This is a disorder that affects the bladder and urethra (tube from the bladder), resulting in the cat having difficulty in urinating, urinating small amounts often, and even passing blood in the urine. If you observe any of these signs, you should take your cat to the vet. At the veterinary clinic, a careful physical examination will be performed on the cat, including palpation of the kidneys and the bladder.
FLUTD must be first distinguished from other causes of urinating a lot, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and behaviour problems. A sample of urine will be analysed and the urine pH is measured, as urine with a high pH is more likely to have small crystals present. These crystals can be seen under the microscope, and can irritate the bladder, or even block the urethra in the penis in male cats, an extremely painful and dangerous condition requiring immediate veterinary attention.
Owners of cats with high urinary pH and urine crystals may he recommended to feed a veterinary prescription diet, which aims to prevent these problems. Some cats are found to have an ‘idiopathic’ (cause unknown) FLUTD. The bladder wall is thickened, and the cat very uncomfortable, but the symptoms often settle down in a matter of days. Urine tests are important to confirm that there are not any other problems, and your vet may recommend medication to relax your cat.