Learning more about the diseases that your cat can get is always a good idea. This way you can be prepared, cure it, or even prevent it. Probably one of the most difficult and unpleasant diseases that your cat can get is the Urinary Tract disease or medically known as FLUTD – Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease.
The name says it all. It is a disease of the lower part of the urinary tract of the cat. So, this article is to help you know more about the symptoms of the disease, the treatment, and the prevention.
What causes FLUTD?
There are a few causes of the feline lower urinary tract disease, and usually, another disease is the main cause. The other causes are:
- Interstitial cystitis or inflammation of the bladder. This is actually a disease of exclusion. What causes this disease is stress.
- The urethral obstruction which is the most serious form of urinary tract disease. This disease occurs almost always in male cats because their urethra is much narrower than that of the female cats. The main reason that causes this urethral obstruction in male cats are the bladder stones that pass out from the bladder to the urethra.
- A bladder infection can make a cat to not be able to urinate. This means that the body’s waste will stay in the cat’s body and because it is toxic, the cat will be poisoned.
What are the symptoms of Urinary Tract Disease?
There are a few symptoms that indicate that your cat may have this disease. If you notice any of the following symptoms, make an appointment to the vet as soon as possible. The symptoms are:
- Frequent attempts to urinate: If your cat is trying to urinate more than normal and with little or no urine at all, this can mean that your cat is likely to have FLUTD.
- Painful urination: This causes your cat to be more irritable than usual, and lick her genital area more often to soothe the pain.
- Bloody urine (hematuria): This means that the urine of the cat is blood-tinged or discolored.
- Urinating outside the litter box: This is not a medical issue, but it can be a symptom of FLUTD if all the other symptoms are present.
- Lack of appetite
Which cats have the highest risk of getting FLUTD?
This disease is one of the most common diseases in cats. The FLUTD can affect cat of any age, breed or gender, but still, there are those cats that have the highest risk of getting FLUTD:
- Overweight cats;
- Middle-aged cats;
- Cats which take little exercise;
- Neutered cats;
- Cats that are on dry food diet;
- Cats with little or no access outside;
Treatment of the Urinary Tract Disease
The treatment of the Urinary Tract Disease includes a catheter through the cat’s urethra and into the bladder to relieve the obstruction. Besides that, the cat will need IV fluids and monitor the kidney functions and blood electrolyte levels. Your cat will also need antibiotics if she gets a bladder infection.
How to prevent the FLUTD?
There are a few things that you can do in order to prevent FLUTD from happening. The most important thing is to make sure that your cat has fresh water available all the time. This will help your cat to stay hydrated which makes an urethral obstruction less likely to occur. Also, in order to keep your cat hydrated, you should include more wet food in your cat’s diet.
Also, since one of the causes of the disease can be stressful, you should include more toys, scratching surfaces, hiding places and other items that could entertain your cat.
Last but not least, it is very important to keep your cat’s litter box clean.