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  • Writer's pictureLonsdale Place Veterinary Clinic

The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your Cat’s Urinary Tract Healthy and Happy!

Updated: May 31

Lonsdale Place Veterinary Clinic North Vancouver Vet

Welcome to the Lonsdale Place Veterinary Clinic blog! Today, we're diving into an essential topic for cat parents: Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). This term covers various problems affecting your cat’s bladder and urethra. FLUTD is unfortunately common in cats and can be triggered by multiple factors. But don't worry—we’re here to help you understand, prevent, and manage this condition with detailed insights! North Vancouver Vet

What is FLUTD?

FLUTD stands for Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, an umbrella term for a range of issues in the lower urinary tract. While any cat can develop FLUTD, it’s most frequently seen in middle-aged, overweight cats that live indoors and get little exercise. Stressful situations such as changes in routine, moving to a new home, or living in a multi-cat household can also increase the risk of FLUTD. North Vancouver Vet

Recognizing the Symptoms North Vancouver Vet

Recognizing the signs of FLUTD early can help ensure your cat receives prompt veterinary care. Look out for the following symptoms: North Vancouver Vet

  • Blood in the urine

  • Strong-smelling urine

  • Pain when urinating (crying or vocalizing)

  • Straining to urinate, with or without urine production

  • Frequent or small-volume urination

  • Excessive licking around the genital area

  • Over-grooming the abdomen

  • Inappropriate urination outside the litter box

  • Fine crystal/powder material around the urinary opening

  • Hiding

  • Reduced appetite

In severe cases, especially in male cats, a blockage may occur, leading to vomiting, collapse, and extreme lethargy. If you notice these signs, seek veterinary care immediately. North Vancouver Vet

Types of Urinary Diseases

FLUTD can involve several conditions, including: North Vancouver Vet

  • Stones and Crystals: These can cause blockages or significant irritation in the urinary tract. Stones and crystals form when urine is concentrated, too acidic or basic, or contains high levels of minerals like calcium or magnesium.

  • Feline Interstitial Cystitis (FIC): An inflammatory bladder disease often linked to stress, genetics, and other factors. It is common in indoor cats with sedentary lifestyles.

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Less common in cats, especially young males, but can occur alone or alongside other conditions.

  • Bladder Cancer: Rare, but it can cause irritation, bleeding, or infection.

  • Congenital Defects: Birth defects such as malformed urinary tracts or misplaced ureters.

Preventing FLUTD North Vancouver Vet

While diagnosis and treatment of FLUTD are best handled by our veterinary team, you can take steps to reduce your cat’s risk:

  • Stress Reduction: Keep your cat’s environment calm and enriching. Increase playtime, eliminate sources of anxiety, and consider stress-reducing diets or supplements.

  • Proper Diet and Hydration: Feed a balanced feline-specific diet, preferably moist food to maintain hydration. Provide fresh water at all times, change it twice daily, and consider using large bowls or cat fountains to encourage drinking.

  • Exercise and Weight Management: Keep your cat active and maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and a controlled diet.

  • Clean Litter Boxes: Ensure litter boxes are clean and numerous. One box per cat plus one extra is ideal. Use unscented litter and place boxes in quiet, accessible areas. North Vancouver Vet

Lonsdale Place Veterinary Clinic North Vancouver Vet

Diagnosing FLUTD North Vancouver Vet

Our clinic uses several methods to diagnose FLUTD, including:

  • Urinalysis: Collecting and analyzing a urine sample to check for bacteria, crystals, or blood.

  • X-rays: Identifying stones or other abnormalities in the bladder and urethra. Sometimes contrast radiography is used for better visualization.

  • Ultrasound: Examining the bladder for stones, thickening, or other issues.

  • Biopsies: Taking tissue samples from the bladder, especially if a tumor is suspected.

Treating FLUTD

Treatment depends on the specific condition but may include:

  • Pain Relief and Anti-inflammatories: To manage discomfort and reduce inflammation.

  • Antibiotics: If a UTI is confirmed.

  • Urinary Diets: Special diets to dissolve or prevent stones and crystals, reduce stress, and maintain a healthy pH balance.

  • Anti-spasmodic Medications: To relax the urethra and ease urination.

  • Nutraceuticals: Supplements like L-theanine, glucosamine, and fatty acids to support the bladder lining.

  • Environmental Enrichment: Providing a stimulating environment with plenty of toys, perches, and quiet spaces.

  • Surgery: In severe cases, to remove stones or widen the urethra.

Emergency Care North Vancouver Vet

If your cat shows signs of a urinary blockage, it’s an emergency! Do not wait—bring them to Lonsdale Place Veterinary Clinic immediately or to an emergency clinic if it occurs overnight. This condition is extremely painful and life-threatening, requiring urgent intervention. North Vancouver Vet

At Lonsdale Place Veterinary Clinic, we’re dedicated to providing top-notch care for your furry friends. Regular vet check-ups and early intervention are key to keeping your cat healthy and happy. If you have any questions or need to book an appointment, don't hesitate to contact us. Your cat’s health is our priority! North Vancouver Vet



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