In the last several years, the stress-related component to FLUTD has become better recognized, and behavioral medications have become an important tool in the management of this syndrome.
I, too, questioned the recommendation to allow such cats access to the outdoors, and all of my own cats for the last 10 years have been inside-only. That is, until we met Lional, a 1-lb orange ball of puff-tailed Cymric kitten that has allowed us to look after his needs for the last two years.
As Lional matured, he began to have constant urinary tract issues in our house that resulted in additional litter boxes, different types of litter, constant cleaning and medical intervention, and finally thick, clear shower curtains on all our bedding. Tremendously intelligent, he outwitted all of the common recommendations for this problem, and I feared we were going to have to put him down or, sadly, kennel him. He considered himself one of the dogs and finally, in desperation, we let him out with the dogs in our yard, and a miracle occurred—his urine cleared up and he stopped urinating inappropriately.
Lional comfy inside the house.
Although we worry about him when he is out, my family has accepted the risks and enjoy watching the orange blur as he darts around the yard (he is never out if we are not home and always in at night). We know this is not ideal, but it has allowed us to coexist with this delightful creature, and we are better for it. We are working on introducing him to invisible fencing. Wish us luck!
M. Kirby Harriss, DVM