Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (also known as FLUTD, or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease), is a condition where cats develop severe, occasionally life –threatening inflammation of the bladder (cystitis) and/or the urethra (urethritis).
The exact cause of FIC is unknown, but factors that increase the chance of this condition developing include being on a dry food diet, stress, being an indoor male cat, urine ph. and concentration and even significant recent rainfall.
Most often the first sign you will likely see your cat straining unproductively to urinate. They may be vocalising or showing discomfort when they urinate, and they may be licking their genitals more often. Occasionally, you will notice blood in the urine or them urinating in unusual places. Many cats with FIC have small crystals in their urine, and some may have bladder stones. These crystals or bladder stones may obstruct the urethra, which prevents your cat from urinating.
Combined with a physical examination, we recommend a thorough urinalysis and microscopic examination of the urine to check for crystals. We may also perform x-rays or ultrasonography to check for the presence of bladder stones.
Cats with FIC require immediate veterinary attention. The type of treatment prescribed for your pet will be dependent on an individual case by case basis and will be discussed after your pet’s examination. Medications combined with dietary therapy to dissolve any crystals that may be present and stress management is often recommended.
If your cat has an obstruction due to crystals or bladder stones, treatment usually involves catheterisation under general anaesthesia, intravenous fluids and hospitalisation.
For more information about FIC or to book an appointment, please contact the clinic.