Managing Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

We have two cats in foster care who suffer from Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, Ginny and Nigel, but this condition is very common in cats and there some very important steps to take in order to manage this disease that some cat parents aren't aware of - but first let's talk about what Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease is and its symtoms. 

Lower urinary tract disease (LUTD) covers a range of disorders from mild to serious. The signs of LUTD are usually referred to as lower urinary tract signs, or LUTS.

LUTD includes abnormalities in the structure and function of the bladder and the urethra (see figure). Surveys suggest that is the number one reason cats visit veterinary practices.

Clinical Signs
The most common signs of LUTD include:

  • Difficult or painful urination

  • Increased frequency of urination

  • Crying out while urinating

  • Blood in the urine

  • Inappropriate urination (that is, outside of the litter box)

  • Frequent licking of the genital region.
     

In cats, LUTS often have more than one cause and may be brought on by infections, inflammation, diet, and behavioral issues. Cats with urethral obstruction (see Common Causes of LUTS) will often show the above signs but will pass little or no urine and will become increasingly distressed. A urethral obstruction is an absolute emergency, requiring immediate veterinary treatment. (learn more about FLUTD at Corenell University College of Veterinary Medicine)

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Managing Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

1. Minimize Stress and Stressful Situaions

2. Switch to prescription food that your vet recommends. We feed our foster cats with FLUTD Royal Canin Urinary SO. This food can be bought with a prescripription from your vet at a much lower price than your veterinarian's office at CHEWY.

3. Use unscentered litter and keep the litterbox clean. Our favorite litter is Smart Cat Litter by Pionner pet. 

4. Make sure to have one litterbox per cat.

5. Consider using natural supplements that help maintain a healthy urinary tract like Urinary Gold at Pet Wellbeing.

5. Use Pretty Litter. This litter detects changes in your cats urine. Ginny has posed with her special litter on this page. Learm more about it here: Pretty Litter