Feline Idiopathic Cystitis is a very common and distressing condition where the bladder lining degrades, causing the cat considerable pain.
There are a number of possible medical causes. However a high percentage are said to be ‘idiopathic', i.e. not associated with a medical cause. This commonly occurs in cats which have an exaggerated response to stress. Managing FIC
Support the bladder – Supplements like Cystease® are available to help support the bladder lining. This supplement contains N-acetyl glucosamine, the building blocks the bladder needs to maintain the lining and also L-tryptophan a stress fighting ingredient.
Encourage cats to drink – It is vital cats drink regularly to prevent their urine becoming overly concentrated. However, cats do not have a strong thirst response (as they would naturally get most of their water from prey) and you may need to take action to encourage your cat to drink more.
Never place water next to food. Cats will never drink where they eat. Make sure bowls are in other parts of the room / house.
Provide wide ceramic bowls and ensure the level remains topped up. Plastic or metal taints the taste.
Some cats may prefer drinking from running water. If so cat water fountains are available and can be very effective.
Reduce Stress – Feliway®, the innovate pheromone product, available as a plug-in diffuser and proven to reduce feline stress, has been reported to have reduced the number and severity of bouts of Feline Cystitis and is now commonly used as part of the management of the disease. However, other steps should also be taken to reduce the cats stress.
In addition to Feliway, environmental modifications may be required, particularly in multi-cat households:
If there is a new cat in the neighbourhood causing your cat stress, provide a shield so the new cat cannot be seen, e.g. cover the windows when you're not in the room or remove items that may attract the aggressor cat such as bird tables.
In a multi-cat household create multiple access points for valuable resources, i.e.
Multiple litter trays
Multiple sleeping areas
Multiple food stations
Multiple drinking opportunities (not near food)
Spread these ‘resources' around the house so they are not concentrated in one area. This means all cats can access the resources when they wish without having to wait until another cat has finished. Queuing causes stress and is a very common cause of social unrest.
Single cat-sized sleeping perches have been shown to help reduce individual cat stress in multi-cat household for a similar reason.
Initial 2 weeks:
Adminster 1 capsule daily for cats up to 3 kg and 2 capsules daily for cats over 3kg.
Adminster 1 capsule every other day for cats up to 3 kg and 1 capsules daily for cats over 3kg.