Urinary Obstruction in Cats – Urinary Blockage (August 2019)

A cat with a urinary blockage is an absolute emergency that must be taken care of straight away.

If you’re a cat owner, especially the owner of a male cat, you need to understand what it is and what the signs are before it’s too late.

What is a Urinary Obstruction in Cats?

Also known as a urinary blockage or a urethral obstruction, urinary obstruction in cats happens due a blockage in the urethra.

It occurs more frequently in male cats due to the fact that their urethra is more narrow and longer compared to the urethra of a female cat.

When faced with a urinary obstruction, a cat will be in pain and won’t be able to pass urine properly – but they will most certainly try.

Causes of Urinary Obstructions in Cats

Listed below are some of the most common causes of urinary obstructions in cats:

  • Urolith stones in the bladder, be it a few or a large amount
  • Accumulation of debris, crystals, proteins, cells, or another “plug” in the urethra
  • Spasms and/or swelling of the urethra

Unfortunately, there are a lot of underlying problems and conditions that can cause a urinary obstruction to occur.

Symptoms of Urinary Obstruction in Cats

Listed below are the symptoms of urinary obstruction in cats:

  • Agitated state
  • Vomiting
  • Discomfort when urinating 
  • Straining to urinate
  • Unproductive attempts to urinate
  • Blood in the urine
  • Abnormal licking at the genital area
  • Hiding from you
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Constant visits to the litter box

If you spot any of the symptoms listed above, bring your cat to the vet as soon as you possibly can.

Are Urinary Obstructions Dangerous?

Urinary obstructions are very dangerous. Kidney failure and death can occur within 2 to 3 days if it’s not treated and managed properly by a vet.

Because this is a time-sensitive emergency that cannot wait, you need to try to catch it as soon as possible.


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