Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment for Cats with Cystitis

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Alex (All Places Cats Are, Texas) on 08/06/2012
1 out of 5 stars

My heart goes out to Paul in Los Angeles who lost his kitten after making the incredibly difficult decision to try a home ACV remedy when forced, by finances, to forego veterinary treatment. I have very restricted finances (SSI) and have great compassion for his predicament, and for his bravery in writing to this forum. Here is info I found out in my situation:

Urinary problems in cats have very different causes: inactivity, stress, less frequent feeding, bacteria, fungus, parasites, viruses, stones or urethral plugs (crystals or other material), and most often the cause is "idiopathic" (no traceable cause). Typically, when a cat is stressed the muscles around the urinary tract tighten; fear keeps them less mobile; they urinate less; toxins/debris concentrate in the urine, breed bacteria, irritate and inflame the bladder lining and urethra and cause a UTI. The extra attention and frequent small feedings of wet food required to treat it with the ACV may be all a stressed cat needs. It relaxes, receives more fluids in smaller more acidic feedings, and urinates. A few good streams of urine might relieve the problem. To paraphrase Dr. Earl Mindell, MD, ACV is considered "a system tonic. It can discourage and inhibit the growth of bacteria and PREVENT urinary infections", but it is not an antibiotic; by creating more acidic urine it can PREVENT the formation of urethral obstructions, but would take much time to dissolve one. Female cats, due to their very short urethra, are not generally put in a life threatening situation from UTIs or urethral obstructions, but male cats have only hours once a complete obstruction is formed. With complete blackage the kidneys are no longer able to remove toxins from the blood and maintain proper fluids and electrolytes in the body. If the obstruction is not relieved, the cat will eventually lose consciousness and die. Death comes often from heart failure due to electrolyte imbalance, but the suffering prior to death is great.

My cat, Xander, showed no pain or stress. I took him to the vet to find out what kind of problem the blood in his urine was and if it was treatable at home - cost $60 (2AM Emergency Vet) He was completely blocked. Death from the blockage was imminent. Had I not taken him in it would have meant a quiet (he was always quiet) but excruciating death in hours.

IF YOUR MALE CAT HAS UTI TROUBLE there is no time to try home remedies, take him to the vet. It will cost you an office visit. If it is treatable, you can use ACV, or get antibiotics/antifungals (fish antibiotics /fungals - ask your vet to help you with amounts), or just about anything else online, BUT if it is an obstruction you will need to choose between euthanasia or surgery (which often does not have a terrific outcome). You will suffer - the loss of your pet, or the loss of money, but your beloved pet will be spared further suffering and go to whatever lay ahead as quietly as his little cat feet used to bring him to you. (and you will know that you did absolutely everything that you could)


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Nora (Jamaica Plain, Ma) on 02/17/2012
1 out of 5 stars

My male cat has gotten cystitis a few times. ACV didn't help. I found that while he is suffering from cystitis, just putting a small amount of CranActin Syrup, made by Solaray, on his lips eased the condition--I purchased the CranActin Syrup via Amazon.com. I think I only had to apply this to him lips once--he licks it and ingests it. Then feeding him nutritious canned cat food that has liquid gravy twice a day has kept him well for the past year. I feed him Nature's Variety's Homestyle by Prairie, Duck Chicken Stew or Turkey Liver Stew (I put a few drops of cold pressed olive oil in that food) mornings and then in the evening, I give him Weruva Chicken in Gravy. I get both brands via Amazon.com. I think that he gets enough liquid that way plus the distilled water I give him in his water bowl. I have found that I can then give him a small amount of dry food, about 1/16 of a cup as a snack daily--I give him Taste of the Wild, Canyon River Feline Formula with Trout & Smoked Salmon flavor. I buy this at a small supermarket, Pemberton Farms, in Cambridge, MA. It is processed with purified water. So far he is doing well. I also give him four vitamins daily--Nu-Cat Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Supplement. I buy this via Amazon.com.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Matwood (Carmichael, Ca) on 02/15/2012
1 out of 5 stars

Remembered this thread as I was sitting here going through old pics of my Cat. In may of 2011 he had a horrible urinary tract infection.. Found this site and thread and read all the great stories about ACV. We bought some immediately and started giving it to him. After a few days he seemed better, started going in the litter box and seemed like his old self. We were so happy but sadly... The ACV didn't work. He ended up getting a complete blockage and we lost him last May.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Marina (Brooklyn, Ny) on 12/24/2011
1 out of 5 stars

I tried this cure for four days. My cat died yesterday.

He started with blood in his urine, which cleared up after day one. He was urinating painfully, but seemed to be in much better spirits days 2-3. Yesterday, he clearly had a blockage and was suffering terribly. I rushed him to the vet, they voided his bladder. It seemed to go well until he had a heart attack while they were sewing the catheter in. The exact reason is unknown, but being in so much pain for so long certainly taxed his system. He could not be revived.

I believe if I had treated his problem as an emergency in the beginning instead of trying to care for him at home before taking him in, he would have had the strength to survive. I made a decision that cost him his precious life.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Paul (Los Angeles, Ca, Usa) on 12/12/2011
1 out of 5 stars

Just some feedback on my experience. Sat afternoon my cat who is a year and a half, showed me he was having trouble peeing. I started researching on the net, was seeing the prices involved in catheters, etc... Seemed 800.00 was a common number, and that frequently the number moved into the thousands as the operation was needed again and again. I called a 24/7 vet here in LA but they would not quote any sort of general price range for the procedure, till I came in and paid 125.00 for an exam. I think they know if they say a large number over the phone that they will scare away business. But if you are there and have already committed to 125.00 and your pet's big eyes are staring at you in front of them they can make more of a sale. But I just don't have that type of money. I love the little guy, but I don't have insurance for myself. So, I thought I'd try the apple cider vinegar since there seemed nothing to lose. He didn't like it much. It didn't seem to do anything as fas as I can tell except make him unhappy. I tried to make him as comfortable as possible on Sunday otherwise, he wanted to be with me and so I kept him near me most of the day. He became increasingly lethargic. Lots of tears. I knew I was making a rational choice but emotionally it was tough. Critters die... Cycle of life... Sometimes you have to let them go. I took him to bed with me at midnight and noticed around 3AM he had left the bed. At 4:30AM I went to check on him and he was dead on the floor in the living room.

He had a good life with me and he was a good little buddy for 15 months. He had playmates with neighbor kitties, good food, and a person who loved him. He knew it. It was a very affectionate and close bond. I know it sounds terrible and heartless to some, but is it less heartless than numerous operations with strange people in strange places. He had a day and a half of increasing discomfort and I imagine was in a great deal of pain at the end- but every surgery would have left him in pain for a while too. It is easy to be frightened of death and I think we take it too far. There are times to let loved ones go. But I am also sharing my experience as a word of caution to those who are attached to their pets. The ACV might or might not work. Just be aware of that if you choose that course. My cat was fine on Friday evening and dead on Monday before sun up.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Robin (San Diego, Ca) on 11/20/2009
1 out of 5 stars

I was very excited to try this treatment as like so many posts I have read we're at our wits end trying to stop my poor 1 1/2 year old male kitty from getting another expensive and painful bladder blockage. He's had 2 in 6 months. FYI we've always fed him a high quality wheat, grain corn free diet. We supplement with cranberry extract. For this most recent blockage we again decreased his dry food (which contains beneficial bacteria) to about 1/4 cup a day instead of the 2/3 he usually eats and he's been mostly eating only canned food mixed with water for the last couple of weeks.

I made sure to buy the mother Apple Cider Vinegar and proceeded to give him 1/4 tsp twice a day mixed with his wet food. (I measured the amount of "a cap full" and it comes out to a little more than a 1/4 tsp.) He had no problems eating it. I'm very sorry to say that after several days to a week he urinated on my bed for the first time in weeks. I increased his ACV to a little more than 1/4 tsp. that night and the next morning. The next evening he urinated on my bed again. The next afternoon I got home and noticed that he had a discharge coming out of his rectal area, more like the glands around it. I smelled it (I know, it sounds strange, but if I felt it was necessary to help with diagnosis) and noticed it smelled familiar (ladies would be more apt to recognize this scent) but I couldn't place it. I had a very difficult time finding information. Knowing the only thing I'd added recently was the ACV I performed a very time consuming search and finally came up with a reference not to give a cat with yeast sensitivities ACV because it could cause an internal yeast infection. Now this seems contradictory because most everything I read says just the opposite, that you can TREAT yeast with ACV. But how else can I explain that familiar (aha! it was a yeasty smell) emanating from his rear end? Of course, I had no idea he was sensitive to yeast. Since the yeast smell/discharge was coming out of his rear end, not his penis it makes sense that this is an INTESTINAL yeast infection. Just doing a search for intestinal yeast infection yields little information, since most of them are EXTERNAL.

Please note that I have not taken him to the vet to have this "officially" diagnosed as (like so many people) I've lost faith in a vet's ability to treat him effectively. (All he does is unblock him and send him home, telling me I could have "the surgery" for widening his urethra).

That very night I went out and bought an "intestinal blend" of acidophilus and other bacteria (one article said dairy free, because the yeast will feed on the sugars in the milk) that I picked up at my local farmer's grocery. I gave it to him right away, as well as stopped the ACV. We're opening and giving him 1 capsule 3 times a day. The next day (after receiving a total of 3 doses) he didn't urinate out of the box. This is day 4 and so far so good.

I post this not to bad mouth the ACV treatment in any way, since it's obviously very helpful to many, many kitties who I'm sure are very thankful to their mommys and daddys who care so much for them. This is only to let others know that if they have a similar reaction, this may be why. I also feel that because we had decreased his dry food with acidophilus in it to very little he wasn't getting enough beneficial bacteria, which could have possibly staved off (what I believe to be) a yeast infection to begin with. In my search I found that potentially because he's been battling with these blockages he could possibly have a compromised immune system (as well as a lot of stress), which could lead to his inability to fight the yeast growth as well.

I'd like to try this remedy again, but maybe with a reduced dosage, only 1/4 per day instead of twice a day, and then only after a month or more of good bacteria being in his system.

One more thing, I found a product, cranberry and papaya digestive supplement with beneficial bacteria. It's also pretty inexpensive (less than $10 for a 16oz bottle) when compared to vet visits, etc. After we're done with what we bought at the grocery we'll be giving this a try, as it's considerably cheaper.