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The causes of urinary tract problems in felines

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Karla Kirby

Urinary problems in cats can be caused by many different disorders including infections, bladder stones, urethral obstructions, and a condition known as feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC). The name when broken down simply means “an inflammation of unknown origin in the urinary bladder of a cat.” FIC is called feline idiopathic lower urinary tract disease (FiLUTD) or feline urologic syndrome FUS as well. FIC has been estimated to have an effect on up to 1% of the cat population.

Common signs of FIC include straining to urinate, urinating outside of the litter box, or the presence of blood in the urine.

Despite many years of investigation, the cause of FIC remains unknown. Issues that may play a role in the development of the disease include type of diet fed--particularly dry food diets with high mineral content, viruses, stress, confinement to a strictly indoor atmosphere, and genetic factors--longhaired cats seem to be more commonly affected.

How FIC is treated can be simple or it can be complex. The first step is finding out the original cause of the symptoms. Let your vet to execute some fundamental tests to decide if stones or an infection is present. If an underlying condition is established, it should be treated.

Accept the fact that there is no cure. This is something some felines will often have to battle with their whole lives. However, there are many ways to minimize the symptoms and effect on your and your cat's life.

• Treatment often involves switching to canned food. Generally, kitty won’t complain.

• Cut down on stress in the home; if you have a dog that your cat doesn't care for, see to it, she/she has a place to escape such as a designated, peaceful kitty room.

• Keep your kitty mentally healthy by playing with him/her at least 10 minutes each day, preferably more than one session each day as well.

• Make sure your cat's surroundings are motivating and inspiring. Guarantee you have ample beds, scratching posts, interesting windows to look out, bird feeders, toys and catnip plants.

• Check to see if your cat's health insurance covers urinary conditions, because many do. If you don’t have pet insurance, it is wise to invest in it right away. Why not check into it today?

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