Many FLUTD cases are influenced by stress, and a thorough analysis of the cat’s environment at home can identify influencing factors. Stress can appear in many forms in cats, and can be hard to recognise. The cause of the stress can be even harder to pin-point, and therefore hard to manage. Stress can come about from changes in their home environment such as visitors, owner away, new animals, stray animals outside, aggression between other animals in the household, moving house, building construction or renovations. For some, it could be something as simple as moving the furniture! Sometimes we never identify the stressful factor.
Stress can be a factor in diseases such as idiopathic cystitis, and urethral obstruction.
Diseases such as crystalluria (crystal formation in the urine) and urolithiasis (bladder stone formation) are often influenced by diet, but can also be influence by recurrent urinary tract infections.
Urinary tract infections are more common in females than in males, but can occur in any animal at any age. Diet may have some influence over the risk of infection if the urine pH is affected by nutrition. Infections are less likely to occur in acidic urine, compared to basic (alkaline) urine. Cystitis and obstructions are often reported to be more common in overweight cats.
Bladder tumours are relatively uncommon in cats, but are more likely to occur in older animals. Tumours often develop in the region where the urethra connects to the bladder, sometimes causing straining, and often causing bloody urine.