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Urinary Obstruction In Cats

Education > Cat Health & Behaviour 1st March 2019
 


Male cats are more prone to urinary blockage because their urethra is much narrower than female cats. Obstructions may be caused by mucous plugs of inflammatory material or small stones passing from the bladder through the urethra.

To relieve the obstruction, your vet will usually need to sedate or anaesthetise your cat. X-rays or ultrasound may be needed to determine the underlying cause and treatment method. Often, a catheter is passed into the urethra to infuse a sterile saline solution into the bladder and flush out the plug or sediment. Cystotomy is performed to remove bladder stones.

If the obstruction is not relieved, urine builds up and the bladder may rupture. It can also lead to irreversible kidney damage and eventual death. A 'blocked" cat should be treated as soon as possible.

SIGNS OF URINARY PROBLEMS

  • Straining when urinating
  • Frequent attempts to urinate
  • Vocalising when urinating
  • Urinating in unusual places
  • Incontinence (loss of urine control)
  • Blood in urine

Cats that experience recurring or severe episodes of urethral obstruction may require a surgical procedure called Perineal Urethrostomy to create a wider urethral opening to prevent recurrent obstruction. PU does not prevent urinary tract inflammation or stone formation. However, the wider urethral opening (like the female anatomy) provides a wider passageway for plugs, crystals or small stones to be passed out. The likelihood of future obstruction will be decreased.

TIPS TO PREVENT URINARY PROBLEMS

  • Ensure your cats have access to fresh drinking water.
  • Ensure your cats have opportunities to urinate frequently.
  • Provide extra litter boxes in multi-cat families, at different parts of the house and keep the boxes clean.
  • Discuss with your vet about special diets to prevent stone formation.
  • Keep your pets trim. Overweight pets are more prone to urinary problems and other diseases.




MY PET IS NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER. WHAT CAN I DO?

  • Always make sure fresh water is available and change it regularly.
  • If your pet prefers running water, try a water fountain.
  • Experiment to see if your pet prefers shallow or deep bowls, stainless steel or ceramic bowls.
  • Add water to food whether it is dry or canned food. Start with a small amount.
  • Add flavouring to the water by mixing in small amounts of broth or canned food.
  • Use a syringe to feed small amount of water through the side of the mouth.