Posted by Farley
The other day my mom was volunteering at the Animal Humane Society when she told the staff, “you sold me a bill of goods.” She had taken me to the vet the day before and I was diagnosed with Feline Idiopathic Cystitis or FIC. Of course she was joking, but I admit, I’ve had quite a few health care issues for not even being two years old yet. (I am seeing a behaviorist, taking kitty prozac daily for aggression and constantly eating things I shouldn’t, which sends me to the emergency vet.)
In last week’s Whisker Fabulous blog post, mama mentioned I wasn’t able to attend the BlogPaws conference in South Carolina with her because I was diagnosed with FIC. Mom discovered I had it during a driving trip to Wisconsin to visit my human grandpa, just two weeks before my scheduled big trip.
In preparation for Blogpaws, mama got a sedative from my veterinarian. My doctor thought it would be a good idea to test it out by going on a short trip. So mom decided we’d take the four hour drive to Wisconsin. It all went well except for the ride home. About two hours from home, mom heard me meowing in my kennel. She stopped, took me out and then I peed blood all over the car seat. She cleaned me up and drove me straight to my vet’s office at the Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic.
My doctor immediately diagnosed me with this common disease. FIC is commonly known as feline urinary tract disease and the signs are:
- Bloody Urine
- Straining to Urinate
- Urinating in Unusual Places
- Urinary Blockage
- Licking the Urinary Opening Due to Pain
Cats only need a few of these signs to have these symptoms, and I learned the condition tends to strike young male kitties like myself. I actually had most of these symptoms.
Veterinarians say many cats who have FIC have an imbalance in the way their brain controls hormones. This means they are extremely sensitive to environmental stress, which they internalize in the urinary tract. This causes the bladder to lose its protective mucus layer which causes all the symptoms. Many cats tend to get the illness in the spring, and the triggers can be positive or negative. It could be a happy thing like the over stimulation of birds chirping outside or be a difficult situation like traveling or moving to a new home. Scientists don’t really know what causes it which is why the disease is labeled “idiopathic.”
My veterinarian ended up prescribing me an antibiotic and pain killer and my symptoms subsided very quickly. She also put me on prescription urinary canned food, since my bladder needs more water to get rid of the irritants. Canned food tends to be 80 percent water, so that’s ideal for kitty with urinary issues.
There’s no official cure and not all treatments work for all cats when it comes to FIC, so for now my mom is just going to keep me as comfortable as possible. That’s really all she can do. She’s making sure I have plenty of enrichment and will continue giving me my prozac, as anti-anxiety medicines can help prevent outbreaks by alleviating stress.
I do constantly wonder, why me? Why do I have all these issues? But then I realize I am who I am, and I can’t change that. I was born this way. So I am going to practice what I preach an accept the Whisker Fabulous attitude. I will just make the best of my challenging situation, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.