Medical Monday: Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)


Welcome to another edition of Medical Monday where we discuss veterinary medical issues experienced by pets and their families.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), is a serious and fairly common problem in veterinary medicine. I definitely saw a few cases of FLUTD in my years in vet med.

According to an article written by Gregory F. Grauer, DVM, in Today’s Veterinary Practice, FLUTD describes a collection of conditions that affect both the bladder and the urethra in cats.

FLUTD is the cause of 7-8% of feline admissions to the hospital. Two-thirds of cats with FLUTD have FIC (TVP).

FIC = Feline Idiopathic Cystitis

Idiopathic: means the cause is unknown

Cystitis: means inflammation of the bladder

Therefore, FIC is when your cat is experiencing symptoms of FLUTD but the cause is unknown. “FIC is associated with complex interactions among the nervous system, adrenal glands, and urinary bladder” (TVP).

When it comes to FIC, it can be associated with other clinical signs related to gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, nervous, or respiratory problems. The feline’s environment also plays a role in some cases related to FIC.

What are some possible stressors that can cause FIC?

Frequent Boarding

Frequent Traveling

A New Pet or Baby

A Multi-cat household: especially one with intercat aggression

What are the symptoms of FLUTD?

According to PetMD:

Frequent urination, resulting in little or no urine

Bloody, or slightly red urine

Crying out in pain, especially in the litter box

Progressive lethargy (or lack of energy)

What can I expect when I take my cat to the vet?

Based on the common symptoms, the main concern your vet will have is whether or not your pet is blocked (especially if they are male), so they will initially palpate and potentially try to express the bladder (TVP).

FIC is associated with a small and easily expressed bladder (TVP).

After your vet has palpated the bladder, they may want to get some additional diagnostics to rule out causes of FLUTD. Urinalysis, Urine Culture, X-Rays and maybe an Ultrasound will help your veterinarian determine the cause of FLUTD, or diagnosis of FIC.

What is the treatment?

Regardless of the specific medication your veterinarian chooses, treatment of FIC has two main objectives:

Reduce Stress

Provide Pain Relief

Have you ever experienced FLUTD or FIC with your cat?

To protect yourself and your pet please consider pet insurance. I myself carry pet insurance for Rooney and would be happy to answer any questions at any time.

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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    M. K. Clinton
    August 25, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    One of my cats had F.U.S. and the onset was very sudden. He didn’t live two weeks, although he had intensive care. At the time (1982) my vet told me it was feeding nothing but dry cat food. Thanks for sharing this important topic. ☺
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…Sometimes a BoyMy Profile

    1. Reply
      September 4, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      No problem, I think that the condition seems minor to many pet owners, but can be so devastating. Now a days treatments are improving which is great news for pet owners.

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