Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

What is FLUTD?

This is a condition used to describe a group of clinical signs in a cat. This include:

  • Increased frequency of urination

  • Blood in urine

  • Straining to urinate

  • Urinating in abnormal places

  • Not passing any urine or very small drops of urine frequently

    It is a medical emergency if no urine or very small amounts are being passed and veterinary attention should be sought immediately.

  • Crying when urinating

Possible causes and predisposing factors of FLUTD

  • In most cases for younger cats a cause cannot be determined – this is called ‘idopathic’ disease

  • Stress

  • Diet

  • Obesity

  • Low water intake

  • Inactive cats

  • Bladder stones/crystals

  • Bacterial infection

  • Bladder tumour

Diagnostic tests

This would start with history taking and performing a clinical examination. A urine sample is required for analysis. If the urinalysis is normal and there is frequent reoccurence, further investigation is indication.

How is FLUTD managed and treated?

Reduce stress levels – extra litter trays, Feliway products, cat-nip, increase activity levels.

Increase water intake

  • Extra water sources (bowls/fountains) particularly if a multicat household.

  • Add water to food

  • Palatable fluids – chicken/fish stock

  • Keep water seperate from litter trays


Dietary management is essential if your cat is diagnosed with crystals as the underlying cause of FLUTD. Dietary management may be required long-term, this is dependant on the type of crystal present. In a multicat household it is important that the diet is not fed to cats with no underlying FLUTD. Weight control is also important.

Medical treatment

The aim of medical management is too help reduce and control the symptoms, they will NOT cure the cat.

  • Pain relief – to reduce inflammation and pain

  • Antibiotics – only indicated if bacterial infection is the underlying cause of the problem. In older cats they may be prescribed as bacterial infection is more likely, particularly in females, cats with dilute urine and cats that have been catheterised.

  • Supplements ‘poly sulphated glycosaminoglycans’ – these are used to help build up the integrity of the lining of the bladder wall.

  • In very severe cases behavioural modifying drugs may be considered, your vet will discuss this option with you if they think it is necessary.

It is very important to note the following:

It is a medical emergency if no urine or very small amounts are being passed and veterinary attention should be sought immediately.