Cystitis in cats is a condition most commonly associated with Lower Urinary Tract Disease (LUTD). The warning signs if a cat has cystitis and LUTD are identical. Pets that feel discomfort or even painful urination from cystitis typically lose housetraining avoid using the litter box because they may associate it with pain. They probably will feel the need to urinate more frequently.
Cat Has Cystitis | Knowing The Signs For Better Health
Cats may cry or appear to strain during urination, and may also pass blood. Signs your cat may suffer from cystitis include:
- A housebroken cat dribbling urine or urinating in unusual locations;
- Frequent voiding of small quantities of urine;
- Bloody urine;
- Urine with a strong ammonia odor;
- Squatting or straining at the end of urination; and
- Listlessness and poor appetite and/or excessive thirst.
Interestingly, many cats that are sick or suffer from cystitis try to TELL their people about the problem with obvious behaviors. For instance, they may squat and try to urinate right in front of you. Other cats seek out the bathtub to try and urinate, perhaps because it offers some pain relief due to the cooler temperature.
In some instances, the cat’s urinary tract may become lethally blocked by crystallization of minerals in the urine (urolithiasis) and/or by sticky urethral plugs. COMA AND DEATH HAPPENS WITHIN 72 HOURS FOLLOWING COMPLETE OBSTRUCTION. If your cat strains to eliminate, but can’t produce any urine, this is an emergency that requires veterinary help immediately.
CAUSES OF FELINE CYSTITIS OFTEN UNKNOWN
Bacteria, virus or fungus that irritate the lining of the urinary bladder causes cystitis. But more than two-thirds of cystitis cases in cats are idiopathic, which means the cause is a mystery. Estimates indicate that this disorder affects nearly half a million cats every year.
Researchers believe some cases are the same as interstitial (or idiopathic) cystitis that some women tend to suffer. In feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), stress appears to be the major trigger of inflammation. Something as simple as a change in diet may bring on an episode.
HOW DO VETERINARIANS TREAT CYSTITIS
Treatments for FIC seeks to address the stress, inflammation, and discomfort and/or environmental influences. If the doctor suspects an infection, the urine may be tested to identify the bacteria.
Narcotic pain medication (pills or a patch) sometimes are given to cats to relieve the discomfort. Antibiotics are not recommended unless the cat urine culture is positive. In most cases, litter box management and owner interaction also influence on recovery. The vast majority of these cats will resolve within five to seven days, and up to one-third of cats will have a recurrence of signs after that initial episode.
TREATING KITTY STRESS
For some stressed cats, drug therapy such as amitriptyline helps calm the urinary condition as well as the upset feelings. Amitriptyline also inhibits the release of mast cells in the bladder wall, which is thought to be the root cause of bladder inflammation. By stabilizing these cells, inflammation in the bladder wall is reduced. The drug’s antipsychotic activity also seems to reduce how much the cat cares about whether their bladder hurts.
Amitriptyline doesn’t help in all instances, and some veterinarians consider other experimental treatments promising. Even medical marijuana (or cannabis) today is available for pets, but must be formulated so that pets receive the medical benefits of the cannabis (hemp) plant while reducing potential toxic concentrations of the herb. Hemp can be used to control pain and inflammation. Ask your veterinarian if this supplement may benefit your pet.
Here’s a video by Pets And Animals on how to diagnose and treat feline interstitial cystitis:
Using synthetic feline pheromone products to reduce stress is often recommended. Several of these products are now available commercially as sprays and plug-in diffusers. The greatest stressor for cats is other cats, so giving your multi-cat household lots of elevations and hiding spots for all the kitties can help enormously. Turn your house into a feline playground with cat trees, tunnels, boxes to hide, and windows to lounge and watch the world.
Do you have other signs that you know of to know if your cat has cystitis? Let us know in the comments section below.