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Cystitis Problems

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by bclmeow, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. bclmeow

    bclmeow Guest

    My lovely little black cat, Luna, she’s prone to getting cystitis the poor little thing. Our local vets are reluctant to prescribe any more antibiotics for her now as she’s had them quite a far bit lately.

    We give her a cystease tablet everyday (as suggested by our vet) and we have bought some cranberry flavoured urinary care treats for her to have as well.
    The vet also suggested wet food but all three of our cats actually gag at the smell of wet food (I don’t blame them) as they’ve had dry food since birth.

    We’re at our wits end and don’t know what to do to help her. She’s spent the whole day going around the house trying to wee on everything and anything, but nothing is coming out.

    Any advice on what to do to help her would be amazing.
  2. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

    Jan 3, 2014
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    First of all I think she needs pain relief. My 20 year old cat used to have occasional bouts of cystitis and within about half an hour of giving her an extra dose of her painkiller she would be better. Antibiotics are not appropriate in cystitis unless a bacterial infection has been diagnosed. Did your vet give you an anti-inflammatory?

    I do not think you will solve her problem in the long term unless you stop feeding her dry food. If you have tried a variety of wet food without success perhaps Layla will eat meat cooked in a covered pan with some water. The juices produced in cooking would give her more moisture which is what she needs.
  3. Ceiling Kitty

    Ceiling Kitty Hides away from much through humour...

    Mar 7, 2010
    Likes Received:
    What is her age? Is she indoor or outdoor? Do you have other cats?

    UTIs are not a common cause of cystitis in cats. Where truly present, an underlying cause should be sought - it's not usually appropriate to just keep treating with antibiotics without looking for the underlying kidney disease, diabetes, bladder stones etc. Much of the time, these cats are treated incorrectly with antibiotics.

    Most cases of cystitis in cats are caused by FIC (feline idiopathic cystitis). A more appropriate name would be 'stress cystitis'. This is an incurable condition caused by a complex combination of factors including genetics and environmental history, which result in an exaggerated and abnormal response to stress. This manifests as bladder inflammation and an exaggerated pain response by the body to said bladder inflammation.

    Of cats without UTIs, 75-85% have FIC as the cause of their cystitis. The remaining 15-25% have bladder stones. Bladder tumours can occur, but are rare. An X-ray and/or ultrasound scan is needed to identify stones or rule them out - urine tests are insufficient.

    As previously stated, FIC cannot be cured. The aim is to manage the triggers and reduce the number and severity of flare-ups. The basics include:

    1. Increase water intake - wet only diet, add extra water to meals, water fountains and extra water bowls etc to encourage drinking. This is also the main treatment strategy for bladder stones.

    2. Reduce stress - remove causes of stress where possible. The main source of stress for cats is other cats, inside and/or outside the home. Neither may be completely avoidable but exposure may be managed with changes to the house or routine. Other stressors include changes to routine (building work, holidays etc), children/dogs, other illnesses etc. Where stressors cannot be removed, or as an aid, supplements aimed at reducing stress can help. I can go into all of this more if needed but otherwise I suggest looking at iCatCare's advice as a starting point:

    3. Encourage frequent bladder emptying - make sure there are enough litter trays, the cat likes using them (tray location, style and litter type determine this) and that the cat can get to them (isn't being blocked by other cats etc). A cat with cystitis will not benefit from holding onto their urine any longer than they absolutely have to.

    4. Weight reduction, if appropriate. Overweight cats suffer more.

    5. Manage flare-ups with painkillers and anti-inflammatories from your vet. These won't cure the disease but they can help settle the bladder, help your cat feel more comfortable and help you all through flare-ups. As stated, antibiotics are not appropriate for these symptoms unless a UTI has been diagnosed or is strongly suspected - and if this is the case, further tests are necessary to find the cause.

    This is a frustrating condition. I suggest you read the iCatCare links above and below, and purchase yourself a copy of Sarah Caney's excellent book that explains all you need to know about this condition. Speak to your vet as soon as you can about further medications and tests as appropriate.

    Sarah Caney's book:

    More iCatCare resources:
  4. bclmeow

    bclmeow Guest

    We spoke to the vet on the phone, but they didn’t say anything about anti-inflammatories. Haven’t been able to book an appointment as of yet as there isn’t anything, but hoping for a cancelled appointment tomorrow so will mention it then.
    We tried her on some meat the other day and tried some white fish today which unfortunately she wouldn’t touch either. All three of my cats are very fussy and only seem to eat their usual dry food and drink running water. I’ll keep trying her on meat and fish.

    Thanks for the reply!
  5. bclmeow

    bclmeow Guest

    She’s four and a half, an outdoor cat and we have two other cats.

    Luna is quite a small cat and has had quite a few health issues since birth. Our two other cats are quite active and playful so we think that they could possibly be stressing her out a bit. Feliway calming spray and diffuser seemed to have the opposite effect on the cats too unfortunately.

    I’ll keep trying her on wet foods and I keep showing her to the water we have available around the house to make sure she knows where they all are.

    The only problem with litter trays is that my cats are used to going outside, and that they try to eat the litter in the tray, but I’ll try this again.

    Thank you for the reply and the links you added. Much appreciated!
  6. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2010
    Likes Received:
    @Ceiling Kitty - many thanks for the link to Sarah Caney's book - I have ordered a copy and am sure it will be very useful. :)
  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2010
    Likes Received:
    @bclmeow - I am sorry to hear about your cat's problems. Cystitis is extremely painful so please get your cat seen by the vet tomorrow as an emergency, so you can get some pain relief and anti-inflammatories prescribed for her. She must not be left to suffer another day without some relief.

    If it will help, print out the Icat Care articles CK linked for you and take them to show the vet.

    I hope your cat feels better soon.
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