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PICO question

In cats with feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) is environmental modification superior than medical management in preventing reoccurrence?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

16 papers were critically reviewed; 14 randomised trials and two case studies

Strength of evidence

Critical appraisal of the selected papers meeting the inclusion criteria collectively provide weak evidence in terms of their experimental design and implementation

Outcomes reported

There is weak evidence that any medication or environmental modification is successful in reducing the reoccurrence of FIC when compared to a placebo. Short-term use of amitriptyline can contribute to an increase in occurrence of FIC


In view of the strength of evidence and the outcomes from the studies the following conclusion is made; in cats with feline idiopathic cystitis there is weak evidence that environmental modification or medication are effective at preventing reoccurrence. Further research is required into the cause of FIC before comparisons on treatment options can be made, however, with the exception of short-term use of amitriptyline, environmental modification and systemic treatment of clinical signs did not contribute to an increase in occurrence of FIC


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


Open Access Peer Reviewed