urethral obstruction in cats

What is Urethral Obstruction in Cats?

What is it?

Urethral obstruction in cats is a blockage of the urethra that prevents normal urination. A build-up of crystals, stones, or other debris in the bladder commonly causes it. This condition is a medical emergency that requires immediate veterinary care.

How is it Treated?

Urethral obstruction in cats is an emergency condition that requires immediate veterinary attention. Treatment typically involves relieving the obstruction through catheterization or surgery, providing supportive care such as IV fluids and pain management, and addressing any underlying causes or predisposing factors to prevent a recurrence. In addition, long-term management may involve dietary and lifestyle modifications.

Breed Predispositions

Male cats, particularly those that are overweight, are at a higher risk of developing urethral obstruction. However, there is no specific breed predisposition for this condition.


During her morning routine, Emily noticed her usually energetic tabby cat, Oliver, acting lethargic and struggling to use the litter box. Worried about his sudden change in behavior, she wasted no time in seeking the help of her trusted veterinarian.

Urethral obstruction in cats means the urethra is blocked. It occurs when something blocks the flow of urine out of the bladder. The most common type of urethral trauma occurs when the tip of the penis becomes blocked by a piece of debris, like a hairball. This happens because the cat urinates while lying down, and the penis is bent over. When the penis straightens out, the debris moves into the urethra.

Urethral obstruction can cause difficulty in passing urine and urethral spasm, leading to a build-up of urine in the bladder called urosepsis. In extreme cases, an infection can spread to other body parts. In addition, the blockage can lead to life-threatening bacterial urinary tract infections and permanent kidney damage if left untreated.

The urethra is the tube through which urine passes from the bladder to the external body. In cats, this tube runs along the underside of the penis (penile urethra) and continues down the back side of the cat’s abdomen (abdominal urethra). It then emerges at the tip of the tail (coccygeal urethra), joining the urinary tract.

The urethra is surrounded by periurethral tissue containing blood vessels and nerves. This area is called the trigone because it forms three sides around the opening of the urethra. The trigone is covered by skin, so you’ll see a small hole when you look inside your cat’s mouth. This is the external meatus or opening into the urethra.

What Causes Feline Urethral Blockage?

Urolithiasis is the medical term used to describe the presence of calculi within the urinary bladder. Urolithiasis (urine stones) is quite common in cats and is reported in 28–58% of all cases of feline lower urinary tract disease. These tiny bits of rock are typically composed of calcium oxalate, uric acid, cystine, struvite, or some combination thereof. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to determine what is causing the problem.

  • Struvite stones are the least dangerous type of stones. These stones are formed when bacteria multiply inside the kidneys and cause inflammation. This leads to crystal formation. Kidney stones are typically composed of calcium oxalate.
  • Uric acid stones are high levels of uric acid in the blood. High levels of uric acid are often seen in gout patients.
  • Calcium phosphate stones are the third most common type of stone. Calcium phosphate stones are formed when too much phosphorus is in the urine. Too much phosphorus causes calcium deposits to build up in the kidneys.
  • Cystine stones are rare because cysteine is one of the building blocks of protein. When there is too much cysteine in the body, it forms crystals.
What Causes Urethral Obstruction in cats?

Urethral Plugs cause another Urethral Blockage

A plug is formed when there is an accumulation of mucus within the urethra. This occurs most commonly due to physical obstruction of urine flow out of the bladder. Inflammation of the bladder wall causes swelling of the tissue surrounding the urethra. When the bladder fills with fluid, it pushes against the urethra, causing pressure and compression. This can lead to a blockage of the urethra and cause a plug to form.

Plug formation is usually caused by an inflammatory process such as cystitis (infection), prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), or orchitis (inflammation of testicles). Cystoscopy (inserting a scope into the bladder via the penis) can help determine what type of inflammation is present.

What are the Signs of Feline Urinary Blockage?

Symptoms of urethral obstruction in cats vary depending on the type of obstruction present. However, some common symptoms include urinating frequently,straining while peeing, and weight loss. Other clinical signs may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and depression.

Other signs of urethral obstruction include:

  • strain to urinate
  • pain when urinating
  • blood in the urine
  • swelling around the genitals
  • painful ejaculation
  • fever

Diagnosis of Urethral Obstruction in Cats

Emergency care is needed if you notice any symptoms of urethral blockage. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough exam to determine whether the obstruction is partial or complete. Partial blocks often resolve within a few days, but a complete one requires immediate attention. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening.

Surgical removal is required if a foreign body, such as a hairball, causes the obstruction. Surgery involves making small incisions around the base of the penis, gently pushing the object out, and closing the wounds. Some vets use ultrasound guidance to make sure the procedure is successful.

After surgery, your pet needs close monitoring. He’ll likely experience pain and discomfort for several weeks. During this period, he’ll probably drink less in his water bowl, eat less food, and become lethargic. You’ll want to keep him confined to reduce his stress and help him heal. Afterward, he’ll usually resume normal activities.

Treatment for Urinary Blockage in Cats

Treatment for Urinary Blockage in Cats

Urinary blockage is a medical emergency that requires immediate veterinary care. Emergency treatment often involves alleviating the obstruction and treating any associated conditions. To relieve the obstruction, veterinarians perform a cystotomy (also called urethral catheterization), where a small incision is made into the bladder; vets then insert a urinary catheter, and the urine is drained. Once the obstruction is relieved, antibiotics are administered to prevent further bladder infections and urethral irritations.

Male cats with recurrent urinary blockages should undergo a surgical procedure known as perineostomy. (Compared with the reported recurrence rate of 35% and 36%, there were several limitations to the current study of cats) During this procedure, a hole is cut in the skin covering the anus, and the opening is sutured shut. The purpose of this procedure is to allow urine to drain out of the body via the rectum.

Perineal urethrostomy is another option for male cats with repeated urethral obstructions. During this procedure, the surgeon creates a channel from the outer part of the penis to the outside of the abdomen. This allows urine to pass directly out of the body.

Cats undergoing surgery for urinary blockages will likely require general anesthesia and hospitalization. Recovery times vary depending on the type of procedure performed.

Prevention of Urinary Blockage in Cats

Urethral obstruction in male cats is common. They occur because urine gets trapped inside the bladder, causing it to swell. This causes pain and discomfort for your feline friend. If left untreated, it could lead to kidney failure. Fortunately, there are ways you can keep your cat healthy and happy while preventing urinary stones. Here are some tips to keep your kitty happy and healthy.

  1. Feed Your Cat Urinary Diet – Cats do best on dry foods. Cats that eat dry foods are less likely to develop obstruction. In addition, dry food has lower rates of developing renal disease. Make sure your cat eats plenty of wet food too, but make sure they do not overeat. Too much-wet food can cause diarrhea and excessive drinking.
  2. Give Your Cat Water – Give them a drink if your cat seems thirsty. You can use a bowl filled with fresh water or a water bottle. Avoid giving your cat anything acidic, like orange juice or soda. These drinks can irritate their stomach lining.
  3. Monitor Your Cat’s Activity Level – Wait to let your cat run around the house with supervision. They might accidentally knock something over or fall downstairs. This could injure your cat or even kill them. Keep an eye on your cat at all times so you know when they need attention.
  4. Watch Out For Signs Of Pain – Your cat may show signs of pain if they have trouble urinating. Try to figure out what is going on before it becomes severe. If you notice your cat has difficulty urinating, immediately take them to the vet.
  5. Use A Cat Litter Box – A litter box is essential for keeping your cat clean and comfortable. Place one in each room where your cat spends time. In addition, cleaning out the crate regularly helps prevent urinary tract disease.
  6. Provide Plenty Of Toys And Exercise – Toys and exercise help stimulate your cat mentally. Playtime is essential for cats’ mental well-being. When your cat plays with toys, they use its mind and body. This keeps him

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, cat litter can cause urinary blockage!

Cat Litter is a substance used to absorb urine from the floor. It consists of tiny particles of clay, sand, sawdust, wood chips, etc., mixed and then pressed into a solid mass. The mixture comprises approximately 50% clay, 25% sand, 20% sawdust, 5% cornstarch, and 10% water. This product is commonly sold in plastic bags or boxes.

The most common type of cat litter is called “clumping” because when wet, the clumps stick together and form a ball. Clumping cat litters contain chemicals such as bentonite clay, which help bind the litter’s particles together. When wet, these chemicals release gases that expand and harden the litter. Once dry, the hardened material becomes very dense and sticks to itself.

Clumping cat litters are generally safe for cats and dogs. However, consult your veterinarian immediately if you notice any unusual behavior in your pet. In addition, some pets may suffer from respiratory problems due to the dust the clumping litter produces. If this happens, try switching to another kind of litter.

The percentage of male cats getting blocked varies from one country to another. In some countries, like Germany, there are no statistics available. However, the most common reason for stopping a male cat is neutering.

Neutering is done when the cat reaches six months old. It is usually done at the veterinary clinic, where the vet injects hormones into the testicles. This causes them to shrink and eventually fall off. You should check out your local veterinarian’s website to know what percentage of male cats get neutered. They might provide this kind of information.

Treating cats with urinary blockages costs around $300-$500 per cat. The most common cause of urinary blockages is stoning. Stones are minor minerals inside the bladder due to insufficient water intake. They usually do not affect the health of the animal. However, they can cause discomfort and pain if left untreated.

Perineal urethrostomies are surgical procedures where the bladder neck is moved from its normal position into the scrotum. The process is done through a small incision made around the penis. Next, a tube (urethral stoma) is inserted into the bladder’s new opening. This allows urine to drain directly from the body rather than pass through the urethra.

The most common reason for this type of surgery is when there is damage to the urinary tract due to injury or disease. Other causes include congenital disabilities such as ectopic ureter or vesicoureteral reflux. In some cases, the patient may choose to undergo the operation after they have had their prostate removed.

A perineal urethrostomy is usually recommended if the patient cannot urinate because of problems with the lower part of the urinary system. It is often used as a temporary measure until further treatment can occur.

This procedure is usually carried out under general anesthetic. However, local anesthesia is sometimes used. The surgeon makes a small cut at the base of the penis and inserts a catheter which drains urine away from the bladder. The catheter is left in place for several weeks while the wound heals.

After the wound has healed, the catheter is removed, and the urethral stoma is closed. However, the urethral stoma remains open for approximately three months before healing occurs. During this period, the patient must wear a pad underneath his clothing to collect any urine that leaks out. After the stoma has healed, the patient should be able to urinate easily.

There are many different types of stomas. Some patients prefer a simple hole in the skin, whereas others want a flap of tissue to cover the stoma. There are also variations in how the stoma is attached to the skin. Most surgeons use a technique called ‘endoscopic’ stoma creation. This involves making a small incision in the groin area and inserting a camera into the bladder. Using this image, the surgeon can see exactly what he is doing. He can then make the incisions to insert the tubes into the bladder.

Urologists perform these operations in specialist centers. Patients who require this kind of surgery are usually referred by their GP.

A cat can pass a urethral blockage if they receive immediate medical attention. A veterinarian will attempt to clear the obstruction and may perform surgery to remove the blockage.

Some possible signs of a cat with a urethral blockage include showing mild to severe symptoms of urinary tract obstruction, such as reluctance to urinate, straining when urinating, blood in the urine, and excessive crying out. In some cases, cats may also have difficulty walking or moving around due to their inability to get an adequate urine flow.

While it is difficult to estimate the rate of feline urethral obstruction, based on population-based studies, rates appear to be low. For example, in one study that examined veterinary records from a large metropolitan area, 1% of all male cats and 0.5% of female cats underwent intervention for a urethral obstruction between 2006 and 2007.

Most vets recommend against unblocking a cat’s urethra without first consulting a veterinarian. There is a very high risk of causing further injury if the procedure is not done correctly. Potential consequences could be if the blocked urine flow becomes intense or persistently problematic.

It can cause secondary infections such as urinary tract infections or feline idiopathic cystitis. If you are concerned that your cat may have an obstruction in its urinary tract, it would be best to schedule an appointment with a vet as soon as possible.

Cats with urethral blockage in their urinary tract will likely have urine that smells bad and is dark in color. They may also have difficulty walking, standing, or getting up from a sitting position. If you think your cat may have a blocked urethra, you should immediately take them to the vet.

A urinary blockage can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the severity of the situation. The cat may experience more severe complications and not survive if there is significant inflammation or infection.

Urinary blockages are quite common in male cats. It can happen when a small mass ( calculus) forms in the bladder and blocks urine flow from the bladder. The most common cause is a struvite stone, which begins when urine collects and hardens. Other causes include a foreign body in the urinary tract (such as a piece of straw), an inflammatory condition of the bladder or urethra, or cancer.

Some cats may feel pain and begin exhibiting signs of anxiety or discomfort. Many cats will attempt to drink more water, but if they cannot pass the blockage, they may become depressed and refuse food or shelter. Some veterinarians recommend complementary treatments such as analgesics (pain relievers) and supplements that help promote natural urine flow, such as ginger extract or cranberry juice.

In treating urinary blockage, you can try to flush the obstruction with water and saline. If this does not work, you may need to take your cat to a veterinarian for professional treatment.

A urinary blockage may resolve itself over time if the cause of the backup is corrected. For example, antibiotics may be necessary to clear it up if there is an infection. If a stone or other obstruction is causing the problem, surgery may be required to remove it.

The prognosis for cats with minor urinary blockages depends on the severity and location of the obstruction. In general, if the cat can be treated promptly and effectively, surgery may be optional. However, surgery may be required to remove the blockage if the block is severe or located in a particularly difficult-to-treat area (i.e., near the bladder neck). The prognosis following surgical intervention is generally good; however, some cats experience ongoing urinary tract infections due to blocked urethras.

Several cats are at risk of urethral obstruction. These include males, older cats, and those who have had surgery near their urethras or have a blockage in their urine flow.

Cats that develop with one kidney may experience increased urination and some degree of dehydration, but they are otherwise healthy. A single kidney can typically function adequately without support from the other one. Some cats may require additional fluids or medication to maintain their hydration levels, but these issues should resolve over time as the cat’s body adjusts to having a single kidney.

Some cats are more prone to developing urinary crystals or stones than others. Some common causes of the urethral sphincter in cats include a diet high in calcium, magnesium, or other minerals; stress; drinking too much water; and being overweight or having diabetes.

There are many potential causes of urethral plugs in cats, but the most common is male feline urine crystals. These deposits can form when a cat’s urinary bladder cannot expel its contents as regularly or completely as it should. Urine crystals can also form if an obstruction in the cat’s urinary tract, such as an enlarged prostate or fibrous tissue, blocks urine flow.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this veterinary website is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a licensed veterinarian for any concerns or questions regarding the health and well-being of your pet. This website does not claim to cover every possible situation or provide exhaustive knowledge on the subjects presented. The owners and contributors of this website are not responsible for any harm or loss that may result from the use or misuse of the information provided herein.

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