Causes of Cystitis

Cystitis is an inflammation of the urinary bladder that has many different possible causes.

  • Idiopathic Cystitis. Many cases of cystitis in cats have no know underlying cause. The inflammation in the bladder is centred around the nerves that go into the bladder. Stress may play a significant part in Feline Idiopathic Cystitis.
  • Infection. Cystitis can be caused by bacteria that enter the bladder through the external urinary opening (the urethra in the penis or vagina). Kidney infections may spread to the bladder. Occasionally infections in other parts of the body spread to the bladder through the bloodstream. Females appear more susceptible to bladder infections than males.
  • Crystals & Stones. Crystals in the urine and Bladder stones are a cause of chronic or repeated cystitis.
  • Other causes of cystitis include growth in the bladder and diverticulae (outpouchings of the bladder wall).

Signs of Cystitis

Common signs of bladder infection include frequent licking of the urinary opening, frequent passing of small amounts of urine, blood in the urine, painful urination, and straining, urinating in unusual places and not passing any urine.

With repeated bouts of cystitis further investigation is required. This may include testing the urine, blood tests and x–rays and ultrasound of the bladder and in some cases biopsy of the bladder

Important Points in Treatment

  • Reduce Stress. Stress can play a part in some cases. Provide a safe area in which to place the cat’s litter box. If you have more than one cat consider having more than one litter box and clean them frequently. Reduce overcrowding and bullying if it is a problem. Reassure the cat as much as possible.
  • Create a More Dilute Urine. Try changing to a wet food. Supply free access to water.
  • Medications that may be used to treat cystitis
  • Feliway™, a synthetic cat facial pheromone used to reduce anxiety.
  • Cartrophin™, a semi-synthetic polymer to help replace the protein layer lining the bladder wall. This medication is not registered for use in cats.
  • Anxiety reducing drugs. We will sometimes use anxiety reducing medications to treat cystitis in cats if we are suspicious that stress is a major factor in the disease.
  • Antibiotics, may be used if infection is suspected.
  • Urethral spasm reducing medications. There are several drugs that can be use to reduce the spasm in the muscles surrounding the tube draining from the bladder
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs will help make some cases more comfortable early in the course of treatment.