2001-Sun May 27 19:35:55 EDT 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A urinary blockage occurs when there is an obstruction in the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. When this happens it is difficult or impossible for a cat to empty the bladder, making it a life-threatening emergency. If your cat is having trouble urinating (see list below), do not delay in having him or her checked by your veterinarian.
Although both male and female cats can develop urethral obstructions, the urethra is particularly narrow in male cats as it must pass through the penis and this makes male cats more prone to urinary blockage. Regardless of gender, the signs in both male and female affected cats are the same.
The material blocking the urethra can comprise several things, including:
Cats that are partially or fully blocked often show some or all of the following signs:
Producing only small drops of urine or none at all
Licking at the genitals or around the base of the tail
Vomiting and/or refusing to eat
Cats can experience partial or complete urinary blockage and their signs can vary greatly. With a partial blockage, an affected cat may seem uncomfortable or in pain and spend excess time repeatedly going in and out of the litter box. An owner may notice urinary accidents around the house or find small puddles of urine (sometimes bloody) in the litter box or unusual places.
As the condition progresses to a full urinary blockage and the cat is unable to pass any urine, the signs become more intense and the cat may experience life-threatening complications. It is common for a blocked cat to vomit, lose its appetite and become extremely lethargic. If left untreated, the urinary blockage can lead to kidney failure and death within 24 to 48 hours.
If your cat is showing any of the above signs, see your veterinarian or go to the nearest emergency clinic immediately.
When gently pressing on your cat’s abdomen, your veterinarian may identify a large, firm and often painful bladder from which urine cannot be emptied manually. Once a urinary blockage is identified, emergency treatment and stabilization is required. Blood and urine tests will usually be recommended to help identify any underlying causes as well as complications associated with the blockage. Radiographs (X-rays) or ultrasound may be recommended to help identify urinary tract stones or other underlying issues.
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.