Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is considered to be one of the most common diagnoses in feline patients. Several authors have concluded that feline idiopathic cystitis is the most common cause of FLUTD, whereas infectious cystitis is diagnosed in only 2% of the cases. In the period from January 2003 to February 2005, 134 cats that presented with signs of lower urinary tract disorders were included in a study at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. Ninety-seven percent were first opinion cases. All the cats went through a physical examination, and blood samples were collected for haematology and clinical chemistry. The urine analysis included urine stix, specific gravity, microscopic examination of the sediment and microbiological culturing. The urine samples were collected as voided mid-stream urine samples, by catheter or by cystocentesis and the method used was registered. Of the 134 cats included in the study, 37% were diagnosed as having obstructive and 63% as having non-obstructive FLUTD. In total 44 cats (33%) were diagnosed with bacteriuria, exceeding 103 colony forming units per millilitre (cfu/ml) and 33 (25%) of these cats had bacterial growth exceeding 104 cfu/ml, either alone or in combination with crystals and/or uroliths. Six cats (18%) with bacterial growth exceeding 104 cfu/ml were older than 8 years. No significant difference was found between the sampling methods performed with regard to bacteriuria. This study indicates that bacteriuria may have been underdiagnosed in Norwegian cats with clinical signs of FLUTD. It also confirms the importance of microbiological culturing in first opinion cases with FLUTD and that a skilled operator can get representative samples regardless the choice of method.