September 4, 2009
Get help quickly if your male cat is straining in the litter-box

If your cat is straining to urinate and only produces a few drops of urine or none at all, he needs to be seen by a veterinarian immediately. Your cat could be experiencing urethral obstruction, and if the problem in not solved, he could die within just a couple of days.{{more}}

What is urethral obstruction, and why is it life-threatening?

The urethra is a tube-like structure that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Sometimes, mineral crystals or stones form in the urethra and block the path to the outside. The blockage is called a urethral plug. Because a male cat’s urethra is longer and narrower than a female’s, urethral plugs are most often seen in males (whether or not they are neutered). Once a plug has formed, urine builds up in the bladder. This is not only painful to the cat, but can quickly cause kidney damage. The kidneys job is to release poisonous wastes from the body; when kidneys don’t function properly, these poisons accumulate in the bloodstream. The final result, if not treated, is a painful death.


The cause of urethral plugs is not fully known. Plugs could result from a combination of poor diet and highly concentrated alkaline urine. Possibly some viruses or bacterial infections trigger their formation. Some experts believe plugs may be linked to tumors, masses, or diseases of the prostate gland in some cases.


If Kitty is using his litter box often, but with no or little resulting urine; if he is trying to urinate in unusual places; or if he is constantly licking his genitalia, he may have a urethral obstruction. Don’t assume your cat is constipated and just give him laxatives. Instead, play it safe and seek veterinary attention. Other signs of obstruction include depression, loud mewing, weakness, vomiting, a lack of appetite, dehydration and collapse.


Urethral obstruction is an emergency. Yet, if symptoms are noticed early and professional treatment is obtained immediately, your cat’s chance of recovery is almost 100 percent.

For further information, contact: Dr. Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd.
Tele: 456 4981