Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How To Prevent Cat Urinary Blockage

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Urinary Blockage in Cats, and How to Prevent It

This dry cat food is not just meant to support your pets urinary health but their whole immune system, as well. Wysong Uretic Dry Natural Food for Cats has a low mineral content and includes natural sourced, DL-methionine to help acidify urine and prevent crystal formation. This makes it suited for urinary health issues, but the rest of the formula is pretty impressive as well- the first ingredient is real meat and it contains prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants to promote healthy digestion, healthier-looking fur and skin, and overall vitality, too. Tasty and loved by most cats, this formula boasts 42% protein and 15% fat and no cheap fillers such as wheat or corn.

Cat Urinary Blockage Recovery

Your cat will be uncomfortable as they recover from their urinary blockage. Whether your kitty underwent surgery or endured a catheter for days, itll be feeling sluggish and distressed. Give your kitty some extra TLC during this time theyll certainly need it.

Its not unusual for your cat to still strain a bit during urination while theyre recovering from a blockage. The inflammation can take a few days to subside. Be sure to monitor your cats urinary output and watch for signs of blood in the urine. You will need to bring them back to the vet if the blockage recurs. To help relieve some of your cats discomfort, you can give them non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Onsior or Metacam.

If you dont want to go the pharmaceutical route, CBD products are another option that can aid your cats recovery. Like all mammals, cats have an endocannabinoid system that regulates swelling among other important processes in their body.

CBD interacts with the ECS and can provide some soothing effects for your pet. CBD is a non-intoxicating compound that is well-tolerated by most animals. Your cat wont get high from CBD, and they wont become addicted to the products either.

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
  • 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.

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How Vets Diagnose Utis In Cats

Vets diagnose urinary tract infections by collecting a urine sample and examining it for the presence of bacteria. These samples must be collected through a process called cystocentesis, where urine is drawn directly from the bladder with a fine needle. This is necessary to prevent contamination of the urine sample from cups, tables, or any other surface the urine may come into contact with.

After cystocentesis, your veterinarian will run a culture-and-sensitivity test. During this test, the bacteria are isolated and studied. This helps the vet determine the best antibiotics for your cats exact infection.

Occasionally, acute infectionsespecially first-time infections that show up suddenlyare treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic without trying to determine which bacteria are involved.

Chronic infections, however, almost always require more testing to isolate the type of bacteria causing the problem and identify the best antibiotic.

Helping Cats With Urinary Problems

Cat Urinary Blockage

Often the most important aspect of helping your cat is detecting the problem at an early stage when treatment is more likely to be successful. This can only be done with regular veterinary visits. Cats are well-known for masking signs of pain, resulting in very subtle symptoms that are difficult for cat owners to detect. In addition, it can be difficult for cat owners to spot changes in litter box habits. Needless to say, if you do notice changes in your cats routine, you should consult with your veterinarian immediately.

Nutrition can also play a part in managing many of the diseases that can cause inappropriate urination. However, the best diet for your cat will depend on your cats individual situation. Diets that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates are often recommended for cats with diabetes, while diets that help control urine pH are often advised for cats that tend to develop stones or crystals in the urine. There are even cat foods which contain glucosamine and/or fatty acids such as DHA or EPA. These are beneficial for cats with arthritis or other inflammatory conditions. Your veterinarian can help you determine which diet is best for your cat.

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Preventing Male Cat Urinary Blockage

Unfortunately, once a male cat has a urinary blockage, there’s a higher risk of it happening again. At the first sign of urinary issues, you should have a conversation with your vet about selecting proper nutrition to better support your cat’s urinary health to reduce the risk of recurring issues. In highly recurrent cases it’s also possible for your vet to suggest a cat urethrostomy a surgery that creates an opening in the urethra above the blockage to allow for normal urine drainage.

Water consumption is an important part of flushing debris from your cat’s system and preventing blockage try offering them water from a drinking fountain instead of a bowl, flavoring a second water bowl with some tuna juice and switching them to canned food if they currently eat dry food.

Nutrition can also play an important role in preventing blockage. If your cat already experiences urinary health issues, then a therapeutic cat food may help dissolve your cat’s crystals or make it less likely they form new ones and maintain a healthy urine pH that contributes to overall urinary health. This food is available through your veterinarian and should be fed under the supervision of a vet ask your vet if a Prescription Diet cat food might be right for your cat..

What Is Urinary Blockage In Cats

A urinary blockage occurs when the urethra, the tube that drains urine from the bladder, becomes obstructed by foreign material. This material plugs the tube-like urethra and prevents urine from leaving the cats body. The buildup of urine can cause the cats bladder to overfill, which will consequently cause the kidneys to swell and rupture.

Since a cats urethra is so narrow, several things can plug it. The most common culprits are:

  • Struvite crystals
  • Protein

Sometimes, even involuntary muscle spasms can narrow the urethra enough to cause a blockage. Neutered male cats are far more susceptible to this condition as they have especially narrow urethras.

Urinary blockages are a life-threatening condition a cat that cannot urinate properly could die. The size of the blockage, and the amount of urine your cat is excreting, will determine the timeline and prognosis of the condition. If you suspect your cat is suffering from a urinary blockage, take it to the veterinarian immediately.

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Getting A Veterinary Diagnosis

  • 1Take your cat to see a veterinarian immediately. Having a urinary blockage can threaten your cat’s life. In fact, within three to six hours of having a blockage, your cat could die from the buildup of urine. Thus, it is important that you get it veterinary treatment as quickly as possible.
  • Be prepared to tell the veterinarian about all of your cat’s symptoms.
  • 2Allow the veterinarian to do a physical exam. If the veterinarian suspects that the cat has a urinary tract blockage they will feel the cat’s abdomen. When they do this they are feeling for the firmness of the bladder and urinary system.
  • If your cat is skittish or aggressive toward the veterinarian, it may need to be restrained during the exam.
  • 3Approve diagnostic testing. In order to get a definitive diagnosis, your veterinarian may want to do diagnostic tests on your cat. For example, the veterinarian may want to have a urine sample analyzed or they may want to do a urethrogram, which shows them a detail of the cat’s urethra.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican College of Veterinary SurgeonsTrade organization responsible for setting standards of surgical excellence for the field of veterinary medicine and promoting safe practices for equine care.Go to source
  • The urine sample will be analyzed for the presence of crystals, which are often the culprit for a blocked urethra.
  • What Are The Expected Outcomes After A Perineal Urethrostomy

    Urinary Blockage in a Cat

    With appropriate pre-surgical stabilization, surgical technique, and aftercare, the prognosis for patients with perineal urethrostomy is good. Occasionally, a stone may form that is too large to pass through the urethrostomy opening however, this is uncommon and most cats do not reobstruct after a perineal urethrostomy.

    Contributors: Catherine Barnette, DVM

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    Keep Your Cat’s Urinary Issues At Bay

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    Many house cats struggle with a variety of conditions that affect their bladder and/or urethra, broadly known as urinary tract health. This can present as difficulty and pain when urinating, increased frequency of urination and/or blood in the urine. Cats may urinate outside the litter box, in corners, a sink, or a bathtub. While these issues can occur at any age, it is often seen in middle-aged, overweight cats that dont get enough exercise.

    A cats diet can contribute to urinary pH imbalance or help improve it. Diets can vary in how they support urinary tract health, but its important to look for restricted amounts of minerals, such as magnesium and phosphorus, which can contribute to the development of urinary crystal and stone formation, explains Dr. Danielle Bernal, Global Veterinarian with Wellness Natural Pet Food. The crystals cause painful urination and the stones are painful to pass. They may cause urinary tract infections, blockages, or kidney problems.

    Below are a few of the best urinary tract health cat foods available today.

    • Chicken is the first ingredient

    • Includes digestive support ingredients

    The Solution To Pollution Is Dilution

    To improve your cats hydration and get more water into them:

      • Feed canned food: The greater the proportion of your cats diet that comes from canned food, the greater the amount of water they will naturally consume on a daily basis. Most canned diets are somewhere in the neighborhood of 7580% moisture, whereas the dry diets are often 10% or less. So while your cats are eating their necessary daily calories for survival, if theyre eating canned food, theyll also be taking in plenty of water. Canned foods convey other health benefits to cats as well, particularly in relation to weight management and the prevention/correction of obesity and diabetes. It should also be noted at this point that, although I am a veterinarian, each cats health history and specific dietary needs and restrictions can differ, therefore I would always recommend that you discuss all of the diet decisions and changes that you plan to make for your cat with your veterinarian prior to doing so.
      • Have multiple water dishes available throughout your home: The easier it is for your cats to get to clean, fresh drinking water, the more likely they are to drink it. Having water bowls in multiple rooms of the house and on several different levels is a great way to help ensure easy access. It’s also a good idea to have bowls of different materials , depths, widths, and shapes when possible. Cats are called finicky for a reason, and againit’s all about making it easy and attractive for them to drink water.

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    What Are Urinary Tract Infections In Cats

    Urinary tract infections are not common in cats. Only 1-3% of cats with signs of urinary tract disease will have a urinary tract infection.

    Because they can resemble so many other conditions, UTIs need to be distinguished from other conditions, such as crystals in the urine. Fortunately, by running some simple tests, your veterinarian will be able to tell the difference.

    In most cases, UTIs in cats are usually caused by bacteria. Bacterial urinary tract infections in cats are generally relatively easy to treat and respond well to medications. Chronic infections, or those that do not respond to regular medication, can require more testing to figure out why your cat is at higher risk for urinary tract infections.

    Urinary Blockage Treatment Costs

    How To Unblock A Cat Urinary Tract At Home

    This is not something that can be treated at home. Depending on the vet clinic you go to, they may have different protocols for treating blocked cats. There are typically three different options available, though the cheapest options may not be offered at every clinic. This is because the cheapest one is also the riskiest and the least likely to provide your cat with a good outcome. That being said, even cats treated with the most expensive option sometimes do not have good long-term outcomes.

    Cheapest option, but least successful: $500-700

    This treatment option requires the least amount of hospitalization. Your vet will sedate your cat, pass a urinary catheter to relieve the obstruction, and flush out your cats bladder. They will likely give an antibiotic, pain medication, and some fluids to help with hydration. Your cat will go home once they are properly awake from sedation.

    This does not involve any x-rays, so you may miss a key piece of information if your cat has stones that are causing the obstruction. If they do have stones, they will likely re-obstruct in a few days or weeks.

    More expensive option, more successful: $1500-3000

    Most expensive option, most successful: $3000-4500

    The most expensive treatment option is a surgical procedure. This is usually reserved as a last resort, and only for the cats who continue to re-obstruct after they are treated as described above.

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    Why Is Urinary Blockage An Emergency

    If your cat cannot urinate due to a urinary blockage, urine will build up and cause death if untreated within 2-5 days . The bladder enlarges and can rupture, allowing urine into the abdomen and absorbed into the bloodstream. Your cat will also become dehydrated and go into kidney failure, which if untreated, will result in death.

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    Prevention Methods For Cat Urinary Blockage

    Once your cat has experienced a blockage, it becomes more likely it will happen again, so its important to take various steps for prevention. Food and water consumption are crucial in preventing cat urinary blockage. If your cat doesnt seem to be drinking enough water, you might consider a new water fountain or even flavoring some of their water with tuna juice.

    Nutritionally, your veterinarian might recommend switching from dry food to canned wet food for a higher level of hydration. There are also specialized cat diets that can help with recurrent urinary issues.

    Will My Cat Recover

    Cat Healed of Urinary Tract Blockage (UTI or FLUTD)

    While urinary blockage is life-threatening, when caught early and treated appropriately, cats do recover. No matter the cause of urinary blockage there is always risk for recurrence. Therefore, it is important that your vet determine the cause so that you can help prevent recurrence. The causes can include environmental stress-associated disorder as well as crystals or bladder stones.

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    Remedies And Treatments For Cat Urinary Tract Infection

    Urinary tract diseases are common in cats and can cause discomfort and distress. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to partial or complete blockage of the urethra. This can lead to kidney failure or rupture of the bladder, which could be deadly.

    Depending on the severity of the infection, a cat UTI can be treated using at-home remedies and treatments.


    While cranberries are known as a UTI treatment in humans, they can also be used to treat a cat UTI. The acidity of cranberries can lower the pH of your cats urine, which can help treat a UTI and stop it from coming back.

    Many cranberry juices are high in sugar. Instead, you can find cranberry capsules , supplements, or powder to add to your cats diet.

    Before giving your cat cranberry, you should first test the pH levels in your cats urine. While the acidity of cranberries may help with some UTIs, in other cases, it could make the condition worse. Only provide cranberry supplements if your cats urine is too alkaline.


    Apple cider vinegar can also lower the pH in your cats urine, eliminating and preventing any harmful bacteria. Add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your cats food each day. To reduce the bitter taste, you can mix it in with chicken or beef broth. Just make sure the broth doesnt contain onions, as this is toxic to cats.

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