How can you tell whether your cat has a FLUTD? Feline lower urinary tract disease is common in cats of any age. FLUTD, actually used as a descriptor of several urinary tract afflictions, is usually easily treated with the assistance of a veterinarian and careful monitoring.
Do you suspect your cat has FLUTD? If you live in the Los Angeles area, schedule an appointment with a Vetted PetCare vet right away for a full in-home evaluation.
What is FLUTD?
“FLUTD” is an abbreviation for feline lower urinary tract disease. It’s an umbrella term, often used interchangeably with terms like FUS (feline urologic syndrome) or FIC (feline idiopathic cystitis), although these are separate and specific disorders. Generally, FLUTD is used to describe a variety of conditions such as a urinary infection, urolithiasis (urinary stones), urethral obstruction, FUS, or FIS.
Symptoms of FLUTD in Your Cat
The good news is, urinary disorders generally present with a lot of obvious symptoms. This is helpful for diagnosing them early. A few of the most common indicators your cat might have FLUTD include:
- Straining or obvious pain during urination
- Very small amounts of urine and/or unusually frequent urination
- Constant unproductive squatting (not to be confused with constipation)
- Frequent licking of the genital area (sign of pain)
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Visible blood in the urine
If you notice one or more of the above symptoms, it’s probably time to take your cat to the vet’s office or schedule an in-home vet evaluation for a medical diagnosis.
Diagnosing FLUTD in Your Cat
A critical component of diagnosis for FLUTD is your own recollection of your cat’s symptoms. If you’re concerned, take notes about how often your cat urinates, what he looks like when he does so, amounts, signs of pain, and anything else you think the vet might need to know. No matter how small you think a symptom is, write it down; your vet will discount what isn’t relevant.
Different FLUTD conditions are diagnosed in different ways. Your vet will probably start with a physical examination of the cat that includes a thorough inspection of his belly area and his genitals. Afterwards, you may be asked to collect a urine sample (or, in some cases, multiple samples) that will be used to assess pH, blood, crystallization, infection, and anything else that may be present in your cat’s system. This is called a urinalysis.
If urine tests are inconclusive and your cat is still showing signs of FLUTD, your vet may decide to proceed with an x-ray, urine cultures, and/or blood work.
Treatment will depend on what – if any – form of FLUTD your cat has. If he is suffering from a kidney infection, a round of antibiotics may be necessary to flush it out of his system. If he’s fallen victim to urine stones, your vet will talk to you about pain and stress management as well as future prevention techniques.
FLUTD can make your cat highly uncomfortable.
It’s not a condition you should ignore, and it likely won’t go away on its own. Cats are tough; by the time you’re recognizing pain in your cat he’s likely already in need of veterinary assistance.