Feline lower urinary tract disease a term used to define a combination of things that negatively affect a cat’s bladder or urethra. Feline lower urinary tract disease, often called FLUTD for short, is not easy to diagnose, due to the many issues that can cause it. It can also sound even more confusing to cat owners because it goes by many different names including FLUTD, Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS), Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, or Feline Interstitial Cystitis, but these all are used to describe a mysterious irritation of the bladder or urethra. Similar to other diseases, age and weight seem to play a role in FLUTD in cats, with middle aged and overweight cats suffering from FLUTD most often.
If your cat has difficulty urinating, or often urinates their litter box, they may be suffering from feline lower urinary tract disease. The biggest sign of FLUTD in cats is inappropriate urination, meaning your cat may go to the bathroom wherever and whenever. Understandably, this causes a lot of frustration in many cat owners who don’t necessarily know the difference between FLUTD urination and marking territory urination. In cases of FLUTD your cat may wince or make painful noises while urinating, in cases of marking territory it can almost always be tied back to an event that made the cat stressed or anxious.
Here are signs of FLUTD:
- Straining to urinate and not producing much urine
- Frequent urination
- Making unusual sounds while trying to urinate, often associated with pain
- Excessive licking of the genital area
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Bloody urine
Here are triggers of of behavioral Urination:
- Another cat was introduced into the home
- Not enough litter boxes in multi-cat home
- Litter box area is too noisy
- Litter box is not clean enough
- Dislike of cat litter
So what makes FLUTD so hard to diagnose? A cat can develope this from a number of reasons, including urinary stones, urinary infections, urethral blockage, inflammation of the bladder known as cystitis, stress, and many other factors. What started out as a behavioral urination could have turned into a FLUTD urination, a little confusing right? A vet will need to perform a at least one of the following to determine the cause of and treatment plan for your cats FLUTD:
- A general physical examination
- Urinalysis and or bacterial culture to look for abnormal PH levels, crystals, bleeding, or infection
- An x-ray or ultrasound to look for any blockages such as urinary stones
Depending on the results of the tests run, your vet may recommend antibiotics, special diet food, or a change to the feeding frequency. If your cat is displaying symptoms of feline lower urinary tract disease, you should take them to the vet for testing. The sooner you have a happy cat, the sooner you can go back to a clean, cat pee free home! Easily schedule an appointment with the Animal Hospital of Sussex County here or call us at (973) 579-1155.