Risk Factors and Causes of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
FLUTD is seen equally in male and female cats typically between the ages of 2 and 6, and about half the cats that experience one episode of FLUTD will have a recurrence. In about two-thirds of kitties with FLUTD, it takes the form of feline idiopathic cystitis (bladder inflammation).
Additional risk factors include:
- Use of an indoor litter box exclusively
- A dry food (kibble) diet
- Lack of exercise and overweight/obesity
- Environmental stress
Signs Your Cat May Be Dealing With FLUTD
The primary symptom of FLUTD is urinating outside the litter box.
Other signs your kitty may have lower urinary tract disease include:
- Frequent or prolonged attempts to urinate
- Straining to urinate
- Crying out while urinating
- Blood in the urine
- Excessive licking of the genital area
If you think your cat might have a problem in the lower urinary tract, it’s important to make an appointment with your veterinarian to determine what’s really going on and what’s causing it.
If your pet isn’t passing urine (a situation more commonly seen in males than females but can happen to either sex), this is a life-threatening medical emergency and you should seek immediate care.
Once a cat’s urethra is completely blocked, the kidneys can no longer do their job. This can lead to uremia, a ruptured bladder, organ failure, and death within just a day or two.
Management and Prevention of FLUTD
Cats with feline lower urinary tract disease need to drink more water, urinate more, and eat a moisture-rich diet.
The first goal is to increase kitty’s water intake. Many cats don’t like to drink still water from a bowl, so if yours is one of them, consider a pet water fountain. Kitties are attracted to moving or flowing water, so a fountain should encourage more drinking.
Another important goal in managing FLUTD is to switch cats eating dry food to canned food, and then preferably to a fresh, balanced, and raw diet. Feeding your cat only dry processed food can make her chronically dehydrated. Visit Brookside Barkery & Bath and talk with our trained staff to find the purr-fect food for your feline.
If an infection is present, often no culture is performed, and cats end up with resistant infections from antibiotic abuse. Or they are given the wrong antibiotic altogether because the veterinarian didn’t identify what medicine the cat needed to clear the infection.
If your vet suggests antibiotics because he or she found bacteria in a sterile urine sample, insist on a bacterial culture to identify the correct treatment. If your vet tries to offer antibiotics without a UA and culture, I recommend you decline them, and instead seek out a vet who is more cautious and selective in the use of antibiotics.
*Article courtesy of Dr. Becker at mercola.com