Diagnosis: Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)

“I want to tell you that I feel better now than I have for a while.  I’ve been through some rough times. A few weeks ago I really had problems going to the bathroom. One morning I just sat in the litter box and tried to go, but couldn’t get rid of much and still felt like I needed to go again. This just kept on. I kept cleaning myself, too.

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“Fortunately Mom noticed me sitting for long periods in the litter box and checked when I got out to see if I had actually peed. I went to the bathtub. It was cool to sit in there. I was able to leave a few drops and they had a little blood in it.
Mom knew right away that I needed to go to the doctor. So, away we went to the Vet.  They drained my bladder and gave me some antibiotic. My bladder and urethra were inflammed.  I went home and the next couple of days were not much fun. It still was painful to go to the bathroom.  There was plenty of red in the urine I left behind. Eventually the medicine kicked in and I could go without as much pain.”

About a week after I had been to the Vet she called to tell us what was going on with me.  She said I had cystitis. I have had this in the past and so I am more likely to have problems. I needed to have only canned food with some water mixed in. I can take medicine, too. Well, we started to make the switch to only canned food. Then I was back to having problems going to the bathroom again. It was a holiday weekend and no Vet available in the area. So, Mom did everything she could think of to help me keep from having a blockage. It was tough for a few days, but finally things were better.

You probably wonder what she did. Well, I still had a good appetite so I got a lot of water with my canned food. The canned food I have been getting for at least a year is Purina Pro Plan for urinary health. She gave me a few drops of water with apple cider vinegar mixed in, too.  That is a holistic treatment for urinary problems. She also gave me some cranberry extract.  You can read about our path to finding the best food for our cat family in this post.  You can read more about urinary problems in cats here.

After a few days I was feeling so much better. About a week later I have more energy and interest in my world than I have had for awhile. We made the necessary changes to help me avoid having another episode. I get “soup” for my meal. No more dry food for me. And, I’m surprised that I like my meals! Mom tries to be better about fresh, cold water in all of the water bowls. We get RO water. She puts clean litter in the boxes everyday. She also washes them often.

WHAT IS CYSTITIS IN CATS

Feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC)

This is one of many Feline urinary lower tract diseases. Designated as FLUTD.

This problem occurs more frequently in male cats who have been neutered. If they have had a problem at a young age it will probably occur again. Food affects the problem. The dry food with so much filler is not good for us. The dry food with more meat products, chicken, etc. is a better option. But, with my problem I need canned food, because there is more moisture in it already. It is important that we drink water, cold, clean and fresh water.  Stress can bring on this problem as well. And sometimes there is no definite reason for this problem.  There can be a problem with the lining of the bladder or even the way your cat reacts to stress.

This problem can be common in a multi cat household and if there is any conflict between any of the cats. We haven’t added any new members to the family and we all seem to get along pretty well. Our human family feeling stress can bring us stress as well. So, even that could trigger an attack. The truth of it seems to be they really aren’t sure what causes this problem.

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One good piece of information we came across is that it should get better as I get older. I guess things won’t bother me so much, I will be calmer.

To get more in depth information on this condition we recommend you read this article.

Reasons for Urinary Problems in Cats – They are Serious

Are one of your cats showing signs of urinary problems?  There are several reasons and they can be very serious.

Reasons for Urinary Problems in Cats They are Serious A year ago I started to have problems when I had to go to the bathroom. I just hated thinking about using the litter box.

It was hurting and then after I left the box I felt like I needed to right back. I just couldn’t empty my bladder. It didn’t make me feel very good at all. Now Oscar is struggling with this problem.  We had urinary problems.

Fortunately Mom noticed how frequently I was in the litter box and when I was there it was for quite a while. She checked and noticed there wasn’t much urine left behind when I left. The next thing I knew I was in a carrier and at the Vet Clinic where there were many unusual smells and new people trying to get their hands on me. I was a feral cat and don’t let anyone touch me not even my human family. So, they had to relax me to take care of me. Mom was afraid I had a urinary blockage. Fortunately it was not that, but an infection. They sent me home with some medicine. It still took awhile to make it easy for me to go to the bathroom.

6 SYMPTOMS OF CAT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS

1. Straining to Urinate

Like I mentioned, I was having trouble when I went to the litter box. If this situation is not addressed it continues to
get worse and the crystals that form eventually can create a blockage of the urethra. This is life threatening for us,
and more common if we are male.

2. Frequent Trips to the Litter Box

I would go right back to the litter box after leaving, because I had not emptied my bladder. When this is happening we are not getting rid of the toxins that normally are eliminated through urination. This will make us very sick.

3. Painful Urination

When you know you have to pee, but you also know it hurts to do it, it becomes frustrating. There seems to be no way to relieve that pain. You may find us licking our privates to help soothe that pain. We also may be more cranky than usual.

4. Bloody Urine

Finding blood in our urine or noticing it is darker and discolored is alarming! Females can be more apt to have blood tinged urine than males. But, in our household Joe Boo Boo, a husky male, occasionally has blood in his urine.  He has been to the Vet and we have a post about that situation.

5. Urinating Outside the Litter Box

When we do this it is our way of letting you know we are having a problem. For example, Joe Boo Boo will leave some bloody urine in the bathtub to let Mom know he is having a problem. Oscar used the mat around the litter box when he was beginning to have a problem. If you find us doing something like this PLEASE pay attention and get us to the Vet.

6. Lethargy, vomiting or crying out in pain when in the litter box are emergency situations!

if this is happening we are in extreme stress and may already have a blockage of the urinary tract. It is life threatening and it doesn’t take long.  The Vet needs to drain our bladder immediately.

FELINE IDIOPATHIC CYSTITIS

This is the technical term for the bladder inflammation of the lower urinary tract that causes straining when urinating.

Crystals are formed that build up and eventually without treatment will cause a blockage in the urinary tract. There are two types of crystals. One is struvite which means the urine is too alkaline. The other is calcium oxalate meaning the urine is too acidic.

WHAT CAUSES CAT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS?

Low quality dry pellet cat food! That is the answer to that question. A few years ago companies making perscription dry cat food added acidifying substances to so called healthy food to combat the struvite crystals. Now this has created more of the calcium oxalate crystals. If you read what is in the cat food stay away from those that mention “byproducts”,fillers, grains, food colors and chemicals that work against our health.

TREATMENT FOR CAT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS

Go to the Veternarian.

When they have determined the cause of the problem the Vet will perscribe an antibiotic, Amoxicillin or Cephalexin.

It is suggested that if you are taking an antibiotic you should add a probiotic or some live culture yogurt to your food to create the good bacteria in the GI tract that is being destroyed with the antibiotic.

There is a caution about antibiotics and cats who experience chronic infectons. It is not recommended that you give me constant doses of Amoxicillin to prevent me from having recurring infections. This will keep the antibiotic from truly working the next time it needs to. There are some holistic treatments that can help prevent this from recurring.

HOLISTIC TREATMENTS FOR CAT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS

Now we are getting somewhere. Here are some immediate things you can do to help us.

I swear by Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 1 – 3 tsp. apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water. Try to get about 1/8th of the cup into the cat with the problem and follow up every hour with some. Now, you know it isn’t going to be easy. Oscar is really hard to get cooperation from when it comes to getting a dropper full of anything into his mouth. One suggestion may be to dip his paw into the water mixture and hopefully he will lick it off. You can put a dropper full on our food as well. Again, Oscar has such a good “smeller” that he won’t eat his food if there is vinegar on it. We tried that before. I got used to it in my food.

Cranberries are naturally good to keep the bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. You can use the cranberry juice like the vinegar. It can be added to our water bowl or on our food. Just be sure it is natural and unsweetened. You can also use fresh or dried cranberries. Blueberries will do the same thing.

Coconut Oil is very healthy. Add a pea sized amount to our food.

There are several herbs that can help with Urinary Tract infections.

There are some herbs that will help soothe and give long term good urinary health.

Echinacea ~ This will help with acute infections and will help with UTI

Uva Ursi ~ Especially for bladder and kidney infections. It may serve as an antiseptic to clean the urinary tract.

Horsetail ~ We need to try this with Joe Boo Boo. It is especially helpful if there is blood in the urine.

Marshmellow ~ This is soothing for the inflammation experienced by the forming of the crystals.

Tumeric ~ This is a natural anti-inflammatory. Add 1/8th – 1/4th tsp. to our food once or twice a day. You can find this in the spice section of the grocery store.

Parsley ~ This has a healing effect to the bladder. Put 1/4 tsp. on our food or make a parsley tea and give it in place of our water. Add 1 teaspoon of parsley to 1 cup of boiling water. Let it steep for about 15 minutes then strain theparsley. Cool and put it in our water bowl.

Corn Silk ~ This is good for bladder problems. It can be mixed with the food, or mixing 1/4 tsp. of corn silk tincture and 3/4 tsp. water which can be given by syringe orally twice a day.

DIET CHANGES AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES FOR CATS WITH URINARY TRACT INFECTONS

Immediately begin giving us canned food instead of the dry pellet food. Canned food has more moisture in it and consequently will add moisture to our system.

Find a better dry commercial cat food. Do research on what is in the food you choose.

Make homemade cat food. There are many good websites that have recipes and good information about the nutrition you need to be aware of to take on this project.

Clean fresh water daily. Please give us fresh, cold water everyday. We aren’t happy with water that has things floating in it.  Even cats who live outdoors will find a source of fresh water to drink. We need the fresh water to flush out the toxins in our bodies and keep our bladder healthy.

You can make a bone broth for your furry friends, too. To do this boil chicken bones in water for several hours. Strain, then pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Each day you can take a couple and put in the water bowl.

URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS ARE NOT A DEATH SENTENCE IF CAUGHT EARLY

We have delicate systems and need attention from our human family. Joe Boo Boo is mostly an outdoor cat in the nice weather and you can see him trying to go to the bathroom occasionally. He will be sure you see him and that he is staying for awhile or going back soon after leaving. Those of us in the house, watch to see if we are there more often or just sitting there. Check the box, too.

This does not have to be a death sentence. As long as you are observant. Thanks for taking good care of us!

We suggest these websites for more information earthclinic.com and petnet.io

Our Cat has Urinary Problems

Boo Boo has spots of blood in his urine

grey tabby cat with urinary problems
Praying for A Healthier Boo Boo

Three weeks ago Boo Boo used the inside litter box and squatted for a time and when finished only had a couple of drops of urine in the litter.  How many of you have had this situation?  This is not our first time with urinary problems or the slow voiding of a cat’s bladder.  We were able to get him into the Vet that day.  Boo has had a urinary blockage in the past and that was our immediate fear.  The Vet said his bladder was not full.  He gave him a shot of a strong antibiotic and sent him home with Loxicom (meloxicam).  We dosed Boo as indicated every other day with a very small dosage marked on the syringe.  So, there doesn’t seem to be any real changes and when you read the information included inside the box this is what it says:  For use in dogs only.  It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory used to control pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis IN DOGS.  In bold print it also says:  Do not use Loxicam Oral Suspension in cats.  Acute renal failure and death have been associated with the use of meloxicam in cats.

When prescribing the medicine it was mentioned that this did indeed say for dogs, but was ok for cats if given for a short time.  The question I have is why a medication for inflammation of the joints was given for urinary problems???

Urinary problems seem to be a regular problem with so many cats.  We have just gotten Rusty apparently healed from his issue.  It took two visits to the Vet, two shots and three bottles of antibiotic to get him on the mend.

We are currently waiting for a call back from the Vet to see about going with an antibiotic.

Feeding Your Cats Special Urinary Health Food

Jacky Sapphire had urinary problems several years ago and we used urinary health dry cat food. He wouldn’t touch the canned.  He had a full bladder when we took him to the Vet.  They drained it and gave us medicating.  We changed his food for several years.  For some reason we switched back to other dry food and as always added a tablespoon of canned food twice a day.  He has been very healthy with the current food options we are giving him.

Treating Cats with Holistic Methods

There is some information about ways to treat your cat’s problems with household items.  One for bladder/urinary problems is to use a “dab” of apple cider vinegar in their food.  Cranberry juice or extract is another suggestion.  For a couple of months, after we were at the Vet with Rusty the second time we began to add diluted vinegar to their canned food.  The male cats that is.  So Sapphire, Boo, and Rusty have gotten the vinegar twice a day.  There is no proof that this has helped Rusty as he was on antibiotic as well.  But, it can’t hurt and it makes us feel better to do something.  The “dab” is actually 1/4 tsp of diluted apple cider vinegar.

Do you have any suggestions for things we can do to help our babies?  Do you use urinary health cat food and what kind?  Share your experiences with us in the comments section.