Monday - Friday
8am - 6pm
9am - 5pm

10am - 5pm

Feline Urological Syndrome

Feline Urological Syndrome - Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

blocked bladder


• Straining (often pets appear to be  constipated).
• Squatting frequently and passing small amounts of urine.
• Urinating in inappropriate places.
• Blood stained urine
• Pain on touching the abdomen.


• Inflammation of the bladder (Cystitis).
• Inflammation of the tube running from the urinary bladder to outside the body (Urethritis).
• Mucous, Crystals and Stones in the bladder and urethra.

Although there are several theories about what causes FLUTD it is still unknown.  Bacteria, obesity, stress; inactivity, viruses, genetic predisposition and diet have all been incriminated.

Although many factors are involved in the formation of crystals, two important dietary influences are known:
Magnesium:  High levels of magnesium in the urine and increased concentration of magnesium can provide favourable conditions for crystals to form in the bladder.
Urine pH: The pH (level of acidity/alkalinity) of the urine is an important factor in whether or not crystals will form.  The nature of the food eaten, meal frequency and effects of bacterial infections affect urine pH.  Crystals are less likely to form in acid urine.

A specialised diet can assist in controlling the crystals and stones in cats suffering from FLUTD.  The diet should be low in those minerals that make up
the crystals, and should also help maintain the urine pH in a desirable, acid state.  We have a range of Prescription Diet brand products that meet these requirements.  They are a convenient, nutritionally complete, ready to feed formulation and are used as a complete replacement of your cat’s current food.

We recommend ringing immediately for an appointment for a recheck if straining, passing blood in urine or urinating in appropriate places occur.

The vets will probably schedule rechecks during/after the initial treatment period because recurrences are common in the first 48 hours and in the first three weeks.

Recurrence can be avoided by:

1. Providing fresh clean water.

2. Changing litter box daily.

3. Feed only special prescription diets prescribed by your veterinarian, usually Hills c/d or Hills s/d diet.  These diets help prevent crystal formation and encourage it to re dissolve. 

a) To completely dissolve the crystals or stones, Hills Feline s/d is usually fed for three to six months.  After the crystals or stones have gone, another Prescription Diet may be used for long term control. 

b) Many cats once affected with FLUTD will suffer a recurrence if they resume their normal food.  To help prevent the problem returning i.e. crystals reforming your veterinarian may recommend using a preventative diet product, such as the Feline c/d.  This is usually started once your cat completes a course of Feline s/d or has had a previous episode of FLUTD and is still at risk, and needs to be fed for the rest of the cat’s life to prevent recurrence of FLUTD.


• Complete blockage of the Urethra by crystals and mucous may occur.  This usually occurs in the male cat because they have a longer and narrower urethra than the female cat.

• IF BLOCKAGE OCCURS, urine back pressure causes the kidneys to stop functioning.  This results in a build up of toxic wastes in the blood and disturbance of acid base and ion balance occurs.  The cat becomes depressed, stops eating and drinking and may vomit.  DEHYDRATION AND DEATH quickly follows.



A general anaesthetic is given and the blockage is cleared.  Fluids given intravenously may be necessary to prevent shock and correct metabolic
imbalances.  Surgery may be necessary if the blockage cannot be cleared or if damage to the urethra is severe or if blockage is recurrent.   Post-operative antibiotics will be prescribed.

In male cats recurrence of obstruction is common and if not noticed early it may result in fatal kidney shutdown.  A perineal urethrostomy may be required.  This operation removes the narrow part of the males’ urethra.  Thereby widening and shortening the tube from the bladder to the outside.  Although FLUTD is still present, the operation reduces the chance of a fatal blockage occurring.

If a large amount of mineral crystals build up in the bladder an operation to open the bladder (cystotomy) and remove the debris may be necessary

© Forrest Hill Vets (2000) Ltd