Cystitis, FLUTD, crystals, etc.
Treatment of feline lower urinary tract disease
Moisture is imperative to urinary tract health. Cats with histories
of urinary tract stones, cystitis, urinary tract infections, and
other urinary tract disorders should be fed all wet food, canned
Urine is composed of water and sediment, byproducts filtered out
by the kidneys. A urinalysis will determine urine’s specific
gravity. The specific gravity measures how much of the urine is
composed of sediment. If the urine is composed of too much sediment,
or high specific gravity, stones may develop. There are two common
forms of stones. One forms when the urine is too acidic (pH is too
low), the other when the urine is too alkaline (pH is too high).
Crystals may form in urine within 30 minutes after collection, creating
a false positive, so diagnosis should be done promptly and carefully.
If a cat is straining to urinate and not producing urine, it may
have a life-threatening blockage and should be taken to a veterinarian
immediately. A blockage can cause death within hours. Surgery may
be needed to remove the stones.
Cystitis or Inflammation
Cystitis is simply inflammation of the urinary tract. It may result
in blood in the urine and frequent urination, perhaps of small amounts.
In many cases, the cause is stress or is unknown. It may occur in
conjunction with stones or infection, or alone. Cystitis generally
resolves on its own in a few days. Antibiotics are unnecessary and
will not shorten the duration of cystitis.
The symptoms of a bacterial urinary tract infection are similar
to cystitis. Bacterial urinary tract infections are rare in cats
that do not have diabetes or kidney disease. Most cases are cystitis.
Diagnosis should be done using a culture & sensitivity (C&S). Urine
should be collected through a needle inserted into the bladder (cystocentesis)
to avoid any contamination of the sample from urine on the cat’s
fur or collection container used. Anesthesia is not necessary for
the procedure. A C&S will identify the type of bacteria present,
and the best antibiotic for treatment. Overuse of antibiotics is
detrimental, so a C&S is imperative for differentiating a bacterial
infection from cystitis. Both conditions can result in blood as
well as white blood cells to be present in the urine.
Urinary tract stones, cystitis (urinary tract inflammation), and
bacterial urinary tract infections are all more likely to be avoided
by feeding an all-wet diet, canned or raw. Dry food exacerbates
urinary tract problems by increasing the urine’s specific
gravity and decreasing the volume of water flushing out sediment,
decreasing the frequency it is flushed out. An all-canned diet has
been shown more effective at preventing urinary tract stones than
prescription dry food.
Meal-feeding, rather than free-feeding, helps maintain a proper
pH balance in cats’ urine
Download PDF Brochure
For futher information, visit:
Urinary Tract Health: Cystitis, Urethral Obstruction, Urinary Tract
Infection by Lisa Pierson, DVM
of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease by S. Dru Forrester, DVM,
Lower Urinary Tract Disease by Andrew H. Sparkes, BvetMed, PhD,
DECVIM, MRCVS. WSAVA 2006
Urinary Tract Disease - Feline by David Senior, Professor and
Head, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Louisiana State University,
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary
Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA. WSAVA
evaluation of commercially available urinary acidification diets
in the management of idiopathic cystitis in cats. Markwell PJ,
Buffington CA, Chew DJ, Kendall MS, Harte JG, DiBartola SP, J Am
Vet Med Assoc. 1999 Feb 1;214(3):361-5.
evaluation of cats with nonobstructive urinary tract diseases.
Buffington CA, Chew DJ, Kendall MS, Scrivani PV, Thompson SB, Blaisdell
JL, Woodworth BE, J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1997 Jan 1;210(1):46-50
Cystitis in Cats: Diagnosis and Management Dennis J. Chew, DVM
Diplomate ACVIM (Internal Medicine), CAT Buffington, DVM PhD Diplomate
Lower Urinary Tract Disorders (Session 1), Sterile Cystitis (Session
2) Tony Buffington - WSAVA 2001
cystitis: Recurrence rates can impact almost half of patientsBy:
Johnny D. Hoskins, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM - DVM news magazine, Mar
treatment for severe recurrent idiopathic cystitis in cats.
Chew DJ, Buffington CA, Kendall MS, DiBartola SP, Woodworth BE.,
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1998 Nov 1;213(9):1282-6
Lower Urinary Tract Disease by Mar Vista Animal Medical Center
Stones by Mar Vista Animal Medical Center
Lower Urinary Tract Disease by Danielle A Gunn-Moore
Idiopathic/Interstitial Cystitis in Cats: Thinking Outside the (Litter)
Box Dennis J. Chew, DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine), Charles
A. Buffington, DVM, PhD, DACVN
Treating Cats with Idiopathic Cystitis - What is the evidence?
by Joseph W Bartges, DVM, PhD, Dip. ACVIM, Dip. ACVN
Urinalysis Revisited by Antech Diagnostics January 2006: A good
resource on collecting samples for urinalysis.
last updated: 01/04/2010
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