Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is a common and potentially serious condition that can affect cats of all ages. It’s associated with inflammation and bladder irritation, which can lead to difficulty urinating and increased urination frequency.
The exact cause of FLUTD isn’t known, but it’s believed to be related to stress, diet, and environment. Stress can be caused by changes in the household like a new pet or baby, moving, or changes in their routine. Diet could play a role if your cat is eating too much dry food or not drinking enough water. Environmental factors such as exposure to toxins and bacteria can also contribute to FLUTD.
Symptoms of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Some of the common signs and symptoms of FLUTD include:
- Straining to urinate
- Blood in their urine
- Excessive licking or chewing at their genitals
- Frequent visits to the litter box with little or no urine
- Crying out in pain when trying to urinate
- Appetite loss
Diagnosing Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Diagnosing FLUTD is based on a physical examination, laboratory tests, and x-rays. The veterinarian will examine your cat’s bladder and urinary tract to look for signs of infection or blockage. Laboratory tests can include a complete blood count, urinalysis, and urine culture. X-rays might be necessary to detect any abnormalities in their bladder or urethra.
Stages of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease can be split into three stages: acute, sub-acute, and chronic.
Acute FLUTD is associated with sudden onset of symptoms and typically resolves without long-term complications when treated promptly.
Sub-acute FLUTD is associated with intermittent or recurrent symptoms that can last for several weeks or longer. Treatment usually involves diet modification, stress reduction, and antibiotics.
Chronic FLUTD is long-term inflammation of their bladder that does not respond to antibiotic therapy.
Treating Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Treating FLUTD depends on the stage and severity of their condition. Treatment can include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, diet modification, stress reduction, and surgery in some cases. It’s also important to identify and correct any underlying causes such as stress or dietary issues.
Preventing Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
The best way to prevent FLUTD is to create a stress-free environment for your cat and feed them a balanced diet. Make sure they have plenty of clean, fresh water available and that they have access to a litter box that is cleaned regularly. If you notice any signs of FLUTD, contact your veterinarian right away.