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Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Cats and Urniary Problems What you need to know about FLUTD
rinary problems are among the more common reasons cat owners bring their cats into the veterinarian. The term feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) covers a number of urinary conditions in cats.
FLUTD affects a cat's bladder and sometimes the urethra (the tube-like structure that leads from the bladder to the outside of the body). Female cats are about equally affected as males, but because of the male's anatomy, FLUTD may lead to blockage, which means the cat cannot urinate. This is a veterinary emergency.

Signs of FLUTD include:
Prolonged squatting or straining in or out of the litter box producing minimal or no urine
Frequent urination, straining, or licking at the genital area
Pain while urinating (meowing or howling)
Blood in the urine; vomiting; depression
FLUTD is seen more often in overweight cats, those on a dry food diet (less water intake), or those with a sedentary lifestyle. Several other factors can contribute to this disease including bacterial or viral infections, trauma, tumors of the urinary tract, congenital abnormalities, bladder stones, and crystals in the urine. Urine pH, in combination with the level of certain minerals in the diet, such as magnesium and calcium, may increase the risk of the formation of urinary crystals and bladder stones, which may contribute to the development of FLUTD. Recent research has suggested that stress may play an important role.

Although FLUTD cannot be prevented, owners can control certain aspects of their cat's environment to help their cats:

Offer fresh water to your pet daily.
Feed your cat a mixture of dry and canned food for improved moisture intake; make sure your cat is eating a premium diet with appropriate levels of magnesium, calcium, and other minerals.
Give your cat the most stress-free environment that you can, including "escape routes" to get away from other animals and people, and privacy at the litter box and while eating.
Play with your cat regularly to boost his activity level.

Above all, keep a close eye on your cat and if you suspect he is having a urinary problem, take him into his veterinarian.


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