, literally. Now I think I will put the odd half teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, perhaps twice a week, just to keep her bladder healthy. I will report back to tell you how it goes!
Where can I get Apple Cider Vinegar?
I just used a supermarket apple cider vinegar as that was what I had in the cupboard. There are other more potent apple cider vinegars, ones that include something called ‘mother’. That does sound a bit odd, but it just means that it is unpasteurised, unfiltered and contains a higher amount of beneficial compounds found in vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is also available here:
Using apple cider vinegar for cats UTI has worked for Pudding. If you try it on your cat and there is no improvement, take it to a vet for a professional opinion!
One more note to add:
While apple cider vinegar did help my cat, I found that it was not a long lasting solution. Changing my cat’s food to Royal Canin Urinary Care has solved the problem, as long as she stays on that diet.
Specialist cat biscuits can be expensive, but I found buying in bulk really reduced the cost, and the cheapest place to buy from is Zooplus.co.uk.
If Pudding has any flare ups of cystitis again, I will be reaching for the apple cider vinegar once more for quick treatment.
23 thoughts on “Apple Cider Vinegar for Cats with UTI – amazing results!”
My Ralph’s had to be catheterised to unblock his urinary tract.came home going drops still.gave him bragged mother apple cider vinegar twice made two floods no blood. Saved him. Abpainful surgery enlarging his opening at a cost of three Grand. Pays to read up on things.he is only three years old
Glad he is feeling better. UTIs are serious for male cats as they can become completely blocked. Always best to see a vet, as you did. He probably would have needed the surgery anyway. However, apple cider vinegar does seem to help!
Thank you SO much for this article! I noticed yesterday that my Sophia was peeing outside of the litter box, squatting for a long time with only a few drops of urine, and going back frequently. Cannot afford the vet until after I get paid this week so went to google for a short term solution. Saw this article and gave her (and her sister) some wet food mixed with ACV last night and she slept all night and got up to pee this morning (still outside the litter box though) and it was a decent amount and she didn’t squat for long. She’s been asleep ever since. Gonna give her some more today and add a little to their water for the days I’m gone this week for work. (Note, they’re not alone when I’m gone. My mom is here but they won’t eat any food she puts out because they’re very shy with everyone but me lol) She will definitely get a vet visit early next week when I have the funds but I’m so glad I have this trick now for the future!
Hi, thanks for sharing this about the cats. I didn’t know it was ok for them so that’s really helpful. Apple cider vinegar is so easy to make. In the autumn when you are tucking into those apple crumbles just save the skin of the apples, you can add the bits that are bruised but not moldy and even the cores. You leave them exposed to air for a while, maybe half a day, until they are brown. Put them in a wide mouthed jar, cover with water and place another jar on top to keep all the apple pieces under water. Once your jar is full put it on a tray (as it sometimes bubbles over) with the lid off as it needs air and leave for six months while you begin your next jar (don’t forget to write the date it’ll be ready on the jar!). After six months your vinegar is ready, strain it, compost your apple mush and enjoy! I have it in the morning with hot water. It has the same effect on me for waking me up as coffee but I really prefer the taste! My husband isn’t yet convinced 🙂 I also use it for salad dressings and all my cleaning and my friend tells me it works really well as hair conditioner!
Thanks Carol, that’s a really interesting way to get all that goodness from apples. Thanks for sharing x
That’s very much for your post. I know it may help to recommend products, I am very keen myself as my cat is just back from surgery for urethral p lug..but it is sadly also how the new advertising works.
I thought I d mention it, I do feel your blog is genuine, I just wanted to raise the issue in case because. S such an issue online at the moment
Hi, I know what you mean. However, this did genuinely help my cat for a short term solution. It was such a relief (for her too!) to see her being able to go to the toilet properly for the first time in days. BUT… as I said in the article, the only long term solution I have genuinely found is to change her food to a urinary care type. Now both my cats eat it, as it is hard to feed two cats different things when they get fed together.
Since switching the food, Pudding barely ever has an issue. She is getting on in years, so have now put a litter tray in the house for her convenience.
If I forget to order the food in time and have to go back to regular food, within a couple of days it shows. While this new food is more expensive, I buy in bulk and have worked out that it costs me £4.90 per week to feed two cats with it.
I have not had to use apple cider vinegar since switching the cat food, but if Pudding was struggling again, I would not hesitate to mix some in with her tuna.
Thanks for your comment 🙂
Thank you for sharing! My male cat was cathereised because of a mucus blockage, seems like he had a UTI for a long time and I never noticed!!! Now this was about a month ago, I changed his dry food to canned food, after 3 weeks I ran out, bought a different type, he didn’t like it so I gave him the dry food he had. It only took two days for him to get partially blocked again. Vet was very expensive so I tried apple cider vinegar every hour about half a teaspoon diluted and he started peeing again. Today is the third day and he seems to be struggling again. I think because since I saw him normal after the first day, the second day I gave him less ACV.
Hi Jenica, it can be hard to notice a UTI, especially if you cat spends a lot of time outdoors. Glad the apple cider vinegar worked to relieve it initially and I hope he gets better soon!
My male kitty started to create a UTI so I added ACV to his water drop-by-drop so he would not stop drinking. I have no formula for the ratio of ACV to water but was up to about 10 drops in maybe a cup or two of H2O.
His UTI went away quickly and he continued to drink the water.
Please please be careful here. Some cases of cystitis, especially stress induced , get better spontaneously.
Some types of stones will dissolve in acidic urine , some types do not. Some infections may improve with acidified urine , others don’t .
Female cats are less likely to become obstructed due to cystitis but male cats are commonly obstructed with mucous plugs or tiny crystals consisting of struvite or calcium oxalate or both!
Male cats have very fine urethras .
If a male cat has a blocked urethra for more than a few hours his bladder can get so large it actually ruptures.. This is an excruciatingly painful condition which can result in the death of your pet.
Diets which acidify the urine may help to counter the precipitation of struvite urine crystals which can be dissolved , may encourage the development of calcium oxalate crystals that cant . Take care .
Talk to a professional if you need advice .
Excellent advice. Always seek help if symptoms don’t improve quickly – especially in male cats. Thank you for your help.
Heard great things about apple cider vinegar and my kitty Amy has definitely got a UTI but because of social distancing, I thought I’d give it a go. Got some arriving with my shop on Tuesday and will give it a try! I have two cats though and I usually give them a can of food to share throughout the day (its the equivalent of 4 pouches) so was thinking of mixing it in both of their portions – will it be ok for the other cat? Surely beneficial?
Hi, thanks for commenting. I hope it works for Amy. I can’t see that it would be harmful to the other cat. I must say though, I am not a qualified vet and if things don’t improve, get professional help. Amy is obviously a female cat… if anyone has a male with a UTI, please seek professional help asap!
Apple cider vinegar did provide relief for my cat within hours, but it was a recurring problem. I mixed with a little tuna to make sure she ate it.
As a long term solution, the Royal Canin food helped the most. After changing her food, she never really had a problem. I hope Amy feels better soon.
Thanks for replying! I’m pleased to say after just two meals and using 1/2 teaspoon of the Apple Cider Vinegar she was much better – happy, purring and back to her usual playful self. I wasn’t sure she’d eat it mixed in her normal wet food but she did! This is the 3rd day and she’s no longer peeing blood and her trips to the litter box are as normal. Before she was going in and out like crazy! Thanks so much for your help. I will think about changing her diet too.
I had my girl peeing every 5 minutes with blood obvious in her urine. She was in pain & stressed pacing to me & then back to her litter tray. It was after hours so vet not possible. Gave her a dose of ACV mixed with water in a syringe Orally, and within an hour she calmed down & obviously got relief til I could get her to the vet in the morning. I’m convinced the ACV works a treat!! Thanks for the tip As it gave my girl a comfortable night til I could get to a vet. I’ll try giving to her weekly and see if it reduces the frequency of reoccurrence as she’s been getting UTI monthly, very costly!! Antiobiotocs don’t seem to work long term. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with the regular ACV. Cheers Chrissy
So glad it helped. I wonder what is is about ACV that provides relief for some cats. I try to be careful with advice and not say this will work for all, but it is at least worth a try when it is difficult to get to a vets in a hurry. Let me know how you get on!
I wrote this post a few years ago and my cat Pudding has passed away now, she had oral cancer, so had to be put down when it got too bad to manage. She was pretty old so she did well. At the time I wrote this post her UTI was frequent, and what made the long-term difference was getting ‘urinary care cat biscuits’ by Royal Canin. I assumed they are sold in many places all over the world, so might be worth giving them a try too. If it works, its cheaper than trips to the vets!
My 10 year old female cat is frequenting the litter box and not very active but i am trying the acv, praying it works. She is sleeping good now less trips to restroom so i can see it is doing its job
But i do have faith and prayer is my answer. Its Sunday so no vets open will try ro get her in tomorrow. She is peeing a bit on the bed and was grooming herself alot. Is this part of uti? Any input please respond
Thank you ! This is so helpful and a fraction of the cost of a vet bill. Also some thing that you can do to help your cat straight away
I found pure ACV powder and have been putting it in the smallest gelatin pill capsules I could find. It’s easier giving my cat a pill than trying to get him to drink the ACV or using a dropper.
Also RIP Pudding
My 16-year-old female Manx Aggie has gotten a UTI for the second time in her life. I also note that she was chewing her skin a lot. This typically happens in summer due to severe flea allergy. But this time they are no fleas.
I feed my cats (four 16-year-olds; one 14-year-old) a raw diet. Part of this diet includes fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for reducing inflammation. Aggie is sensitive to a lack of O3s and her skin gets itchy.
I ran out of O3s supplements and wasn’t diligent about replacing them (used canned sardines instead), and Aggie started chewing herself just prior to getting the UTI. She was trying so often to urinate without success, that I searched, found your post, and immediately treated her.
Aggie was back to normal the next day. (BTW, the first UTI was treated by a vet who was surprised at how few crystals showed up in the blood work.) I got the O3 supplement a couple of days ago, so we’re back on track.
I mention all of this because I believe a lack of O3s in the diet may lead to inflammation, which could be a contributing factor in the development of UTIs. I had a male cat years ago that got UTIs when fed kibble but never got them on a raw diet.
Thanks so much for this post. You saved Aggie from pain and discomfort and me from loss of money for what is at best a temporary treatment of symptoms that doesn’t address cause.
Hi Joanne, thanks for your comment. I hope Aggie is feeling better, and thanks for the tip on the O3’s!
My 10 year old 15 lb boy has been peeing blood and straining and crying for about a month–this also happened 2 years ago. I’ve been giving him cranberries & juice, more canned food–but the vet says he must have Hill’s or Royal Canin–he doesn’t like the Hill’s canned food, and the dry is $40 for about one kilo and it seems to be all grains. I’ve read that they shouldn’t have dry food or grains. Anyway his urine pH was 8 and should be 4-5 but still not better a month later since his $250.00 vet visit–so I may buy the $40 grain stuff if it works but now after reading this giving him ACV so hope tomorrow I see a difference. I seem to spend all my time–making up different food dishes depending on the needs of my 4 cats. Time consuming but I love them. We have been cleaning pee and blood up off the floor so much–it is disconcerting!