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Helping a cat with cystitis

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Helping a cat with cystitis is always a stressful and worrying time for any cat owner. Watching your beloved friend struggle to urinate and, depending on the severity, being in uncomfortable pain is never an easy situation to deal with.

I have looked after many cats with varying issues and ailments, the most common being cystitis. My current furry friend, Mr. Bump, is regularly afflicted with this unfortunate problem, especially after a stressful event, such as Bonfire Night. Adding to the difficulty of having him drink often, I ended up with an uncomfortable cat.

What Do I Do?

So, first things first, if you haven’t guessed, I’m no vet. If your cat develops cystitis, always contact your vet to ensure it’s not something more severe. I learned this the expensive way. Also, why wouldn’t you? If you know your cat is feeling unwell, the first thing you should always do is contact a vet.

Contact your vet. I am going to repeat this relentlessly.

Identifying Stressors

When Mr. Bump starts showing signs of cystitis, I try to identify any stressors that could be causing him to be on edge. This is a rather difficult task when you have no idea what the problem could be. Cats are terrible communicators unless they want food.


Catnip is a fantastic herb for reducing stress in your little one. Research has shown that when a cat is subject to the effects of catnip, they find that receptors in the brain are activated, causing them to roll and rub in the stuff and quite possibly eat – which does mellow them out. This makes it perfect for reducing stress.

Fluid Intake

This might seem like a no-brainer, but, as you know, you can lead a cat to water, but you can’t make it drink. Providing water bowls and fountains around your home is the best way to increase your cat’s fluids. But what to do when they don’t drink from them? If you’re already feeding a wet diet, adding some extra water will allow you to control the amount of water your cat will drink. If you’re offering a dry diet, this can be more of a challenge than you would hope. I’ve found that using the water within a can of tuna is a fantastic way to get your buddy to drink. I think this goes without saying: don’t use brine or oil-based cans; only use spring water variants.

Offer somewhere high to look over their surroundings.

Cats like it high. How often have you found your cat sitting at the top of your cupboards, refusing to get down? This is because cats feel safest being high up. When your cat struggles to get off the ground, their stress levels will increase. Although cats are natural hunters, they also know they can be hunted. Your cat in your living room isn’t going to be hunted, but they don’t know that. Buying your cat a cat tree, or even building one yourself, is a fantastic way to offer high spaces for your cat to feel less stressed.

Should I Ring the Vet?

Yes… I can’t stress enough how important going to the vet is when a cat has urinary issues. Although I have explained a bit about what to do when your cat has cystitis, I must categorically say I’m not a vet. These recommendations are when you know your cat has cystitis and are in no way a medical prognosis. Only a trained vet can tell you your cat has it. Take it from me; you don’t know until you know. Mr Bump gets cystitis, which has led to struvite stones in his urethra and has needed unblocking. If your cat is peeing or struggling to pee, seek medical attention.

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