Urine forms in your cats kidneys, is stored in the urinary bladder, then passes through a narrow tube called the urethra, then is eliminated. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is a common group of conditions affecting the urinary bladder and/or urethra in neutered male and female cats. Usually FLUTD affects cats about four years old, occasionally cats are ten and older. The causes vary with the age group.
Causes Of FLUTD in Four-Year Old Cats
The vast majority, or at least in 50 percent of cases, the cause is unknown. Bladder stones or a blocked urethra are responsible in approximately 20 percent of cases. Urinary tract infection or cancer only cause up to 5 percent of the problems in this cat age group.
Causes Of FLUTD In Cats Over Ten Years Old
Half of these have feline urinary tract infections. Many have bladder stones and/or urine infections. A few have a blocked urethra. Nearly 70 percent of these cats are also in chronic kidney failure.
Signs Of Cat Urinary Tract Infections
Cats with lower urinary tract disease show very similar signs despite a wide variety of potential causes:
Straining to urinate male neutered cats (repeated unsuccessful trips to the litter box)
Frequent passage of small amount of urine and/or no urine at all (male neutered cats.)
Urinating outside the litter box, especially on cool smooth surfaces: in sinks, on countertops, and in bathtubs (female spayed cats)
Blood in the urine (neutered male or female cats) with stones or plugs of sand in urethra.
Cats lick their genital area excessively (neutered males).
What You & Your Vet Can Do
Cat FLUTD Diagnosis
Diagnosis is based on age, history, signs, and blood and urine tests, along with X-rays in older cats.
Cat FLUTD Treatment
Treatment in cats is geared at dietary management to reduce recurrences of FLUTD and decrease the risk of neutered male cats developing a urethral obstruction, a true life and death emergency.
Many pet prescription diets formulated for FLUTD are available. Analysis of urine is important, especially if crystals are present, because many of these diets are geared to acidify urine PH which in certain cases can make the problem worse.
Changing from dry to canned food helps significantly in ~10% of cats. Antibiotics eliminate bacterial urinary infections if present. Many cats respond to the antidepressant (Elavil). It relieves bladder inflammation and pain and decreases anxiety in cats with unknown cause of FLUTD.
Cat Classic FLUTD Signs
Female Spayed Cats often urinate in unusual places and occasionally have blood in their urine. Neutered Male Cats make several unsuccessful trips to the litter box, strain to urinate and may cry out in pain. Most lick their genital area excessively to try to relieve the sand plug in their urethra. Blocked cats not relieved in 24 to 72 hours risk death due to urethral obstruction.
Complementary Cat Treatments
Herbal Cat Remedies
Cat Diuretic Herbs: use if bladder stones are a problem parsley, corn silk, dandelion. Diuretics promote urination. Flushing the urinary tract can help eliminate small stones, toxins and bacteria.
Pulsatilla 30 c 1 pellet every 15 minutes for 3 treatments. Use for quiet cats that want to be held
Cat Dietary Remedies
Cranberry is bacteriostatic, acidifies (LOWERS) urine PH and may prevent recurrent urinary infections. Use concentrated extract (would need too much juice to do much good).
Vitamin B Complex 5 milligrams daily
Glycosaminoglycans (Gags) Nutrients that help heal cat urinary bladders. This is a normal constituent of the bladder lining. These molecules may be lacking in the bladder lining of FLUTD cats as they are in some people with cystitis. This lets urine irritate the sensitive bladder tissue. The drug Elmiron is approved for this purpose.
VitaLife Cat Supplements given daily has proven to be effective to help help maintain normal urination and prevent recurrences of FLUTD in male and female cats with this urinary tract condition.
NOTE: These homeopathic remedies are for blocked neutered male cats trying to urinate.
CAT TIP: Many special prescription pet diets are commercially available to prevent urine stones and crystals from recurring but analysis of urine is important, it tells you the type of crystal present so the diet can be chosen accordingly.
Many of these diets are geared to acidify urine PH which in certain cases can make the problem worse.
Its important to have your vet analyze the type of bladder stone to see what its made of and then choose the proper type of diet to prevent the stones from recurring.
About Dr. Carol
Dr. Carol Osborne is a pet health researcher, a Board Certified Anti-Aging Pet Health Diplomat, a published author and a practicing, holistic veterinarian in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
She welcomes new canine and feline patients.
Dr. Carol also offers pet health consultations and answers pet health questions and makes homemade pet diets by phone and e-mail for her online pet loving community.
Pet owners may contact Dr. Carol directly at her veterinary office toll free at 1-866-372-2765 to make an appointment for their dog(s) and/or cat(s) today.
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