Feline Idiopathic Cystitis Symptoms

Feline idiopathic cystitis is a common feline disease that has several different names. It's a syndrome where the bladder and lower urinary tract become inflamed. It's also referred to as feline lower urinary tract disorder, (FLUTD) or feline urologic syndrome, (FUS). It can become serious, but there are many symptoms that provide early warning signs so you can get your cat early treatment. It's important to be able to recognize these symptoms and to know when your cat is in an acute emergency.

Establishing a Baseline

You'll be better able to recognize the symptoms if you're aware of your cat's regular urinary habits. Take note of how often your cat uses the box and approximately how long he spends in the box. If you clean the box on a regular schedule, you'll get used to how much urine is normally present. It's also important to spend the time to make sure your cat is potty trained and to note how normal or abnormal it is for your cat to have accidents. Now it will be much easier to notice when your cat is exhibiting symptoms of idiopathic cystitis.

Frequent Urination Attempts

A cat with cystitis will feel like he needs to urinate all the time. He'll go to the box and then might go back 2 minutes later. It's the pressure on the bladder that makes the cat feel this way.

Less Urine Output

Despite the frequent trips to the box, the amount of urine in the box might be less. With idiopathic cystitis, the urine becomes thicker and is more difficult to pass.

Pain while Urinating

A cat with this disorder will experience pain while urinating. Because of this, you may hear an unfamiliar meow. You know your cat, so you'll get the sense that he's uncomfortable.

Urinating outside the Box

Because of this pain that happens with urination, your cat may eventually start to avoid the box. The cat won't know that the pain is associated with the body, so he'll associate it with the box. A previously house-trained cat may start to soil outside the box. He'll probably try to hide these accidents, so they may occur in corners or closets.

Straining while in the Box

Your cat will experience 2 conflicting situations if he has idiopathic cystitis. He'll feel like he desperately needs to urinate, but he won't be able to pass the urine. You may hear straining noises like he's actually trying to push the urine out. You may also see him shaking in the hind area as if he's pushing and straining.

Blood in the Urine

A cat with cystitis may pass urine that has blood in it. Even a small amount of blood in the urine is cause for concern. You're most likely to see this blood if your cat urinates on a bathroom rug or a carpet, but keep your eye out for it when cleaning the litter box.

Excessive Cleaning of Genitals

A cat with cystitis will feel inflamed and will want to soothe this burning sensation. They may lick their genitals excessively or they may scoot on a smooth surface.

When It's an Emergency

If the bladder becomes blocked, your cat will yowl and make it abundantly clear that he's in severe distress. He may hide from you. If this happens, seek immediate veterinary assistance.