Causes of Cat Bladder Inflammation

Feline bladder inflammation refers to an abnormal condition of the bladder and, often the surrounding urinary tract. Bladder inflammation can be a painful or uncomfortable condition, and it can result in a number of health concerns, such as kidney damage or failure, pain or blood during urination and other negative effects. There are many causes of bladder inflammation, and each requires a different type of treatment for proper resolution. Here are some of the most common causes of feline bladder inflammation.


FLUTD stands for “feline lower urinary tract disorder.” It can signify any type of infection or inflammation of the urinary tract, including the bladder, kidneys, urethra or surrounding areas. FLUTD refers to a collection of different conditions, many of which are difficult to accurately diagnose or pinpoint to a specific source.


Idiopathic cystitis is a common form of FLUTD, accounting for approximately two-thirds of all bladder inflammations. The name refers to a bladder inflammation with cause unknown, and typically signifies a sterile inflammation, free of bacterial infection. While feline idiopathic cystitis, or FIC, affects only about 1 out of every 100 cats, it is still a relatively common cause of bladder inflammation when compared to other causes.

FIC may be caused by a variety of factors, including independent medical conditions and viruses, stress, diet, exercise levels and genetics. The treatment of the condition involves some experimentation, but typically requires a change in diet and conditions of the environment, in hopes of reducing the animal’s stress levels.

Bladder Inflammation from Kidney and Bladder Stones

Kidney stones and bladder stones are the next most common cause of bladder inflammation. Struvite crystals are similar to bladder stones, but have a different composition and cause a variation in the bladder inflammation. These stones and crystals build up due to calcium and other mineral collections in the bladder. Stones are diagnosed by x-rays or ultrasound tests, and can be removed surgically if it is determined that the body will not pass them unaided.

Other Causes of Feline Bladder Inflammation

Among the other, less common causes of feline bladder inflammation are genetic or environmentally-caused defects in the bladder tissue, bladder cancer or other diseases that affect the lower urinary tract. In these cases, although symptoms of bladder inflammation can be the same, diagnosis and treatment of the condition might be different than those given above.

The best way to care for your pet’s bladder inflammation is to have him examined by a veterinarian as soon as you detect any signs of pain or discomfort. If your pet pays excessive attention to his genitals, if he avoids the litter box and urinates in other parts of the home, or if you notice any blood or unusual smells in his urine, take him to a veterinarian immediately.