Feline Urinary Obstruction
Urinary obstruction in cats can be a serious situation that demands immediate attention. If your cat has a complete blockage this can become a life or death situation.
Urinary or urethral obstruction is not uncommon especially in male cats. The urethra of a male cat is a long thin tube as opposed to the shorter, wider tube of a female cat. This leaves it prone to blockages.
Blockages are usually crystals that have built up in the urine, bladder stones or mucus plugs that are lodged and blocking the flow of urine through the urethra.
If your cat has a blockage it needs to be removed immediately. Failure to remove a blockage can result in permanent kidney damage or even death.
How can you tell if your cat has a urethral blockage? You know your cat better than anyone else does. Personality changes are one symptom you can look for. If your cat is showing signs of lethargy, or lack of interest in eating or socializing continue to look for more signs.
If your cat has a blockage, he may become aggressive when held because of the pain that it causes in his abdomen. He may lay around more looking listless and meowing in pain.
Check to see if your cat has urinated in his cat box. If there is no urine in the box, your cat is going back to the box frequently or appears to be straining or crying out in pain when he is trying to urinate, he probably has a blockage.
The quicker you are able to assess your cat and get him to a veterinarian, the better. Time is essential in this case. A urethral blockage is very treatable if your cat is seen soon after symptoms present themselves.
Your veterinarian will quickly be able to tell if a blockage is present by feeling for hardness in the abdomen. If your cat does have a blockage, he will likely need to stay in the hospital overnight for a day or two.
Jeannie McKnight, DVM - Animal Emergency + Urgent Care