Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, or FLUTD is one of the most common medical problems that we see in cats. There are a variety of conditions that affect the bladder and urethra. Cats with the disease will most often show signs of difficulty and pain when urinating, increased frequency of urination, and blood in the urine. Your cat, if infected, may also tend to lick themselves excessively and may urinate inappropriately (for example, outside the litter box.)
While it can occur at any age, we usually see the disease in middle-aged, overweight cats that get little exercise, use an indoor litter box, have little or no outdoor access, or eat only a dry diet. Factors such as emotional or environment stress, multi-cat households, and abrupt changes in daily routine can also increase the chances of your cat developing it.
The main causes are: urolithiasis (urinary stones); urinary infection; urethral obstruction (‘blocked cat’) and Feline Idiopathic Cystitis or FIC. Some urinary stones can be dissolved by simply a change in diet however others will need to be surgically removed. A urethral obstruction is most common in male cats and can become life threatening very quickly which is why it's imperative to see your vet immediately when you see any of these signs occurring.
Because there are many causes, it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, therefore additional testing may include urine culture, blood work, x-ray or ultrasound to best determine the level of disease. The good news is, most cases can be successfully treated and result in a much happier cat. If you suspect your cat may be suffering from any of these symptoms or are simply concerned about the health and well-being of your cat, come in and see us...this month is Cat Month at The Pines. See our FB page for details :)