Feline Interstitial Cystitis Treatment

Interstitial cystitis treatment is generally hit or miss. Interstitial cystitis is a collective term used for UTIs not caused by obstruction. There is obviously a problem causing bladder inflammation, but it can't be pinpointed to any exact cause.

Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis in Cats

Cats diagnosed with interstitial cystitis generally appear normal except for the fact that they urinate in inappropriate locations. Urinating out of the litter box is the most common sign. Most cats do not appear to be in pain. Cats with feline interstitial cystitis may have blood streaks in their urine, but this is not always the case. The cat may lick or bite at the abdomen, causing hair loss. When you touch the cat's abdomen, he may show discomfort.

Changing Diet

The majority of cats with interstitial cystitis eat a dry food diet. Changing from a dry food diet to a canned food diet is often the first interstitial cystitis treatment suggested. This is not a surefire way to stop it from occurring. Some cats develop the bladder inflammation regardless.

You should encourage your cat to drink more water. Spend the money on a cat water fountain. Most fountains cost $40 to $100 and are extremely beneficial in getting cats to drink more water. The water fountains plug into an outlet and a water pump creates a subtle water flow that allows cats to lap at the moving water. Many of these water fountains include filtration systems, keeping the water fresh and clean of hair and food particles.

Reducing Stress

Stress is an important factor in the occurrence of interstitial cystitis. Cats prefer having their litter box in a quiet, secluded area. Placing their litter boxes away from foot traffic will help. Try switching away from clay litters because they are often heavily perfumed. Corn or wheat based litters are believed to be much healthier alternatives.

Make sure your cat has a place where he can go to remain completely undisturbed. Many cats prefer sleeping under beds, on top of refrigerators or hidden behind furniture. Cat trees with tunnels or cozy little holes work well.

Medications for Interstitial Cystitis Treatment

Corticosteroids are commonly used to treat feline interstitial cystitis. Drugs such as prednisone reduce the inflammation, allowing the bladder time to heal. Pain medications are offered to help reduce the cat's pain while the bladder heals.

In humans, the use of Elmiron is used to help heal the bladder by replacing specific molecules missing from the bladder wall. Glycosaminoglycan forms a mucus layer over the inner wall of the bladder, keeping urine from getting into the tissue. When there is a lack of glycosaminoglycan, the urine seeps in and may be what causes the inflammation. However, there is little study in the use of Elmiron with cats. Vets who have tried it find it helps, but not in every case.

Some veterinarians suggest the use of antidepressants, such as Elavil, to help keep the cat calm and stress-free. Generally, this is an unproven method and is best used when nothing else works.