Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD): What to Know

February 29, 2024by Nicole Tengco0

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is one of the most common health issues pet parents face. Unfortunately, not many understand what it means, given that the condition can be complex and broad, especially how susceptible cat bladders and urethras are to other similar issues. Fortunately, PetPal can help you figure out what this illness entails.

Simply put, FLUTD encompasses a variety of disorders, not a specific disease in itself, but an umbrella term for conditions that can affect a cat’s lower urinary tract. This includes infections, blockages, urinary stones, and other related issues. 

Here’s everything you need to know about causes, symptoms, and, of course, prevention:

feline lower urinary tract disease - what to know
Photo by Tuna

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) Causes

For many pet owners, the very first question that comes to mind is: “What causes FLUTD?”

Unfortunately, the answer is not as straightforward—there isn’t a single cause identified for this disease. This condition can actually be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Urinary stones
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Bladder inflammation
  • Stress
  • Change of diet

It’s also important to note that FLUTD can affect any cat, regardless of age, breed, or gender. Experts believe that there’s a common thread among middle-aged, overweight cats, however, which often lead sedentary lifestyles with dry diets and use indoor litter boxes exclusively.

FLUTD Symptoms to Look Out For

The signs of feline lower urinary tract disease can vary from one cat to another, but some common ones to look out for are:

  • Difficulty or pain while urinating (your cat may cry out while trying to urinate)
  • Frequent urination or spending more time in the litter box
  • Blood in the urine
  • Urinating outside the litter box
  • Over-grooming, particularly around the genital area
  • Changes in behavior, such as restlessness, loss of appetite, or increased water consumption

Given the nature of FLUTD, remember that these symptoms can often mimic other conditions. Once you observe one or more of these behaviors, consult with a vet as soon as possible.

FLUTD Treatment and Management 

FLUTD treatment often depends on the underlying cause. If your cat has urinary stones, for example, your vet may recommend a dietary change or surgery in severe cases. If it’s caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics will most likely be necessary.

Apart from treatment, managing feline lower urinary tract disease is also a crucial part of the recovery process. You’ll want to make your cat as comfortable as possible. For many, this could mean:

  • Providing a clean litter box to encourage regular urination
  • Ensuring that your cat has access to fresh water at all times
  • Feeding a balanced diet to maintain optimal bladder health, as guided and  instructed by your vet

FLUTD Prevention 

While it’s not possible to entirely prevent FLUTD, there are key factors you can consider to reduce your cat’s risk. 

#1: Hydration and Healthy Diet

Hydration is key in preventing feline lower urinary tract disease. Regular water intake helps dilute urine, reducing the concentration of minerals that can form stones or crystals. 

Encourage your cat to drink more water by providing fresh water daily, investing in a cat water fountain, or feeding them wet food that has a high moisture content. Some cat foods are also specially formulated to support urinary health and can prevent the formation of urinary crystals. 

If you’re looking for quality wet food for your feline friend, consider checking out the best online pet store in the Philippines. PetPal’s eCommerce platform has a high-quality selection of wet food—approved by professionals.

#2: Regular Exercise

Regular exercise helps keep your cat’s weight under control, as obesity is a risk factor for FLUTD. If giving them time to play outside isn’t possible, dedicate at least 30 minutes of your day to play with them. Playing with your cat daily not only promotes physical health but also strengthens your bond with them.

#3: Vet Visits

Early detection can prevent FLUTD from becoming a life-threatening condition. Remember: always consult your vet if you notice any changes in your cat’s urination habits. 

The Takeaway

FLUTD is a complex condition that can be terrifying to deal with. Cats can be extremely vulnerable to it, but with timely diagnosis and proper care, recovery can be an easy process. Always keep an eye on your feline friend’s behavior—the earlier you detect the condition, the better! 

If you suspect your cat has FLUTD, it’s crucial to schedule a home vet visit with PetPal right away. Our partner veterinarians can help assess your cat and provide treatments if necessary. Download the PetPal app from the Google Play Store or the App Store today!

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