We commonly see cats for urinating problems. In most cases they are diagnosed with FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease)this is a group of conditions affecting the cat's lower urinary system and bladder, including urolithiasis (stones in the urinary tract), cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), urinary tract infection and urethral obstruction (blockage of the urethra and unable to pass urine). A male cat is more susceptible to have a blocked bladder than a female as their urethra is narrower. A blockage is an emergency situation that needs treatment straight away.
All cases of FLUTD have the same symptoms, but there are numerous causes.
- Straining to urinate or only passing a small amount of urine. Owners sometimes mistaken this for their cat being constipated.
- Frequent visits to the litter tray.
- Crying when in the litter box. You may hear your cat crying near, around or in the litter box. This also involves the cat attempting to urinate and little or no urine is passed. This is because there is pain and discomfort.
- Blood in urine (hematuria).
- Excessive genital licking, way beyond normal self-cleaning.
- Urinating in places other than the litter box, such as the bath or floor.
There are several causes of FLUTD in cats: Some are
- Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (Idiopathic means unknown cause) This is the most common cause of FLUTD in cats.
- Urinary stones (uroliths): Struvite or calcium oxalate are the most common form of urinary stones. Diet is believed to play an important role in the formation of urinary stones and crystals.
- Urethral obstruction: Urethral plugs are usually composed of large quantities of matrix (protein) mixed with minerals.
- Stress: FLUTD has been linked to stress in some cases.
- Bacterial infection:
Tips for preventing FLUTD.
Plenty of fresh drinking water, a good quality diet with an S/O index to help prevent crystals. FLUTD is more common in overweight cats so try to keep your cat’s weight healthy. Providing enough litter trays in the household. A general rule is one litter tray per cat, plus one extra. So, if you have two cats, three trays and ensure they are cleaned regularly. Reducing stress! Products like feliway which is a synthetic feline pheromone. It is scientifically proven to help cats feel safe and secure when stressed. We use feliway at Indooroopilly Vet Clinic and find it helpful we our furry feline patients.
If you have any questions or would like to know more please contact the clinic.