Cystitis in cats -Symptoms and treatment

 In Blog, Cat Health

Normally, each time your cat’s bladder fills up, the nerves in the area send a signal to the brain and instructs the animal to steer into the sandbox. In some cases, however, the bladder develops an inflammation, cystitis in cats, which disturbs this succession of events. One of the clues? Your kitten may be starting to urinating out of the litter box.

What are the symptoms of cystitis:

The cat may exhibit one or more of the following signs: frequent visits to the litter box, urination out of the litter box, difficulty urinating, presence of blood in the urine (hematuria).

Why is that happening?

One factor may be some urinary tract infection, particularly common in female cats, long-hair cats, diabetic cats or those suffering from kidney disease, according to US Veterinarian Arnold Plotnick, founder of the New York Veterinary Clinic, Manhattan Cat Specialists.

Another cause may be crystal urine, the formation of urine crystals that irritate the sensitive bladder wall causing inflammation. In some cases these crystals are joined to form one or more stones in the bladder, a condition that can also lead to cystitis and which is often manifested in blood in the urine. Finally, a cystitis can hide some tumor, fortunately in extremely rare cases.

How do we diagnose:

General urine analysis, and radiography are the basic examinations in case of such suspicion.

How do we treat cystitis in cats?

It depends on the cause. Urinary infections are treated with antibiotics, while urine crystals can be controlled or eliminated by introducing a special diet that prevents formation of crystals. If there are stones in the bladder, in some cases a special diet is enough for a few days while in others (depending on the material from which the stone is made) may need surgery.

What if the tests do not show anything?

In some cases, neither urine nor radiograph shows a problem – but perhaps the presence of blood in the urine. This condition is called “idiopathic cystitis in the cat”, a medical term that describes an inflammation particularly common in felines, with unknown causes. The problem with idiopathic cystitis is that since we do not know the cause, we can not treat it specifically.

However, research by the Ohio State University has shown that stress can play an important role in the development of this condition. Cats living in apartments, in particular, do not have enough opportunity to satisfy eg. their hunting instinct, which causes them intense stress that may be associated with idiopathic cystitis. A preventative solution could be to enrich the environment where they live with more stimuli.

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