Cats and FLUTD – what is it?

Healthy Male Kitten


Cats and Urinary Tract Problems – What is FLUTD?

Basic Anatomy and Physiology

The urinary tract system is responsible for the creation, storage and elimination of urine. It comprises of the two kidneys which filter and clean the blood, forming urine by removing excess water and waste products. The two ureters are tubes which transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The bladder stores urine until it is voided. The urethra is a single tube structure which originates from the bladder and transports the urine to the outside.

What is FLUTD you might ask… Feline Urinary Tract Disease formerly known as Feline Urologic Syndrome is a group of clinical symptoms relating to your cats lower urinary system. Sometimes it may be called a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) There may also be numerous causes of the disease as well.

Feline Urinary Tract Disease is seen more often in middle aged to senior cats. FLUTD is rarely diagnosed in animals younger than one year, the average age is typically four years. A UTI usually occurs when the usually sterile urinary tract is colonised by bacteria or viruses. The common bacteria types found to cause infections are E. Coli, Staphylococcus spp, Steptococcus spp and Proteus spp. Some studies have suggested that 10% of senior cats with or without urinary blockages have the presence of bacteria in their urine.


FLUTD usually occurs spontaneously and the cause may be unknown. The causes could be many, see the list below. Other factors which may cause FLUTD can include obesity, too much acidity or alkalinity of the urine, dehydration or a diet high in magnesium or other minerals. On the other hand Idiopathic Lower Urinary Tract Diseases can occur without significant signs of bacteria or white blood cells in the urine.

Stones, crystals or debris accumulation (mucous or cells) in the bladder or urethra

Interstitial Cystitis (painful bladder syndrome)

Gamma Herpesvirus
Urethral plug accumulation of debris from urine
Bladder inflammation or infection
Incontinence from excessive water drinking or weak bladder
Injury to or tumor in the urinary tract
Spinal cord problems
Congenital abnormality
Male cats who have had a perineal urethroscopy
Cats who have been catheterised

Other conditions which may lead to Lower Urinary Tract Problems

Male cats are generally more prone to urethral blockages because of their narrrow urethras. Female cats are at a higher risk of infection due to their shorter urethra as bacteria descending from the perineum are the greatest cause of urinary tract infections in cats.

Cats who hold onto urine for too long are at greater risk of infection, the cause may be poor weather, dirty litter trays, poor location of litter tray and different types of litter materials

Endocrine diseases such as hyperthyroidism
Diabetes mellitus can cause lower urinary tract problems in cats due to the fact that glucose and protein in the urine, along with lowered immune response can produce a favourable environment for bacterial growth


Inability to urinate or only passing small amount of urine

Bloody or cloudy urine

Loss of bladder control, dribbling urine

Straining and/or crying in pain when trying to pass urine

Prolonged squatting in litter box

Strong odor of ammonia in urine



Increased water consumption

Hard and distended abdomen

Frequent or painful urination

Frequent licking of the urinary opening

Discomfort when petted

Urinating outside of the litter tray

If the cause of these symptoms cannot be determined then the cat may be considered to have bladder inflammation otherwise known as cystitis.


A diagnosis is usually reached by eliminating other disorders. Obstructions such a Kidney stones and other disorders are usually eliminated first. Diagnostics such as urinalysis, blood tests, xrays and scopes may be used to detect obstructions and determine the presence of bacteria or parasites for example. The cat will be physically examined and a history of behavior leading to the visit will be obtained from the cat’s parents.


If you suspect that your cat has any of the symptoms of FLUTD please visit your veterinarian immediately. It may be considered a medical emergency. Your vet will ask you questions and conduct a thorough physical examination including pathology and radio diagnostics. Depending on assessment and cause your cat may be treated as an out-patient or hospitalized.

Chronic blockages may require changes to the diet. Canned food which contains high levels of water is the usual dietary change recommended by veterinarians. Increased intake in drinking water is also recommended to flush the bladder of impurities.

Antibiotics may also be prescribed as treatment for bacterial and parasitic infections.

Treatment should provide and resolution to symptoms within 7 days. If you notice continuing signs and symptoms or new symptoms please notify the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Depending on the actual diagnosis treatments will differ. Treatments may include.

Antibiotics or other medication
Dietary changes
Recommended increase in water intake
Urinary acidifiers
Expelling of small stones through the urethra
Surgery to remove bladder stones or tumor or the correction of congenital abnormaliities
Urinary catheter or surgery to remove urethral blockage in male cats
Fluid therapy

Treatment of bladder stones may include a prescription diet which may help to dissolve stones. Large stones require surgical removal.

Encourage frequent hydration by replenishing water regularly.

Clean litter trays regularly.

Above all, be alert to changes in your cat’s behavior as prompt detection can result in a better outcome and or prognosis.

Switching  the cat from a dry diet to a wet diet either canned or raw which has a higher water content. This increases overall fluid consumption.

If left untreated complications may arise causing partial or complete obstruction of the urethra, this can prevent a cat from urinating. This is a medical emergency that can lead to Kidney failure and or rupture of the bladder, and can prove fatal if the obstruction is not removed.


Depending on the cause and treatment, prevention may be as simple as being vigilant about your cat’s diet. Other ways which may discourage reappearance are;

Smaller meals more frequently

Commercial canned food – clean food bowls  regularly

Limit supplements

Provide plenty of fresh drinking water

Provide clean litter boxes

Limit events that may prove to be stressful to your cat

American Idol Contestant

A picture of a kitten

A Girl’s Best Friend

The American Idol Contestant and her Special Cat

Ever since I began watching American Idol on the television, I have been a faithful listener. Many contestants have revealed touching episodes of their lives during their time as a contestant. Many of these stories have touched me by making me smile or making tears swell in my eyes.

However on January 27, 2015 I witnessed a touching story about a contestant and her pet. The young lady talked about her cat and how this cat revealed many things to her that helped her achieve many goals. The lady believed she was gifted with an amazing voice but did not know if she was good enough for American Idol.

Before making the decision to appear on the show, she talked with her cat asking him to let her know what she should do. Since the cat had revealed to her many times what she should do, she had faith it would happen again. Finally the cat revealed to her that she should try out for American Idol.

The lady told the judges and the audience about this cat, keep a cat safe by clicking here. The judges seemed to be touched deeply by this amazing story. I was also touched deeply to know that someone loved and believed in their cat this much. The young lady performed and was very impressive.

The judges voted for her to go to Hollywood. I do not know what her future will be with American Idol, but it was very touching to realize just how much a pet can mean to a person. This young lady and her cat have been on my mind ever since that audition. I have thought about how much she must be missing her cat while away from home and how close she feels to this animal when she is with him, a website to help cats. This brought back precious childhood memories as I really loved kittens.

I would want to raise them to be cats and give them the love they deserved. We lived in a small town and did not have access to animals as the kids who lived in the country did. When I visited my cousins who lived in the country and had kittens, I would beg my parents to let me take one home to raise and love unconditionally. Usually I was allowed to take one home if I did not already have one. These were some of the happiest days of my childhood.

I would look after my kitten the way a mom looked after their newborn baby. The kittens seemed to enjoy their life with me except, when I would try to dress them in my doll clothes or give them a bath. These animals showed me much love, and I enjoyed loving them. The saddest time would be when they died. If I lost one, I could hardly wait to return to my cousin’s home to pick out my next kitten, find your lost cat by clicking here.

During those days, animals really did not wander away from home as they do now. I can only imagine how the people feel when they lose their beloved animals. They do not know if their pet is safe, hungry, or needing love. I mourn when I see a sign that a pet has been lost. Who knows where the pet is and how the pet owner must feel.

There needs to be more effective ways of finding pets than hanging signs on poles. I have heard of implanted chips, but I understand they may cause cancer. Who wants that! My prayer for these lost pets and their owner is to find more effective ways to locate them, to prevent many broken hearts. We cannot always prevent our pets from passing away, but we can help keep them to be safe, fed, and loved as long as they live, find out more at this website.

Guest Post by Pet Video Verify Team

Cat Litter Tips

Keeping a well maintained Cat Litter Box will keep your cat very happy.

Cats are naturally clean animals, and that means their Kitty Litter just about assumes pride of place in their lives. Unlike dogs, cats instinctively toilet-train themselves. Even so, when setting up and maintaining their litter box and kitty litter, it’s important you get a few things right.


Positioning of the cat litter box is the key to success. The first rule is to keep it separate to where your kitty eats and drinks. Cats usually prefer a quiet, private area to do their business, so placing it next to a noisy washing machine or somewhere with too much traffic won’t work. Make sure it’s always easily accessible, too. Your home may be filled with any number of ingenious hiding places for a litter box – but if you choose to store the box discretely, make sure it’s not hidden from your cat.

Double the Fun

If possible, have two litter boxes at home, particularly if you live in a two-storey house. After all, it makes sense. If your cat can’t get to one litter box, or isn’t comfortable using it for whatever reason, they can go somewhere else. Do you have more than one cat? Well don’t plan on them sharing a litter box. Some cats can accept this, but most definitely will not – and providing only one litter box will likely lead to “accidents” around the house.

If your cat spends most of its time outdoors then still provide a cat litter tray indoors just in case the cat is locked inside accidentally by other members of the household.

Your choice of Kitty Litter is also crucial, as many different types are available. Some are clay-based, some will clump when used and others look like crystals. Experiment with a few types to see which your cat prefers.

Change it up

Cats can be temperamental. They may have been content using their litter box for years, but don’t be surprised if one day they decide it’s no longer acceptable. First of all, consult your vet to rule out any underlying medical issues.

Dirty Work

Your feline friend appreciates a clean litter box and may get anxious if it’s dirty (or stop using it altogether). Scoop waste out of their litter at least daily or, even better, each time your cat uses it. How often you change the entire litter will depend on the type you use, so refer to the directions on the bag.

It also depends on how often your cat uses it. Indoor cats need their litter replaced more often that cats who sometimes do their business outside. Help your cat by refreshing their litter box and changing the type, if required.


Woolworths Pets Your Guide To Pet Care For Winter

Tips On How To Care For Senior Cats

Senior Cats Require Special Attention

Senior Cats Need Special Care

Elderly Cats require special care

Once your cat reaches about 10 years of age, it can be considered “senior”. As long as you monitor their health and address any issues early, you can still enjoy life together for many years to come.

Living an indoor life.

Indoor cats have been shown to live longer than their outdoor peers, as their exposure to dangers, such as traffic, is eliminated. As your cat slows and their ability to jump out of harm’s was decreases, it’s best to keep them indoors. It’s perfectly healthy for a cat to live like this, as long as they have plenty of mental stimulation, windows to look out of and patches of sun to curl up in. Their feeding and toilet areas should be kept clean at all times, too.

Be on the look out.

Arthritis is common in order cats, but they hide it well so you may not notice they are suffering from this painful condition. Keep items such as food, water, bedding and litter boxes low to the ground, or set up steps so they can still access their favourite elevated spots inside your home. If their coat looks dishevelled, they may have had trouble grooming. This is a big deal for cats, so help them with regular brushing. They may also have trouble keeping their claws short, particularly if they’re kept indoors, so ask your vet about how to groom them.

Consult with the experts.

Most changes in a cat’s behaviour will be normal signs of ageing, but others may indicate something more concerning. For example, kidney disease is very common in older cats. Increase your vet check-ups to twice a year as your cat ages, so you can pick up on issues early. Your vet may also recommend a change in diet, as specific foods are more suitable for senior cats.

Senior Cat Nutrition

The average life expectancy of a cat is 12-14 years. This varies widely depending on the breed, general lifestyle, and state of health and standard of care. Mature cats are classed as between 2-10 years old, while seniors are 10 years or older. It’s important to ensure that older cats get all the necessary nutrients to remain fit and healthy. Forming a close relationship with your cat will mean that you are more likely to be aware of any subtle changes to your cats’ diet, activities, sleeping patterns and medical problems.


An indoor cat’s typical life span is 12-18 years, but many make it into their early 20s


Woolworths Pets, Your Guide To Pet Care For Winter