Happy Silly Cat

Cystitis in Cats: Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment and Prevention

Cystitis in Cats: Symptoms,

Diagnosis, and


Cats are adorable creatures that often hide their illnesses to avoid acting weak in the wild. Unfortunately, this natural instinct can make it difficult for owners to detect when their feline friends are sick.

Cystitis is a common urinary tract problem that affects cats, particularly those with indoor lifestyles. In this article, we will define cystitis, look at the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment, and provide useful tips for pet owners.

Definition and Types

Cystitis refers to the inflammation of the bladder lining. There are two types of cystitis in cats; feline idiopathic or interstitial cystitis (FIC) and bacterial cystitis.

FIC is the most common type of cystitis in cats, accounting for over 60% of feline lower urinary tract diseases (FLUTD). Bacterial cystitis occurs when bacteria such as E.

Coli infects the bladder, known as bacterial cystitis. Other names that refer to cystitis are Feline Idiopathic Lower Urinary Tract Disease (iFLUTD), Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Pandora Syndrome, and Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS).

Symptoms of Cystitis in Cats

Cats that have cystitis tend to experience increased urination frequency with small squirts of urine, painful urination, and blood in the urine. This can also cause abnormal litter box behavior and foul-smelling urine.

In some cases, there may also be an excessive licking of the genital area, and the cat may appear agitated, restless, or aggressive due to the pain. Urgent urination may also be experienced by cats with cystitis.

Causes of Cystitis in Cats

There are several causes of cystitis in cats. One of the leading causes is stress.

Cats are creatures of habit and routine, changes in the environment, new pets, or human visitors can cause anxiety and stress. Other causes can include bacterial infections, urine crystals, bladder stones, and inadequate glycosaminoglycans production.

Cats with inadequate production of glycosaminoglycans experience difficulty preventing bacterial infections from developing in their urinary tract.


Diagnosis of cystitis in cats can be tricky because the ailment shares symptoms with other common feline health problems like kidney stones, bladder tumors, and feline urinary tract infections. To diagnose cystitis, a urinalysis will be conducted to check for the presence of bacteria and blood in the urine.

If any of these are present, then it signals a bacterial cystitis infection. An ultrasound may also be conducted when symptoms persist after initial treatment.

A full blood panel may also be ordered to help identify underlying health disorders that could be causing the cystitis.


When it comes to the treatment of cystitis in cats, there is no miracle cure. The goal of any treatment, therefore, is to provide symptomatic relief, promote pain management, and reduce stress.

The affected cat needs to be unblocked, and sedation is sometimes necessary. Unblocking entails using a urinary catheter or a cystocentesis to relieve the urine backlog in the urinary tract.

Antibiotics will be prescribed to combat bacterial cystitis. Pain medication will be prescribed to ease the pain and manage other cystitis-related symptoms.

Anti-inflammatory medication will also be administered to reduce inflammation in the urinary tract. Aside from medication, there are lifestyle changes that can be implemented to manage cystitis better.

A special diet may be recommended, and fresh water should always be available. Sodium chondroitin sulfate supplements may be added to the cats water, reducing future bacterial infections.

Pet owners will also need to find ways to reduce their cat’s stress levels, although this can be a daunting task since calm environment preferences vary from cat to cat.


The good news is that most cats with cystitis recover fully with proper treatment. The use of urinary support diet, reducing stress, regular fresh water intake, and sodium chondroitin sulfate supplements has been shown to prevent future occurrences of cystitis in cats.

In summary, cystitis in cats is a complex and painful ailment that requires prompt medical attention. Pet owners are encouraged to observe their feline friends for any unusual litter box behavior, increased urinary frequency, and blood in the urine, among other symptoms, and take immediate action should the symptoms present themselves.

Cystitis affects cats of all breeds, ages, and sexes, and as unfortunate as that is, with proper treatment, the prognosis is excellent and your furry friend can live a healthy life.

Importance of Immediate Veterinary Attention

Cystitis is a painful and uncomfortable condition that can be dangerous to a cat’s health. Failure to receive immediate veterinary attention for a cat suffering from cystitis can lead to life-threatening complications.

This is why it is crucial for pet owners to recognize the signs and seek veterinary attention promptly. When a cat has an acute case of cystitis, their urinary tract becomes blocked, which can lead to the cat being unable to urinate altogether.

This can cause a buildup of urine in their bladder, leading to dangerous complications like kidney damage, bladder rupture, sepsis, and potentially fatal uremic poisoning. In chronic cases, the inflammation of the bladder can also lead to other health problems, such as kidney damage, bladder stones, and urinary tract infections.

An untreated chronic case of cystitis can, therefore, lead to long-term health complications. Veterinary attention is, therefore, vital, as a veterinarian can conduct a physical exam, perform diagnostic tests such as urinalysis and blood tests, and establish the exact cause, therefore, providing the necessary treatment to restore the cat’s health.

Prevention of Cystitis in Cats

Prevention, as they say, is better than cure. This statement holds true when it comes to preventing cystitis in cats.

Below, we explore the different preventive measures that pet owners can take to ensure their cat never suffers from cystitis.

Reducing Stress

Stress is one of the leading causes of cystitis in cats. Therefore, reducing stress can go a long way in preventing an onset of cystitis.

A stressed cat can benefit from different things, such as providing them with multiple litter boxes, keeping the litter box clean, offering your cat hiding spaces, and limiting household disruptions. Routine is essential for cats, and so try to stick to the same routine as much as possible when it comes to feeding, playtime, and sleep.

Urinary Support Diet

A urinary support diet has low magnesium content to prevent the formation of urinary crystals and bladder stones. The diet may also include glycosaminoglycans that help the bladder lining maintain its protective mucus layer, reducing the risk of infection.

Fresh Water

Cats require plenty of fresh water to flush out toxins from their urinary tracts. Therefore, ensure that your cat has enough water to drink by providing them clean and fresh water daily.

Using a water fountain can entice your cat to drink more water.

Oral Glycosaminoglycans

Oral glycosaminoglycan supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine can help improve glycosaminoglycans production, reducing the chances of cystitis onset. These supplements come in different forms like tablets and powder and are usually given orally.

Bladder Health

Maintaining good bladder health is crucial in preventing cystitis in cats. Regular veterinary check-ups, clean litter boxes, and urinary tract health management are essential.

If you suspect that your cat may have cystitis or any other health condition, it is essential to seek veterinary attention immediately.

Final Thoughts

Cats are susceptible to urinary tract problems like cystitis, but with preventative measures, pet owners can minimize the risk. The importance of veterinary attention in treating cystitis cannot be overstated.

Immediate treatment ensures that the cat recovers quickly and reduces the risk of severe complications. Pet owners should also be vigilant in adopting preventive measures, such as reducing stress, providing urinary support diets, ensuring sufficient fresh water, and administering oral glycosaminoglycans.

By doing so, cat owners can promote good bladder health ensuring their furry companions lead healthy and happy lives.


Cystitis is a common inflammation of the bladder lining that affects many cats. The condition is often caused by stress, bacterial infections, crystals, bladder stones, or inadequate glycosaminoglycan production.

It can have serious consequences for a cat’s health, with acute cases leading to life-threatening complications and chronic cases leading to long-term health problems. The key to preventing serious complications associated with cystitis is to seek veterinary attention immediately, as a veterinarian can perform important diagnostic tests and provide the necessary treatment to restore the cat’s health.

It is also crucial for pet owners to take preventive measures such as reducing stress, providing urinary support diets and taking the necessary steps to maintain good bladder health. Cats that show symptoms of cystitis require veterinary attention as soon as possible.

This is because acute cases can lead to dangerous complications like kidney damage, bladder rupture, and uremic poisoning. Chronic cases can also cause long-term health problems, such as bladder stones, urinary tract infections, and kidney damage.

Prompt veterinary attention is crucial to restoring the cat’s health and reducing the risk of complications.

Treatment options for cystitis include providing symptomatic relief, promoting pain management, reducing stress, and administering antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Pet owners can also support their cats recovery by providing a special diet, plenty of fresh water, and glycosaminoglycan supplements.

In conclusion, cystitis is a painful condition that affects many cats. It requires prompt veterinary attention to ensure a quick and full recovery.

Pet owners must also take preventive measures to reduce the risk of cystitis onset, such as reducing stress, providing a urinary support diet, and maintaining good bladder health. With these measures in place, pet owners can promote healthy and happy lives for their feline companions.

Cystitis is a painful and dangerous inflammation of the bladder lining in cats. It can lead to life-threatening complications in acute cases and serious long-term health problems in chronic cases.

Immediate veterinary attention is crucial for prompt diagnosis and treatment options, which include symptom relief, stress reduction, and prescribed treatments like antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication. Preventive measures such as reducing stress, providing a urinary support diet, and maintaining good bladder health through regular veterinary checkups and clean litter boxes are essential to prevent cystitis.

Feline owners must be vigilant and take prompt action when cystitis symptoms arise to prevent serious consequences that may be detrimental to the cat’s overall health.

Popular Posts