Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) describes a collection of conditions that can affect the bladder and urethra of cats.


  • Pain on urination
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Change in toileting behaviour
  • Crying out while urinating
  • Excessive licking of the genital area


Idiopathic (no known cause); the most common cause and usually a diagnosis of exclusion (when all diagnostic examinations fail to confirm the presence of another disease). Stressful events have been shown to cause episodes.

  • Urinary tract infections: often no bacterial, fungal or viral organism can be consistently shown to be causing the urinary tract signs.
  • Urinary stones: collections of minerals that form in the urinary tract, usually have to be surgically removed.
  • Urethral plugs: composed of varying quantities of proteins and cells from the bladder and blood, and minerals.
  • Urinary tract tumours
  • Behavioural problems
  • Anatomical defects; rare.


  • Urine sample: Analysed to look for signs of infection, crystals etc. Sometimes sent away to the laboratory for further testing.
  • Blood samples: To rule out systemic disease such as kidney problems.
  • Radiographs and ultrasound examination: To image the urinary system and look for stones etc.


Unfortunately some cats who have suffered from lower urinary tract disease will experience recurrence of problems.

Treatment depends on cause, but a few steps can be taken to reduce the frequency of attacks and severity and duration of signs when the problem occurs.

  • Reduce environmental stress: provide lots of litter trays in quiet, clean areas. Also, using ‘Feliway’ (a synthetic feline pheromone) or ‘Serenum’ can help reduce anxiety.
  • Diet: Special prescription diets can help reduce urinary obstruction and the formation of crystals and stones by altering the pH of the urine.
  • Water: Provide clean and fresh water at all times and encourage cats to drink with water fountains. Feeding a wet diet can also help increase water intake.
  • Cystaid: This product helps to repair the protective layer lining the inside of the bladder.
  • Medications: Such as antibiotics, antiinflammatories, antispasmodics and tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline).
  • Urinary catheter placement: If the cat, normally a male, has a urethral obstruction this is an emergency. The cat can no longer remove toxins from the blood and the obstruction needs to be relived as soon as possible. A narrow tube is placed up the urethra under anaesthesia and the urinary tract is flushed out. The cat is hospitalised and intravenous fluids, pain relief and antibiotics are usually required.

At the Ardmore Veterinary Group we aim to provide the highest standard of professional veterinary care. If you find any of the information displayed incorrect please do not hesitate to call us. We are here to listen and assist in any way we can.

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