Cats suffering Cystitis and Blockages

Lower urinary tract disease is inflammation of the bladder wall (cystitis) is a common condition in cats. Some cats are more susceptible to urinary issues so it can be a recurrent condition. Identifying a cause may not be straight forward as there may be several reasons for the sudden condition. If the cat seams unable to pass urine then seek emergency veterinary advice and attention. Normally the condition is responsive to treatment and simple on-going care.

Cystitis can be caused by a blockage forming in the urethra particularly in male cats. Blockage is most common in male cats due to the fact that their urethra is longer and narrower than in the female cats. Over weight cats and indoor cats seem to be more prone to these problems as they are less active. If a blockage occurs the bladder fills and becomes painful and can cause kidney problems. If this condition is not dealt with quickly it can be fatal within 24 to 36 hours from a build up of toxins.

The two most common causes of urethra blockage, are stones and plugs. Mucous, crystals, and tiny bits of urinary debris (cells and protein) can aggregate together to form a soft, compressible material that can lodge in the urethra and completely block the flow of urine. This is what plugs are. Stones, as the name implies, are mineral “stones” that are hard, and may or may not be round in shape.

Recognising the symptoms can be easier if your cat uses a litter tray. Where cats use the garden it is much more difficult to realise there is a problem as you will generally not be able to see what the cat is or isn’t urinating. Recognising behavioural changes may be an indicator that something could be wrong with the cat’s health.

  • Frequent urination, or repeated attempts at urination and only passing small amounts.
  • Pain and difficulty passing urine.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Very full (swollen) bladder.
  • Stress; over grooming and cleaning themselves.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Behavioural changes in abnormal places: in the bath or shower or sink, urine spraying.

Increasing a cats water intake will help to reduce the risk and signs of feline urinary tract disease.

  • Ensure there is plenty of fresh drinking water always available. A dish of water indoors and outdoors so that were ever they are water is available. Some cats prefer rainwater to tap water. You could collect rainwater and filter it. The use of a cat drinking fountain as it fascinates them and sometimes encourages the cat to drink more.
  • Diet is important. Where cats are feeding on wet foods add a couple of table spoons of water and mix it in. This will increase the cats’ water intake. Your vet will advise if special diet foods are to be given to change the urine acidity and reduce inflammation. It is usually better to keep off the dry biscuit foods for a while or permanently if advised.

Antibiotics and pain relief are commonly prescribed for periods of cystitis. Steroids may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation. Other treatments are available depending on the vet’s prognosis. Antibiotics and pain relief are commonly prescribed for periods of cystitis. Steroids may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation. Other treatments are available depending on the vet’s prognosis.

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