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What is feline cystitis (FIC)? 

When cats have cystitis, it means that their bladders are inflamed. Feline idiopathic cystitis or FIC describes cystitis which has an unexplained medical cause.

It is a really common condition and is not normally a serious health concern, but can be very uncomfortable for your cat. FIC is more common in younger felines and episodes tend to reduce with age. FIC is different from a bladder infection, bladder stones or more serious urinary tract conditions, but can often present the same symptoms.

What causes feline idiopathic cystitis in cats?
Stress is thought to be the most significant cause of FIC in cats. This is because anxiety has been proven to cause a special layer of the bladder which protects it against the harsh chemicals in urine to become patchy. When the tissue of the bladder is exposed to urine, inflammation can occur.

What are the symptoms of feline
idiopathic cystitis, and other types of cystitis, in cats?
Straining to urinate
Bloody urine
Weeing in unusual places
Licking the urinary opening

How is feline idiopathic cystitis diagnosed in cats?
There is no reliable, concrete test for FIC in cats. If the cat is suffering from urinary problems and all other possibilities, such as infection, blockage or bladder stones have been ruled out, a vet will normally diagnose a cat with FIC.

How is feline idiopathic cystitis in cats treated?
FIC is normally treated with a course of anti-inflammatory medication. This often worries cat owners because, in some cases, where they are dehydrated or have low blood pressure, these medications can cause kidney problems. However in the vast majority of cases they are very safe.

Will my cat get feline idiopathic cystitis again?
Most cats will normally have another episode, but there are steps you can take to limit this possibility. Stress reduction is the best way to prevent repeat problems.
Special diet or supple-ments
A special diet re-commended by your vet can have a big impact but there are also some supplements which owners can try. One common one would be Cystease which can cost as little as £7 for a month’s supply.