CVMA-ACMV

Prevention of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease Possible in Many Cases

January 1, 0001

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is a common disorder of the urinary tract of cats that can be characterized by blood in the urine, frequent urination (with or without straining), urinating in inappropriate places outside the litter box, and, in some cases, urinary bladder blockage and death.

Since the exact causes of FLUTD remain unknown, treatment is not always straightforward or standardized. For example, the crystals that form in the urine and eventually lead to stone formation in the bladder may in fact be the result rather than the cause of this disease. In some cats, treatment with antibiotics may help or minimize the problem. In others, changing the diet to a magnesium-restricted diet and/or a diet that promotes urinary acidification may be necessary. Still other cases may require surgical intervention.

Based on current knowledge, FLUTD can be prevented, provided certain precautions are taken:

Water

Fresh water should be made available at all times. Change it at least twice daily, and try to encourage drinking.

Diet

Feed a complete and balanced diet. Be careful about feeding table scraps and treats. Ask your veterinarian about special magnesium-restricted, pH-controlled diets that are currently available.

Obesity and Exercise

Cats that are physically fit and receive sufficient exercise are less likely to develop FLUTD and other ailments.

Litter Box

Clean litter boxes often and watch for any unusual deposits, particularly blood-tinged urine.

Eliminative Behaviour

Observe your cat and pay particular attention to its elimination habits. Early signs of FLUTD are similar to those associated with constipation straining (frequent straining). If in doubt, contact your veterinarian.