Fred is Sick Again – Naturally Treating Cystitis in Cats

DSC_0029After just one time sneaking into the kibble, Fred is sick again. I first noticed while I was in the bathroom a few mornings ago and he got into the bathtub, squatted over the drain and had a little pee. Trying to tell me something Fred? Then he was back to doing the litterbox shuffle, going back and forth from box to box, voiding just a few drops of urine each time.

I wasn’t looking forward to another $200 vet treatment, which last time basically consisted of a shot of antibiotics and a prescription for snake oil special cat food. I decided to do a little more research into natural treatments to see if I could manage his condition myself. A few hours of research later and I decided to try cranberry and goldenseal.

I know from personal experience that pure unsweetened cranberry juice will knock out a urinary tract infection in short order. Fred might not have a UTI, but he is having bladder issues and does have struvite crystals. I was hoping cranberry would help acidify his urine and hopefully dissolve them. Goldenseal was recommended as an antibiotic that helps alleviate infection and inflammatory conditions. Both had been okayed as safe for cats by multiple sources.

DSC_0032I gave Fred a full capsule of cranberry extract in the morning, then a full capsule of goldenseal in the evening, just so his body could process the supplements properly without overloading him with both at once. He is such a good boy and lets me pill him easily. The next morning, he still seemed to be having difficulties passing urine, but was showing no signs of pain or discomfort. He got his cranberry pill in the morning and goldenseal pill in the evening once more. He was in good spirits all day and raced all over the house with the kittens, playing up a storm.

Since he still seemed blocked, I decided to try something new. I had also read many positive reports of people treating cystitis in cats with apple cider vinegar. I know that at any sign of sickness in my rabbits or birds, the first thing I do is put ACV in their water. So far, in two years, this along with good hygiene has cured everything from baby bunnies with no appetite, to quail with bumblefoot.

I chose to mix a tablespoon of ACV with a tablespoon of water, and administer about 2ml by mouth using a small plastic syringe designed for medicating cats. I did this about 3-4 times a day for the next three days and also stopped the herbal pills. Guess what, today Fred is peeing normally!

So I’m hoping we have a natural solution here. Fred must stay on a strictly canned/raw diet. No more kibble for Fred, ever. If he develops problems peeing, I can give him apple cider vinegar and water orally. He doesn’t seem to mind the flavor too much.

I feel if I put ACV in the communal water dish that it will prevent all the cats from wanting to drink, so I may start mixing small amounts into their food and seeing how they tolerate that. I believe I’ll put all the boy cats on ACV since cystitis is more prevalent in males.


Freshly ground bone-in chicken and necks

During my research I was also interested to learn that male cats with long hair and high stress levels are more prone to cystitis. (Not to mention kibble diets of course.) Fred is far from stressed right now, but he was probably the most stressed cat ever while he was fending for himself as a stray. I know he was panic-stricken when he first showed up. I’ve been keeping him away from the girls so no more fighting has occurred. Here’s to getting things a little more calm and normal around here!