Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is a broad term that describes health conditions affecting the bladder and urethra of cats.
The most common complaint is pain and difficulty when urinating, or not urinating at all, caused by inflammation of the bladder or urethra.
In extreme cases crystals and stones can form in the urinary tract and partially or completely block the flow of urine, and left untreated, it can be fatal.
What Causes FLUTD
FLUTD develops largely due to infections. The biggest cause is inflammatory cystitis, which can be severe enough to cause bleeding.
The condition can be recurring, and your cat may show signs of distress, urinate in places around the house instead of the litter box, and have bloody or pinkish coloured urine.
Another cause of FLUTD is urinary tract infection, but this tends to happen to cats over the age of 10 and is rare in younger kitties.
A third cause, and the most serious, is a urinary tract obstruction caused by crystals forming in the tip of the urethra and blocking it. Male cats are more susceptible due to their anatomy.
Symptoms of FLUTD
It’s important to know the symptoms of FLUTD since it can life threatening. If your cat shows any of the following signs, get them to the vet immediately:
- Frequent trips to the litter box
- Straining to urinate with little or nothing coming out
- Meowing when using the litter box or when being picked up
- Urinating in inappropriate places around the house especially baths, sinks or showers
- Decreased appetite
- Excessive grooming and licking around their bottom
- Bloody, dark or pink urine
- Hiding away and generally looking miserable
Treatment and Ways to Reduce Recurrence
Once your vet has diagnosed and confirmed your cat has FLUTD, there are a range of treatments available depending on the cause of the condition.
A urine test is done to confirm infection, and x-rays and blood tests may be required depending on the severity.
If the urethra is blocked, your cat will need to have a general anaesthetic so the obstruction can be cleared and flushed out. Your cat will be hospitalised and monitored until everything is working as normal again.
Once a cat has had some form of FLUTD there’s a good chance it could recur, so careful observation and monitoring are necessary for the rest of their life.
There are, however, ways to reduce the incidence of repeat infections through diet, weight reduction if your cat is overweight, reducing stress, increasing water intake to make urine less concentrated, and recommended supplements.
Wellness Programs at Rockingham Veterinary Clinic
If you notice any signs your cat is unwell, straining to urinate or not urinating at all, take them to the veterinary clinic straight away for treatment.
Our wellness programs make pet care easier, and with affordable monthly payments, they’re an investment in the health and wellbeing of your cat.
We’re open every day, so call us on 08 6555 5149 or contact us online about a wellness program to keep your cat or kitten happy and healthy.