Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
What is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease?
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is actually an umbrella term that encompasses a number of diseases related to problems in the bladder and urethra.Up to 3 percent of all cats in the United States develop FLUTD. It was once referred to as FUS (feline urologic syndrome) and remains as one of the most frustrating and challenging conditions to treat.
How does my cat get FLUTD?
The main causes associated with FLUTD are feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), the presence of urinary stones (struvite or calcium oxalate uroliths), urethral obstruction, household stress, cancer, and bacterial infection. The primary cause – FIC – refers to a painful, sterile, chronic inflammatory condition in which the precise cause cannot be clearly identified. This condition seems to affect male and female cats – purebred and random bred – with the same frequency.
How do I know if my cat has FLUTD?
Common signs associated with FLUTD include frequent urination, pain associated with urinating, straining to urinate, blood in the urine, urinating outside the litter box and licking excessively at the urinary opening. However, this is often a condition characterized by exclusions. In other words, your veterinarian will make the FLUTD diagnosis based on physical exam, lab tests, possibly an ultrasound or x-ray that rules out other possible causes.
What can I do about FLUTD?
Work with your veterinarian to select a prescription diet that best addresses your cat’s FLUTD condition. These special diets include dry formulations that contain safe levels of sodium to motivate a cat to drink more water as well as canned formulations that provide adequate levels of moisture. Also, provide your cat with access to fresh, cool sources of water.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my cat from getting FLUTD?
Ensure that your cat receives an adequate amount of water from drinking or consuming quality canned food. The goal is to keep the urine dilute to prevent the formation of bladder stones or urinary blockages. Also, provide an adequate number of litter boxes (one per cat plus one) that are scooped daily and located in quiet, safe places in the house.
Are there certain breeds that get more often?
Himalayans, Ragdolls and Oriental Shorthairs are more prone, but any cat of any breed can develop this condition.