Feline Bladder Disease

Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) is one of the most serious and distressing cat diseases confronting owners and veterinarians. FUS occurs in all breeds and ages, male and female, neutered and non-neutered, indoor and outdoor cats, and in those fed all type foods.

Feline urinary problems are currently the subject of much research, but the exact cause is still unknown and considered very complex. Predisposing factors include obesity, inactivity and poor quality diet.


  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Bloody urine
  • Frequent trips to the litter box
  • Straining while in a squatting position
  • Urinating in unaccustomed places about the house

FUS includes two syndromes, an apparent cystitis seen in both males and females and urethral obstruction, a condition limited primarily to males. Obstructed cats may vomit or drool, cry with pain, strain constantly, or have a tender abdomen. These later signs develop when the cat cannot pass urine because of sand stones or mucus plugs in the urethra obstructing the flow of urine from the bladder. If a veterinarian does not relieve the obstruction promptly, the cat may suffer irreversible kidney damage or die!


FUS is easily diagnosed based on history, physical exam and urinalysis. If obstruction is present, it is imperative that blood tests be done to evaluate kidney function and electrolyte levels so that appropriate fluid therapy can be administered


Treatment for FUS cystitis usually involves the administration of subcutaneous fluids and antibiotics. In many cases, the cystitis is non-bacterial in origin, but antibiotic administration is usually recommended. For cats with obstructive FUS, hospitalization is required. The cat is anesthetized and a small urinary catheter is placed to relieve the obstruction. The bladder is then flushed with sterile saline solution to remove as much debris as possible before the cat is awakened. The catheter is left in place for 24-72 hours and then the cat is monitor for another 12-24 hours after the catheter has been removed to insure that he is urinating freely. If initial blood work has indicated that severe kidney damage has occurred, repeat blood work is indicated prior to release. For cats with a history of recurrent urethral obstruction, surgical intervention is indicated. The procedure involves a widening of the urethral to allow small particles to pass through unobstructed.

Home Care:


  • Antibiotics as directed for the infection
  • Use a MINIMUM of 3 WEEKS!
  • Antispasmodics as directed for spasms and straining
  • Drugs to encourage water consumption, increase urine volume, and stimulate bladder function

Diet: (Most IMPORTANT to prevent RECURRENCE!)

For cats with recurrent FUS, special prescription diets are on of the best tools to prevent recurrence. While these diets are more expensive than the over-the- counter diets, it is a wise investment as treatment for obstructive FUS can cost between $500 and $1500.


  • Encourage exercise


  • Do NOT leave your cat unattended for extended times, indoors or out (days).
  • If you must board your cat, be sure to inform the attendant to watch for danger signs.
  • Check litter pan daily for signs of urination and abnormal urine.


  • Straining to urinate
  • Crying when urinates
  • Urinating in areas other than normal for your cat
  • Frequent trips to litter box
  • Vomiting
  • Refusal to eat
  • Bloody urine
  • Depression
  • Any other abnormality for your cat

Proper diet and urinary acidifiers will successfully manage most cases. Recurrences usually are the result of failure to properly regulate the diet or failure to give medications as directed. In practically EVERY case of recurrence we see, the owner has switched off Prescription Diets!!!


Posted in Feline

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