Feline lower urinary tract disease or FLUTD, is extremely common in kitties and can cover a number of conditions such as cystitis, formation of crystals in the bladder and blockage of the urethra.
Benny (pictured) suffered from this condition a few months ago and the first most prominent sign (which isn’t even an obvious one!) was that he started peeing in places he shouldn’t, like random spots on the floor, on the sofa (mine are very well toilet trained usually!). There was no evidence of blood or crystals at this stage so we tried the usually things to identify the problem such as:
1. Changing the cat litter
2. Removing the door from the litter tray
3. Removing the fairly new mat from outside the litter tray
4. Giving him food we know he likes
The problem continued sporadically until one day we noticed he had tried to wee on the beanbag and there was a white discharge that came out with it. We thought it was a possible blockage!
So off to the vets we went who confirmed that he was fine to pee (she gave him a very tight squeeze to check!) but she said he did have Cystitis. She explained that the problem was a lot more common in boys than girls because they have narrower tubes! He received an injection to ease the pain and the solution was lots and lots of water.
We have a cooled water fountain which the cats like anyway but I also decided to make a change in the food I gave them. Cats are so fussy with food that I tested a few out with small packets – remember that every cat is different so food my cats don’t like may not be the same as what your cats like or dislike!
Foods which are tailored to cats who suffer from, or are prone to FLUTD or similar symptoms usually are easier to digest and flow through the cats systems so that there is less for their digestive systems to be doing. My friend’s cat also suffers from this condition, but to an extreme level (blood in the urine and crystals which must be controlled) always eats food tailored for the condition without exception.
I am not a vet but I did a lot of research, so here are 4 brands I found, that make cat food for cats suffering from FLUTD to help ease their symptoms.
1. Hills Science Plan Cat Food – For younger cats up to 7 years, try Hill’s Science Plan Feline Adult Sensitive Stomach (developed for cats with a delicate stomach, supports digestion and energy consumption) and for older cats (age 7+) try Hill’s Science Plan Mature Adult Sterilised Cat, which is for neutered cats and has low fat contents, balanced mineral contents for healthy kidney functions.
2. Sanabelle – Unfortunately not easily found on the high street but a good alternative if you don’t mind buying online and your cats won’t eat the other brands. They say, ‘Sanabelle Urinary Cat Food for adult cats with sensitive urinary tracts, reduces stress on the kidneys and abstergent organs, exceptionally tasty and digestible.’
3. Royal Canin - Royal Canin Sterilised 37 is for neutered cats, and helps control the weight. It contains L-Carnitine and promotes a healthy urinal tract.
4. Purina Pro Plan – Try their Pro Plan Cat Adult Chicken & Rice cat food for cats up to 7 years of age – it contains chicken, ‘with Natural Feline Protection and the OptiRenal nutrient mixture for optimal kidney health.’
Specialised food will definitely cost more than high street cat food but the ingredients are usually higher quality and contain more meat and of course, if your pet suffers from this condition, you have to try and ease the symptoms.
I have been trying different brands (because this is a multi cat household I am aware all the cats will end up eating it!) and at the moment Benny has been eating Sanabelle Chicken and thankfully they all like it (I figured an easy to digest kibble cant be a bad thing for any of them!). SO far, touch wood, no conditions have returned and no requirement for more drugs and NO TOILET PROBLEMS!
Has your cat ever suffered from FLUTD? How did you know and how was it treated? Can you recommend any other cat foods?