Urinary Blockage in Cats
Cats are great household companions and pets. They’re easy to care for, primarily because they take care of themselves and don’t rely on their owners for much. They’re cute, they love to cuddle, and they want to lay in bed on Saturday mornings, without doing anything else, just as much as you do. As a cat owner, you love your furry pet child. That’s why you want to make sure they’re healthy, happy, and aren’t experiencing pain or discomfort.
One of the most painful conditions/problems your cat will experience is a urinary blockage (also calls urinary obstruction). It’s difficult for them to use the bathroom because of pain, discomfort, or possibly due to an infection. Here we’ll detail what you need to know as a cat parent to diagnose and treat the problem.
How to care for a cat with a urinary blockage
First thing’s first, you have to know how to care for cats who are suffering from urinary infections, obstructions, or other forms of discomfort they’re experiencing. Step one is diagnosing whether they’re suffering from this condition. So, let’s start by defining what this condition is, what the common symptoms are, and treatment options if your cat is experiencing an obstruction.
What Causes Urinary Blockages in Cats
Urinary obstructions are caused by sludge, crystals, sand, or small stones clogging the cat’s urethra. The urethra is the tube that leads to the cat’s bladder allowing your cat to urinate. Neutered male cats are the most likely to suffer from urinary blockages. The reason being is that they have a very narrow urethra, so even the smallest stone or crystal from their litter box can cause an obstruction.
It’s not just these small pieces of dirt or cat litter that can cause an obstruction. Although not as common, some other causes might be
- An involuntary muscle spasm or involuntary contraction
- Tumors, and other conditions.
Again, these aren’t common, but it’s important to understand all causes, so you can properly diagnose if your feline friend is suffering from a urinary obstruction or just some other form of pain or discomfort.
Urinary Obstruction Symptoms
Now that we’ve covered the primary causes, what symptoms are frequently present with urinary blockages? Some common symptoms that may indicate your cat is in discomfort and is possibly suffering from this condition include
- Squats, like they are going to pee, however little to no urine comes out
- Strained or frequent urination
- Blood in the urine
If your cat is frequently licking below their tail, this might also be a sign that they’re having a hard time urinating.
With urinary obstruction, infection is common. If your cat can’t urinate, the urine continues to flow into the bladder, which increases pressure, and your cat will experience greater levels of pain. With this condition, toxic elements that leave the cat’s body through its urine, are still inside their body. And, eventually, the cat’s bladder can rupture if owners don’t act quickly to treat it. Therefore, if you notice one or multiple symptoms listed above, you want to move quickly and call your vet, to determine whether your cat is suffering from obstruction or other infections.
How to Prevent Urinary Blockages in Cats
There’s no surefire solution to prevent urinary blockages 100%, it’s simply impossible. However, there are certain steps you can take to minimize the occurrence or possibility that your cat will suffer from this painful infection.
Risk Factors (Vet Diagnosis)
Taking your cat to the vet regularly is one way to prevent urinary blockages. This is because your vet might diagnose risk factors, which increase the possibility of infections, and provide medication to treat it. If your cat has suffered obstructions in the past, your vet can also take preventive approaches, and provide prescriptions, to help prevent them in the future.
When your cat drinks water frequently this helps dilute their urine. It also helps them urinate more frequently. This is imperative to help prevent obstructions and also for their general health.
Environmental enrichment has been proven to help prevent infections in pets. Therefore, make sure your home is a comfortable environment for your cat. Make sure you maintain a regular schedule for them and provide a happy, healthy household. This will not only help prevent infection but can also help extend their lifespan as well.
Litter Box Management
A clean litter box is a healthy litter box; it’s also key to preventing clumping and other large crystal formation in their litter. If possible keep more than one litter box at home. And, ensure it’s easy for them to access freely.
Proper Steps in Treatment for Urinary Blockages
The treatment plan will vary in each case. Therefore, the first step is determining if it is an obstruction or something else. You’ll want to
- Take your pet to the vet regularly and take them in immediately if you believe they’re suffering from urinary obstruction
- Once diagnosed, follow the care tips provided by your vet
- Use medication at the right time and the right dosage level
- Surgery options (discuss this option and safety/risks)
- In some cases, injections are necessary and in some cases, surgical procedures might be necessary to treat the condition
Urinary Blockage Discomfort & Pain
Quick diagnosis and taking your cat to the vet as soon as possible is the best treatment plan. From there, your vet can diagnose, provide medication, and other treatment instructions, based upon your cat’s specific situation, and the type of blockage or infection they’re suffering from.
The last thing you want as a cat (pet) parent, is to see your furry loved ones in pain or discomfort. Urinary blockages are going to cause a significant level of discomfort for your cat. Although it’s impossible to prevent an obstruction 100%, there are a few steps you can take to safeguard the litter box and to help create a safer environment for your cat. You’ll want to take these steps. Furthermore, you might take a trip to your vet’s office, if you see the symptoms aren’t lessening as time passes and with treatment.
Every cat owner loves their feline family members. These are some of the most important aspects you’ll need to consider as it pertains to your cat’s health, urinary blockages, treatment, possible steps for prevention, and understanding the symptoms, so you can get the required assistance as soon as possible. If your cat is in pain or discomfort, there are treatments to help.
Make sure you move quickly and don’t let those symptoms linger for too long. The sooner you treat the problem and underlying issues which are causing the pain, the quicker your cat will get back on their feet, and start cuddling up with you in bed once again.
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What Causes Urinary Blockages in Cats?
Urinary obstructions are caused by sludge, crystals, sand, or small stones clogging the cat’s urethra. The urethra is the tube that leads to the cat’s bladder allowing your cat to urinate. Neutered male cats are the most likely to suffer from urinary blockages.