Cats With Cystitis

    Feline cystitis is a common problem in cats.  Inflammation develops in the urinary bladder causing pain.  Normally, cats urinate twice a day and defecate once a day.  Cats with cystitis will make frequent trips to the litter box producing small amounts of urine each time.  As the pain worsens, they often urinate in unusual places and meow loudly to get attention.  If their cries for help are ignored, grit from the bladder may form a plug in male cats.  The poor cat strains to pass urine but cannot because of the plug.  As time goes by, the urine builds up in the bladder causing excruciating pain.  Toxins from the urine are also absorbed into the cat’s blood stream.  If the blockage isn’t relieved soon, the bladder will rupture or the cat will go into shock.  Both conditions are usually fatal. 

     Early treatment is the key to treating this disease.  If your cat is straining to urinate, seek medical attention right away.  Do not wait overnight to see if it will improve by morning.  If your cat has been diagnosed with cystitis, keep them on the diet and medication prescribed by your veterinarian.  Even though many over-the-counter products claim to be formulated for urinary tract health, they are not made to the same strict requirements as prescription food.  That is why a prescription is required.  I have seen many cats block again when switched to a non-prescription food.  The expense of treating the cat far outweighed the small savings in the price of the food.  More important, the poor cat suffers terribly because the owner is trying to pinch pennies.  Lastly, encourage the cat to drink a lot of water to help flush the bladder.  Many cats enjoy drinking from a fountain.      

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Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.