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While Urinary Tract Infections are common in cats of all ages, it is FLUTD that is most common. Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions that affect the bladder and urethra in felines. Cats with FLUTD often show signs of difficulty and pain while toileting, an increased frequency of toileting, and sometimes blood in their urine. Cats with FLUTD also tend to lick themselves excessively and may urinate outside of their litter box, often on cool, smooth surfaces like a tiled floor or in a bathtub. 

While FLUTD can occur at any age, it is most commonly seen in middle-aged, overweight cats that get little exercise, use an indoor litter box, have little or no outdoor access, or eat a dry diet. Factors such as emotional or environmental stress, multi-cat households, and abrupt changes in their daily routines may increase the risk that your cat will develop FLUTD. 

Signs and Symptoms: 

  • Straining to urinate 
  • Urinating small amounts 
  • Frequent and/or prolonged attempts to urinate 
  • Crying out while urinating 
  • Excessive licking of the genital area 
  • Urinating outside the litter box 
  • Blood in the urine 

Cats with a urethral block will also show these signs but they’ll pass little to no urine and become increasingly distressed. Urethral obstructions are seen more often in males than female cats due their longer, narrower urethra. A urethral obstruction is an emergency and requires immediate Vet treatment! 

What Can I do at Home to Prevent This?: 

  • Feed your cat small meals frequently. 
  • Consult your trusted Vet about the best diet for your cat. Many store-bought diets are acceptable, but some urinary conditions respond better to specialized Veterinary diets. 
  • Provide clean, fresh water always. 
  • Keep your cat’s litter box in a quiet, safe area of your home. 


How We Treat FLUTD: 

Recommended treatments for a urinary tract problem will vary depending on your cat’s signs and symptoms. For instance, antibiotics may be prescribed to knock out an infection if your Vet thinks one may be present. If your cat needs to go on a course of antibiotics, be sure to always follow the instructions and finish the entire prescription — the infection could come back if you stop the medication early. Once your cat has finished their course, always discard the bottle, but make a note of the information on the label for your own records (your trusted Vet will have this info anyway). 

In most instances thereafter you’ll need to increase your cat’s water intake. Here are some useful tips on how to do this: 

  • Make sure your cat has a bowl of fresh, clean water that’s easy for them to access. 
  • Offer your cat diluted, warm chicken broth as a treat. 
  • Shift their diet to include more wet food, which contains more moisture than dry kibble. Alternatively, you can try soaking their dry kibble in water for about 15 minutes to moisten it. 
  • It can help to scoop out their litter box more often so you can keep tabs on how much and how often your cat is going to the bathroom. Most cats prefer a squeaky-clean litter box, so it can also help your ailing cat feel more comfortable when they go. 

For more information on FLUTD or general advice about your cat’s health, you can always contact us directly via phone or email at any time. In emergencies, we have 24-hour clinics across the greater Dublin area and clinics open during normal business hours available here. 

Farewell cat fans!