Feline Cystitis (Idiopathic, or FLUTD)

Author: VioVet
Published: Sunday 20th January 2013

Our customer wrote:-
My female cat has stress cystitis every summer. Last year 3 times, and I have had to take her to the vets today with it. She is very distressed. The trouble is I myself have Motor Neurone Disease and it is very difficult for me to get her to the vets, as I am unsteady on my feet, and have trouble carrying her. I have her on Cosequin, Zylkene, and Feliway diffuser in the house, and add water to her food daily. Is there any anti inflammatory I could buy to try to combat this when it happens instead of taking her to the vets?

Our reply:-

This condition is such a nuisance. It is uncomfortable and difficult to control. However given the history in this case, it is unlikely to become more serious with what you are doing. Each particular event will probably be self-limiting, so if she is not too distressed, she might not actually need treatment from your vet. Most authorities do not believe that anti-inflammatories have any curative effect, though they may reduce discomfort. I would have to say though that if you are in any doubt about anything, your own vet should be your first port of call.

Some people consider that appropriate glucosamine supplements help. Cosequin might not be as effective here as the supplements intended for bladder help. Cystaid , Cystophan, and Cystese are the common examples of urinary products. If possible, I would recommend long-term use of one of these instead.

Possibly the most useful things are weight control and high water intake. I would feed her twice a day with a moist food and never leave her any "biscuits" down. Possibly a few biscuits with one of her main meals every day would help her teeth, but these diets do not help with cystitis at all. It is also good for her to get up and move about quite a lot. Well fed cats tend to be lazy and restful all the time. Slightly leaner and more hungry cats are up and about much more. Restricting the amount of food so that she is always ready for her next meal and eats it all keenly, then looks for more, is in many ways a healthier way to feed a cat. If the cat does not finish all the food in one go, it is not hungry enough and has been over-fed on the previous day or two. The amount of food to give needs to be judged to ensure it is all eaten each time. Not many people feed their cats this way any more, and most cats are fat. Fat, lazy cats are more prone to cystitis, among many other things.