FLUTD in CATS!

(A SILENT KILLER)

Photo by Maxim Mushnikov on Unsplash

Bringing home a pet is like opening your arms and heart for a loved one. With every passing day, love and affection change your status from a pet owner to a pet parent.

The bond between you and your furry friend is unconditional and is felt through cuddles, rubs, and adoring glances. Animals not only bring joy to your life but also stabilize stress, blood pressure, and mood swings. Moreover, they instill empathy, promote physical activity, and generate responsibility.

“Animals are sentient, intelligent, perceptive, funny, and entertaining. We owe them a duty of care as we do to children.”

Michael Morpurgo

Simba came into my life six years back as a four-month-old male Persian kitten, and he swept me off my feet with his charm and playfulness. I turned from jump on the couch, scared person to a doting pet mom in no time.

My daughter cuddling with Simba

Simba passed away after giving us the best five years of his short life to a serious health condition called FLUTD. It happened rather suddenly, and despite all the efforts put in by the doctor and our family could not save him.

While we were struggling with ways to get some treatment options for him, I did a lot of research and came across some helpful information regarding my cat's illness.

It is imperative to get ample information about the type of pet you are getting, along with facts and figures of the diet, personality traits, and health problems common to that breed.

Getting a pet should come with a manual, like getting a car with do’s and don’ts. Thorough research about the breed, gender, qualities, habits, dietary requirements, common illnesses should be mandatory.

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Prevention is better than cure

FLUTD

Feline lower urinary tract disease or FLUTD is an acute urinary infection relevant mostly in *male cats. According to VetInfo, 5% of male cats suffer from FLUTD during their lifetime.

If your furry buddy shows these signs, promptly visit your Vet.

  • Dysuria or painful urination, which may cause the animal to cry out in pain.
  • Polllakiuria or frequent urination.
  • Haematuria or the presence of blood in the urine.
  • Periuria is when your cat is peeing outside the litter box.
  • Excessive grooming or licking of the genitals is an indication of a urinary problem.
  • Behavioral changes like Caterwailing, irritability, and meowing in pain are seen in some cats suffering from urinary tract infections.

Mostly male cats are affected by FLUTD because they have long, narrow urethras. Some breeds are seen to be prone to this infection more than others, like Persian Himalayan and English short-haired cats.

Specific factors that instigate this kind of urinary tract infection are:

  • Mature Age
  • Neutered
  • Overweight
  • Diet
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Lack of exercise
  • Urolithiasis or kidney stones (10% to 15% cases are due to this factor)
  • Bacterial infection in the cat's bladder.
  • Urethral plug
  • Neoplasia or a malignant tumor
  • Idiopathic cystitis or inflammation of the bladder.
Photo by C. Z. Shi on Unsplash

As a pet parent, you should be vigilant and cautious if the symptoms mentioned above are seen in your animal and book an appointment with a vet as in some cases health condition worsens very fast.

Usually, a thorough examination, urine sample, blood work, x-ray, and in some cases, biopsies can determine the cause and the treatment.

Bacterial cystitis is treated with antibiotics.

Kidney or bladder stone ( if obstructing the urinary tract) is surgically removed.

Urethral plugs are treated surgically, and the procedure is performed under anesthetics. The animal is hospitalized and monitored for inflammation and pain management.

Photo by Dan Wayman on Unsplash

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Specific steps to safeguard the well-being of your furry friend could save you time, money, worry, and heartache.

  • It may sound extravagant, but getting pet insurance is a great idea. Usually, an animal needs to visit a vet for checkups and preventive shots once a year.
  • According to Susan Barrett, DVM, head of community practice at Ohio State University College, how often a pet visits a veterinarian depends on the stage of his life. Putting monthly a tiny amount toward pet insurance can save big bucks in the future.
  • Exercise is crucial for the well-being of your cat. Try to instill playtime in your pet's routine, especially if you have an indoor cat,
  • Dietary restrictions need to be strictly followed to save future health problems. Diets rich in magnesium, calcium, and protein have a higher tendency of putting the cat's health at risk for FLUDT. Never put your cat on a diet without reading the nutritional facts. Discuss it with the veterinarian.
  • Increased water consumption of your cat by providing multiple drinking stations around your place.
  • Train your cat to have wet food as well as kibbles. If necessary, add some water to wet food.
  • Anxiety and stress can increase the risk for your feline to develop Urinary tract Infections. Cats love their homes, so being away from their habitat can affect their health. Sometimes a cat can get depressed in a household with multiple cats or animals.
  • Cleanliness comes second nature to cats, and they love clean spaces. The pet owners should regularly and responsibly clean the litter box of their felines.
  • You should regularly clean your pet's food and water utensils. Otherwise, your cat might stop eating food.
Photo by Fernando Jorge on Unsplash

A little bit of caution and care goes a long way, and the unconditional friendship between your pet and yourself would go on for a long time.

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