Do you know about Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)?
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) is a chronic condition affecting many of our feline family members. It is a sterile (no infection involved), inflammatory condition of the urinary bladder. 'Idiopathic' indicates that there are multiple factors (some unknown to us at this time) that contribute to the onset of this disease. This include bladder defects (such as loss of the protective layer), stress, diet, and other neuro-hormonal influences. Clinical signs to watch for include red urine, straining to urinate, urinating in strange locations, licking/overgrooming around the area and frequent urination.
Our first step as Veterinarians is to establish whether this is FIC or a urinary tract infection (which will show many of the same signs). To do this, we need a sample of urine to examine (Image: Dipstick examination as part of a urinalysis) and determine if there are bacteria involved. From there, an ultrasound, or urine culture (sending the urine away), may be required. There is currently no 'cure' for this disease, and many of you (as pet owners), can find the waxing and waning nature of this disease quite frustrating. Currently, dietary therapy and environment changes/enrichment have been shown to be the most effective 'long term' therapy for this condition. However, in the short term, pain relief, anti-inflammatories, and other medications may help.
It is important to monitor your cat’s urination during their recovery, as it becomes a medical emergency if your cat stops urinating (becomes blocked) - particularly male cats. Clinical signs should resolve within 7 days with treatment. If you have any questions about FIC, dietary changes, or environmental enrichment for your cat, don't hesitate to contact one of our friendly staff on 5473 0004.