What is cystitis?

Cystitis is a general term referring to inflammation of the urinary bladder and is a very painful and distressing problem.

What are the signs?

  • Increased frequency and urgency of urination
  • Squatting as if to urinate in unusual areas in the house
  • Blood in the urine

Occasional the bladder can become blocked and the cat will be straining to urinate without passing any. This is usually a condition affecting male cats.

This is life threatening- seek veterinary advice urgently

What causes feline cystitis?

Here are some potential causes:

  • Stress related cystitis
  • Urinary calculi (bladder stones)
  • Bacterial infections
  • Sometimes tumours in older cats

How is it diagnosed?

A urine sample can help diagnose cystitis and also help differentiate the potential cause. Sometimes cats displaying signs of cystitis may be constipated as well.

Uncomplicated cases respond well to pain relief and increased water intake, so often don’t require further investigation. If not resolving x-rays and urine cultures are advisable.

What is the treatment for cystitis?

  • Increase water intake (ask vet or nurse/ see leaflet)
  • Pain relieving/ anti-inflammatory drugs- prescribed by your veterinarian
  • Bacterial infections usually respond well to a course of antibiotics
  • If bladder stones are present they may have to be removed surgically or they may be able to be dissolved with a special diet
  • Reducing stress- Feliway, Nutracalm, Zyklene can help your cat cope with stress

There is no universal treatment for cystitis, each management regime will be tailored to your cat’s needs.

How can it be prevented?

  • Encourage good water intake
  • Ensure there are enough clean litter trays in areas where the cat will not be disturbed
  • Ensure plenty of hiding and escape areas- particularly in high places
  • Avoid changes to environment
  • Avoid obesity- this can cause inactivity and decreased frequency of urination
  • If your cat has been diagnosed with crystals a special diet can help prevent these recurring
  • Supplements can help maintain a healthy bladder lining