Treating a Cat With Urinary Blockage Problems

Cat urinary problems are common and treatable, but left unattended, a cat urinary tract infection (UTI) can lead to a dangerous urethral blockage. Blockage usually affects neutered and male cats due to their long and narrow urethra.

Symptoms of Cat Urinary Infection

A cat urinary infection causes several typical symptoms:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Passing only small amounts of urine
  • Pain during urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Inappropriate urination
  • Incontinence

Often, a cat urinary problem is accompanied by the presence of stones or crystals, which form in the urine. These hard, mineralized crystals can block the passage of urine, causing a toxic buildup in the kidneys. It can be fatal.

Symptoms of a cat urinary blockage are the same as above, but your cat will become increasingly distressed, often crying out in pain. This is a medical emergency for your cat; urination is impossible and the condition must be treated professionally.

Urinary Blockage Treatment

In male cats, the penis may protrude during a blockage. It may be possible to massage the abdomen and gently manipulate the penis to relieve some of the pressure. This is not a substitute for immediate veterinary care, but a palliative measure to be taken in the interim.

Your veterinarian will usually catheterize your cat and drain the bladder. This will require sedation or anesthesia.

Dietary management may prevent the condition from recurring, but if your cat blocks repeatedly, surgery may be necessary. A perineal urethrostomy may be performed to correct obstruction to the urine flow. This operation will not prevent future bladder infections, but it will prevent dangerous blockages.

Preventing Bladder Stones

A special diet can dissolve and prevent the formation of bladder crystals. These foods, available by prescription through your veterinarian, are formulated to provide suitable nutritional support for UTI-prone cats.

When feeding commercial cat food, choose the highest quality brand available. Opt for a food that lists a named meat as the primary ingredient, and avoid foods that contain soy, wheat, or corn.

A canned food diet is often preferable to dry kibble. Wet foods provide more fluid, which keeps your cat better hydrated and reduces the concentration of urine.

More Tips to Prevent Feline UTI

Other tips to prevent feline urinary tract infections include:

  • Provide unlimited fresh water
  • Keep litter boxes clean and accessible
  • Put litter boxes in safe, stress-free locations
  • Feed smaller amounts more frequently
  • Avoid free choice feeding in favor of twice daily feeding
  • Maintain a healthy weight

As many as 5 percent of cats will suffer from a UTI at some point during their lifetime. Learn to identify the signs and symptoms to prevent this common condition from becoming a serious illness.