Cystitis in Cats, Symptoms, Causes, Home Treatments and Remedies

cystitis in cats

Unlike cystitis occurring in humans and dogs, cystitis in cats is not usually accompanied by an infection. It basically involves inflammation of the bladder. Once a cat suffers from it, there is a high probability that it will recur. We discuss the symptoms, home treatments, natural remedies and interventions to help prevent the condition below.

Cystitis in Cats

Feline interstial cystitis refers to a condition resulting from the inflammation and irritation of the urinary tract but that is without infection. While the condition is quite common, it can be uncomfortable for the cat. Although the medical cause for the condition remains unknown, stress is thought to be a great contributing factor.

Cystitis in cats is common in young kittens and its likelihood of occurrence decreases with age. Although it can present in almost the same way, cystitis is different from bladder stones, bladder infections and other urinary tract conditions. Other names used to refer to the condition include:

  • Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD)
  • Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS)
  • Painful bladder syndrome
  • Feline Interstial Cystitis
  • Feline Idiopathic Cystitis

Causes of Cystitis in Cats

Cystitis in cats is an idiopathic condition meaning that its exact cause is unknown. According to, of all the cats that show symptoms of cystitis,

  • 20 percent have a urethral blockage
  • 20 percent will have either calcium oxalate or struvite bladder stones.
  • 50 percent will be diagnosed with no cause
  • One to five percent will be suffering a urinary tract infection
  • The remaining 10 percent will be suffering cancer, trauma or a combination of bladder stones and infection.

Research has linked cystitis in cats with stress. Cats will suffer an imbalance in the way their brains control neurohormones. Though this is the case, it remains unclear if administering anti-anxiety drugs or putting into place mechanisms to control anxiety can help aid the condition.

Symptoms of Cystitis in Cats

The symptoms of cystitis in cats include:

  • Bloody urine as a result of the inflammation and irritation in the urinary tract.
  • Straining to urinate due to pain. The same might make your cat cry while they urinate.
  • Licking the genitals
  • Peeing outside the litter box
  • Frequent urination

Cystitis in Cats Treatment at Home – Cystitis in Cats Natural Remedies

Cats suffering cystitis usually don’t have infections. As a result, antibiotics may not be of any help. The use of drugs to treat this condition may, therefore, not be necessary. Instead, various home treatments and remedies can be used. When offering cystitis in cats treatment at home, the aim is to reduce inflammation and pain. Here are some of the interventions you can make to manage the condition in the long term.

Dietary Changes

With this condition, consumption of more water and a wet diet can help. With a wetter diet, the bladder is stretched. As a result, inflammatory chemicals leave the walls of the bladder and are excreted with the urine. This results in less inflammation, straining, pain and bloody urine. A proper diet can be used to prevent the occurrence as well as ease the symptoms of cystitis in dogs. If you have been offering your cat dry food, you may want to switch to wet foot. Feeding your cat an anti-inflammatory diet that excludes rice, corn and wheat can go a long way in enhancing management of the condition.

Maximum Hydration

Keeping your cat well hydrated can help in managing cystitis and stretch the duration between recurrences. Ensure that your cat obtains maximum hydration by keeping the water bowl filled and close to them all the time. If he loves drinking out of glasses or faucets, allow him to but ensure he only has access to clean water.

Maximum hydration for cystitis in cats

Keeping bowls of fresh water in different parts of the house can also help in encouraging your cat to consume more. To further increase the intake of fluids, add low sodium chicken broth, tuna water, clam juice or even water to their dry or canned food.

Relieve Stress

Like indicated earlier, stressful situations are suspected to contribute to the occurrence of cystitis in cats. There are different ways to relief stress in your pet. The option taken should be determined by what may be affecting your cat and situations that make it anxious. suggests that you create hiding places for the cat in various rooms. This can be done by having spaces covered up for them as well as empty boxes where they can retreat to. Pheromone therapy can also help make your cat feel safer and less stressed.

To further reduce the likelihood of your cat getting stressed, offer scratching posts and ensure they are supplied with a wide variety of toys. Set aside time to play and show affection to your cat as well.

Offer Supplements

Naturally, the bladder of a cat is lined by a layer of mucus that has a protective function. This layer is known as glycosaminoglycan. In cats suffering from idiopathic cystitis, there are defects in the biochemical makeup of this protective lining. As a result, the wall of the bladder becomes more vulnerable to the irritating effect of their urine.

To correct this, the cat can have glycosaminoglycan supplements to boost the effectiveness of the protective bladder’s layer. Talk to your vet about whether this would be appropriate and how to acquire the same.

Cranberry Juice

According to the, cranberries contain compounds that prevent adherence of bacteria to the walls of the bladder as well as tissues found in the urinary tract. To benefit from this, you can add cranberry juice to your cat’s diet. Incorporate it in the cat’s diet by adding it to drinking water or food. Ensure that you pick pure natural juice. This natural remedy will help boost the overall health of your pet’s urinary tract.

Recurrent Cystitis in Cats

Although some cats may only have a single episode of cystitis in their lifetime, it is likely that they will experience other instances of the condition throughout their life. This is more so where the condition is stress induced. Where this is the case, the best option is to manage the condition using the natural interventions discussed above as opposed to long term administration of drugs. With ongoing management, the need for medication may be eliminated with time.

Like we always advice, the information on cystitis in cats provided above is only meant for general knowledge. Before making any interventions, ensure that a proper diagnosis is done by your veterinarian. Once this is achieved, follow the directions offered. Always talk to your vet whenever uncertain, if having doubts or when no improvement is seen in the condition of the cat.


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