Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is a general term that covers a range of bladder and urethral issues in cats, rather than referring to a single ailment. Although FLUTD doesn’t have a specific age of onset, some cats—such as those that lead sedentary lives—are more prone to getting it. Find out more about FLUTD, its symptoms, causes, and available therapies!

What Causes FLUTD?

FLUTD may have multiple causes, including obesity and inactivity. Your cat’s nutrition may occasionally be the problem, necessitating a change. Stress, though, is frequently a contributing cause. For your cat, a simple seasonal furniture change could mean a great deal of stress. Because they may be so finicky, cats may react angrily to seemingly insignificant changes. Your cat may experience worry due to unfamiliar sounds in the house, a visitor staying in your guest room, or even the smell of a fresh candle. For instance, researchers found a connection between stress and two conditions that are included in the FLUTD category: feline interstitial cystitis (FIC) and bacterial cystitis (BC).

Types of FLUTD Bladder Stones

Bladder stones, often called urolithiasis, can happen to cats. Infection, nutrition, and heredity are among the causes. Bladder stones can sometimes pose a serious threat to life. On the other hand, the illness may only cause pain in certain cats. If bladder stones are not addressed, they might cause urethral blockage, which can be fatal.

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis

The disorder is known as feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) when the bladder is inflamed but neither stones nor germs are present. Urethral blockage is another possible outcome of this disease.

Urinary Tract Infection

The most prevalent ailment that cats face is this one. Bacteria in the bladder or urethra can cause urinary tract infections, or UTIs. This illness is more common in female cats and may be brought on by other medical conditions such as diabetes or poor grooming as a result of obesity.

Bladder or Urethra Cancer

Cats who appear with additional symptoms may develop bladder or urethral cancer, however this is uncommon. A complete workup must be ordered by a veterinarian in order to rule out the disease.

FLUTD Symptoms
Crying During Urination

Cats try to hide their suffering, so when you see a cat howling in pain, you know something severe is wrong. Get your cat to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible if they are urinating or trying to urinate in the litter box and are yelling out in agony.


You can observe that your cat strains when they try to urinate if they are having problems. They may also be circling the litter box, entering and exiting without spitting. Should you observe such conduct, your cat might be coping with an underlying urinary tract or bladder problem.

Blood in Urine

You can also detect blood in the urine if your cat has FLUTD. For this reason, it’s imperative that you monitor your cat at home, including the food bowl and litter box. You have the ability to recognise changes quickly, which helps stop health concerns from getting worse over time.

Licking Genital Area

This may not appear strange as cats brush themselves, even their genital area. However, your cat can be attempting self-soothing if they are fixated on licking their vagina. When you visit your vet for a check-up, make note of this behaviour and any others to discuss the symptoms with them.

Litter Box Mishaps

Your cat might develop FLUTD if they’ve started to urinate outside of the litter box. Cats frequently have messages for you when they urinate outside of their approved territory. Sometimes all you need to say is, “Hey, please clean my litter box.” Sometimes, though, they can be attempting to let you know that they’re ill and in need of your assistance.

Treatment of FLUTD

“The treatment of FLUTD depends on the cause,” Dr Colleen Wallace, a veterinarian who treats only cats at Cosy Cat Veterinary Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, according to A-Z-Animals. If crystals in the urine are the cause, changing to a prescription urinary diet will stop them from growing. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of bacterial infections, which are more common in older cats. Finally, bladder inflammation brought on by stress can be painful. If so, pheromone diffusers, habitat modifications, and possibly soothing foods or rewards can be beneficial. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are great in treating bladder irritation, I’ve discovered.