This review will highlight appropriate animal models for the study of a number of disorders involving changes to lower urinary tract function. A major hurdle to the development of animal models for human lower urinary tract disorders is that the clinical pathophysiology of the latter mostly remain idiopathic. Acute injury/inflammation of otherwise healthy animals has often been used to study effects on a target tissue/organ. However, these “acute” models may not adequately address the characteristics of “chronic” visceral disorders. In addition, the relevance of observed changes following acute injury/inflammation, in terms of possible therapeutic targets, may not reflect that which occurs in the human condition. We have therefore emphasized the situations when animal models are required to investigate lower urinary tract disorders and what they should set out to achieve. In particular we have discussed the merits and disadvantages of a number of paradigms that set out to investigate specific lower urinary tract disorders or situations associated with these conditions. These include animal models of overactive bladder, stress urinary incontinence, ageing and congenital defects of the urinary tract and bladder pain syndrome. Neurourol. Urodynam. 29:603–608, 2010. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.