Urethral Obstruction in Cats

A condition called urethral obstruction (blocked urethra ) in cats is a serious problem. This can occur in both male and female cats, but is more common in male cats. Males have a narrower and longer urethra, so, they are more susceptible to getting blocked.

Several issues can cause an obstruction in a male cat:

  • A plug, made up of proteins, cells, crystals and/or debris in the bladder that can eventually build and lodge in the urethra.
  • A urolith, a small stone or several small stones that form in the bladder can block the urethra.
  • Inflammation or spasms in the urethra.

If your cat is experiencing any of the following symptoms please contact your local veterinarian.

  • Several Attempts to use the bathroom and no urine or a small amount of urine is produced
  • Crying and straining to urinate
  • Discomfort
  • Very agitated
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in urine
  • Urinating in inappropriate places

Urinating behavior can change over the course of a few days, depending on the underlying cause. Urethral obstruction is very painful and if your cat is unable to urinate, it is a life-threatening emergency. If left untreated it can cause damage in just a few hours and lead to acute-kidney failure and death within 2-3 days.

If your veterinarian finds your cat to be obstructed, after running some diagnostic tests such as blood, urine, radiographs and/or ultrasound, they will need to relieve the obstruction quickly. Anesthesia will be required.

After diagnosing and treating your kitty, long-term management may be necessary. You would need to speak to your Veterinarian to find out what is best for your cat and you.