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Overcoming Feline Cystitis: Bentley’s Story

Curing feline cystitis or FLUTD

Bentley

You know the expression “There must be something in the water”?  I was reminded of it week of this because I have encountered several cat parents lately dealing with feline cystitis.  It must be a message!  Obviously it is very common, and there is a huge need to help cats with this life-threatening condition. 

A close friend of mine has a cat named Bentley who developed feline cystitis a week ago, and his story is simply one I must share.  Learning how his condition developed may help other cats avoid this painful condition.  How my friend followed her intuition to help him may seem unconventional.  I guess in many ways it is, and yet the results are simply irrefutable!

What is feline cystitis?

Feline cystitis is inflammation of the bladder wall lining.  It’s also commonly known as Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) and Feline Lower Urinary Tract disease (FLUTD).  It can occur in both females and males and often becomes chronic.  According to this article,

This disease affects the bladder rather than the kidneys, resulting in the production of tiny crystals and blood in the urine. The cat often urinates much more frequently than normal, usually with the passage of only a few drops of urine. This may be confused with constipation. The disease will also cause many cats to urinate in places other than the litter box, often on hard surfaces such as tile floors, countertops, sinks and bathtubs.
In some cats crystals can form in the urine.  For male cats this can lead to the urethra getting blocked, which is life-threatening, and if not treated immediately the bladder can rupture.  If you observe any of these symptoms in your cat it’s urgent to seek veterinary care immediately! 
 
In more cases than not, this condition is due to stress, both environmental and metabolic.  If your cat is experiencing any stress from changes in the home, fighting with other household pets, even changes in their routine, these can all be root causes of feline cystitis.  Metabolic stress results from eating a dry food diet and not getting enough moisture in the diet.  Ingredients from kibble are not only high in carbohydrates, but these ingredients can promote inflammation in cats.  Couple that with not drinking enough water and eventually it can take a toll metabolically.  

Bentley’s emergency

This week one of my friends, Pam, reached out to me regarding her cat Bentley.  He was showing several of the symptoms listed above, and she was very worried.  After energy testing him using his photo I told her he needed emergency care, which meant taking him to an emergency clinic since it was Saturday afternoon and most vets were closed.  Let me point out that Bentley HATES the carrier, and car rides stress him out!  Therefore, Pam put him in a basket, secured a lid on it and made her way through a torrential downpour to the ER.  Now they were both stressed!  

He was examined by the doctor but they couldn’t get any urine because Bentley wasn’t cooperating.  The good news was he was still passing a small amount of urine, but they suspected he had a stone by something they saw on the x-ray.  Because he was so uncooperative they were unable to give him any shots or medications; therefore, the doctor sent her home with Buprenex for pain, Onsior for the inflammation, and prescription food for urinary care.  She  also recommend finding ways to reduce stress in his environment.

Pam asked me to energy test these items, and each one of them resonated extremely negative for Bentley.  She opted for some alternatives instead.  These included homeopathic remedy Arnica 30C for the pain, colloidal silver and CBD oil to lesson his anxiety.  Bentley refused to eat the prescription food altogether, so she started feeding him Tiki Cat raw food.  She also bought some Feliway plug-ins and he immediately stretched out underneath one.  

What caused Bentley’s feline cystitis?

We also talked about all the possible reasons why Bentley had developed this condition.  As it turns out, Pam is packing her home and getting ready to move, and Bentley is clearly a bit stressed by all the changes going on in his home.   According to an article she read moving to a new home is the number one stressor for cats.  She also admitted that she had started feeding him dry food awhile back, even though she knew it wasn’t the best diet for him.  To complicate matters, he isn’t a big water drinker.  Now all the pieces started to come together!

Feliway diffuser for cats

A Feliway diffuser helps to calm Bentley’s stress from the upcoming move to a new home.

Monday’s update from Bentley’s mom

Despite showing improvement over the weekend he started to have blood in his urine and was still straining to pee, so she took him back to the vet Monday morning.  The poor guy had to be sedated so they could get a urine sample.  They found blood in his urine, an infection, a probable stone (crystal), and an inflamed bladder.  As expected, Pam was sent home with an arsenal of medication, but she knew it would be nearly impossible to administer all these!  Fortunately she was able to use pill pockets covered in Churu treats to get his medicines down him, and he was also eating a little bit.

Side effects!

Ironically, I just wrote an article about the side effects of drugs prescribed for cats.  Unfortunately one or more of the medications that she had given Bentley began to affect him in a bad way.  

Here’s what Pam sent me:

It took him forever to recover from the sedation.  It was like he was in a trance until 11pm last night.  He started acting very anxious right when I was going to bed, as if he was hallucinating.  I gave him the anti-anxiety pill which also relaxes the urethra.  It calmed him down just a bit, but every time I woke up he was awake, just sitting in the same spot and not moving.  He rubs on me to be petted and likes it at first, then growls at me.

When in doubt, do your own research!

Extremely worried and stressed about his condition, Pam couldn’t sleep and ended up doing internet searches in the middle of the night about the side effects of the pain meds.  To her horror, she discovered that Buprenex is a very powerful opioid that can have terrible side effects in cats.

So I got up and started reading about the pain meds, and how other people were so upset at how crazy their cat became… how the cat didn’t sleep and was up for 72 hours straight, pacing, hallucinating etc..!  I had considered giving it to him last night, because i was feeling guilty because what if he was in terrible pain?  [The vet] said out of all the meds this was the number one thing to give him! I only gave him that one dose…! But I just couldn’t do it [again]! He hasn’t slept one wink since he came back from the vet! And he doesn’t seem [to be] in pain…

So I kept crying, praying and asking God what to do, and upset that I was getting no answers. I got very little sleep. Then I remembered maybe I should try Melatonin to see if he could sleep.  So I got up and researched that and gave him 3 mg of liquid.  I decided against the pain med…he seemed to rest some after that. He wasn’t sitting wide eyed every time I looked at him at least….this was 3 am mind you….

So it’s 5:26 am…

…and I hear him scratching in the litter box! Omg….my heart was beating fast as I stood outside and waited and waited…he took a long time…I was worried he was only straining, and there would be pea-sized amount….however, when he was done, I couldn’t believe my eyes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Omg! It was huge! You can’t imagine how much joy and relief I felt over cat pee!!!!!!

By the way, I started researching how good Apple cider vinegar is for breaking up stones and changing the PH.. [When] Nothing else was working, but this did and also prevented recurrences.  So I forced that down him last night, also giving him colloidal silver several times a day along with the antibiotic just to be sure… I am going to do the ACV instead of that prescription food, and I’m going to get him on a healthy raw moist food!! 
 
cats with feline cystitis

Bentley is recovering from feline cystitis using conventional plus an alternative healing approach.

Alternative support for feline cystitis

I got an update from Pam two days later that made my heart leap with joy!  Bentley went from peeing every 25 hours to every 15!  And he was eating a lot more, following Pam everywhere like her shadow, even curling up next to her.  The following day she sent another update:

I’m soooo happy!  He’s pulled through!  Now he’s eating and drinking as well as peeing and pooping normally now!

In addition to the anti-anxiety (Acepromazine), anti-inflammatory (Onsior) and antibiotic (Zeniquin) medications she was giving him, below is a list of the herbal supplements and other products that helped Bentley make a recovery: 

  • Inaba Churu pet treats
  • Pill pockets
  • Super Snouts SOHEMP-150 hemp oil
  • Sovereign Silver 10 ppm
  • Dr. Mercola’s Bladder Support for pets
  • PHS Cranberry D-Mannose for dogs and cats
  • Jarrow Formulas Pet Dophilus probiotics
  • Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold
  • Pet Wellbeing Urinary Support Gold
  • Dr. Mercola’s Curcumin for pets

Important reminder:  always treat the cause!

Finally, it’s always important to remember to treat the cause of the disease, not just the symptoms.  In one of the conversations Pam had with the vet the doctor made a comment that she and Pam would be getting to know each other very well.  Because cats with feline cystitis (FLUTD) tend to have chronic recurrences she expected to see Bentley often to keep addressing his symptoms. 

A better solution is to address the underlying cause!  In Bentley’s case it was finding ways to alleviate his stress and feeding him a fresh, wet food diet.  Supportive care with natural herbal products that benefit urinary health are part of his protocol, too.  If your vet only promotes a cycle of drugs and prescription food I highly recommend you find an integrative or holistic vet. 

 



5 responses to “Overcoming Feline Cystitis: Bentley’s Story”

  1. Debbie Pierce says:

    Wonderful story! So happy that Bentley is back to normal! He has the best mommy any kitty would ask for!! Thank you too Pam Rousell for your support! My “nephew” is famous and such a handsome kitty!!

  2. Tamara Heikalo says:

    Excellent article.
    Always so troubling when vets keep prescribing meds with such dangerous side effects and risks. And they don’t always tell you all of them, either! Learned that the hard way. Pisses me off.

    I have a concern about the Feliway diffuser as featured in one of the photos of Bentley.
    It is a poison. Cats are very sensitive to chemicals.
    I would never use a diffuser because my husband is chemically sensitive, and this could be disastrous.
    I bought the spray a year ago. If I had read the insert first, I would never have spent the ridiculous price.
    This stuff is toxic.

    Part of the spray warning is:
    “Store in a well-ventilated space.”
    So how on earth can we be spraying this indoors?

    It is highly flammable and can cause serious eye irritation.

    When I have tried using it, I have sprayed it on pieces of paper – OUTDOORS – and then let it sit for a while before bringing the paper indoors. I cannot say this stuff has been helpful or not, either.
    We have a cat who appears to be experiencing threat to his territory, after bringing in 3 new felines in the last 8 months.
    I am trying Rescue Remedy. I’ll be trying some other approaches, as well. But Feliway is a product I am really not trusting.

    • Pam Roussell says:

      Tamara,
      I completely understand where you are coming from! I stopped using Feliway products a few years ago when I understood they were made with synthetic chemicals. Bentley’s mom decided to try them at the vet’s suggestion because she urgently needed Bentley to relax as it was exacerbating his condition. She tried diffusing some essential oils first but they didn’t seem to help.

      I love using flower essences and aromatherapy to help cats in stressful situations. One of my go-to flower essences is Animal Relief Formula which helps pets going through transitions and stressful times, including adding new pets into the home. I have also used it successfully to eliminate urine marking and spraying due to “territorial” behavior. I now carry it in my online store because I believe in it so much. Diffusing lavender or valerian may also be beneficial in general to create a relaxing environment.

  3. Siegrid Strohl says:

    Dear Pam, great story. Glad to hear that he is doing better. My Yogy had the same problem. I started him on petwellbeeing kidney and also urinary gold and diluted applecider vinegar. I mixed it up in a little babyfood which he liked, and with a baby food syringe i managed to give him the cider solution. Within 5 days he was completely back to normal. I must note that i did switch his cat food as well. I feed them ultra from petsmart and wellness core, it is affordable and they are doing great. Thank you for the article!

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