Have you noticed your cat taking a few too many trips to the litter box lately and straining to urinate?
This is a medical problem that can be an emergency. The most common reason for these symptoms is feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is a term that is used to cover many problems of the feline urinary tract, including stones and cystitis. It is a common disease in adult cats, though it can strike in young cats too. Some vets refer to it as Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)
It may present as any of a variety of urinary tract problems, and can lead to a complete blockage of the urinary system, which if left untreated is fatal. FLUTD is not a specific diagnosis in and of itself - rather, it represents an array of problems within one body system.
FLUTD affects cats of both sexes, but it tends to be more dangerous in males because they are more susceptible to blockages due to their longer, narrower urethra. Urinary tract disorders have a high rate of recurrence, and some cats seem to be more susceptible to urinary problems than others.
Symptoms of the disease include prolonged squatting and straining during attempts to urinate, frequent trips to the litter box or a reluctance to leave the area, small amounts of urine voided in each attempt, blood in the urine, howling, crying or other vocalizations. A cat that is failing to urinate properly should see a vet immediately.
This is a very important topic for cat owners, so we have written an article titled Urinary Obstruction in Cats
. It includes things to watch for and tips on veterinary and preventative care. To read this article, go to: Urinary Obstruction in Cats
For information about bladder stones in cats – go to: Urolithiasis (stones in the urinary tract) in Cats
For information about acute bladder infections in cats – go to: Acute Cystitis in Cats
For information about the most common cause of straining and frequent attempts to go to the litter box with small amounts of urine being produced go to: Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)
I hope this information is helpful if your cat is going in and out of the litter box. This is a possible medical emergency and any cat going in and out of the litterbox should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.
When a cat is going in and out of the litterbox frequently, it is difficult to know if they can't go at all (they are obstructed), they have severe inflammation or stones. Your vet can help figure this out. Cats that are obstructed can die in less than 72 hours.