Feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) is the most common lower urinary tract disorder
diagnosed in cats. Symptoms can include painful urination, urination outside the
litter box and blood in the urine. Stress is a significant factor in the incidence
of FIC. Veterinary researchers have determined that cats with highly sensitized
nervous and endocrine systems are more prone to FIC. Research indicates that felines
suffering from FIC may experience high levels of stress without exhibiting any noticeable
symptoms. Fortunately, there are specific alterations to your home and changes you
can make in your cat’s daily routine that can help to prevent mental and physical
The first thing to consider for possible modification is your cat’s diet. Cats
suffering from FIC typically have highly concentrated urine and are fed mostly dry
food. Your veterinarian may suggest transitioning to a canned food, or adding water
to dry food, but this may not always be the best option. Some cats simply prefer
dry foods and may experience increased stress if forced to transition to a canned
food. Luckily, the solution is simple - just offer canned food next to his typical
dry food, in hopes of a gradual transition.
If after watching this video you believe your cat has FIC, please visit your
veterinarian to rule out any other causes of urinary tract problems, such as an
infection or bladder stones.
If your cat has previously been diagnosed with FIC, now is the time to take steps
to minimize the chances of the disease reoccurring. In the second of this two-part
series, Dr. Sarah discusses how to view your home from your cat’s perspective and
how to reduce your kitty’s stress by making their environment more kitty-friendly.