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I'm so sorry you have had such a long wait to get a response. I just logged on and saw your question and have replied right away.
I would like to help you and your cat but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.
Was your vet able to get a urine sample for analysis?
Is she cyring when she urinates?
Has there been any big stress in her life (re-arranging the furniture, putting up a Christmas tree) in the week or so before this started?
no real crazy stresses. Pretty much normal around here. We did start feeding them in their own dishes, as opposed to free feeding schedules, but that is all we can think of regarding "cat stress".
The vet. weas able to get a urine sample...he used a needle to draw and said he saw some crystals, but nothing unusual...lots of cats have it, he said.
the kitty does not cry out when urinating, but there does appear to be blood present in her urine. She cries out when she's locked in the bathroom all day!
No worries about the time...it's the weekened...and so we're just wondering about getting a second opinion and paying another vet or if we should just "wait it out" like he suggests.
Ahh...ok, that information has been very helpful! Overall, with what you have told me I do think that you should wait it out as your vet has suggested.
Let me explain why...
What you are describing in your cat makes me very suspicious that this could be feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC).
Basically, when a cat comes in with the symptoms you are describing, I wonder about FIC, but have to rule out other problems before making this diagnosis. I don’t have a test for it, so it is a diagnosis of exclusion (meaning I have shown it is NOT other problems).
Let's start with the most likely physical problems:
1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
UTI's in female cats are fairly common.
The urethra (the tube between the bladder and the outside) is short and wide in female animals which allows bacteria an easy route to climb up into the bladder and cause infection. Young animals are slightly more prone because their immune systems are not as strong as an adult animal. If this is what she has, a course of antibiotics should clear the problem up.
The fact that your vet got a urine sample for analysis and presumably did NOT find bacteria means that this is almost certainly not a UTI.
Here is more about UTI's:
2. It is possible for a cat with these symptoms to have crystals in her urine.
It sounds like your vet checked for these and did not find unusual numbers.
The two main types of crystals that form in cats' urine are struvite crystals (about 95% are these) and calcium oxalate (about 4% are these). Struvite forms in urine that is too alkaline (not acidic enough) and calcium oxalate forms in urine that is too acidic. This is usually something that occurs at a younger age, and is easily diagnosed by analyzing a urine sample. Your vet would surely have started your cat on a medical diet to control crystal formation if this were the problem. So I doubt that this is what is going on.
3. If urine tests ruled out infection and crystals as being the culprit, then I would likely diagnose your cat with feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), which is closely related to interstitial cystitis seen in humans.
This is what I feel is most likely in your cat!
FIC is an inflammatory condition of the bladder that causes pain on urination, frequent urination, and often bloody urine. It sounds like you are seeing frequent urination AND bloody urine. It is often triggered by stress, though it may not be apparent to US what the stress is. Perhaps she has seen another cat on her property? Maybe visitors, or renovations, or a book falling off a shelf and her interpreting it as an unprovoked attack? It is sometimes hard to know what stresses a cat!
In terms of treatment for FIC, the following is my approach for cats that I diagnose with this problem:
a) Switch to all canned food if the cat will take it. This is helpful because it increases water intake, and sometimes just diluting the urine is enough to make cats with this problem feel better!
b) Encourage water consumption.
THIS IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE TREATMENT! I LIKE MY FIC PATIENTS TO DRINK 1.5 CUPS OF WATER A DAY!
I suggest opening a can of tuna *in water* and offering her the liquid.
Also, you can pick up Clam Juice in most grocery stores (sold in with the V8 or with the canned tuna in my grocery store) and mix that with some water.
You could try Lactose Free milk (Lactaid is the Canadian brand).
Offer her some canned cat food, and mix it with water to make a slurry if she won't eat it.
Things you can do to encourage a cat to drink are:
- offer water from a very wide flat bowl as cats don't like their whiskers to touch the edges when they drink (which is why lots of cats like the toilet bowl).
- If she likes dripping water, leave a tap dripping for her.
- Offer bottled water and see if she prefers it.
- Offer chicken broth, diluted 50:50.
- See if she likes water with an ice cube in it.
- See if she likes it out of a cup or martini glass.
- Offer Whiskas Cat Milk
- Offer water from a fountain which can be found at major pet stores like PetSmart - they look like like this:
Cats seem to love them and it really encourages water drinking!
c) Continue to try to minimize the stress in your cat's life. One of the things that I would strongly recommend is a Feliway Diffuser system. This is a plug-in device that sprays a cat pheromone into the air, helping to calm the cat without drugs. Here's a link to more information:
I find the plug-in diffuser to be the most helpful since it works even when you are not there, which is when your cat is most likely to feel stressed. They really do work!
d) Increase the protective layer of mucus on the inside of the bladder (to protect the sensitive bladder wall) by using supplements called glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s). It sounds like your cat is already on these.
There are 2 that I use:
1. pentosan polysulfate (Elmiron) –or
2. Cosequin sprinkle capsules.
These are a safe and (usually) effective treatment. It takes several weeks to be effective. I'll give you links to more information:
e) Medications can be very helpful! The drug that I find most successful to treat FIC is amitriptyline. It is safe, reasonably inexpensive, and only has to be given once daily. We usually put cats on it for a fairly long period of time, so I only use it when other treatment fails. It is an anti-anxiety medication, but also seems to provide pain relief to the bladder.
Here is more about it:
Here is more about FIC:
http://www.vet.ohio-state.edu/indoorcat (The DVD from this site is very good!)
Overall, I do suspect your cat might have FIC.
Most flare-ups of FIC resolve on their own in about 5-7 days, and come on 2 or 3 days after a stressful event. This is why antibiotics so often seem to help the problem... we usually use them for 7 days or so, and the cat gets better in about that long.
If this is FIC, it may be that she is going to improve very soon on her own. It would be very helpful to encourage her to drink as much as possible regardless of whether she has FIC, crystals in her urine or a urinary tract infection. This is a safe and effective thing that you can do to really help her!
A lot of people ask about cranberry juice, but cats don't really love cranberries, so it is quite hard to get juice into them in amounts that might help.
However, you can add Uromaxx to the cats' diet. Uromaxx is a liquid that contains cranberry extract. It has been shown to reduce bacterial adhesion to bladder wall and reduce bacterial biofilm. The bacterial biofilm is the matrix that protect bacteria from antibiotics.
Follow directions on the label and add to the cats' food.
You can find some here:
Also, I do feel that increased drinking would be really helpful. I would like to see your Cute cat drinking 1.5 cups of fluids a day. That would help her a lot!
Hope that helps!
If this has been helpful, please Accept my answer and leave feedback.
If you need more information, just click on reply and I will try to provide it!
The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.
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