Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease


Frequent presentations of cats to our clinic are those felines that have blood in their urine or are straining to urinate. The bladder or urethra (tube that drains the urine from the bladder to the genitals) is inflamed and this causes discomfort whilst urinating.

Clinical signs include:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Frequent licking of external genitalia
  • Frequent howling
  • Blood in urine
  • Urinating in unusual places

Cause of Disease:

  • Most often the cause of this disease is unknown (idiopathic)
  • In some instances bacteria will be identified
  • Stress is often implicated e.g. moving house or a new pet in the household
  • Crystals in the urine may contribute


  • Urinalysis: A urine sample allows us to assess the kidney’s ability to concentrate urine. We can also determine if there is blood, crystals, glucose or bacteria in the urine.
  • A complete blood count and blood chemistry: Blood tests will help determine infection, disease of the kidneys and other important information.

Your veterinarian may recommend other procedures if appropriate, such as ultrasound or radiography.

Treatment will be individualized to the patient and will often include:

  • Anti inflammatory
  • Antibiotics
  • Stress management
  • Dietary management:
    • Prescription Diets including Hills S/D, Hills C/D and Royal Canin Urinary diet.

It is very important that this disease does not progress to a point where the cat is unable to urinate.
This is an emergency. If not treated immediately, this is a distressing and potentially fatal disease.

Please contact us immediately if:

  • Your cat continues to strain, producing small amounts of urine, vocalize while urinating, or is constantly in the litter box.
  • If your cat is trying to produce urine but cannot. This is a true emergency and your pet must be seen immediately.
  • Your pet stops eating, drinking or begins to vomit.
  • If there is any other change in your pet’s health.