Feline Idiopathic Cystitis

Feline idiopathic cystitis (also known as feline lower urinary tract disease) is inflammation of the bladder with no known cause.
29606442.smlCats with this condition will visit the litter tray frequently, strain for long periods of time and produce no or small amounts of urine (which may be bloody).
They may start to urinate in different places in the house.
It can cause obstruction, where the urethra becomes blocked by crystals; or it can be non obstructive, where there is no obstruction but the cat has persistent signs of straining to urinate.
Both male and female cats are affected but males are more likely to develop an obstruction due to the narrower size of the urethra.
Cats are more at risk if they have a diet consisting mostly of dry food, however just feeding dry food does not cause the problem, so we know that there must be an underlying cause.
Overweight cats that live indoors and use a litter tray are also more at risk.
Although diet alone does not cause the condition, the condition can be managed with a prescription diet.
The diet has 3 aims:
1. To dilute the urine (thus stopping crystal formation and reducing irritation of the inflammed bladder by urine)
2. To restrict the minerals that cause crystal formation
3. To reduce inflammation of the bladder with high levels of fatty acids.
Most cats with this condition will respond quickly to the change in diet, although dietary management will have to be lifelong or the signs will return.
Some cats with the non obstructive type of cysititis may also need intermittent anti-inflammatories to help with the pain and discomfort.