Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease


cat litter Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is the name for a set of diseases that afflict a small percentage of the cat population. It is a group of diseases and because it is more than one disease, there is more than one cause and therefore the complex nature of this disease requires veterinary diagnosis and treatment. Stress, obesity, anatomic abnormalities, viral and bacterial infections, and genetics or differences among breeds  are all factors which are associated with Feline lower urinary tract disease. “FLUTD can happen in both male and female cats with the usual occurrence in cats between 2 and 6 years of age. This said, cats of any age can be affected,” explains Peggy Mashiane, Pet Care Advisor at PURINA®. “FLUTD tends to be associated with many factors, including stress of any kind, obesity, cats housed indoors, viral infections, seasonal weather, anatomical abnormalities, bacterial infections and breed differences. Other forms of FLUTD entail the formation of struvite crystals or stones that cause an obstruction in the urinary tract. This situation can become life threatening and requires immediate veterinary care.”

The symptoms of FLUTD are well known:

  • Frequent trips to the litter box
  • Failure to use the litter box and urinating in unusual places
  • Blood in urine
  • Depression, dehydration, lack of appetite and sometimes vomiting
  • Crying when urinating.

The following steps can be taken in order to reduce the risk of your cat contracting FLUTD:

  • Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Keep the water in a non-tippable bowl and be certain that your cat is emptying the bowl by drinking the water and not playing with it.
  • Keep your cats litter box clean and easily accessible. Also situate the box to provide privacy for your cat.
  • Encourage your cat to exercise or play. This is especially important for indoor cats. Take time to play games with your cat and encourage play with toys that are safe.
  • Keep your cat at its proper weight.
  • Minimize stress factors such as sudden changes in environment, exposure to harsh weather conditions and emotional upsets.
  • Feeding a specially formulated cat food designed to help reduce the risk of FLUTD

Peggy concludes, “If you have any indication or suspect that your cat may be suffering from FLUTD, take it to your local vet for a regular check-up. By following these tips, you will be able to rest easy, knowing that you have a healthy, happy companion!”


©Pet’s Health

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