Male with Cystitis, What to do?

nativeatlgirl

TCS Member
Kitten
Hi, I am completely overwhelmed. My 3yr old male cat came down with cystitis in early May. The vet said there were no stones, put him on an antibiotic as precautionary bc they could not get a urine sample. It cleared up for a couple of weeks. I was also told to put him on prescription canned food. Despite a lot of coaxing, he would not touch the canned food, I have tried a host of different wet prescription foods but he will not touch them. I have been giving him Dasuquin 2x daily - by dumping it in his mouth from the capsule.

After 3 wks, the pink urine and howling came back. They got a urine sample this time, no sign of infection, but obviously blood. He drinks a lot of water, always has, just like my other 2 cats. More of the Buprex and flea treatment - vet says it is anxiety related.

Nothing has changed in my home - I live alone. No one comes in my house. We did have a stray kitten come to live with us for six weeks in Jan/Feb, my sick cat bonded with her, but she ran off. He seemed especially bummed. My other 2 cats are same old same old.

The howling and pink urine is back as of last week and now he is peeing ALL OVER THE HOUSE. Vet has him now on Amitriptyline. I have been trying to give him a lot of attention, massage, never scolding him for his peeing, it doesn't seem to matter. I went from 4 litter boxes to 7. With 4 different types of litter. I have now added puppy pads where he has been more likely to pee. He peed on my bed today (thankfully, I have a waterproof bedbug barrier)

I have read a lot, perhaps too much about this and asked my vet about a lot of things which she has shot down - ie apple cider vinegar, rescue remedy, distilled water, cranberry, oatgrass, fish oil, making my own food for him... He is a VERY picky eater - has never touched tuna, chicken, beef or dairy. Feliway I don't think would work - my home is very open and he does not spend time in any one area.

I don't have the liberty of switching vets, I am limited financially already. The vet is recommending a behavioral therapist and a nutritionist. He is ruining my home, and I do not have the energy or the money to cope with this... I was recently diagnosed with MS myself, barely keeping up with myself as it is.

I love this little guy who actually has never seemed to actually like me but I do not know what else to do.

What do you recommend I do?
 

dr kris

TCS Member
Guest Expert
Wow.

That is stressful.

Providing this is truly cystitis (which is a diagnosis of exclusion - which i think you guys have accomplished), I can tell you amitriptyline can work, but it's more of a long term control thing. They can still show issues for months when you first start that medication.

Does he eat dry or wet food? Water intake can be crucial in these guys. And if they wont drink it voluntarily (water fountain, running tap etc), or refuse wet diets (some of which can be homemade), then I have done SQ fluids for these guys. Especially if they end up being NSAID responsive - (an antiinflammitory medication- not everyone will use this  - depends or philosophy and experience level).

Cystitis is one of those things where it can be trial and error. Lot's of error at first, then things could smooth out.

Does your cat get along with the others?

k
 
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nativeatlgirl

TCS Member
Kitten
All of my cats drinks lots of water, including Hark, the one with cystitis. I have four 2 quart glass bowls throughout my home and they collectively drink 1/4 at least of each of them.

Hark is extremely picky - I finally got him to eat some wet Royal Science food yesterday by watering it down, adding tsp of beef broth (homemade organic) warmed up and sprinkling treats on top. He ate the slightest bit but threw it up. (He is typically not a barfer.)

My other 2 cats, siblings, 7yrs old, are fine with Hark. They are much more affectionate with me - Hark was a 6wk old rescue that "changed" after his impacted testicles were removed at 12 wks - he became very distant. My cats are indoor cats, but a couple of times a month, I let them explore my small fenced in backyard. My other cats will try to jump the fence. He has never attempted (I watch him closely bc I don't know if I would ever get him back) Although he has been here 3 years, it is like he is visiting. He doesn't have a "spot" and tends to be a loner. If I try to snuggle with him, or brush him, it is like he tolerates it to placate me briefly...

He is thankfully using the puppy pads and, I believe, one of the litter boxes. I hate medicating him, is using apple cider vinegar or filtered water actually worth the effort?
 

oneandahalfcats

TCS Member
Top Cat
Hi @NativeATLGirl: Just thought I would add some thoughts here as I have a young male who has a bit of a unique situation in that his plumbing is not average but smaller than normal. He developed crystals at one point (no blocking or issues with urinating thankfully). We came to the conclusion that in his case, genetics are the cause. Some cats are just predisposed to changes in ph and crystal development, regardless of diet. We manage his situation with diet and supplementation. Cystitis on the other hand, can be a very difficult condition to treat as the circumstances can be different from cat to cat. I have learned what works for one, may not work for the next. Its a matter of trial and error as Dr. K pointed out.

I think your guy would be a great candidate for D-Mannose. This is a supplement of a naturally occurring sugar in fruits such as cranberries and peaches, which works when bacteria binds with this sugar and gets flushed out in the urine. You don't always get crystals with infection, or infection with crystals but it is important to keep the bladder healthy, especially in male kitties. For this reason, I use it as a preventative in all of my cats. There are members here who have reported excellent results in halting inappropriate peeing after implementing D-Mannose. This is certainly worth a try and preferable to antibiotics, if you have not had success with the prescription foods.

You can read more about D-Mannose here : http://www.vetinfo.com/d-mannose-for-cats.html
 
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nativeatlgirl

TCS Member
Kitten
I appreciate the suggestion - I am averse to over-medicating him, as I have too have been given pills as the fist line of response too often. I want to "fix" this for him and me, of course it concerns me greatly as to what could be the stressor. I have been dealing with fleas, currently doing D.Earth throughout the house, plus he is taking Comfortis. I believe diet/natural supplementation can heal, but he is not being very cooperative.

One concern is, as I start trying all these suggestions, is to figure out wht is working and what isn't... For every recommendation, I have gotten others who say not to try it... so I think my priority right now is to focus on food (with the amitrip, dasuquin, rescue remedy). I have Buprex for him, but I am only giving it if he he meowing when he pees. He is peeing several times a day, currently, it is just slightly pink - I guess that is progress. They tend to be smaller amounts, but I am gauging "progress" by color and lack of meowing as he pees. His appetite for regular dry food is fine and he is drinking a lot of water. (Blood sugars good and there is no bacteria in his cultures) I tried wetting his current food, and again, he wouldn't touch it

I have ordered a variety of supplements recommended to amend homemade food - if only I can get him to eat it. (My other 2 cats will eat anything I put in front of them)

I wish I knew how to help him more.
 

oneandahalfcats

TCS Member
Top Cat
@NativeATLGirl: I understand. You have to do what you feel most comfortable with. I too like to keep things simple. Food can be a great healer.

Its very good that your boy is peeing several times a day, even if its only small amounts. If there is no bacteria then no need for intervention at this time.   As D-Mannose can help to keep cats bacteria-free, I have started adding once a month to wet food for 2-4 days, and so far no problems with rejection. Even my little female who can often spot something added, seems to be okay with it. That said, she doesn't like water added to her wet food
My boys will eat almost anything it seems, regardless of how it is dressed up. 

Many positive vibes and well wishes for your boy
 

denice

Advisor
Staff Member
Advisor
I wanted to add something about the food.  I am not familiar with the food itself but you said you added beef broth to it.  Many kitties can't tolerate beef even in very small quantities.  
 
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nativeatlgirl

TCS Member
Kitten
Interesting note, I tried another wet food with a little bit of watered down chicken broth and treats - my "garbage disposal" cat wouldn't even touch it! Royal Canine S/O...

I am trying anything to see what he will nibble on... stubborn little bugger.
 

tryingtorelax

TCS Member
Kitten
My 3 yr old male Birman who eats only raw food (Rad Cat turkey), is on a raw pancreatic enzyme, milk thistle, proviable DC and Cosequin has a PH of 8.0. He does not have any crystals present from what the urinalysis shows. He weighs 11 lbs, has pancreatitis and is force fed twice a day 31/2 oz in am and 4oz in pm. How can I get his PH back to normal? I am stunned being that he is on raw cat food. What additional supplement should I give him and how much?
Please respond Dr Kris.
Thank you.
Julie (Tryingtorelax)
 

oneandahalfcats

TCS Member
Top Cat
Interesting note, I tried another wet food with a little bit of watered down chicken broth and treats - my "garbage disposal" cat wouldn't even touch it! Royal Canine S/O...

I am trying anything to see what he will nibble on... stubborn little bugger.
Ahh, I was wondering if you were feeding the Urinary SO. This is pork-based with a bit of chicken and fairly palatable as it has a nice aroma that most cats should take to. If you haven't tried already, perhaps give the next feeding without water. The SO is high in moisture so you are covered in this respect. Regarding the previous incident of vomiting, it could be that the mix of beef stock and pork proved to be a bit too much?
 
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nativeatlgirl

TCS Member
Kitten
I have tried straight from can, warmed slightly, with a little warm water, with a little chicken stock, with treats that he loves, mixed 1 part wet with 5parts dry (he picked off a few dry pieces).

He will not touch tuna, salmon, white fish, sardines, shrimp, or chicken, egg whites, or dairy... Like I said, he is super picky.
 

Anne

Site Owner
Staff Member
Admin
I think it may be best to wait for @Dr Kris  to bring more of his input into the thread. Please let's not flood this thread with more information to allow him to focus on the OP's questions. We can always have a separate thread in the health forum too.

Also, please remember that providing medical advice is against the forum rules. That includes suggesting supplements to treat a medical problem. Supplements can be as potent as drugs in many situations and cause adverse reactions too. It's perfectly ok to share what helped your own cat and discuss options. It's not ok to suggest that the same thing will help another cat. Let's leave the actual medical work to the vets.

Thank you.
 

oneandahalfcats

TCS Member
Top Cat
Sorry if my suggestions are seen as giving medical advice. I don't know that I agree with that assessment as they are really no different from what is offered in other threads every day here. In any event, just trying to help, not step on anyone's toes.
 
 
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nativeatlgirl

TCS Member
Kitten
My vet is not particularly proactive. But, as I have been reading, I have been asking her about various things - ie apple cider vinegar, distilled water, making food myself, acupuncture, massage, rescue remedy... she shot all of those down, saying there was no clinical evidence. If it had shown to work for others, and she doesn't say it is dangerous or potentially reactive with other treatments, I will add to the list to try. (I have significantly healed myself from MS using diet, without meds, so I am open to solutions that have less side effects...)

His urine yesterday on the puppy pads has gotten even less pink and some bigger amounts. He is drinking water right now as I type. He did meow out last night at one of the litterboxes, so I did use Buprex for the first time in several weeks (we were out last week)
 
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dr kris

TCS Member
Guest Expert
My vet is not particularly proactive. But, as I have been reading, I have been asking her about various things - ie apple cider vinegar, distilled water, making food myself, acupuncture, massage, rescue remedy... she shot all of those down, saying there was no clinical evidence. If it had shown to work for others, and she doesn't say it is dangerous or potentially reactive with other treatments, I will add to the list to try. (I have significantly healed myself from MS using diet, without meds, so I am open to solutions that have less side effects...)

His urine yesterday on the puppy pads has gotten even less pink and some bigger amounts. He is drinking water right now as I type. He did meow out last night at one of the litterboxes, so I did use Buprex for the first time in several weeks (we were out last week)
I always continue to be blown away at how good some of these little guys can look with massage or laser therapy. I have a friend who does acupuncture and loves cats - I’ll see if i can get her expert opinion on it’s utility for cystitis! If you are willing to make a balanced homemade diet for her, then it cant hurt. Even though they all get along, make sure there is no competition for resources, or silent conflicts!

If you have gone through MS, then you know that some people (even in 2014) don’t believe it’s a real condition, and would be quick to dismiss ideas to treat it. And that sucessful treatments for chronic pain are just sometimes completely outside the scope or area of expertise for a GP.

Keep your determination and you will eventually learn her combination.

In my discussions with people with interstitial cystitis, it was the same process for them. Methodical - changing one thing at at time, with the knowledge that it will likely take several things working together at once to make her better.

k
 

oneandahalfcats

TCS Member
Top Cat
My vet is not particularly proactive. But, as I have been reading, I have been asking her about various things - ie apple cider vinegar, distilled water, making food myself, acupuncture, massage, rescue remedy... she shot all of those down, saying there was no clinical evidence. If it had shown to work for others, and she doesn't say it is dangerous or potentially reactive with other treatments, I will add to the list to try. (I have significantly healed myself from MS using diet, without meds, so I am open to solutions that have less side effects...)

His urine yesterday on the puppy pads has gotten even less pink and some bigger amounts. He is drinking water right now as I type. He did meow out last night at one of the litterboxes, so I did use Buprex for the first time in several weeks (we were out last week)
I think part of the problem is lack of knowledge and perhaps just a different belief system when it comes to accepted practices in response to illness and disease. What doesn't help are the lack of studies to support the benefits of different therapies, but then I don't think this is always necessary. If something works to a good effect and comes with minimal to no side effects, then it is worth some consideration. Happy to hear that the urine is looking less pink, is coming in larger quantities and your guy is drinking. 

 
I always continue to be blown away at how good some of these little guys can look with massage or laser therapy. I have a friend who does acupuncture and loves cats - I’ll see if i can get her expert opinion on it’s utility for cystitis! If you are willing to make a balanced homemade diet for her, then it cant hurt. Even though they all get along, make sure there is no competition for resources, or silent conflicts!
 
k
Dr. Kris makes a really good point about the need to be vigilant for competition and conflicts that may not be obvious. I have a little female who now lives with two males as I mentioned elsewhere. I feed her in a completely different room, and the boys are fed at opposite ends of a room. In the past Max has often horned in on Maggie's food and gobbled it up which she passively allows him to do, partly out of love I suspect, but also because he is just so much bigger. So now she gets fed alone. The other younger boy is a rambunctious tuxedo who's favorite past-time is to try and engage Maggie in some way, when he can't be outside. This involves stalking, laying down in front of her as close as he can, running at her. All in fun as is he is very good natured. Sometimes she will respond, other times she's not having it at all and will hiss and swat. Nothing serious yet, but he sometimes can be overbearing in the play department. Interactions that we are always keeping a close watch on as he continues to grow and his personality evolves.
 
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nativeatlgirl

TCS Member
Kitten
Update: there is no blood in his urine on the puppy pads and the amount of urine is increasing.

Hark has always been a bit of a loner, but even when I have all 3 playing together, they are fine. No fighting over food - he will only eat the dry food despite all my attempts - I have several dry cat food feeders and they geaze whenever. Plenty for everyone. I have tried leaving wet food in some of the spots where he is more likely to hang out. Hark plays on occasion with my other male cat, but my female will not play with either. She is more petite and not a fan of rough-housing.
 

oneandahalfcats

TCS Member
Top Cat
Update: there is no blood in his urine on the puppy pads and the amount of urine is increasing.

Hark has always been a bit of a loner, but even when I have all 3 playing together, they are fine. No fighting over food - he will only eat the dry food despite all my attempts - I have several dry cat food feeders and they geaze whenever. Plenty for everyone. I have tried leaving wet food in some of the spots where he is more likely to hang out. Hark plays on occasion with my other male cat, but my female will not play with either. She is more petite and not a fan of rough-housing.
Great progress! .. Thanks for the update.

Your female sounds a lot like my girl .. Petite and a solitary soul who likes to keep to herself mostly.
 

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