Cat With FIC (Feline Idiopathic Cystitis)

I have a siamese mix girl who is 5 years old. She has had issues with peeing outside the litterbox since I got a kitten last year and we’ve been battling FIC. The kitten is now outside so things had subsided a bit, however, I’ve been renovating the house and its been really tough for her.

I’d love to hear from any others who have dealt with this in the past and what you did to help your cats.

This girl is particularly sensitive - if I go away , the pet sitter won’t ever see her - only evidence of her. She is fine with the dogs and outdoor cats… currently she is being treated with Buprenorphine, gabapentin, d’mannose (cranberry) and cornsilk. The last two are wholistic things which supposedly help the inflammation. Nothing is working right now.

The cat is strictly indoors… I will definitely consider letting her outside once things settle down and she’s doing better… the problem is that she is deathly afraid of outside. I’ve taken her out and she scrambles to the door… so not sure that is going to help her issues either.

If you can share your experiences or knowledge or stories, would love to hear about what worked or did not work. Thanks!

This is a cat I’d get on anti depressants asap. You know she’s terribly stressed–help her with that. The peeing will resolve it you can get her comfortable in her environment.

You can also add cosequin, which may help–but the stress is the problem. Is she on 100% wet food?

1 Like

yes, all wet now. The vet mentioned last week that if this didn’t work, she would put her on some type of big guns… meaning behavioral meds… but for some reason didn’t want to do that yet. I have another phone call into her, but I’m not expecting a return call until Monday or so…

Things had improved when the contractors were gone for 5 days…

What kind of side effects are there for that kind of meds?


You might have to monitor liver labs? I’ve never seen any “negative” to treating with antidepressants, only huuuuuge positives. Happy cats!

They can often be compounded as transdermals, so you don’t have to pill them, which is nice. Although if she’s eating wet, it’s awfully easy to slip it in (and cheaper to use the pills!)

One other thing to consider would be treating with antibiotics, even though (I assume) you’ve only found clean pee that doesn’t culture. I’ve had enough peeing cats with clean pee that instantly improved with antibiotics to always try it. Sometimes the infection can be stuck way up in the kidneys and not dropping into the bladder–and apparently CSU has shown that in some cats with a positive culture from urine retrieved directly from the kidney, with a clean culture from the bladder. From your description, it does sound VERY much like something to be solved with a little prozac, but if you want one more thing to try…antibiotics are one more thing.

I’d not hesitate in the least little bit to insist on those antidepressants, though. If she’s also iffy on eating, mirtazipine can kill two birds with one stone. I use it for appetite, and am just floored at how much happier my one cat is on it! Didn’t realize that she was so stressed :frowning:

One of my cats struggled with this over the winter, but has been doing well on prescription Hills Urinary Tract wet cat food. I mix extra water into it when I feed so it’s soup, and she is good about eating it that way. When I need to leave her for a couple days I fill a bowl with Iams dry urinary care kibble (from my grocery store, not prescription), and fill the bowl with water so it soaks. My vet suggested that even though she doesn’t have utis, these types of food are formulated to change the pH in their urine so they are more comfortable. Or something like that – it’s been a while. :slight_smile: But, whatever the reason it has certainly helped her, so you might look into it. Good luck with your kitty.


I have had a cat on prozac for many years and no side effects. He has done very well. My vet has me pull labs every year and we have seen any but minor changes to his bloodwork and those were most likely related to his age and his other diseases (thyroid and diabetes). If Prozac does not help, there are other anti-depressants that can be prescribed. Poor kitty - I feel bad for her. She sounds like she is not brave at the best of times and the construction thing has turned her little world upside down.

1 Like

My vet suggested Trixsyn as being more effective than Cosequin as the percentage of hyaluronic acid is higher in the former.

I have dealt with this on and off with my cat. He was a barn cat that I brought home when we moved to another facility that was NOT cat friendly. He and my existing cat did not get along. I managed to keep things OK over the summer, but as soon as I went back to teaching in the fall, he got worse. We were like a model of the atom: I was the nucleus to whom both cats were attracted while the two cats repelled each other. It was not always a particularly stable atom. I survived for awhile by keeping them separated, which wasn’t great in a 984 square foot house, or by kicking him outside when I wasn’t home. That was before we had a big coyote problem, but still not ideal. The trainer moved to yet another barn about six months later (it was an interesting few years) which was more cat friendly and he went back to the barn. Several years passed, and then my cat passed and I brought him home. There was inappropriate urination from time to time. One trigger would be when I came home relatively late at night, which I could control somewhat by following him around, especially if he wanted to go out. I have been known to let him out briefly at night because it was just easier. Once the pandemic hit and I was home more, it has mostly stopped.

I really think his was stress related with the other cat, but now I’m not so sure. This is not a fearful cat: he runs to the front door when someone comes and happily greets neighbors on the sidewalk.

Thanks for the suggestions… I will call tomorrow and see about the anti depressants or other things. I think I do have some clavamox I could try… but, the other vet had her on clavamox and I gave it to her for 10 days with no change to her urine.

The only time she stopped peeing blood and I saw some improvement was when the contractor was gone over July 4th and the house was back to normal for 5 days. Then it all started again.

I’m glad I’ve had the plastic storage tub empty for her to use… but it really needs to be switched out as its kinda smelly. It has been good though because I always know what color her pee is. I’m debating on putting an actual litter box in there but not sure if I should add litter. I think the appeal of it was no litter for her so not sure what to do about that. I’ve had to throw away 6 dog beds because of innappropriate peeing.

So frustrating and I feel bad for her…

This is my FAVORITE client education sheet for FIC. It is incredibly informative. And also includes links to the AAEP and OSU to help with enrichment ideas.

I fostered a cat with FIC, it is a horrible condition for both the cat and people. I used, CD stress food, zylkene and amitriptylline and then used metacam for acute flare ups. In the states, NSAID use in cats is highly frowned upon but buprenorphine can really ‘zone’ them out and needs to be given more frequently. So i prefer NSAIDs as long as blood work is fine and the cat is well hydrated.

1 Like

My cat had this, but 15 years ago, so not much help.
I did use CBD with my Diabetic cat and it helped him ride things out.

I had a kitty with this and she went on amitriptyline for a few months then I weaned her off. I also ditched the dry food when she went on the amitriptyline and she has never had another episode.

I also do this. Mine did very well on Purina One UT food with lots of water added, but had to switch to the UT rx diet due to an apparent chicken allergy. But she’d have massive flareups on high protein foods for some reason, even with a very slow switch.

We go to gabapentin whenever we start to see a flareup. As a (human) who takes gabapentin for neuropathy, I’ll say that it can lose its pain killing effect easily, so it’s not something I’d do continually and expect consistent results, except for seizures.

Sorry you’re dealing with this. FIC is not the most fun cat club to belong to. Lots and lots of liquids and clean, clean litter boxes are what have helped my girl and former cats.

Thanks for all the help… I will say that none of the RX food for the urine or stress has worked. I think she’s just pretty acute now. I’m beginning to wonder if we will ever get through this.

Have any of you turned your indoor kitty to an outdoor kitty? Supposedly being in their natural environment is supposed to help. I worry though that the great outdoors will be too much for this cat who is afraid of people and lots of things.

Kicking a cat with high anxiety and a medical issue outside is cruel. Outdoor cats are also brutal on the natural environment, although they often don’t tend to last long outside.

Euthanasia would be kinder, IMO. There is nothing wrong with giving any animal a peaceful ending.

Well… I wasn’t planning on kicking her out during all of this. But the articles I’ve read about it have indicated that part of the problem is that they can’t hunt and be in their natural environment. On the other hand though, I have thought about euthanasia if this can’t be fixed. I’m not sure exactly how painful living like this is, but imagine it must be pretty painful for her. I’m hoping that if things settle down in the house she will be ok after a little time and things return to normal. I have never put a cat down for something like this and I absolutely love this cat to pieces, but if all medical options are exhausted at some point I may have to consider that. And I truly hate to even think about it. Truthfully I don’t think really think outside is an option as she is not even remotely curious about it and is very afraid when I’ve held her in the past and walked outside for a nano second.

Let’s just pray the contractor finishes this week! Although the next hurdle is an extended vacation where someone will be staying at the house for 10 days. That will be problematic but hopefully enough time will have passed between now and then for her to recover.


I’m not sure if there’s a better reason to put down an animal than an unmanageable, painful, chronic condition. :frowning:

You haven’t run through your treatment options, and this cat sounds like an excellent candidate for antidepressants. In your shoes, I’d push hard to start that this week. There’s no reason to delay. See how she does.

But if you can’t settle her with meds, euthanasia is a much better option than putting her outside. There are so many things that are worse than a kind end.


Very true. Just not something I want to do. I’m waiting for my vet to get back to me about her. Hopefully she will call me today. I agree that we haven’t finished all of the medical options so maybe something else will help her. Thanks…

1 Like

Update - still dealing with this issue. We’ve tried additional meds and an anti inflammatory and cosequin… nothing has helped. I have an appointment to see a specialist for internal medicine and I think this is the last resort. My cat is on an anxiety med too and the renovations have been done for over a week. She acts like my old cat - visits me, sits on me and is out and about in the house… but still peeing blood with everything I’ve done for.

It is so upsetting to see a cat that seems healthy and young, but is having this chronic issue. I have no idea if seeing a specialist is just throwing out more money or not… but I figure before I give up all hope, one last effort.


I forget - did you have xrays or an ultrasound done? That way you could rule out cancer.
Poor kitty - she must be miserable. And I feel for you - this is no picnic for you, either.
Hoping for good news.

1 Like

We had an ultrasound done. They thought that would show more than the xray. Very inflamed bladder but other areas ok.

1 Like