Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is a disease that causes the inflammation of the bladder and urethra. FLUTD can result in partial or complete obstruction of the Urinary Tract. Urinary Obstructions are a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate veterinary treatment. 

What causes FLUTD? 

There is no single cause of FLUTD. Here are some of the reasons your kitty may be having urinary tract problems:

Urinary Stones: 

 Urinary stones, also known as bladder stones are rock-like deposits of minerals, crystals and organic material found in the cat’s bladder. These bladder stones can stay small or they can grow to several millimetres in diameter and rub against the cat’s bladder walls, which causes inflammation. 

Bacterial Cystitis: 

Bacterial Cystitis occurs when bacteria finds its way into a sterile environment in the bladder/urinary tract and causes infection and inflammation.  

Urethral Obstruction: 

Urethral obstruction is more common in male cats. This is due to the male cat having a longer and narrower urethra compared to female cats. Several underlying conditions can cause obstruction, these include: 

  • An accumulation of proteins, cells, crystals and debris in the bladder that accumulates and blocks the urethra. 
  • A small stone or an accumulation of very small stones formed in the bladder that lodge in the urethra on their way out.
  • Swelling or spasm of the urethra which can occur during inflammation of the bladder. This can cause a blockage in the urethra if the cat is unable to relax the muscle.  

Stress Cystitis: 

Stress Cystitis can occur when a cat has been experiencing stress or been introduced into a stressful situation. There are many scenarios which your cat may experience as stressful. Here are a few: 

  • New House 
  • New cat in the home or the neighbourhood
  • New baby 
  • Renovations around the house

Symptoms of Feline lower urinary tract disorder (FLUTD): 

  • Straining to urinate 
  • Passing only small drops of urine
  • Frequent trips to the litter box 
  • Blood in urine 
  • Smelly Urine
  • Cloudy urine 
  • Urinating in inappropriate places 
  • Excessive Vocalising 
  • Excessive licking (grooming) of the genital area 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Change in behaviour 
  • Lethargic 
  • If your cat is straining to urinate and not passing any urine, please seek immediate veterinary advice – if he / she has a blocked urethra, this is an emergency!

What can be done about it?

Depending on the cause of your cat’s urinary tract problem, various treatments are available. If there is an obstruction or blockage, surgery may be necessary, but often the condition can be managed by our vet providing you with some clear management guidelines and prescription diet and other medications, like antibiotics if indicated.

Treatment is tailored to your particular cat and it’s particular diagnosis.

Are there other causes for Urinary Issues?

Yes, there can be several causes for clinical signs associated with the urinary tract. These may include kidney disease, diabetes or heart disease. These all need to be investigated so that appropriate treatment can be instigated.


Is your cat peeing around the house? Read more about this in another one of our blog posts ‘Not again! Cat Urine! What’s really going on?’ http://www.healthypetmobilevet.com.au/not-again-cat-urine-whats-really-going-on/

Does your cat have a leaky bladder? Read more about this in ‘Leaky Bladder Problems’ 


If you are concerned that your cat is showing the above symptoms or you have any questions, give us a call on 0481 527 678 or email us on vet@healthypetmobilevet.com.au.