Cat Diseases - Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

lower urinary tract problems in cats
  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is one of the most frustrating syndromes in veterinary medicine.
  • In this cats suffer from uncomfortable urination and frequent trips to the litter box.
  • Problems that affect a cat’s lower urinary system often prevent the bladder from emptying correctly or may even cause fatal blockage of the urethra, the tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body
  • E-Coli is the most common bacteria to infect the bladder.
  • If the cause of these symptoms cannot be determined, the cat is considered to have bladder inflammation (cystitis).
  • It is believed that bladder infections occur when bacteria around the anus ascend into the urethra and into the bladder.
  • Stones, crystals or debris accumulation in the bladder or urethra
  • Urethral plug (accumulation of debris from urine)
  • Bladder inflammation or infection
  • Incontinence from excessive water drinking or weak bladder
  • Injury or tumor in the urinary tract
  • Stress
  • Spinal cord problems
  • Congenital abnormality
normal feline lower urinary system urinary stones disease
  • Frequent urination, often only passing small amounts of urine (stranguria)
  • Blood in urine (hematuria)
  • Urine that looks cloudy
  • Pain while urinating (dysuria)
  • Excessive genital licking
  • Urinating outside of the litter box
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Increased water consumption
  • Hard, distended abdomen
  • If your cat does have blockage of the urethra, it will most likely be hospitalized for diagnosis and management.
  • For cats who present with no infection, stones or crystals in the urine, the emphasis is on alleviating the pain of the symptoms with appropriate pain medications and providing stress reduction to reduce the chance of recurrence.
  • Prescription diets may be needed to help prevent recurrence of stones and crystals in affected animals.
  • Large stones may need to be removed surgically.
  • Antibiotics are prescribed if there is a bacterial urinary tract infection.
  • In particularly anxious cats, anxiety medications may also be indicated. Increasing the cat’s water consumption is crucial regardless of the cat’s diagnosis.
  • Home care is important. Try to encourage your cat to drink water and/or switch him to a wet diet to increase the intake of water.
  • Make sure there are enough litter trays and they are cleaned frequently.
  • If you have a long haired cat with repeated bouts of bladder infection, keeping the fur trimmed around the anus may be of help.