Cat Bladder Blockage

The cat bladder can be affected by a number of medical problems. Bladder blockage is a problem affecting mostly male cats. The condition is caused by the obstruction of the urethra, which transports the urine from the bladder to outside and will manifest through lack of urination for more than 12 hours.

Causes of Bladder Blockage

Bladder blockage in felines may be caused by a number of problems:

  • Urinary infections, causing the inflammation of the urethra
  • Cysts
  • Polyps
  • Bladder tumors
  • Bladder stones, caused by an unsuitable diet that is high in minerals
  • Mucus blocking the urethra

Symptoms of Cat Bladder Blockage

Feline bladder blockage is an extremely painful condition and the pet will be very vocal or lethargic and display hiding behavior. Look out for symptoms such as a swollen abdomen and frequent vomiting. The warning sign for you should be the lack of urination for more than 12 hours. You should know your cat's urination patterns and keep an eye on the litter box. A cat with urinary blockage will linger around the litter box, and will strain to urinate but will not be able to eliminate anything. If the cat's condition is advanced, you will notice yellow eye whites and the cat will be confused and unable to stand.

Detecting Bladder Blockage

If the cat doesn't urinate for more than 12 hours, this can be an indication he has bladder blockage, but the vet will need to back this theory by performing a few tests. X-rays and ultrasounds will be needed to see if the obstructive object can be identified. If the vet suspects a tumor, a cell biopsy will be performed to help determine the best course of treatment.

Veterinary care is needed for a cat with bladder blockage, as the condition can be fatal within a few hours. This is due to the fact that the toxins in the urine are not eliminated and return to the cat's system.

Bladder Blockage Treatment

The treatment for bladder blockage will consist of treating the underlying condition.

If the cat has a urinary infection that causes swelling of the urethra, blocking the bladder, the vet will prescribe some antibiotics. A catheter may be inserted to eliminate the urine from the bladder. The bladder will also be flushed out with a sterile solution.

Surgery is a treatment option if the cat has a cyst, a polyp, bladder stones or a tumor that needs to be removed to allow him to urinate. In some cases, the surgery may be risky and the vet may decide against the procedure. Bladder stones may also be dissolved with medication or a change in the diet, but if the stones cause blockage, surgery is the only option.

If the condition is fixed, the vet will prescribe a special diet to prevent future bladder blockages. If the blockage is recurrent, a perineal urethrostomy will be recommended, which will enlarge the urethra.