Symptoms of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

FLUTD is also referred to as feline interstitial cystitis or feline urologic syndrome. Feline lower urinary tract disease, or FLUTD, causes a variety of symptoms. They include painful urination, excessive cleaning of genitals, bloody urine and frequent trips to the litter box with little output. Recognizing these symptoms will help you address the issue proactively and can mean life or death for your cat.

Changes in Urination Habits

A cat with FLUTD will exhibit a variety of different behaviors around urination. Firstly, he will strain when trying to urinate. You may hear him making noises that indicate he is in pain. You may notice him exerting himself when trying to urinate. The cat may meow in a distressed way when trying to urinate. When a cat has FLUTD, the inflammation makes urination painful.

You may also notice that your cat is making frequent trips to the litter box. You'll also notice, however, a decrease in the amount of urine output. Your cat will feel like he needs to urinate frequently but it will be hard to produce the normal amount of urine. When he does urinate, he may go outside the box. The pain becomes something he associates directly with the litter box. This is when the physical issue becomes a behavioral one even as the illness and physical symptoms abate.

Excessive Cleaning of Genitals

A cat with FLUTD will constantly lick and nip at the area around his genitals. This is due to the feelings of irritation associated with the disease. A cat with FLUTD F may even clean himself raw resulting in more irritation and even bleeding. The cat may be drawn to cold, smooth surfaces, and may rub his genitals on the surface. FLUTD is all about inflammatory discomfort, so the cat will do anything to cool himself off.

Bloody Urine

A cat with FLUTD will produce blood in the urine. It's usually a small amount of blood mixed in with a small amount of urine. Usually by this stage, the cat is urinating outside the box. He will often mimic litter box behaviors despite not being in the litter box. You may find a bath mat partly folded over, or you might hear scratching in a tub or sink.

When FLUTD Becomes an Emergency

FLUTD is a serious disease requiring veterinary attention. At a certain point, it becomes an immediately life-threatening situation. The bladder can become completely obstructed which is extremely painful for the cat. A cat with a full obstruction will make a horrible yowling sound and may hide under furniture. Although you should seek medical attention with any of the above symptoms, if your cat is yowling or hiding, call the vet immediately.