FELINE LOWER URINARY TRACT DISEASE
ALSO KNOWN AS "FLUTD"
THE DISEASED LOWER URINARY TRACT YIELDS THE SAME COLLECTION OF SYMPTOMS REGARDLESS OF CAUSE.
A cat with lower urinary tract disease may have some or even all of these signs.
THE TRICK IS DETERMINING THE CAUSE.
The urinary bladder, urethra, and urinary opening all constitute the lower urinary tract. It makes sense that effective treatment requires knowing the cause of the symptoms. The problem stems from the fact that just about any inflammatory condition in the feline lower urinary tract creates the same collection of signs. Tumor, infection, bladder stone etc. all create the same clinical picture.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CAUSES?
It turns out that the age of the cat is tremendously relevant regarding which underlying causes are most likely. If we look at all cats with lower urinary tract symptoms, here is what we find:
SORTING OUT CAUSES
Testing is used to help sort patients into the correct group. A urinalysis is commonly performed. With a 50% incidence of infection in older cats, a urine culture would be extremely important for a cat age 10 or more but not as important for younger cats where infection is rare. In younger cats, a urinalysis is helpful to look for the typical blood and crystals of idiopathic cystitis or to pick up the occasional bladder infection. Radiographs (in cats young and older) to rule out bladder stones are a good idea as they will go undetected if imaging is not considered.
Notice the large percentage of young adult cats for whom no clear underlying cause can be identified. For these cats there are many theories on how to proceed as you will see from the links below.
This page represents an introduction to a syndrome that has many causes. Use the directory below to guide you to the area most appropriate for your own cat.
It is especially important to note that lower urinary symptoms in the male cat
Page last updated: 5/10/2019