What is the Lower Urinary Tract Disease in Cats


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Previously addressed as FUS or feline urologic syndrome, FLUTD or the Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease isnโ€™t a typical disease but a medical condition which occurs in the bladder or urethra, the lower urinary tract in cats. Causes of FLUTD are very difficult to underline although a majority of cats suffer from this disease.

Signs of FLUTD

Generally, cats suffering from FLUTD will also undergo the following signs. Dysuria is the medical condition where cats go through difficulty in the smooth passing of urine, often causing irritation and severe pain. Pollakiuria- this disease inflames the urinary bladder or the urethra causing irritation and enhancing the need to piss more often.


- sometimes, infection in the urinary bladder may cause blood to pass through urine.


- it is when cats urinate outside the litter box in unsuitable places. Due to inflammation or infection in the bladder, the cat feels irritated and unable to control the urine and is compelled to urinate at other places when the litter box is out of its reach


- the blockage in the urethra is known as Stranguria where cats feel the urgent need to urinate but are unable to do so. Male cats are more prone to this disease as their urethras are longer and narrower.

Cats vulnerable to FLUTD

Research has shown that FLUTD affects 1-3% of cats each year. Due to a diverse range of causes cats of any age, gender or breed can fall prey to this disease.

Causes of FLUTD

Some of the common causes of FLUTD are as follows.

  • Urolithiasis- this refers to the formation of bladder stones, which is one of the most common causes of FLUTD
  • Infections- bacterial infection of the bladder or cystitis is cited as one of the most common causes of FLUTD where the lower
  • urinary tract of felines are infectedUrethral plugs- this happens when there is an obstruction in the urethra of male cats due to the accumulation of organic debris like proteins, cells or minerals.

Treatment of FLUTD

If there are infections in the bladder, antibiotics are administered which relieves the cat of the disease. In the case of urethral obstructions, a catheter is passed through the urethra which relieves the obstruction. Sometimes bladder stones have to be surgically removed in cats to treat FLUTD. In other cases, therapy is provided as an alternative to surgery. There should be an increase in water consumption. Cats are encouraged to have plenty of fresh water and canned food as canned food contains more moisture content. Litter boxes should be washed and cleaned properly every time after use so that that cat may not catch infections.  

How to Deal With Urinary Tract Disease in Your Cat

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Inappropriate urination is one of the foremost reasons due to which cats are left at shelters. If your cat is not using the litter box, it is not out of anger or spite; it might be because of some underlying issue. Improper urination could be either a behavioral issue or a medical issue. You should get your cat tested for a urinary tract disease.

What is Urinary Tract Disease?

Urinary Tract Disease (UTD) is any disease that occurs in the catโ€™s urinary tract, primarily in the bladder or the urethra. UTD can be diagnosed only once the chances of kidney stones and urinary tract infections have been ruled out. Here are the causes that can lead to UTD:

  • Urethral obstruction
  • Stones in the bladder
  • Inflammation in the bladder
  • Bladder infections
  • Other abnormalities in the bladder

Common UTD symptoms

If you suspect that your cat is suffering from UTD, you should check for the following symptoms:

Painful urination:

If you hear your cat crying out while peeing that might be a sure-shot sign of UTD.


A common sign of discomfort among cats, an irritable cat might be suffering from UTD, and pain could be the cause of its irritability.

Straining to urinate:

Some UTDs can lead to the formation of stones in the bladder or in the development of a urethral plug. This could soon become a life-threatening situation.

Not using the litter box:

See if your cat is avoiding the litter box and urinating on cooler surfaces like tiles or the tub.Licking the genital areas or the abdomen: Cats attempt to soothe their pain due to the UTD by licking these areas.Multiple attempts of urination: Cats with UTD urinate frequently but is lesser than usual quantities each time.

How can you treat the issue?

The best thing to do in this case is to take your cat to the vet. The vet will give her a physical check, collect urine samples and might prescribe some blood tests and abdominal USG. Although UTD can go away without any medical treatment, but it might recur in the long run. It is always advisable to get it treated once and for all to assure a safer and better life for your cat.Here are some things you can do to help your cat fight UTD:

  • Increase your felineโ€™s water intake
  • Try to feed them canned food and keep a check on their weight
  • Encourage them to use the litter box instead of using random spots

However, if your catโ€™s UTD is due to reasons like bacterial cystitis, then it should be treated with antibiotics as home remedies alone donโ€™t work in this case. It is the same with stones, which need to be removed surgically.Cats are good at hiding any kind of discomfort, so a quick call to your vet on seeing any of the above mentioned symptoms can help your cat in fighting UTD issues.

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