Urinary Blockage in Cats: Know the Symptoms!

Urinary blockage in cats can be very dangerous and painful for your feline!

What is a urinary blockage?

A urinary blockage in cats is when the urethra becomes obstructed. It most commonly afflicts male cats. The urethra is the tube that drains urine from the bladder. With male cats, the urethra is very long and narrow, versus that of a female cat. Their urethras are wider, however it must be said that urinary blockage in cats can occur in females, as well.

What are the signs or symptoms?

Cats who are suffering from urinary tract issues will certainly exhibit several odd and distinct symptoms. Firstly, you’ll notice a frequency of litter box runs and usage. Your cat will appear to be straining and typically little to no urine will be produced. Sometimes, there will be small accidents right outside of their box. You may hear your cat howl or cry while attempting to urinate. Your cat will also often lick their genitals relentlessly after each attempt. The male cat’s penis will be more visible and protrude. Other indications of a urinary blockage in cats will include bloody urine, a loss of appetite, vomiting, and lethargy.

The latter four signs are severe warnings and you should seek medical attention immediately, because as the blockage progresses the bladder painfully swells. The symptoms will worsen to include a collapse, decreased body temperature and heart rate, severe dehydration, shock, and death. Unfortunately, it only takes 24 to 48 hours for progression, so this education we’ve provided to you allows for an early detection and treatment.

What is the treatment?

The treatment for urinary blockage in cats will depend on the severity of the infection. In either case, your cat will need a catheter to drain the urine from his bladder. Antibiotics may be administered and prescribed to treat any resulting infections or pain. In worse cases, an operation may be required to enlarge the urethra to prevent future buildup of urine or stones in his bladder.


Okay, so once you’ve experienced a urinary blockage, you will be particularly acute of future episodes. There are ways to prevent another painful occurrence for your cat:

  • Always provide several clean litter boxes, especially if you own several cats, in quiet areas around your home
  • Fresh drinking water should be available for your cat at all times
  • Feed your cat canned food only frequently, but try and stick to dry kibble
  • Keep your cat at a healthy weight
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