2001-Sat May 26 10:03:36 EDT 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Male cats have what could charitably be called “a design flaw” in their urinary system. The tube that drains urine from the bladder is longer than in female cats and passes through the penis, which means that it is narrow and thus easily blocked by plugs or stones. Material that might pass through the urinary tract of a female cat may not make it through the longer, narrow urinary passage of a male.
For some cats, preventive care isn’t always sufficient, and they are more likely to be blocked. Surgery may be necessary to remove urinary tract stones that could lead to future blockages. When this happens, your veterinarian will typically anesthetize your cat and insert a catheter to allow the urine to flow again and to flush the material blocking the urethra. Your cat will likely need to remain hospitalized on IV fluids after this procedure, to keep things moving and to allow time and medication to reduce the swelling and pain.
For some cats, preventive care, prompt attention to blockages and follow-up care will not be enough to prevent life-threatening blockages. For these cats, surgery to create a wider urethra may be the best option.
The procedure, which is known as a perineal urethrostomy, involves creating a new opening in a different location that provides a wider pathway for urine, which eliminates blockages. It’s delicate surgery; your veterinarian may refer you to a surgical specialist with more experience in handling the procedure. Follow-up care includes confining your cat to an area lined with shredded paper or paper pellet litter and having him wear an Elizabethan collar for a week or two while the incision heals. Your cat may be prescribed medications to prevent infection following the surgery, and regular rechecks over the next few months will ensure that the surgery is providing relief as it was intended.
While surgery — and surgery that alters the penis, no less — may seem like a difficult choice, it really shouldn’t be, from a medical standpoint. Redesigning the “plumbing” of a male cat with problems is a good long-term solution to a chronic, life-threatening problem. After your cat heals, his chances of having a long, pain-free life improve immensely.
And, really, what more could you want from a surgical procedure?
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.