Is your cat missing the litter box? Finding out that your kitty has peed on your bed, carpet, or even a piece of clothing is an upsetting discovery for cat owners. What could be causing this inappropriate urination, though? One of the most common causes is feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC). Read on to learn about the signs, diagnosis, and treatment for FIC.

Feline idiopathic cystitis signs

FIC can develop without any apparent underlying cause, and more than one unidentified, underlying condition that leads to FIC is possible. Cats with FIC will show signs that indicate an issue with their lower urinary tract system, including:

  • Urinating outside the litter box or in unusual places
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Increased irritation or aggression
  • Overgrooming because of bladder pain

If you notice your cat struggling to urinate, contact us immediately. Male cats—and occasionally female cats—can develop a life-threatening urinary blockage.

Feline idiopathic cystitis diagnosis

Since no diagnostic test can confirm that your cat is suffering from FIC, the diagnosis is made by ruling out other potential urinary conditions. To do that, we will examine a urine sample for the presence of red, white, and abnormal blood cells, bacteria, or crystals, and take X-rays to rule out urinary tract stones and bladder masses. An ultrasound of the entire urinary tract may also be indicated. Blood work is necessary to check kidney function and to search for other potential causes of urinary issues.

Feline idiopathic cystitis treatment

With no definitive cause of FIC, treatment is challenging and focuses on encouraging frequent drinking and urination, reducing stress, and stimulating your pet mentally. Management measures include:

  • Adding more litter boxes in various quiet places in your home
  • Switching from dry to canned food to increase water intake
  • Providing a drinking fountain instead of a water dish
  • Investigating prescription urinary diets
  • Offering more drinking stations throughout your home
  • Reducing stress by:
    • Diffusing the Feliway pheromone in areas where your cat spends most of her time
    • Playing with your cat daily
    • Offering scratching posts and climbing towers
    • Creating elevated perches for napping and observing
    • Allowing daily outdoor activity in an enclosed run to provide mental stimulation
    • Avoiding household inter-cat conflict

If your cat has been missing the litter box, it could indicate a serious issue. Find the Bark Avenue location most convenient for you to contact us for help.

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