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Who's had a youngish cat with 'cystitis' treated with antibiotics?

Yeap, it will have got better - but read on!

Idiopathic ‘Cystitis’ is a common condition of young cats (idiopathic means we don’t know the cause). In otherwise fit and healthy young cats it is almost exclusively confined to those fed partly or wholly on dry food, and is best understood as being an irritation of the bladder wall. Stress is often a trigger. There is normally no infection present.

Symptoms are straining to pass small amounts of wee, which may be blood-stained. Sometimes fresh blood is passed. Usually symptoms settle within 24 hrs even without treatment. It is very painful, and morphine-type pain-relief is indicated.

Antibiotics give NO benefit. Urinary supplements such as Cystaid and Cystease have NO proven effect.

These facts are not particularly controversial - it’s just that the food and veterinary industries casually choose to ignore them.

So to minimise recurrence of the disease, switch your cat to a wet diet – any wet diet. There’s NO need for a prescription diet!

And because it may be stress-related, the condition may be a warning that your cat is getting freaked out by something, so this needs investigating.

If you need help switching your cat away from dry kibble, give us a shout. It’s also worth mentioning also that dietary change should not be forced on your cat until the condition is under control as this may act as another stressor.

If your cat is straining to pass urine, always seek veterinary care, as a proper diagnosis is important. Sometimes tissue debris in the bladder can create a ‘plug’ which causes a blockage of the urethra: a condition that can be fatal within 36 hours if not addressed.  Urinary discomfort and blockage can also result from bladder stones.

So back to infection and antibiotics: bacteria in the urine are usually a sign of disease – and not the disease itself. Bacterial cystitis is most commonly seen in older cats with a dilute urine due to kidney disease or diabetes. A normal concentrated urine is very hostile to bacteria whilst weak urine lets them grow.

The disease needs diagnosis, and a urine test at least, is required (and not just a dipstick test). So no urine tests = no confirmed infection = no diagnosis, NO antibiotics!

For more-detailed information take a look here