Numerous human studies have confirmed that chronic stress is detrimental to our health. The increase in inflammatory activity in the body triggered by stress can weaken the immune system and has been associated with just about every health condition, including cancer. A landmark study conducted at the Ohio State University in 2011 looked at how stress impacts cats, and the findings led to a new understanding among veterinarians and cat parents on the connection between environmental stress and urinary tract disease.
A more recent study, “Epidemiological study of feline idiopathic cystitis in Seoul, South Korea,” sought to determine what factors were related to a higher risk of feline interstitial cystitis, an often painful, inflammatory condition of the bladder and urinary tract in cats who live in South Korea.
Our resident cat behaviorist Mikel Delgado took a closer look at the study and found that the results suggested five key factors that were related to FIC:
- being male
- having a litter box with non-clumping litter
- living with other cats
- living in an apartment (versus a house)
- not having an elevated vantage point for use (such as a cat condo or vertical space).
Read Mikel’s blog cats and squirrels and other important things… for more information about the fascinating findings of this study and Mikel’s interpretation of the findings.
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.