An Ultimate Guide to Lower Urinary Tract Disease in Cats

Why do potty-trained cats all of a sudden frequently pee outside a litter box? Why do they unexpectedly favor urinating in other places like tile flooring, countertops, or bathtubs? Don’t get mad at your cat; your cat might be having unpleasant trips to the litter box.

If cats often tend to lick themselves excessively and show signs of unpleasant urination, that could be signs that they might be suffering from feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). This affects the bladder and urethra rather than the kidneys of felines.

What is FLUTD?

Feline lower urinary tract disease is the basic term for various problems in the bladder and urethra. Another term for FLUTD is feline urologic syndrome (FUS) and feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC). This condition results in tiny crystals and blood in the urine.


Several underlying clinical problems can contribute to the development of FLUTD, such as urolithiasis (urinary stones), urinary infection, urethral obstruction, and urinary calculi (also called “sand” or “grit”).

FLUTD is usually seen in middle-aged, overweight felines with little or no exercise. They usually have no outdoor access, use an indoor litter box, or consume a dry diet. Additional factors such as environmental tension, abrupt changes in everyday regimen, and living with several cats at home may also contribute to the development of FLUTD.


  • Straining to pee (this can be confused with constipation)
  • Urinating small amounts, often outside the litter box
  • Crying while urinating
  • Frequent licking of the genitalia
  • Foul-smelling, bloody, or cloudy urine

Contact or schedule a visit at the emergency veterinarian service promptly if any symptoms show up.


It is rather challenging to diagnose FLUTD because it has many causes. Your vet would physically examine your cat based on the symptoms appearing. The veterinarian might refer you to laboratory facilities for urinalysis, examining pH concentration, and the presence of blood, crystals, or infection. 

If the urinalysis can not rule out the illness, additional tests may be recommended, such as urine culture, blood work, and x-rays. Visit websites such as if your veterinarian refers your pet for lab work.


Emergency vets are trained to administer procedures for FLUTD; contact them for emergencies. 

Your specialist vet might suggest therapies according to the signs and symptoms that have shown up because FLUTD has many causes.

If your pet cat has a blocked urethra, a catheter is passed into the bladder while your cat is sedated. This procedure removes the blockage and purges the bladder. A hospital stay for a few days is advised until your pet cat can pee normally, and when it appears, the blockage will unlikely repeat.

Treatment of bladder stones might be a combination of surgery and dietary therapy. It depends upon the sort of crystals in the urine. Struvite crystals can break down in acidic urine; thus, a diet that enhances the level of acidity in urine will be prescribed. If the crystal is calcium oxalate, a non-acidified diet will be recommended since acidification may cause the reappearance of stones.

Painkillers and antibiotics might be used for pain relief and infection if neither urethral blockage nor bladder stones are present. Diet may also be used to liquify struvite crystals in the urine.

What can you do to prevent the occurrence of FLUTD?

Consult your veterinarian concerning an appropriate diet plan; a specialized diet regimen may be more suitable than a commercial one. Small frequent feedings are excellent for FLUTD cases. Keep your pet cat hydrated with clean and fresh water at all times.

Provide a sufficient number of litter boxes, preferably more than the number of cats in the household. Put these boxes in safe and quiet areas of your home. Always keep the litter boxes disinfected.

Finally, minimize all environmental stress factors to cats. Try to decrease significant changes in the usual routine. Regular follow-ups with the veterinarian are essential to keep an eye on any indications of recurring concerns.