How to Treat Cystitis in Cats
Feline cystitis is a fairly common condition that affects both females and males and can be very painful for your cat. It is a complex disease to diagnose but once positively diagnosed, you must start short and long term treatment straight away. Feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) requires medication and a change of environment to reduce stress. We explain how to treat cystitis in cats in this OneHowTo article.
In order to treat cystitis in cats you need to tackle the disease from various angles. It will take medication to fight the inflammation and pain, and to block stimulation of the nerves. In addition, you need to do everything possible to reduce your cat's anxiety and stress to prevent it from becoming a chronic or recurrent illness. The treatment is aimed at treating the symptoms to improve the health of your cat.
Usually when left untreated, cystitis symptoms resolve themselves within a week without medication. However, those days will be very painful for your cat so try to take some measures to stop them from getting worse and, above all, so they're not so painful until it goes.
NSAIDs are recommended for about 7 to 10 days. The dose is usually 0.1 mg/kg. In addition, you will be given an analgesic to treat the cycle of inflammation and pain caused by cystitis in the bladder wall. Analgesics are usually given orally for 10 days and every 8 or 12 hours. The dose will vary according to your pet's discomfort.
If there is also a lot of swelling, a muscle relaxant is also recommended. Doses range from 0.25 to 1mg for at least 10 days and every 8 hours. All medication should be reviewed and analysed by your veterinarian. You should never medicate your cat on your own as the vet must keep track of medications and their doses.
Synthetic facial pheromones are also recommended for the treatment of feline idiopathic cystitis. There have been studies that demonstrate how effective they are if they're applied in the environment where your feline lives. Pheromones alongside medication improve the symptoms. The best method of application is in spray form, provided it is done with some regularity.
This treatment forms part of the change of environment which is equally as important in combating cystitis. Don't think that medication alone is enough. Changing their environment is essential.
In order to change your cat's living environment, you should know precisely what your cat's ideal state is. Remember that cats are less hierarchical, territorial and independent so it's really important that all your pet's needs are covered. Each of them must also be well defined.
Starting with their primary needs, food should always be available so your cat can eat several times a day, as long as your pet does not have problems with diabetes or is overweight. It may be a good idea to get an interactive feeder so your cat sees food as a challenge and does not eat out of boredom. In this way, food is difficult to obtain as if it were prey.
In order to treat cystitis in cats, you need to avoid causing any stress, so if you have more than one cat, ensure that each food bowl is separate. It is also essential to ensure that they drink more water. So this is achieved and is more effective, your cat should have access to fresh, running water.
This water container must be separate from their food and litter tray. You can even place several water bowls throughout the house to reduce stress. You also need to increase the amount of wet food they have every day. This is recommended for cats with impaired renal function. Try to ensure that cans of soft food are stored at room temperature. If you keep food in the fridge, it should be warmed up for a few seconds in the microwave.
Another important step for treating feline cystitis is to keep an eye on their litter tray and ensure you look after it properly. Remember the litter tray should be of a size that is commensurate with the size of your cat so they can get in it and move around it without any problems. Bear in mind that cats usually like to turn around several times until they find the ideal angle for their needs. It's a good idea to have one that's fairly wide and if it has a border, it's best if you remove it.
The type of litter is also key. Although there are many types of litter, the most effective that is accepted by cats is the sort that binds together. This is very clean and it doesn't bother your cat's paw pads. The tray must always be in a quiet and accessible place that is well ventilated. You must remove all traces of excrement every day. If you have more than one cat in your house, it's best they have one each, unless they get along really well and it doesn't become a source of stress.
You have to respect their privacy, their time and their need for affection. Ensure that their relationship with all the family and other pets is pleasant and relaxed. If there are problems with other cats, your cat needs an area where they can either interact with others or decided to be alone if they're feeling ill. When your pet is suffering from a bout of cystitis it's not a good idea to introduce new animals into the home because their stress will increase.
Play is another important routine in your cat's health. Your cat needs to play every day, so take time to play with them and if they have toys, don't take them out all at once. You're best alternating their toys so that your pet doesn't get bored and so they feel like their toys are new.
Some toys include catnip and are very enticing for cats. You can also permeate different areas of the house with catnip so they smell it and feel stimulated by it. These moments of leisure time are necessary to keep your pet entertained, exercise it and improve the bond between you both.
Finally, remember that cats need quiet and high places to rest. Such areas must always be far away from their litter tray, water and food. There must be a clear separation between each of these areas. Where they rest, they also usually like to groom themselves, so this space needs to be perfectly peaceful and clean so that your pet does not stop washing.
As well as providing a suitable resting place, you should put scratching posts around the house so they can sharpen their claws. Choose the one that best suits you. There are many types and materials, but you should always have more than one so they don't start to scratch their claws in other parts of the home. Your home should be three dimensional. It's good to have horizontal and vertical scratching posts, so that your cat feels comfortable and stimulated, and their stress levels decrease.
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