Q. My cat has idiopathic cystitis (FIC). What can I feed her to help with the condition?

A. Cats with FIC have an abnormal response to stress - this allows excessive nervous input to the bladder, which causes inflammation.

There are dietary recommendations including, c/d Multicare Urinary Stress, which contains 2 ingredients shown to decrease anxiety or stress-related behaviors in cats. One of these ingredients is L-tryptophan (an amino acid), which is converted to serotonin, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that affects mood (decreased anxiety). The other ingredient, hydrolyzed casein, facilitates inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain, resulting in decreased anxiety.

The c/d multicare Urinary Stress diet also contains a blend of nutrients that include omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that help break the inflammatory cycle and counteract oxidative stress associated with FIC. It is formulated with controlled amounts of magnesium and phosphorus (building blocks of struvite) and optimal urine pH (6.2 to 6.4) that results in urine under-saturated for struvite formation.

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