Our question this week was:Dear Dr. Jon, My partner and I have a 1 ½-year-old cat called Stinky. From the information we have been told by vets stinky is healthy and weights 6 kilos (about 12 pounds). 2 weeks ago Stinky developed a urine problem. He keeps running to his toilet tray every time 5 minutes but ends up doing a very small wee with blood in it. His now starting to pee everywhere he can find and mostly on cool surfaces. At night he cries, probably because his in pain. We took him to the vet, they did a urine test and gave him a general check up and said he was fine accept for a urine infection, which they just gave us antibiotics to clear up the infection. We think it might be a bit more serious than what the vets make it out to be. Any relevant information and future actions to help Stinky will be very much appreciated. Thank you very time for your time and knowledge!!!
Hi – thanks for your email Katherine. Sorry to hear about Stinky. It sounds like he does indeed have a urinary problem – he is going small amounts frequently with blood. This can be caused by urinary tract infections (bacterial cystitis), urinary calculi (e.g. bladder stones), feline idiopathic cystitis or feline lower urinary tract disease.
If we look at this list.... Urinary tract infections can occur in some cat but are often considered over-diagnosed. A small percentage of cats with these signs actually have an infection. However, if Stinky is one of them, he should have a urinalysis and even a urine culture and be on an appropriate antibiosis.
Urinary calculi (e.g. bladder stones) can occur in some cats. Small stones can form and flow through the urinary tract causing symptoms. Because these stones are irritating, secondary infections can also occur. Some stones can be diagnosed on x-ray. Ultrasound is a good way to diagnose stones.
Feline idiopathic cystitis, FIC, is a common condition in cats where they have inflammation of the bladder for no obvious reason or cause. FIC has been estimated to affect up to 1% of the cat population. By the way, this condition is also called "Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease" FLUTD. A lot of research has been done on this disease and there is so much still not known about its causes. They believe several factors may contribute to this disease including viruses, diet, stress, environment, and genetic factors .
I'd recommend that you read the article Feline idiopathic cystitis. Treatments often involve a change in diet from a dry food to a canned food and attempts to minimize stress in the animal's environment. Some cats benefit from anti-inflammatory medications and/or pain medications.
Talk to your vet about the possible underlying causes. Most cats with an acute bout of FIC will get well within in 5 to 7 days regardless of the treatment employed.
Best of luck!
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