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Dealing with Idiopathic Cystitis as a Pet Owner

Inappropriate urination by your family cat is upsetting for both your cat and yourself. For your cat, they may be suffering from one of many different afflictions causing this to happen, such as a bladder infection, urinary crystals/stones, or even stress. For us, we come home after a long day at work to our laundry, our couch or our carpets urinated on, and it is a tough smell to get rid of!

My experience with this issue was long and frustrating. I was not part of the veterinary industry yet and was convinced my cat disliked me. Over a couple of years, I had thrown away two couches, a mattress and countless towels. I had taken Stella to the veterinarian to rule out medical issues, but she was never diagnosed with anything.

Once I started at the College Manor Veterinary Hospital as an animal care attendant, I brought her in to solve this mystery that was making us both very unhappy. Stella was diagnosed with Idiopathic Cystitis, which is VERY common in cats. It is an inflammation of the bladder with no known medical cause. There is thought that some things that can be associated with Idiopathic cystitis include stress, caused by environmental changes, the addition of new pets, and changes in the household routine.

It was suggested we change her diet to a urinary specific prescription diet. We ruled out any infections and medical concerns. Within the first two weeks, Stella had already stopped urinating in my house. I even set towels on the floor when I would leave for work, and I would come home, and they would be urine-free!

I never thought the answer to our issue would have been as simple as a diet change, but I am so glad we tried. If your cat is inappropriately eliminating, please call us to schedule an appointment, you will both be happier because of it!

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Written by Laura Fiorini, Animal Care Attendant

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