Have you ever peed blood
Why does my cat have blood in the urine?
Signs of cystitis in cats
- Frequent visits to the litter box
- Pain when urinating. Your cat is moaning or squatting for a long time *
- Tension when passing urine *
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent urination in unusual places (such as beds, the floor)
- Excessive brushing of the genital area (because a bladder infection causes pain and irritation in these areas too)
* It is VERY IMPORTANT to distinguish this from signs of bladder obstruction!
Causes of Cystitis in Cats
Unlike in humans, cystitis is usually not caused by a bacterial infection. About 60-70% of bladder infections in cats is classified as Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, or FIC. In these cases, no cause can be determined. However, affected cats all suffer from the symptoms listed above.
Other causes of cystitis or bloody urine include:
Bacterial infection. Although less common, older cats with chronic kidney disease or diabetes are at a much higher risk of infection.
Bladder growths such as tumors or polyps
If you suspect a bladder infection, you should get your cat for veterinary treatment as soon as possible. Urinary congestion is a real emergency. While cystitis is not quite as life-threatening, it is uncomfortable and in some cases can develop into an obstruction with a urethral plug.
Diagnosis of cystitis in cats
Your veterinarian will examine the cat and determine the size of its bladder to rule out an obstruction. It is recommended that you collect a urine sample to check for signs of infection, urinary stones, or other underlying causes such as diabetes. Older cats may also need a blood test.
Other possible tests include a bladder ultrasound (if stones or polyps are suspected), bladder x-rays, and, less commonly, a bladder biopsy or cystoscopy.
Treatment of cystitis in cats
Cystitis is always painful, so giving pain medication is the top priority. There are a number of options here, from opioids to anti-inflammatories. Your veterinarian will be able to best judge which treatment is appropriate.
Fluids are sometimes given subcutaneously or intravenously to encourage frequent bladder emptying. Also, the vet will recommend: In additional water intake to increase water intake at home (see below for tips on how to increase your cat's water intake).
For some patients, it makes sense to change their diet in order to change the pH value in the urine or to reduce the formation of bladder crystals / stones. Some bladder stones can be resolved successfully with a proper diet.
Antibiotics are only appropriate if an infection is suspected.
Prevention of cystitis in cats
Once the underlying cause is identified, treatment is critical to preventing recurrence. Unfortunately, FIC can be a recurring problem even if no underlying disease is identified.
Risk factors for FIC include:
- Middle age
- Cats who are inactive and do little exercise
- Reduced water absorption
- A multi-cat household
Prevention of FIC should include weight control diet as well as consideration of environmental factors:
There should be adequate access to litter boxes, preferably for the number of cats in the house +1. These should be in easily accessible areas. Additional litter boxes may be required if the house is very large.
In the case of a multi-cat household, any aggression / bullying between cats should be recognized and minimized. Aggression can be very subtle, so it may be useful to consult a: n veterinary: n behavioral therapist. Cats are loners and prefer a place where they can sleep apart from others. It helps to provide safe, high seating and a quiet space for them.
Using anti-stress pheromones like Feliway around the house can also reduce stress. If there is a strong suspicion of stressors that are not easily resolved, tricyclic antidepressants may be prescribed. These are usually not a first-line treatment, but they do play a role in reducing the recurrence of chronic FIC.
A diverse environment (e.g. scratching posts, toys) and enough time to play with your cat can also help.
In addition, water intake is very important. Cats can be encouraged to drink by e.g. B. provides a water well. The addition of additional water to the feed is also useful.
Help! My cat is urinating outside the litter box - what can I do?
Help! My cat is unable to urinate
Do you have other questions about your cat's urinary tract health?
Schedule a video consultation to speak to one of our veterinarians.
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