Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
FLUTD in cats (Feline lower urinary tract disease) also known as feline urinary disease, is a collection of conditions that affect the urinary system of a cat. That’s a really long science-ese definition, but it boils down to this; FLUTD causes your cat to have trouble peeing. It can be uncomfortable or even life threatening, so it’s important to know how to recognize it.
How do you know if your cat has feline urinary disease?
It pays to watch your cat and be familiar with their habits. A cat that has feline urinary disease, or FLUTD, may
- urinate frequently
- strain to urinate but produce very little pee
- appear to be in pain when urinating
- have blood in the urine
- lick themselves excessively
- pee outside the litter box, often on a smooth, cool surface
What conditions cause FLUTD in cats?
If you see your cat having these symptoms, they may have
- Bladder stones from a build up of minerals like magnesium
- Bladder infection or inflammation of the bladder
- Urethral obstruction, often caused by stones or organic debris
Your cat is going to need help to get back to normal and feel better.
- Making the urine more acidic (decreasing urine pH) can help break down stones and prevent formation of more.
- If your cat can’t pass the stones, your vet will need to remove them, possibly with surgery.
- Your vet will prescribe antibiotics as necessary to fight infection.
Decreasing or preventing FLUTD
You can help decrease the occurrence of feline urinary disease by making some changes in diet. For example, a diet with more phosphorus, less magnesium, and more meat/fish protein can help decrease stone formation. Increasing fluid intake can help decrease stone formation too.
Your vet can prescribe a special diet that minimizes the build up of crystals. Or you can do some research and find foods that are designed to help with cat urinary health. Wet food can be better than dry in getting extra fluids into your cat since cats don’t drink well sometimes.
Keeping your cat healthy
You can watch your cat for changes in their potty habits, hopefully catching a problem early. Make changes in diet and increase fluids. And get frequent vet check ups since FLUTD in cats can come back. Your cat will thank you for it. Well, maybe anyway. You know cats. But you’ll be glad you did, and so will your cat, even if they don’t show you.
For another great post about feline urinary disease, read Feline Urinary Tract Disease. What you should know. on PetMD.com. Or you can read What can fish oil do for my pets? for more about cat health.
Have you had a cat with FLUTD? Tell me about it in the comments below.