What is cystitis in cats?
Feline cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder – either from infection or an irritation. The term Idiopathic cystitis simply means cystitis with no known cause. Cystitis is common in cats, particularly female cats, and although not normally a serious health concern it can be uncomfortable for your cat so does need to be managed.
Cystitis is one of a collection of bladder and urinary problems commonly called feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) alongside, amongst others crystalluria or urolithiasis (urinary crystals or stones in the bladder)
What causes feline cystitis?
The direct causes of cystitis are unknown however stress is often associated with the condition. Cystitis is more common in female cats – although can have more serious consequences for male cats
Symptoms of cystitis
Some of the symptoms of cystitis are very similar to those exhibited by cats suffering from bladder stones and include
- Blood in the urine
- Are they showing signs of difficulty when urinating
- Are they urinating more often
- Are they excessive licking of the genitals.
- Are they suffering from repeated urinary tract infections
- Are they urinating in unusual places
Management of cystitis
Stress seems to lay an important role in the onset of cystitis so try and identify any sources of stress such as overcrowding or conflict with other cats.
The other important support you can give is to increase fluid intake.
Wet foods are preferred for cats with this condition as that helps increase fluid intake.
You can also encourage more drinking by
- Ensuring water is available in several places around the house.
- Regularly change the water – cats prefer fresh water
- Make sure their water bowl is in a quiet place and away from their food
- Provide water in ceramic bowls – metal and plastic can impair the taste