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How To Prevent Urinary Blockage In Cats

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How Is A Perineal Urethrostomy Surgery Performed

Urinary Blockage in Cats, and How to Prevent It

Your cat will undergo a pre-surgical examination, as well as pre-anesthetic blood testing prior to anesthesia. This pre-surgical evaluation will allow your veterinarian to assess your cats health status and ensure that he is a good candidate for anesthesia.

“If your cat is currently obstructed, he will be stabilized prior to surgery.”

If your cat is currently obstructed, he will be stabilized prior to surgery. This stabilization will involve administering intravenous fluids to correct dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities. Pre-surgical stabilization will make your cat a better candidate for anesthesia and decrease the likelihood of complications.

How Much Moisture Is In The Cat Food

Whats the percentage of moisture in the cat food youre considering? The higher the number, the better for your kitty. More moisture means your cat will urinate more. Increased urination will flush out any crystals that may be trying to form in your cats urinary tract. Canned cat food has a higher moisture content than dry.

Also Read: Best Wet And Canned Cat Food

How To Prevent Urinary Blockages In Cats

In some cases, your veterinarian may identify a particular risk factor that increases the chances that your cat will become blocked. For example, a cat who has a history of developing urinary crystals or stones made of struvite will often benefit from eating a food that contains low levels of magnesium and phosphorus and promotes a urinary pH that makes it less likely that crystals will form. If your cat has a history of urinary blockages, make sure to ask your veterinarian about any specific prevention strategies that he or she can recommend.

If the cause of your cats urinary blockage cant be identified or you simply want to prevent the condition from developing in the first place, dont worry, you still have good options. The following three strategies will go a long way towards lowering the risk of urinary blockages in cats:

Follow these tips and any advice from your veterinarian and you can rest assured that youve done everything possible to protect your cat from developing a urinary blockage.

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What Happens If I Suspect A Urinary Blockage

No matter what the cause is, urinary blockage needs to be evaluated and treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible. It cant be stressed enough that the longer you wait to pursue treatment, the sicker your cat will become and the more difficult it will be to treat him. Call your veterinarian right away if you notice any of the signs we discussed. If its at night or over the weekend and your veterinarian is not open, the recommendation is to contact the closest emergency veterinarian to you.

Once you get to the veterinarian, if your cat is indeed blocked, the recommended treatment includes hospitalization. While being hospitalized, your cat will have testing completed to figure out why he is blocked. Once leaving the hospital, a prescription urinary diet is often recommended to help prevent this from occurring again in the future. Unfortunately, ~50% of cats will suffer another episode in their lifetime, despite all therapies being pursued.

What can I do to help prevent urinary blockage?

There is no magic formula to completely prevent this condition. Veterinary Universities across the country have devoted years to studying this disease and how to prevent it which is how the development of prescription urinary diets came around. While there is nothing anyone can do to completely prevent urinary blockage, there are things that have been proven to help.

Why Does A Urinary Blockage Happen

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We can see urinary obstruction occur in cats for a number of reasons. Sometimes its a simple urinary tract infection that becomes so severe the inflammatory cells, bacteria and mucous block the cats ability to pee. Other times cats can get stones that form in their bladder and eventually get stuck on the way out.

However the more common reasons for urinary blockage are crystals and whats sometimes referred to as sterile or idiopathic cystitis. Crystals are similar to having sand or sediment form in the bladder. If too many crystals try to leave at the same time, they will get wedged and become stuck in the urethra. Sterile cystitis occurs when there is no infection, stones or crystals in the bladder. The urinary tract will suffer inflammation and spasms often secondary to stress, and prevent the ability of urine to leave easily.

Your veterinarian will test your cats urine and often times take a radiograph to determine what the cause of the blockage is. There is no way for you to know the reason for blockage at home.

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What To Do If You Suspect Your Cat Has Urinary Blockage

If you think your cat may be experiencing a urinary blockage, take him to the vet immediately. Do not wait this is a life-threatening situation.

The doctor will need to relieve the obstruction quickly. She will likely want to perform some tests to see if there are any significant complications, such as kidney failure and elevated potassium, which require additional treatment. Sometimes, X-rays or an ultrasound are helpful too.

A softer, longer urinary catheter, called a Slippery Sam, is then placed to keep the pathway open and help prevent an immediate re-blockage. This second catheter will usually need to remain in place for a few days to allow the kittys bladder to return to its normal, un-stretched size, and to assist the kitty in passing more crystals and excess toxins in his urine.

IV fluids are usually needed to help the kitty flush toxins from his system and make more dilute urine. Antibiotics and medications to help relax the urethra and control pain and inflammation are usually prescribed.

Signs And Symptoms Of Urinary Obstructions In Cats

Symptoms that may indicate a urinary obstruction in cats include:

  • Unable to urinate, passing only a few drops of urine, straining, or frequently visiting the litter box.

  • Excessive licking of genitals or abdomen

  • Pain when the abdomen is touched

  • Aggression due to pain

Urinary obstructions in cats are extremely painful and mean theyre not able to pass urine. This leads to toxin buildup within the body and acute kidney injury as the kidneys become progressively injured from pressure buildup and eventually start to fail. These toxins can also lead to electrolyte abnormalities, appetite loss, nausea, and vomiting.

As your cats potassium levels increase , they may experience a decrease in their heart rate as well as abnormal heart rhythms , which can result in a fatal cardiac arrest, where the heart stops.

Cats with a urinary blockage may also have low blood pressure and are often dehydrated.

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How Stress May Impact Your Cats Urinary Health

Stress can contribute to urinary issues in cats, especially urethral spasms. If your cat is undergoing a stressful period, such as a move, or has a generally high-stress environment, it might result in a urinary blockage. Monitor your cat closely for signs of stress and be cognizant of the role it may play in their urinary health.

What Is A Blocked Bladder

Urinary Tract Blockage in Cats

A blocked bladder means that your cat cant pee This leads to urine building up inside the bladder until it reaches bursting point. A blocked bladder is extremely serious and left untreated it can cause kidney damage, heart problems and may even burst causing peritonitis and death.

A blocked bladder can be caused by:

  • Bladder tumours
  • A narrow urethra.

Female cats very rarely develop blocked bladders. Male cats are much more likely to develop the condition because their urethra is much longer, narrower and prone to blockage. Blockages are most common in overweight cats, indoor cats, neutered cats, stressed cats and cats that eat dry food.

A blocked bladder stops your cat from peeing

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What Causes Urinary Blockage In Cats

Feline urinary blockages can be caused by several underlying conditions, including:

  • A small stone or an accumulation of tiny stones that become lodged within the urethra
  • A plug in the urethra, usually an accumulation of crystals, cells, proteins, or debris in the urethra
  • Swelling and spasm of the urethra, which typically occurs during inflammation of the urethra or bladder
  • Urinary obstruction can also result from feeding magnesium-rich foods
  • Less frequently, it can be caused by trauma, infections, or tumors.

Diagnosing Cat Intestinal Blockages

Your veterinarian will use a combination of factors to diagnose your cat. They will rely on any history you have of your catâs behavioral changes and any sick behaviors you notice . The veterinarian will also conduct a complete physical exam and may recommend a combination of laboratory blood, urine testing and X-ray or abdominal ultrasound to check for any indications of obstruction.

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What Are The Signs Of Urethral Obstruction

A cat with urethral obstruction will usually show:

  • Repeated attempts to urinate that are unproductive
  • Crying or discomfort when straining to urinate
  • Increased agitation, and there may be some vomiting

Depending on the underlying cause, you may also have noticed some other changes in your cats urinating behaviour over the preceding few days such as increased frequency of urination, straining, discomfort or even some blood in the urine.

Contact your vet immediately if you think your cat may have an obstructed urethra, as this is an emergency situation.

What Are Some Tips For Preventing Urinary Blockages In Cats

#Cat #Urinary Tract #Diseases: Cystitis, Urethral Obstruction, Urinary ...

To prevent the recurrence of urinary blockages in cats, precautions must be taken at home. If your cat has struvite stones, your veterinarian may prescribe a urinary diet to help reduce crystalluria and dissolve the stones. Increased water consumption is very important in reducing the risk of further urinary blockage in cats. We recommend that high-risk male cats be fed at least 50% of their daily caloric intake to be in the form of canned food. This will increase water consumption and ideally create a slightly dilute urine, therefore reducing the risk of urethral obstruction.

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Recovery & Management Of Urinary Obstructions In Cats

If treated promptly, cats can recover from a urinary blockage. However, if left untreated, this condition is fatal. After theyve been unblocked, cats may unfortunately become re-blocked at any point after their catheter is removed. Some cats may experience another blockage a few hours or days after the catheter is removed, while others may re-block a few months or years later. Its not possible to predict if and when this may occur, so its important to always monitor your cat for signs of another blockage.

Urethral Obstruction In Male Cats

Courtney Beiter

RVT, VTS | The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center

Courtney works at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center in the Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care department. She graduated from Columbus State Community College in 2006 and obtained her VTS in Anesthesia and Analgesia in 2005. Courtney has several publications to her credit. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two daughters.

Urethral obstruction is a potentially life-threatening emergency. Male cats are more prone to obstruction than female cats.1 When the urethra becomes partially or completely blocked, urine is unable to drain from the bladder, resulting in fluid, electrolyte, and acidbase abnormalities.2 Feline urethral obstruction is a relatively common condition, accounting for up to 10% of feline cases presented to small animal referral and emergency clinics.3,4

Editors Note: This article was originally published in May 2016. Please use this content for reference or educational purposes, but note that it is not being actively vetted after publication. For the most recent peer-reviewed content, see our issue archive.

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How Do I Know If My Cat Has A Urinary Blockage

If your cat has a urinary blockage, its going to be obvious. Unfortunately, this condition will likely cause your cat a lot of pain. The most common sign of a urinary blockage is frequent trips to the litter box that dont result in any urination. Your cat will strain itself to pee, and it may yowl and cry out in pain.

Your cat will also lose some control of its bladder, and this will cause it to urinate in places it usually wouldnt. This isnt very pleasant for obvious reasons, but its important not to write off this behavior. Urinating outside of the litter box indicates that your cat is experiencing a blockage or other urinary problem.

Hills Science Diet Canned Hairball Control & Urinary Cat Food

Urine Blockage in cats | UTI in male cats

Of course, when it comes to urinary cat food, this is a hard formulation to beat. This specific brand specializes in providing cats with optimal nutrition to meet their specific dietary needs and to help prevent a host of different conditions and diseases.

What makes it such a great pick if youre looking out for your cats urinary health is the fact that it contains a precise amount of micronutrients to help maintain proper renal function. This non prescription cat food for urinary crystals guarantees the proper pH balance and helps maintain hydration to prevent many of the common issues cats face with renal health.

Another reason why it works well for most cat owners is the fact that the food is specially designed to satisfy picky eaters. So despite being something of a prescription cat food, it doesnt sacrifice taste or texture, so you can be sure your cat will finish a serving without too much of a fuss.

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Cat Urinary Blockage Home Remedy

Urinary blockages are nothing less than dreadful. Whats worse than having a cat that vomits, cries in pain, and pees where its not supposed to? For a loving cat owner , few things are more uncomfortable. Nonetheless, this is the unfortunate reality of a cat suffering from urinary blockage. Naturally, finding a cat urinary blockage home remedy is crucial for owners of affected felines.

No responsible pet owner would want to see their cat suffering, and no cat wants to experience it. The condition can even be fatal if left untreated. Read on to learn more about cat urinary blockages and what steps you can take at home to keep your cat healthy!

How Do You Dissolve Struvite Crystals In Cats Naturally

Give your cat lots of water. This advice was given to me by Furballs first holistic vet. She said that increasing his water intake kept things flowing through his system to help reduce the concentration of struvite crystals in his urine. I added water to Furballs food as he wouldnt drink it normally.

Read Also: Male Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms Home Remedies

Best Variety: Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health Variety Pack Canned Cat Food

Key Ingredients: Varies by flavor | Calories per Serving: 82 to 107 depending on flavor | Texture: Wet, varies | Balance: Varies but most are Crude Protein min. 10.0%, Crude Fat min. 6.5%, Crude Fiber max 0.5%, Moisture max. 78.0% | Life Stage: Adult

  • Nutritional and flavor diversity for your cat

  • No prescription needed

  • Meat by-products are the first ingredient

If your cats digestive system can tolerate more than one type of food, a variety pack is a wonderful way to give them a broader range of flavors and nutrients at the same time.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Classic Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Wet Cat Food Variety Pack comes as a case of 12, 24, or 36 cans. It can be purchased as four, eight or twelve cans each of three flavorsOcean Whitefish or Beef & Chicken, Chicken, and Turkey and Gibletsor as twelve cans each of two flavorsOcean Whitefish and Salmon.

Each recipe has low dietary magnesium and has been designed to reducing urinary pH. Purina products are also manufactured in the U.S. and are widely available and among the more affordable brands on shelves today.

Key Ingredients: N-Acetyl Glucosamine from shrimp and crab, D-mannose, cranberry extract | Calories per Serving: Not listed| Balance: Not listed | Life Stage: Adult | Texture: Soft chews

  • Incorporates D-mannose ingredient known to decrease urinary tract infections

  • Several inactive ingredients

Feline Urinary Obstruction The Blocked Cat

Urinary Obstruction in Cats

Obstruction or blockage of the urethra is a condition that male cats, particularly those that are overweight, are predisposed to.

The blockage is usually formed by plugs of mucus, crystals, calculi or other forms of inflammatory material. These can form anywhere within the urinary tract and cause blockage of the urethra as they move within the flow of urine as it exits the body. The reason behind the formation of these plugs are often unknown, but large, male cats are at a higher risk of developing obstructions .

Cats of any age and sex can be affected, and there are many clinical signs which owners can look out for which may indicate that their cat is suffering from partial or complete urethral obstruction:

  • Straining to urinate in litterbox or crying out when using the litterbox.
  • Small spurts of urine being produced rather than a steady stream.
  • Tense or painful abdomen when handled.
  • Blood within the urine or urinating outside of the litterbox.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.

Sometimes clinical signs can resolve themselves if the blockage passes, but this is not something an owner should wait to find out as urinary obstruction can quickly progress into a clinical emergency. If the blockage causes urine to back up into the bladder and kidneys, it can be life-threatening. If your cat is going to the litterbox and producing no urine, then you need to call your veterinarian immediately and have them seen straight away.

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