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C2002-15

Dear Christopher Cat

Our 4-year-old cat Jack has feline urological syndrome (FUS.)  What can we do to help him?

Christopher Responds

I had the same problem.  FUS, also known as feline lower urinary tract disorder (FLUTD), is the name given to a group of ailments of the cat’s bladder and urethra.

These include inflammation of the bladder and/or urethra (interstitial or idiopathic cystitis of unknown cause), bacterial infection, bladder stones or crystals in the urine.

FLUTD causes painful urination, which we express by crying or straining in the litter box.  We may produce blood-tinged urine and urinate small amounts frequently, often outside the box.

Depending on which disease is causing the FLUTD signs, treatment may involve medications, diet change and/or surgery.

However, each of the diseases requires one treatment in common:  increasing the cat’s water intake.  This produces more dilute urine, which minimizes clinical signs and keeps any crystals from coalescing into stones.

To increase water intake, feed Jack canned cat food mixed with water, or encourage him to drink from a pet water fountain. 

And be sure he is producing a good urine stream every day.  A male cat’s urethra can become blocked with crystals and mucus, and if he can’t urinate, that’s a medical emergency.

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