So, when antibiotics, prescription food and acidifying substances don’t cut it, its time to look deeper. Almost every repeated bladder issue has an emotional angel. Not surprising, drugs and the stress that comes with them, don’t solve the problem.
One of the most common urinary bladder conditions called “feline idiopathic cystitis” (FIC) describes a recurring inflammation of the urinary bladder “without know cause” (that’s what the impressive word “idiopathic” in medicine means).
2 out of 3 cats with diagnosed urinary problems suffer from this rather vaguely defined, yet deeply disturbing health problem. All affected cats and feline guardians know way too well, what tremendous suffering this causes… And as if this wasn’t bad enough, FIC symptoms may also come with other problems, most often gastrointestinal symptoms!
Changes are your cat is in the “high-risk category for FIC” if your furkid is part of a multi-cat household, male, eating a diet containing over 50% kibbles (dry food) and is overweight. Being an indoor-only cat can also be part of the trigger range. All FIC candidates have anxious or nervous personality. Some show this more obviously than others. (1) (2) (3).
Oh dear, it’s easy to spot how these common factors result in the misery of recurring cystitis!
The presentation to the veterinary community in 2014, highlighted stress as the main factor in cats developing FIC. Be aware, we don’t talk here only about stress for cats. It’s also how stressed humans who care for their cats can contribute to their fur kid’s stress-related suffering.
The good news is, there are effective, no-drug methods to help your cat!
At AsiaPaws we help your cat heal and minimize painful episodes by using only safe, chemical-free and scientifically proven methods!
- For immediate stress, pain and anxiety relief – acupuncture at AsiaPaws. Acupuncture only benefits a stressed cat if performed in a calming manner in a relaxing treatment environment. As soon as the cat (and client!) is stressed, acupuncture may be futile! That’s why at AsiaPaws, comfort and relaxation of pet patient and pet parent are an integral part of our treatments. You’d be surprised how well your cat will tolerate our treatments in our clinic!
- Environmental changes - at home. This may include addressing emotional support for “companion cat bullies” to reduce “bullying stress” at home.
Secondly, we discuss how to resolve any under-stimulation (boredom). What is reasonably possible to enrich your cat’s environment. Especially if your cat is kept indoors-only. Another issue may be litter-box dominance towards the FIC cat. Stress can be caused by another cat “hogging the toilet” (litter-box location).
- Since anxious cats are often picky, don't experiment with halfheartedly prepared food or meals from a “backyard kitchen” produced by people who lack knowledge in balanced essential nutrients. Professional designed and prepared fresh and tasty food should contain only human grade quality ingredients to promise best long-term results for better bladder health.
- Another food related problem is reducing (and subsequently eliminating) the FIC cat’s kibbles ratio. You will be hard-pressed to find better advisers helping you switch your cat from a kibble addict to a “health food fiend” than at AsiaPaws. We actually have “walked the talk”, proudly drawing from our very own practical experience of switching cats to better food!
- As the only specialized clinic for Chinese and Western plant-based veterinary medicines, your cat may receive a prescription of a specific herbal formula in support of holistic re-balancing and healing.
- If supplements are necessary, we prescribe specific, only scientifically supported "clean" (filler and additive minimized) supplements. Our range of supplements is never “pet grade only” but usually of the best human highest quality.
- Your cat may need GAGs (glycosaminoglycan supplements) to support healing of the inner bladder lining and to protect the bladder from highly irritating urine (containing high levels of potassium, for example). GAGs, together with dietary adjustments and natural substances (see below) can reduce the impact of bacteria that may be settle in your cat’s bladder AFTER being irritated and inflamed. This “secondary” problem is NOT the cause of FIC, however! The right diet and stress relief are by far more important for long-term success!
- Some patients need “emergency pain relief”. We agree with our veterinary colleagues specializing in treating cats that only Buprenorphin should be used. This pain killer is suitable to break the cycle of anxiety, pain and more anxiety in severely affected cats.
Please note that the commonly prescribed antibiotics are for FIC not only useless but rather damaging. (3)
- Last but not least, we also include YOUR role in your cat’s recurring bladder problems. There is no blame or shame involved. It’s simply a matter of teamwork to reduce overall stress levels from every angle. No worries, in the privacy of our relaxing and pleasant clinic, a friendly discussion among friends can work wonders.
(1) Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, Nov 30, 2017, DVM360 MAGAZINE: “Fetch dvm360 conference” Feb 21, 2014 Tony Buffington, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVN, and Jodi Westropp DVM, PhD, “the gurus of all things lower urinary tract” describe FIC as “Pandora’s syndrome”; Dr Fischer.
(2) Osborne, CA, Kruger JM, Lulich JP, et al. Prednisolone therapy of idiopathic feline lower urinary tract disease: a double -blind clinical study. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1996; 26(3):563-569
(3) Kruger JM, Lulich JP, MacLeay J, et al. Comparison of foods with differing nutritional profiles for long-term management of acute nonobstructive idiopathic cystitis in cats. J Am vet Med Assoc 2015 Sept 1: 247(5): 508-517