Ask the Emergency Veterinarian – Discomfort Urinating May Indicate a Larger Problem in Cats

Have you noticed your cat yowling while in the litter box, straining to pass urine, passing bloody urine, or urinating in unusual places like the kitchen sink or bathtub? These signs could be an indication of a feline urinary blockage. These occur when mucus, crystals or small bladder stones plug a cat’s urethra, preventing normal passage of urine. This ailment can lead to a condition called feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).

FLUTD causes extreme discomfort in your cat and can cause kidney damage or could interfere with your cat’s normal heart function. In extreme cases, FLUTD can be life-threatening if left untreated, so be sure to visit your veterinarian if you notice your cat straining to urinate. Clinical treatment includes inserting a catheter into the cat’s urethra to flush the blockage and clean out the bladder, removing any debris or buildup. This process can take anywhere from one to three days while the cat is given fluids to rehydrate, anesthesia to help with pain, and/or antibiotics to fight any infections that have developed. Once the cat returns home again, cat owners are encouraged to closely monitor their pet to ensure the block doesn’t reoccur. The cause of this condition is not known – experts think it may be a combination of factors including genetics, environment, and diet – but if treated promptly and properly, most cats make a full and healthy recovery.

Guardian Veterinary Centre provides 24/7 emergency and referral-based specialty veterinary care. They can be reached website or 780-436-5880. They are located at 5620-99 Street in Edmonton.


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