A common sign of stress in cats is Interstitial cystitis (inflammation of the bladder),  also named ‘feline idiopathic cystitis’ or FIC . And just like human cystitis this can be very painful for our furry friends.

Whilst cystitis in female cats is painful and upsetting, it can actually turn into a life-threatening condition for tom cats as their bladder can get blocked by swelling, blood clots or crystals. This leads to the poor kitty being unable to pass urine, which leads to the bladder overfilling.  This in turn causes back-pressure which can ultimately lead to kidney failure and collapse.

 

Any male cat that seems unable to pass urine should be seen by a veterinary surgeon immediately and checked for Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD)

 

There are a number of possible causes of cystitis, but the majority of young cats who develop cystitis / urinary crystals do so as a result of stress. Sometimes it’s an obvious reason like moving house or getting a new pet, but often it is difficult to recognise the actual cause. If you know your kitty gets stressed when you’re away, it’s advisable to book at least two visits a day with your cat sitter and set up a calming Feliway diffuser.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Distressed while urinating
  • Urinating more frequently than normal
  • Urinating outside of the litter box
  • Producing little or no urine after straining
  • Finding blood in urine
  • If kitty is over grooming and behaviour is becoming obsessive

If your furry friend is showing any of these symptoms it’s advisable to call your local vet for advice. Do not leave ignore it in the hope that it will fix itself.

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Can it be prevented?

Although there is no direct cause, it’s extremely important that your cat eats a good PH balanced diet and drinks plenty of water. If your cat currently has a dry food diet, try balancing it out with some wet food too. If your cat is not already used to it, try to get your cat used to a few spoonfuls of water added to their wet food for extra hydration or treat them to a ‘soups’ of tuna or chicken in plenty of water (without salt). Don’t forget to make sure your cat sitter knows to do this while you’re away 😉

 

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Photo taken by one of our lovely cat sitters

 

And for those warm summer days, here are some useful tops on how to keep your kitty extra hydrated and cool =^.^=

 

PLEASE NOTE :: Once cats have developed cystitis, they are very prone to having further bouts of it in the future. So please stay alert and make sure your cat sitter is aware of it and knows where to find the cat carrier is in case of an emergency.