What Is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease?

Feline lower urinary tract disease (L.U.T.D.), also known as feline lower urinary tract syndrome, is an infection or inflammation of the bladder, the urethra, or sometimes both. In some cases, L.U.T.D. can lead to the formation of dangerous, painful stones in the bladder.

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Download our Lower Urinary Tract Disease (LUTD) Handout for an in-depth look at this condition and how you can partner with your veterinarian to help prevent it.

How Does L.U.T.D. Happen?

Many things can contribute to the development of this pain-inducing condition, such as an improper mineral balance, diets that promote too high or too low a urine pH, bacteria, viruses, infrequent urination, decreased water intake, stress, obesity, tumors of the urinary tract, congenital defects, and many more.

How Can I Spot L.U.T.D.?

Pinpointing the causes of this disease can be difficult, so knowing how to spot the symptoms of L.U.T.D. is essential in keeping your cat healthy. Some signs of L.U.T.D. may include:

  • Urinating in inappropriate locations
  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Blood tinged or strong smelling urine
  • Excess licking of the genital area
  • General discomfort in the reproductive areas.

If your cat’s urinary tract infection goes untreated, it can progress rapidly to a partial or complete blockage of the urethra, allowing little to no urine to be voided. Blockages like this can quickly become life-threatening, potentially leading to death as waste products build to toxic levels in the pet’s body.

How Can I Help?

First, pay attention to your cat’s behavior. Keep an eye out for signs such as:

  • An inability to urinate
  • Straining or pain that resembles constipation
  • Depression
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty walking
  • Vomiting
  • Other signs of severe discomfort

If you suspect your cat might have L.U.T.D. be sure to call your local veterinarian and schedule an appointment immediately.

Time is of the essence if you believe your feline friend might have lower urinary tract disease, so please do not delay in having him or her examined by a veterinarian. A quick treatment of a pet’s urinary system disease offers a better prognosis, costs less, and can offer earlier relief for any discomfort your pet may have.

Need More Information?

If you would like to know more about L.U.T.D.’s detection, prevention, and risks, contact your local veterinarian, request an appointment, look at our complete nutrition page for a guide on the essential nutrients your cat will need to function at peak performance, or head over to our Ask a Vet library to find the answer to any other questions you might have.