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5 Ways to Prevent Feline Cystitis

Avoiding Urinary Tract Infections

By Madeleine Burry. January 03, 2014 | See Comments

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    vet verified

    PetCareRx Staff Veterinarian

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A Cat In A Litter Box

Cystitis is a type of urinary tract infection. There are many ways to prevent UTIs; learn how here.

If your cat has cystitis, you’re familiar with the symptoms of this urinary tract disease: difficulty and pain while urinating, blood in the urine, and urination outside of the litter box. Treatments to tackle infections that result from the feline cystitis are available, but once the infection is cleared, you’ll likely find yourself eager to prevent another episode. While the causes of cystitis are often unknown, there are some lifestyle factors that are known to have an impact on recurrence. Find out five basic steps you can take to prevent your cat from having cystitis again.

1. Make it Easy for Your Cat to Quench Their Thirst

Hydration is key, so make sure to always provide your cat with ample water. Consider getting a bubbler or fountain to encourage your cat to drink more, since many cats love to drink running water. Make sure to change out your cat’s water frequently so that it’s clean.

2. Keep a Clean Litter Box

When it comes to cystitis, you want to make sure that your cat is peeing regularly. Make sure that your cat never has a reason to hold it when they need to go! Think of your own squeamishness using a gross public restroom, and make sure your cat doesn’t feel a similar reluctance to use the facilities. Scoop the litter at least twice a day, in the morning and at night, and more frequently if possible. If you’re not already, start changing the litter weekly.

3. Provide the Best Food

To help with the first prevention tip, provide your cat with wet food instead of dry. Wet food has more water within it, and will help keep your cat hydrated.

4. Try for a Stress-Free Life

Don’t underestimate the impact of anxiety and stress upon a cat’s physical health. Stress is a known contributing factor for feline cystitis. To avoid having an anxious cat, keep things consistent in their life. Don’t bring new pets into your home without taking measures to ease the transition, and keep your routine stable. Feed your cat regularly at the same time each day, and provide the same amount of food. Have established times for play and activities. Have comfortable spots in your home that are just for your cat — free from people or other pets. This may just be a cat tree or something similar.

5. Keep Your Cat in Shape

Obesity causes all sorts of problems for cats, and if your cat is prone to feline cystitis, it’s even more important to keep their weight down, since excess weight can lead to episodes. Provide your cat with lots of toys, and make sure to play with them daily. Try providing climbing toys that will keep your cat somewhat active even when you’re not around. Finally, avoid providing too much food or too many non-nutritious snacks.

More on Urinary Tract Infections

Causes of UTI in Dogs and Cats
Cat Symptoms Checker: Match Your Cat's Symptoms to Health Conditions
Food to Treat Cat and Dog Urinary Tract Infections

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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