Pet Tips

FLUTD – UTI – Urinary tract infections in cats – urinary disease in cats – Pet tip 95

One of the major medical reasons why a cat may urinate outside of the litter box is the possibility that it is suffering from some type of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). The term FLUTD is a general one and covers many different urinary diseases. The urinary tract of a cat is a complex system and when any part of it develops a problem, pet owners will often use the abbreviation UTI (Urinary tract infection). Although this may be true in some cases, it is usually NOT the case and you’ll need to see your veterinarian to determine exactly what’s going on. Going to the vet immediately when you notice a urinary problem is crucial since many cat owners automatically assume that inappropriate urination is a direct behavioural problem. This is a huge mistake. Cat owners must always rule out medical causes before assuming that the problem is behavioural. Due to the frequency and seriousness of urinary tract problems in cats, it should be one of the first things that your veterinarian tests for when this problem arises.

Other common indications that your cat may have feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) or a urinary problem include; straining to urinate while in the litter box as well as crying, or meowing in an unusual fashion while in the litter box. Going back and forth into the litter box without urinating is another sign to watch out for. Frequent licking of the genital area as well as weight loss and vomiting can also be signs of FLUTD. Urinary problems such as the ones described above can also be the result of a buildup of crystals in the cat’s urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the cat’s bladder to its genitals where it is excreted. This crystal buildup (more common in male cats than females) can totally block the flow of urine which is an emergency situation and will quickly kill a cat if left untreated. If you notice traces of red in your cat’s urine, that’s blood and it means that your cat is in serious pain. Those traces might be in the litter box or on the floor from an accident. This requires an IMMEDIATE trip to the vet. Due to the fact that cats hide their illnesses until they are quite serious, once your cat starts to exhibit signs of pain or discomfort an immediate visit to the veterinarian is warranted.

In terms of preventing FLUTD, it has been shown that regular exercise and a premium quality cat food can help. Overweight cats develop FLUTD much more frequently than cats that aren’t overweight. Fresh water every single day can also help reduce the risk. Treating FLUTD depends on the exact problem which can vary widely. Often medications like antibiotics are prescribed and often dietary changes like going from dry food to a specific wet food is prescribed. It all depends on the problem.

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