Catheter-acquired urinary infection is the most common device-associated healthcare-acquired infection. Although most patients are asymptomatic, symptomatic infection may occur and is associated with increased morbidity and costs. Long-term indwelling catheters are associated with more complex microbiology and greater morbidity than short-term catheters. The most effective way to prevent these infections is to restrict indwelling urinary catheter use to limited indications, and to discontinue use of a catheter as soon as feasible. Alternate means of managing bladder emptying, including external condom catheters for men and intermittent catheterization for patients with neurologic impairment of bladder emptying, should be used when possible.