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Interstitial cystitis.

Species: Cat
Breed: Tabby
Age: 5-8 years
My cat has had reoccurring Cystitis. She strains when going to the toilet, constantly in the little tray and blood is present in her urine. We took her to the vet a couple times 2 years ago. All she had was antibiotics and a injection. Even thought that helped her, it didn't stop the Cystitis reoccurring. She has had it ever since, with it popping up for a couple of days at a time every 2-3 weeks. Not only is it painful my Cat but it is also a nuisance as she pees everywhere and doesn't eat anything. When she was kitten she was on a dry food diet. But changed about a year later to 100% wet food diet when the vet told us to. Is there a underlying cause to this? Is there anything I can d o?

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Dr. Marie replied:

Interstitial cystitis is usually a chronic condition that comes and goes. I will sometimes prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug for my clients to use during a cystitis flare up.

Some cats do well on a medication called amitriptylline as well.

Additionally, once things are under control a lot of cats do better if they are on a food called Royal Canin s/o which helps to control the pH level of the urine and also to get more urine travelling through the bladder.

If she hasn't been to the vet recently then you'll need to see them again just to be sure there isn't something else going on such as an infection or crystals. Once they confirm that this is interstitial cystitis then they can talk about chronic treatment options for you.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.