Home Cats What is Feline Idiopathic Cystitis? What’s the Treatment for Idiopathic Cystitis in Cats

What is Feline Idiopathic Cystitis? What’s the Treatment for Idiopathic Cystitis in Cats

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What is Feline Idiopathic Cystitis?

What is feline idiopathic cystitis?FIC is an exclusionary diagnosis. To have idiopathic cystitis, cats must NOT have - Bladder stones Blockage of the urethra Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Acute Kidney Injury Exposure to toxins Prostate disease Cancer Idiopathic renal hematuria (bleeding of the kidneys)

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) can be defined as a feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) that has no particular cause. FIC was earlier known as iFLUTD or idiopathic feline lower urinary tract disease. 

Now, feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) can be caused by urinary tract infections (UTIs), and bladder stones. However, when a cat has signs of UTI or bladder stones without actual infections or stones then the vet can say that the particular cat has Idiopathic Cystitis or FIC. 

So, in medical terms – Feline Idiopathic Cystitis or FIC is a diagnosis of exclusion. When all other possible causes of difficulty in urination and inflammation of the bladder have been ruled out, it can be called FIC. 

Another name for Feline Idiopathic Cystitis is Pandora Syndrome. 

Who is prone to getting Feline Idiopathic Cystitis?

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis or FIC occurs commonly in young and middle-aged cats. This would mean cats between the ages of 4 and 10 years. 

Idiopathic Cystitis is also common among male cats, although some female cats develop it too. 

Overweight cats within the age group are also at a higher risk of developing idiopathic cystitis. 

What are the signs of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)?

Symptoms of Idiopathic Cystitis in Cats Difficulty in urinating Frequent urination Urinating in small amounts only Blood in the urine Urinating outside the litter box Mewing loudly while urinating Low energy or lethargy Inappetence Vomiting Hiding

The common signs of Idiopathic Cystitis in cats is similar to that of UTIs and bladder stones, such as –

  • Difficulty in urinating 
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinating in small amounts only
  • Blood in the urine
  • Urinating outside the litter box
  • Mewing loudly while urinating
  • Low energy or lethargy
  • Inappetence 
  • Vomiting
  • Hiding 

Each cat may show additional signs or other signs that are not listed here. So, irrespective of the signs you notice, blockage of the urethra and less production of urine is ALWAYS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY!

What causes feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC)?

There is no particular cause for feline idiopathic cystitis or FIC. Idiopathic means the cause of the disease is unknown. 

According to research, environmental stress may play a significant role in the development of feline idiopathic cystitis. Cats who have experienced changes at home or in their routine can experience FIC. 

How is Feline Idiopathic Cystitis diagnosed?

Veterinarians have to rule out all possible causes of the clinical symptoms before they can diagnose a cat with idiopathic cystitis. Therefore, to have idiopathic cystitis, cats must NOT have –

  • Bladder stones
  • Blockage of the urethra
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Acute Kidney Injury
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Prostate disease
  • Cancer
  • Idiopathic renal hematuria (bleeding of the kidneys)

To rule out these conditions, the veterinarian may recommend a few tests, including –

  • Urinalysis
  • Urine culture
  • Kidney function test
  • Abdominal X-rays
  • Abdominal USG (ultrasound)

The doctors might run a few more blood tests to rule out other possible causes that may be affecting a cat’s urinary function. 

Treatment of Idiopathic Cystitis in Cats

ingraphic on Treatment for feline idopathic cystitis in cats. Treatment of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis There is NO direct treatment for Idiopathic Cystitis in cats Management of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis Keep your cat in a stress-free environment Maintain prescription food Continue kidney/bladder supplements

Since there is no known cause of FIC, there is no direct treatment for idiopathic cystitis in cats. 

If your cat has no urethral blockage, the veterinarian may recommend ways to ease your cat’s discomfort and pain. You may need to think about any recent changes in your cat’s environment that may be causing excess stress and alter it. 

In case your cat’s urethra is blocked, aggressive treatment is required. However, giving conventional painkillers does not help with idiopathic cystitis in cats. At the same time, you should NEVER give your cat human or dog pain medication. 

Your veterinarian may also prescribe anti-anxiety medication for your cat to reduce their overall stress level. Reducing the stress helps relieve the clinical signs caused by idiopathic cystitis in cats. 

Management of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis

The management of feline idiopathic cystitis includes keeping the cat in a stress-free environment. 

Maintenance of any prescription diet and supplement that the veterinarian has recommended. Several cats live a healthy life post-FIC diagnosis with the correct urinary care diet and supplements. 

What is the prognosis of idiopathic cystitis in cats?

Cats can have a normal life expectancy even with a FIC diagnosis as long as you continue to follow their idiopathic cystitis management and treatment plan. 

Is Feline Idiopathic Cystitis in cats curable?

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis is not curable. Almost 50% of all cats with FIC have recurrent episodes within the next 12 months. These episodes can resolve within 5-7 days. However, if there is any urinary blockage, immediate veterinary attention is required.

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