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Interstitial cystitis?

Species: Cat
Breed: Persian
Age: 8-11 years
Charlotte is constantly squatting as if she has to go, but nothing is coming out. I did see a little blood at one point when she squatted and only a drop came out.




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that Charlotte is not well. While there are several possible reasons for a cat to be squatting, trying to urinate and urinating some blood, the most common reason for a female cat to do this is something called interstitial cystitis. We don't really know the cause for this illness, but it has something to do with the lining of the bladder wall being irritated. It feels the same way a bladder infection feels, but there is no infection there.

Sometimes interstitial cystitis can happen as a result of stress, but often no real cause is found. Some cats will get bouts of interstitial cystitis throughout their lives.

Sometimes a cat can get over interstitial cystitis on their own, but because it is a very uncomfortable condition I do recommend taking her to see a vet. There are a few possible ways to treat this. There is no over the counter remedy that you can do at home.

There are other possible reasons. A urinary tract obstruction can cause squatting and straining and blood. This is not very common in a female cat though. If Charlotte was a male cat then I would be recommending a vet visit immediately as male cats are much more prone to urethral obstructions and this is a life threatening condition.

A bladder infection is a possibility as well although this is not very common in cats. If there is an infection then antibiotics are in order. Home remedies like cranberry juice do not work and could even make things worse.

I would recommend a vet visit for Charlotte. They will obtain a urine sample and run some tests to determine what the problem is. The good news is that interstitial cystitis (if this is what it is) is rarely something really serious.

I hope things improve soon!

Dr. Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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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.