Cystitis in Cats – What It Means and How to Help !
11 April, 2017
Feline interstitial cystitis can occur in both female and male cats. It is a chronic kidney disease that can be difficult to treat and frustrating for cats and for us cat parents. It can become a very serious disease if the kitty is unable to urinate properly and can lead to blood clots and crystals.
The typical symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis include:
When your cat attempts to urinate and can’t; urinating in inappropriate places in the house, crying while urinating, or blood-colored urine.
Stress is the most common cause of feline cystitis
There are a number of possible causes of cystitis, but the majority of cats which develop cystitis do so as a result of stress. Sometimes the underlying stress can easily be identified, like moving or another cat or dog, but often it is difficult to pinpoint the actual cause of the stress. Once a cat have developed this kind of cystitis, they are prone to having further episodes in the future.
A smaller number of cats, especially older cats or those with chronic problems, such as kidney disease, develop cystitis due to infection, generally by bacteria.
Diagnosing feline cystitis
Diagnosis relies on ruling out other diseases that may cause similar symptoms, such as urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and other bladder abnormalities in cats. Testing that is frequently performed include a general physical examination and also further tests, such as a urine analysis, are usually necessary. In some cases blood tests, radiographs/ultrasound examination or other tests may be required, too.
A male cat that is unable to urinate due to complete blockage of the bladder needs to be treated as an emergency.
Treatment for feline cystitis
The treatment for feline cystitis usually consist of changing the environment to help reduce stress levels, dietary modifications, medications for pain, and other pharmaceuticals that may alter your cat’s mental state.
Pain medications are often used in treating interstitial cystitis to relieve the discomfort caused by the inflammation within the bladder and urinary tract and make your cat more comfortable while urinating.
Your veterinarian recommended a specific type of food for treatment. Increasing water consumption is an important part of treatment and feeding wet food, when possible, will help increase the moisture content in your cat’s diet. Some pheromones like Feliway are recommended to help reduce stress levels for your cat.
Managing feline cystitis
In order to manage a cat has been diagnosed with feline cystitis, below are some recommendations to help reduce the chances of recurring bouts:
- Litter box management including providing an adequate number of litter boxes. There should be one more litter box than the number of cats in the household. Make sure to clean the litter box often.
- Choose an appropriate litter for your cat. The ideal litter is dust-free and fragrance-free. Strongly scented litters may be pleasant for you but not for your cat. You may have experiment with different types of litters to find the one your cat prefers.
- Place all litter boxes in a quiet location where your cat will not be disturbed or frightened when using the box.
- Provide feeding and water areas that are accessible for all cats in your home. If you have more than one cat, you may need to provide more than one feeding and water location.
- Be sure to provide a number of perches for all the cats in your household. Consider placing one or more of these perches near a window for your cat’s enjoyment.
- All cats need hiding places. Your cat should have a ‘hide out’ where he will not be disturbed by people or by other pets. In a multi-cat household, be sure there is an adequate number of hiding places for all cats.
- Provide interactive toys for your cat. Food puzzles are also helpful to provide distraction for your cat and also provide exercise.
While some cats only ever have one episode of cystitis in their life, once a cat has developed stress-related cystitis, he or she is prone to develop further episodes when stressed. It is important to monitor these cats closely, especially males who are prone to becoming blocked. In some cases ongoing management or medication is required.
Another related post for your interest : Managing chronic kidney disease in cats