Do you own a male cat? Has your male cat ever urinated inappropriately in your home? Has he ever strained in the litter box and produced only a small amount of urine? Has he ever urinated blood? If the answer to any of these questions is yes continue reading. If the answer is no, well, continue reading anyway because this stuff is cool.
Male cats who urinate inappropriately around the home or litter box may have a disease process called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease or FLUTD for short. This is an umbrella term for a number of processes that can cause our male cats to urinate blood, urinate small amounts pee, urinate around the litter box, and many others. The most common cause of these clinical signs is Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC), put another way, we do not know the cause. Other known causes include mucous plugs, blood clots, and urinary bladder stones. Interestingly, less than two percent of male cats with these clinical signs will have a urinary tract infection.
If your male cat is exhibiting any of these signs you should see your family veterinarian as soon as possible. Cats who go untreated may develop a urinary obstruction leaving them unable to urinate. Over time their urinary bladder will continue to fill like a balloon until the urine backs up into their kidneys. This may be life threatening and requires immediate medical intervention.
For those male cats who are still able to urinate and have a diagnosis of FIC it is speculated that stress may play a large role in the disease process. While our indoor cats may not appear anxious, worried, or unhappy keep in mind we have taken them out of their natural habitat. Behavior and environmental modifications are often described as destressors.
As you can see, male cats have a unique disease and the veterinary community is still working on an all encompassing treatment. If your male cat is exhibiting these behaviors be sure to discuss them with your family veterinarian.