Cystitis in Cats

Recognising and Managing Cystitis in Cats

Cystitis is a lower urinary tract disease. When the bladder becomes inflamed, the first symptom is usually frequent urination or attempts to pass urine. When the cat is attempting to urinate you will see it will have an arched back, is hunched up, the head inclined down and both front and back legs are more vertical.

Affected animals will often urinate in unusual or inappropriate places, like carpets, rugs, chairs, newspapers etc. The animal may be unable to rest because of repeated straining. It is not that there is extra urine, but the inflammation mimics the feeling of fullness in the bladder and therefore the animal feels the urge to urinate. Especially human females may have experienced that for themselves and know how uncomfortable and painful it can be.

Another symptom could be an odor associated with the cystitis. This odor cannot be smelled by humans, but male cats find that odor attractive, so if you see males hanging around a spayed female or a neutered male, that animal may have cystitis.

Diagnosis for Cystitis is done by checking the level of white blood cells in a urine sample. A high level of white blood cells indicates an inflammation. Sometimes there are crystals in the urine and these may create problems. Cereal based commercial foods tend to produce an alkaline urine as opposed to a meat based diet. An alkaline urine is a major factor in crystal formation.

Females are more prone to cystitis than males, but cystitis in male cats is more serious. In females the urethra is short and has a wide diameter so crystals can usually pass easily, though they may irritate the bladder and urethra. In males the urethra is longer and relatively narrow and this is where the problems can become serious. If the urethra of male cats becomes blocked and urine can no longer pass it can become a dangerous situation and could even be fatal if not resolved quickly. If urine cannot pass, pressure on the bladder will cause the kidneys to stop functioning, so it is as if the kidneys have shut down.

It may be hard to see if a cat urinates or not, but other indications are a funny smelling breath and your cat becoming lethargic. Your cat may vomit, as the kidneys cannot get rid of toxins and this makes the cat sick. So, if you believe your cat is not passing urine or is showing some of the other symptoms, get your cat examined by a Vet as soon as possible.

In less acute situations Homeopathy can help manage your cat’s discomfort and support a healthy urinary tract. If you would like to support your cat in a more natural way please contact me.

(ref: Don Hamilton, DVM)


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The information contained in this website is not intended to replace guidance from your veterinarian. Bowen Therapy and Homeopathy are complementary to veterinary treatment and the general care of the animal.