Signs And Symptoms Of Cat Cystitis

Cat cystitis is a urinary tract problem usually seen in male cats. Small crystals build up in the cat's urine and can make it difficult or painful to pee. If enough crystals build up, the urinary tract is completely blocked. It occurs more often in males because they have a narrower urethra than females, so it gets blocked more easily.

There are no certain causes in developing cystitis. Diet, water intake, bacteria, stress and heredity can all be factors.

Symptoms of cat cystitis include:

  • straining to urinate or having difficulty urinating

  • peeing in places other than the litter box

  • licking at their genitals excessively

  • frequent trips to the litter box for small amounts of urine

  • blood in urine

  • begin urine spraying

  • crying out or meowing while in the litter box

If you see blood in the cat's urine (whether actual blood or just a pinkish tint) or if you are not sure if your cat can pass urine, see your vet immediately. If your cat is blocked and cannot urinate it is an emergency situation! Your vet will determine the best course of action for treatment, but getting them unblocked and peeing will be their first step.

Your vet will also likely give medication to change the acidity of the urine, and possibly antibiotics if they feel a urinary tract infection might also be a problem.

Once your cat can urinate, your vet can do a urinalysis and help you determine any ongoing treatment. Your vet may also suggest a change in diet - to a low ash/low magnesium food, a prescription diet, or adding more moist food for water intake. 

Some higher quality foods have cranberries in the ingredients.  This isn't a solution if your cat already has cystitis, but can help as a preventative or in minimizing flare ups.

Some cats have one episode of cystitis and are fine from then on, while some cats may be prone to it. With proper ongoing care, your cat can have a healthy and happy life!

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