What Are the Symptoms of Cat Cystitis?

Written by moira clune
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Cystitis, an inflammation of the bladder, can be caused by bacterial infection or bladder stones. Often, however, there is no known cause. Male and female cats are at risk for this condition. A report released by The Veterinary Clinics Small Animal Practice journal suggests that dietary and lifestyle changes—avoiding soy-based foods, reducing stress and providing suitable litter boxes—can reduce the recurrence of cystitis.

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Avoiding the Litter Box

Litter box avoidance is the most common sign of a bladder problem. If your normally reliable cat starts urinating outside the box, cystitis may be the cause.

Straining or Crying

Pay attention when your cat uses the litter box. If she is straining, crying or showing signs of pain, she could be suffering from a bladder condition such as cystitis.

Passing Small Amounts of Urine

When you clean the litter box, notice his urine output. If the clumps appear small and more plentiful than usual, it could be a warning sign of cystitis.

Blood In Urine

Blood in the urine is often easier to spot when your cat has urinated outside the litter box. If you see blood--or think you see blood--schedule a veterinary appointment.


Stones or crystals can block the passage of urine, especially in neutered male cats. If your cat has any of the above symptoms combined with a distended, painful belly, it is an emergency situation. Seek medical attention right away.


To prevent recurrent cystitis, feed small amounts of food more frequently. Add water to dry foods or use canned. Consider a special veterinary diet formulated for cats with bladder problems.

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