Embedded in the diseases called FLUTD – Feline lower urinary tract disease or diseases of the feline lower urinary tract, feline idiopathic cystitis is a pathology that occurs with some frequency among cats of both sexes and is usually difficult to diagnose.

Especially painful and causing more than 60% of the non-obstructive lower urinary tract of cats under 10 years of age, feline idiopathic cystitis or interstitial cystitis is a noninfectious inflammatory disorder that must be known in order to know how to act in time.

Idiopathic feline cystitis or interstitial cystitis

Feline idiopathic cystitis is a pathology that generates inflammation in the bladder and anomalies in the central nervous system. His idiopathic condition indicates that it is not entirely clear what are the causes that trigger it, although specialists relate its appearance with psychological and neuroendocrine factors.

Thus, when the cat goes through stressful moments, it triggers a series of alterations in his organism that generate an inflammation in the walls of the urethra. It is important to understand that antibiotics are not used to treat idiopathic cystitis since this inflammation does not present infection.

According to specialists, stress causes cats to increase their levels of tyrosine hydroxylase and activates the sympathetic nervous system. Due to this, the permeability of the urothelium is altered, allowing the passage of potassium and calcium present in the urine, triggering inflammation. In addition, this condition can obstruct the pet.

In general, there are certain conditions that can lead to idiopathic cystitis in cats, such as in the case of moving or changing their habitat, fights with other pets in the house or sudden changes in habits. In addition, cats that are scary are more predisposed to suffer from this condition.

Diagnosis of feline idiopathic cystitis

The proper diagnosis of feline idiopathic cystitis is made by exclusion, that is, as a discard of other diseases that can cause similar symptoms. Thus, the first thing we must rule out is the presence of bladder stones through clinical tests.

A first test is the one of the probing, realized with the purpose of extracting samples of the calculations to analyze its composition, as well as to eliminate any obstruction that can appear in the animal.

The radiographic images are taken in order to visualize any presence of stones in the bladder or urethra. This test is complementary since it is possible that the calculations can not be visualized with accuracy.

Ultrasound, on the other hand, will allow the veterinarian to analyze the presence of stones and the conditions that the bladder wall presents. In parallel, it is advisable to perform a cytopuncture to the animal, which consists of taking a sample of sterile urine in order to observe the presence of sediments.

These tests also serve to rule out other types of pathologies such as a tumor in the bladder or urethra, trauma, bacterial infections or congenital alterations, although these last two are very uncommon in cats.

When these pathologies have been ruled out, the veterinarian can conclude that he is in a situation of feline idiopathic cystitis and will determine the most appropriate treatment for the pet, based on the condition of the bladder and the obstruction situation that may occur.

Treatment of idiopathic cystitis in cats

The veterinarian will determine the treatment to be followed according to whether the feline idiopathic cystitis is presented with obstruction or not. In cases of feline idiopathic cystitis with obstruction, the cat should receive treatment immediately as it could present with acute renal failure.

The most appropriate treatment is to completely sedate the animal and test it to eliminate the obstruction. In parallel and only if the probing does not meet the expected results, urethral washes are performed.

When feline idiopathic cystitis is present without obstruction, the treatment consists in the application of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDs, the increase in water intake, a diet rich in moist foods and in the improvement of the home environment to reduce stress in the cat.

Recommendations for owners

Cats are solitary and territorial animals, so it is advisable to take a series of measures in their environment aimed at keeping them free of stress and any related disease.

  • In principle, we must provide the cat with toys that can imitate the game; It is advisable to rotate your toys every so often.
  • Cats should have a special plate of food and others more for water. The food area should be located in a secluded area away from its sandbox.
  • The water, in addition, should be renewed frequently, in order to keep it fresh always. This element is essential to keep them from feline idiopathic cystitis.
  • It is recommended that the cat have a rest area in a high and quiet area of ​​the house, away from drafts and other animals.
  • The litter box must remain clean, so it is necessary to collect the excrement every day. In addition, it is recommended that the litter box not be shared by more than one cat.
  • It is advisable to give the cat a wide range of freedom so that he can climb, play and explore through the different environments of the home.

In cases of feline idiopathic cystitis, as important as veterinary treatment and care in feeding is the improvement in the environment of the animal, in order to reduce stress and avoid any type of relapse.

Although it is a difficult pathology to treat, through an adequate diagnosis, a disciplined treatment and the improvement of environmental conditions, the cat will achieve a significant improvement in the short term.