Feline Urinary Syndrome (FUS) refers to a group of health problems that can affect your cat's lower urinary tract. A significant number of cats treated by veterinarians each year suffer from urinary tract diseases. If not detected early, these conditions can quickly become severe. The best outcome is a very expensive veterinary bill. The worst is death.
FUS and FLUTD encompass a wide range of ailments with many contributing factors. They may be caused by infections, tumors, trauma or congenital defects.
Commonly, when the pH of a cat's urine is alkaline, crystals of magnesium-ammonium-phosphate, called struvite, form and accumulate in the cat's bladder. These sand-like crystals can block the flow of urine, especially in male cats. If the flow is completely shut down, waste products usually eliminated through urine can accumulate in the body quickly. Kidney failure, coma and death may result in as few as 48 hours.
Urinary tract diseases affect all breeds. Neutered males suffer from them most often. In fact, many knowledgeable veterinarians recommend neutering male cats no earlier than 9 months in order to let the urethra grow to its full diameter rather than neutering early and possibly stopping development of the urethra at a smaller size. Larger openings allow larger stones to pass if a cat develops FUS.
Stressful situations -- such as weather changes, moving to a new home, or introducing a new pet into the home -- have been linked to higher incidences of urinary tract disease.
Diets high in ash (particularly magnesium) have been suspected of precipitating problems. Also, problems can recur in cats previously treated for such ailments.
Contact your veterinarian immediately.