Does anyone have any ideas on dealing with cats that tend to get feline cystitis?? Can't afford the vets these days. A bit late I know, but I've realised having a cat comes in the "luxury" bracket!!
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Hello. My cat has finally been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis after having had calcium oxalate stones requiring surgery one time and many, many UTI's with bacteria, sometimes crystals, blood and other times just the blood. She has been on Science Diet C/D for 2 years and has still had at least 3 infections during that time.
I asked my vet what else I can do since obviously the diet alone won't do it. First, he said do not give these cats anything other than the C/D food meaning no cat treats, small amounts of people food, nothing!
Next, wet food is the best (which you'll read elsewhere, too), but you can give them dry food if they like that better. Wet it first, though. And don't listen to the postings where people say not to wet the cat's dry food because I was told by my specialist as long as you change the food every 24 hours, there is no risk of bacteria growth. I have personally been wetting my cat's dry food for about 6 months now and she is fine!
Also, I give her wet food as much as possible (before I was only giving her the dry food and not even wetting it). Water consumption is key to helping prevent bouts of cystitis and wet food has a lot of water in it.
Also, glucosamine has been shown to help cats with cystitis, but the vet said once you start giving your cat glucosamine, assuming it is working for them, you cannot stop or else they will be at greater risk for it happening again. I tried Uromaxx and my cat wouldn't eat it. The vet then recommended Arthrimaxx, but I instead bought Jointmaxx because it was much cheaper and has the exact same ingredients it in. My picky-eater cat eats it in her wet food with no problems!
Since I have been giving her glucosamine, feeding her wet food most of the time, wetting her dry food when she does get that and not giving her any treats, we have not had any bouts!
I also give my cats bottled water now because it seemed to be more frequent when I was giving her tap water.
Hope this helps!
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Does anyone have any ideas on dealing with cats that tend to get feline cystitis?? Can't afford the vets these days. A bit late I know, but I've realized having a cat comes in the "luxury" bracket!
Here are links to information on bladder infections in cats www.dgp.toronto.edu/people/TabathaHoltz/cats/feed_more.html
Good luck. I took my cat off the special food for a week and, he ended up completely blocked up and in the Vet emergency room! Crystals form in the bladder and block the Urethra so that they can't urinate. Apparently the older the cat gets, the more they need that special diet. I had him on this special diet until he passed away from old age. He was an expensive cat to feed!
Also keep your cat inside so as to see when he becomes blocked. He will die a painful death if you don't. If the whole thing is beyond you, talk to a knowledgeable vet about what to do or go to the local humane society and ask people who are well trained in cats and cat management what to do.
If you simply can't handle it, there are groups that will take him but you have to search for them. If he's a particular breed check the internet for that breed rescue group and talk to them. The internet may be your best bet if money and time are critical.
One last comment. I adore cats and have rescued and placed many in homes. I always have one that is "mine". Since that cat that had cystitis I've never had a cat problem. All my cats lived to be 16 or older with little or no vet bills. I'll be glad to talk with you if you like. - ATB (07/31/2003)
We currently have 8 dogs, 5 cats, two 2-week-old foster kittens, a cockatiel and a Savannah monitor. All of the dogs and cats are rescued. This creates quite a strain on our already stretched budget, so I do everything I can to help keep our pet costs to a minimum. We have a fabulous, extremely knowledgeable vet who works with us in many ways and generously shares his knowledge. He believes that most of the quality pet foods available today have a low ash content because the high ash content is a major source of cystitis; therefore, most people will not buy a product with a high ash content.
I have found that Purina One Special Care Urinary Tract Health Formula for Adult Cats is the best yet least expensive food I can buy to treat this problem. Another vet, who used to be an associate in the office with our regular vet, told us about Maxximum Nutrition Super Premium Cat Food Chicken & Rice Formula. This is a product marketed by Wal-Mart, which he believes is comparable in quality to products such as iams and Science Diet but at a much reduced cost. I mix these two products 1:1 and have not had a return of the UTI in our male cat; however, I would talk with your vet before using the Maxximum Nutrition.
Alexandra is correct in that this problem mainly occurs in male cats. Last month, we had our male cat who has had the UTIs neutered. The tech at the Humane Society's Spay & Neuter Clinic told us it would decrease the chance of his getting anymore infections (urinary tract). This was news to me.
You're right, owning pets is expensive. Many years ago, I heard that a good estimate of the price of having a pet is $500 annually per cat and $1,000 annually per dog. And that's for a healthy animal! That estimate may be slightly higher today, too.
I think it's very important to have animals spayed or neutered. Not only is this healthier for the animal, but it is also cost effective in the long run. Among other things, it helps decrease the risk of various cancers (which are horrendously expensive to treat). Of course, shop around for the lowest cost for this procedure. After calling all the vets in our county, I found that $95.00 was the best price any of them offered. However, our vet has a special clinic twice a year in which he spays/neuters animals for $35.00 per pet.
There is another vet in our area who does the surgery one day each week for $25.00 per stray cat. He doesn't offer the service for dogs and it only applies to stray cats. We found our best deal in a neighboring county. They spay/neuter dogs or cats for $20.00 per animal. It is a county subsidized and federally funded program so we pay an additional $5.00 since we are from another county. Also, in their county both dogs and cats must be tagged. Their tag cost for any animal which has not been spayed or neutered is $25.00 BUT for any animal which has been altered, the cost is just $5.00.
Our vet is great about answering questions by phone, too (as I think any vet should). Although I never talk to him directly, one of his techs or office assistants will call me back with an answer. Don't hesitate to use this freeservice.
In our area, we have two traveling vet services. PetVets and a group which is part of our PetSupermarket. Although our two groups do not offer intensive care, I've found this is a cost-effective way to get our animals tested for heartworm and get the rabies and other annual vaccinations. However, it again pays to ask questions and assume nothing. My vet feels these services over vaccinate. I can take our pets to one of his techs (without seeing the veterinarian) for their annual vaccinations for less than the cost of the pack of vaccinations these groups like to sell.
I've found the Internet is our best source for products like Advantage and Frontline. Most recently, I bought Advantage from SHOP THE ZOO (weblink) http://www.shopthezoo.com(/weblink) but I search eBay for the best price every time I need one of these flea control products. It seems there is always someone new with a better price competing for business.
Another way I save money on our animals is by trying to research and find answers to as many problems as I can without or before going to our vet. I recommend looking for a good pet health care book at yard sales, thrift shops and/or library sales. I also search the Internet for answers and advice. When we got this last pair of orphan kittens, for instance, they were only days old and were the youngest kittens I've ever cared for on my own.
The Internet provided tons of fabulous advice and gave me the confidence to know I could raise healthy, happy kittens. (They are beautiful and adorable, by the way.) When searching the Internet, don't forget to use the dozens (if not hundreds) of frugal web sites for money-saving pet tips. These sites don't normally show up when I search specifically for feline cystitis or fleas or dog food but they contain loads of good tips and helpful information. Below are some more links to information about and help with "feline cystitis":
I apologize for the lengthy (but hopefully not too boring) reply but hope some of this information is helpful. Good luck and I hope you have many, MANY years of love and enjoyment with your cat. (08/07/2003)
This is the second simple step to a solution: after you get the urine the right pH, dilute it. I bought the $60 water fountain, cat wouldn't go near it, so adding water to wet food is pretty much my only option. Despite these changes the cat continues to have cystitis episodes (8 in the last year!!). He also blocked a second time, but the vets thought that a spasming of his urethra was more the culprit than a plug, so now he is on phenoxybenzamine ($70/month) it looks like for good, since every time we've weaned him off it, he starts having trouble again. An ultrasound is probably our next step, and I am considering the surgery, although I'm not sure it helps with spasming and am not sure whether it will help any with the cystitis.
As a first line of defense, though, I suggest that you put your cat on wet food that lowers the pH (acidifies). the more he/she urinates (assuming there's no problem) the better. My cat is often a once a day urinator, which doesn't help. Good luck! (09/07/2004)
By Toni K.
I kick myself now because we barely had enough money to pay for treatment. If he blocks again we may not be able to help him. It might have just been my cat had special needs, or couldn't adjust, but I would warn people to be careful about switching cat food brands. Watch your cat closely. If he is crabby, skittish, hides or changes behaviour, go back to the old brand for a while. I hope my buddy makes it. Best wishes to all (09/11/2004)
By A Cat Lover
The vet is going to change his diet & put him on amitriptyline in the liquid form (they spit out the tiny red pills). In liquid form amitriptyline's dosage is more easily controlled thereby preventing the overdrugged state that you want to avoid. You don't want him sleeping all the time - you want your cat back! Tests of cats on amitriptyline show that it has a positive effect on 9 of 12 cats if used regularly. It's weird stuff but I must admit that when Leo was on it he was not exhibiting cystitis symtoms.
When I took him off A. he went back into a cystitis episode so strong that it took him down in hours! Distressing to all concerned - especially him.
After reading all this feedback online I believe I will take him off dry completely, add H2O to his canned food & investigate an acidifier food additive. I've lot to learn about preventative medicine here so this doesn't happen to him again. (02/23/2005)
By D. Dunn
Reading more on cystitis/FLUTD, his urinating outside the box is a very normal symptom of this disease that was cavalierly mentioned to me in passing. I was under the impression it was behavioral, not an actual disease that 30 % cats experience.
This is all new to me. Although he was put on a prescription diet, it was primarily dry food (Hill's Prescription Diet CD). He wasn't eating the prescription wet and I was told that was ok, just keep giving him dry. I also didn't know the importance of water/fluids. I feel like I have gone round and round with my vet, 6 prescriptions and $1700 later.
Cash has been confined in a small bathroom now for a week, still urinating both in and out of the box, still looks like he's straining and I am 100% on my own with this as my husband can not take it anymore. Yesterday I removed his dry food and started feeding him wet (mixed with water) twice a day. Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?
I don't know how much longer I (me and my kitty) can handle locking my cat in a bathroom and cleaning up urine constantly. I am beyond the end of my rope Any words of wisdom/support would be so appreciated. Ashly S.
Editor's Note: The dry Hill's Prescription Diet cat food is part of the recall. Here is a link to the FDA site
I am now working on switching them both to the Hills Prescription Diet C/D food - very important - because the food dissolves both types of crystals. The crystals irritate their bladder. Neither one has ate the canned food, but I am gradually adding the dry. Also, I bought a fountain they like - the dr. one to encourage more drinking - and they do drink more. Hope you find what you need. (05/03/2007)
By Cat Lover
These are all in tubes, you just put it on your finger and they will either lick it off or I just open his mouth and stick it on his tongue. They are supposedly highly palatable to cats. (05/03/2007)
By Cat Lover2
Editor's Note: Marie, we send our condolences here from the staff at ThriftyFun. It is so sad to lose a pet, especially one in the prime of life. Because of all of the pet food recalls, make sure you make not of what types of food you have been feeding him. He may be a casualty of the melamine in the pet food. (05/08/2007)
Now, I get flashed from time to time while he bathes, but this was different. We are now wondering if he is having a time with crystals. We can't afford a vet right now, as my husband has been out of work for 4 months. Of real interest was someone else's comment on the WM food. We too, just changed food to the Wal Mart Maxximum for indoor cats about two weeks ago, and the crying started about a week ago. While we thought a neighbor's cat might be in heat or something, this was still not like our cat to cry like that. (Neither of our cats is allowed outside.) Of course, we'd just bought a new bag of Maxx and opened it by the time we read this!
So, I am putting up all the dry food for now. We also have a female spayed cat who does fine on the Maxx, and prefers dry. We will feed her in another room! Our male cat also doesn't seem to like to drink much, which we worry about. His fav way to drink is directly from the bathroom faucet! We've bought three diff water dishes, because he seems to hate one or another for various reasons. That didn't help.
I'll check back in and let you know about the food change. But if the Maxx is responsible, I'll be ticked off! : ( (08/03/2007)
By Beth M.
He's been on low p/h food since August but it doesn't seem to be helping him. I just wish there was more we could do. I guess surgery is his next option, but he seems too young for such an invasive procedure. Also, you're really just trading in one problem for another. Cats that have the surgery are prone to urinary tract infections.
Augh. I feel helpless and my sweet lovable kitty is uncomfortable and sick. (11/11/2007)
His symptoms are mostly brought on by lack of water or stress, like having guests over or any sudden household changes. Always make sure to have plenty of fresh water available and a clean litter box. Cats tend to seek out corners or quiet areas to try and relieve themselves, also keep in mind during this painful ordeal they often associate the litter box with the discomfort of urinating so you may have to confine them to a small area with a litter box. Please consult your vet before using any of the listed medication! (11/23/2007)
Good Luck! Maggie and Caroline (01/20/2008)
By Maggie and Caroline
How long does it take for the food and the antibiotic to start to work?? I don't want her to go through unnecessary tests but after a week on the second antibiotic, I thought we would see less blood so I am concerned. (02/06/2008)
Cystitis is a bladder problem of unknown origin and some crystals may be present in the urine. This also requires a special acidic diet, anti-inflammatory (phenoxybenzamine) and may require a lifetime of anti-anxiety meds. It is mostly seen in social, indoor cats that have no 'outlet' for their natural nervousness. Either way - both problems require an immediate VET appointment and a lifetime of maintenance. However, if the maintenance is consistent neither problem is un-manageable and the kitty will be happy for a long time to come! (03/05/2008)
Yesterday he started having difficult time peeing again, and he was not able to use bathroom at all and dribble blood drops this morning. So I immediately took him to the vet (my wallet is hurting right now), vet give him a local anesthesia and past a catheter. it was partially blocked. anyways, I am now giving him one cranberry capsule daily, which vet said it will be beneficial. I will continue his anti inflammatory medication for couple day. Good luck to everyone whose cat has cystitis also. (03/23/2008)
Anyone can bag and sell food and call it cat food, but a few actually care about, and profit insuring their studies in cat health are continuous. Also, blocked cats are very common, we need to ask ourselves why? It has to be mostly due to our feeding and watering, mixed in with our catcare, lack of knowledge and ignorant of their true needs.
A good quality food, along with "real water"(distilled) can go a long way. If it's not certified distilled, it's dirty water. It may be good enough to drink, but if it's not clean enough for your car or an iron, why would you want to give it to your cat? Knowing that each cat is different and can have smaller insides, also may be cause of future blockage- but again food, water and exercise are key to cat health.
I could never recommend a store brand food,as usually those are trash foods, but have had luck in certain cats using friskies special diet. Do your research and talk to multiple vets and specialists, and be a productive cat specialist yourself, keep learning, and never become complacent.
Sometimes you can do all you know, and it happens anyway. A vet, with experience, is usually the only savior- and a high cost may be what is needed to remedy the cat, but also, so you feel you did your all. I have had to go all the way, and the costs are very high, so have a credit source ready, so you never have to make the irresponsible choice to ignore the issue. There are credit companies in many vets offices, some can be beneficial at ones time of need, and some actually don't rip you off. Also, get to know all the vets, so you have a place to go at a moments notice. And remember, animals, like human children, require more than love to insure they live long and happy lives. (04/19/2008)
He is now peeing, but only a little quarter size pee each time. He has been so stressed from being at the vet so much! I have never had a cat with this problem, but now I realize how common it is. We will pay any amount to have our cat better, but a cure seems to be kind of a vague thing. Really there is no cure, I guess, only preventative care. (04/25/2008)
By Lego's mom
Read this: IF your pet stops urinating It is a medical emergency! (How long does it take for your bladder to fill up?) take the animal to the vet ASAP - If you don't have the $$$ for the vet then take it to the shelter to be euthanized because it is cruel to let an animal suffer and die from a urinary blockage. (12/03/2008)
Could it be this stray cat? When I let her outside she goes pee out there or is it my indoor and he stop peeing but this has only happen twice in 2 days I don't know what to look for every thing seems to be normal i do not give him soft food is bad for them because of all of the water it contains more worse for a male cat then female. Does anyone have any idea's on what we can do? Money is really tight right now and the vets in my area said just to bring them in and get them checked is going to be 69+ dollars and that is not even including and meds or worse. (01/09/2009)
Dry cat food is the problem, the lack of moisture causes the cats urine to be too alkaline which in turn causes the bladder problems. You can reverse the problem in most cases by simply putting the cat on a wet/canned food or raw food diet (best).
Dry food is absolutely horrible for a cat, please educate your selves about the many diseases caused by dry cat food. Cats need meat, like lions they are meat eaters not vegetarians so get the cat off the dry food and you wont have any more surprise medical bills. http://www.catinfo.org/ (01/21/2009)
My cat had been on anti biotics, steroids the Phenoxybenzamine and Diazapam. My vet did tell me that if he stays on Purina UR he will not get blocked. I give him the dry and wet Purina UR. My vet is now trying to come up with treatment that will help my cat. (01/22/2009)
He has a cone on to keep from licking his stitches and is very unhappy at times. I will never buy cheap cat food again. Have you ever tried giving an already unhappy cat three pills a day? It sucks. And even though it is stressful, and some days I feel overwhelmed with it all, My poor guy is worth it. (02/12/2010)
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