What Is Cystitis?

What is cystitis? A lot of pet owners don’t know that cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder and may occur in cats of any age. Cystitis may be caused by the feline urologic syndrome (FUS), the lower urinary tract disease, bacteria, polyps, stone or tumors. Cystitis presents obvious symptoms and is fully treatable.

Symptoms of Cystitis

Cystitis is a very painful condition and this is why it should be detected and treated in timely manner.

The most common symptoms of feline cystitis include:

  • More frequent urination, but in less amounts
  • Spraying; the cat will be urinating anywhere but the litter box because he associates the pain with the litter
  • Crying when urinating and straining to urinate; the bladder is swollen and causes a lot of pain at urination
  • Foul odor urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Impurities in the urine
  • Excessive licking of genitals; the cat will try to relieve the pain. In addition, the cat will also look for cool places to sit on, such as bathroom tiles, as cool surfaces ease the pain.
  • Incontinence; the cat can urinate without realizing
  • Increased thirst; the cat with cystitis drinks more water than usual
  • Lethargy and longer sleeping hours

There might also be behavioral changes in your pet. Due to the pain, the cat may become irritated and aggressive. This may result in scratching and even biting, when the owner wants to pat the cat.

Treatment of Cystitis

The treatment of cystitis depends on the cause of the infection. The treatment may be very simple if the infection is not severe and caused by bacteria; increase the amount of water in the cat’s diet and switch to wet food and the cystitis may be cured. Water can flush the bacteria that cause the disease. Less severe cases of cystitis can be cured within a week.

However, if the cystitis is more serious, antibiotics will be needed to treat the infection. Pain relievers are also recommended, as the pain associated with cystitis may be unbearable.

If the cystitis is caused by bladder stones, the cat’s diet must also be supervised; decrease the amounts of minerals to help the elimination of the bladder stones. Some stones need surgery to be properly removed.

If the cat is stressed, the treatment will be less effective. You will need to help him calm down and sometimes even stress and anxiety medication will be needed.

In any case, you need to visit the vet to determine the cause of cystitis. Cystitis may be caused by tumors or polyps, which need immediate attention. A urinalysis can determine the cause of the disease and will dictate the treatment.

If the cystitis is recurrent, this means that the cat has chronic cystitis which needs surgery. Perineal urethrostomy is a procedure that eliminates the narrow segment of the urethra. However, one major side effect of the perineal urethrostomy procedure is that it makes the cat more prone to bladder infections and even bladder stones.

Cystitis is difficult to prevent, however a proper hygiene is recommended.