Is your male cat struggling to pee?

October 17, 2011

Emergency Cats, Medicine Cases

basil

We often get calls about cats that are straining to urinate or have blood in their urine. One of the first questions a veterinary staff member automatically asks after you have told them your cat is having issues urinating is: ‘Do you own a male or female cat?’. Many of our callers may be flustered by this question and find it irrelevant and inappropriate to ask.

However, the fact is male cats are very prone to getting blocked (lose the ability to urinate) after suffering from a bladder infection.

It is not to say female cats can’t get blocked but they rarely do and I have personally never come across one. The theory is the male urethra is very sensitive and after so many bouts of infection/inflammation, it simply goes into a spasm or can get blocked with sludge or crystals.

If you notice your male or female cat struggling to urinate, you must get them to a vet as soon as possible. For those of you who have ever endured a cystitis (bladder infection), you can totally relate to the pain and burning sensations that come with cystitis. For those of you haven’t, consider yourselves lucky.  It is important to get your cats sorted as soon as possible.

Your cat is in a world of discomfort and so you must act fast.

Cats can develop a bad correlation with the litter box as a result of the painful experience they endured when using the facilities. This may lead to your male or female (entire or desexed) cat to start spraying urine all over the house and not wanting to use their litter boxes. As for male cats, the longer you leave them straining, the higher the chances your cat will get blocked and that is a life threatening emergency that will end up with a massive vet bill.

Cats with cystitis usually frequent the litter box way more than usual. They will sometimes vocalise and if you happen to be watching them in their litter box, you may notice very small amounts of urine being passed each time. Some owners will also notice there is a bloody tinge to the urine being produced. The worst case scenario is realising your cat is unable to urinate at all at which stage your cat’s life hangs in the balance. We are often presented with very sick male cats that are at the brink of death. We must immediately unblock them but their anaesthetic poses a huge risk and some do not pull through.

The most common cause for cystitis in cats is related to a buildup of crystals in their urine.

That is usually secondary to inappropriate diets that lead to an alkaline (basic) ph of the urine and this leads to the development of crystals. By far, the most common crystals cats develop are ‘Struvites‘. However, there are other causes like different types of bladder infections. Cats being cats can also suffer from what we refer to as idiopathic (unknown cause) cystitis where they do not have crystals or infections and we simply believe stress can cause them to develop a sterile cystitis! Interesting, huh?

Treatment of cystitis is often aimed at the cause. If you have an infectious cause, appropriate medications are dispensed and so antibiotics are commonly prescribed. However, if crystals are also involved then dietary changes are made that aim to dissolve the crystals and prevent recurrence. As for idiopathic cystitis, I often go on a CSI mission of investigating any changes in the household that are occurring that may be disrupting my feline patient’s routine. I always recommend Feliway (pheromone that the queen produces around her kittens to make them feel secure and happy) spray or diffuser to help take the edge off my cats and help them chill out.

Now is the right time to talk to you all about ‘Basil’, my 5-year-old male desexed Siamese patient.

A couple of weekends ago, I had the honor of meeting him on my weekend on call. He was in hospital with an indwelling urinary catheter. The poor boy had gotten blocked up several times (about 3 times in total) over the past couple of weeks. Each time, he was admitted, anesthetized and a urinary catheter was passed and after a day or two, he was sent home on his merry way. My colleagues admitted him on the thursday and by friday morning, he had managed to pull out his urinary catheter. He was anesthetized yet again and another catheter was passed without any issues.

Being the anal vet that I am, I popped in to check on him around 9 p.m. Friday night to make sure he is travelling well. To my utter dismay, I saw him looking all smug and proud of his successful extraction of his urinary catheter whilst his massive Elizabethan collar was still on. I was furious but there was no point anaesthetising him at that hour so I turned off his IV fluids to prevent further distention of his bladder and was praying to come in the next morning to see he was able to use his litter box and thereby not needing another anaesthetic.

Saturday morning came and there was no sign of urine and Mr. Basil had a very distended hard bladder.

I sat his mom down and explained that he needs to be taken down to a vet specialist for a urethrostomy procedure as soon as possible. In lay man terms, a urethrostomy in a male cat means we are relocating and reconstructing his urethra and physically allowing him to urinate like a female cat. We discussed the very expensive costs involved and the risks. However, I made it very clear that it is Basil’s only hope of completely preventing further blockages. Unfortunately, the specialists were going to charge double if we sent him straight down because it was the weekend so they suggested I manage Basil until Monday.

I proceeded with Basil’s 3rd anaesthetic in a span of 2 days and struggled to pass a urinary catheter. The tip of his penis was abnormal and simply fibrosed. There was no urethral opening to be found.

After multiple failed attempts, I had to do the unthinkable. I had to cut the tip of his penis off.

Thankfully the sacrifice paid off and I was able to finally slot in his urinary catheter into the appropriate position.

Basil's penis

I was pretty busy with afterhours call outs for most of the day and so I only got around to checking in on him and Gemma (my other in hospital case) around 5 that day.

When I peeped into his cage, he still looked very sleepy but my heart simply sank at what I discovered next.

Guess what? You guessed it, he pulled out his urinary catheter yet again.

At that moment of time, I was so close to strangling my handsome boy. When I  looked into Basil’s big beautiful blue and very intense eyes, I forgot all that happened and was in awe of his beauty and human nature. The way he held my gaze and spoke to me simply put me under his spell. I was at his service around the clock no matter what.

Tell me you don’t think he is one stunning feline…

basil

After I performed my huge surgery on Gemma, I got him out and knocked him out for the 4th time and passed his urinary catheter. I decided not to connect the urinary catheter to an extension set and urine collection bag. You should really have it connected in theory to prevent retrograde infection. However, I thought most likely he was getting entangled with the extension set and that was the cause of his urinary catheter failing to stay in.

I was so tempted to install a video camera to monitor his every move overnight and wished someone had created an alarm that could be set off whenever a patient was causing havoc in hospital.

I had also started him on oral Valium (diazepam) which is a smooth muscle relaxant to help counter the spasms in his urethra. I went to bed feeling on edge not knowing what to expect the next day.

Basil did not fail at giving me yet another heart attack the next morning. He was all full of himself and feeling like an over achiever. He sat there meowing at me demanding I give him attention. He felt no remorse at pulling out his urinary catheter for the 3rd time in a row. Miraculously though, he was able to urinate and had actually used his litter box overnight. I highly suspected that starting him on Valium had paid off. I decided to send him home on his oral Valium as he was booked in for the first appointment at the vet specialists the next morning.

On Monday, he went to Southpaws specialty surgery for small animals and they recommended a urethrostomy being performed.

This is a picture of Basil taken a few days after his urethrostomy was performed (not pretty!)

Basil's urethrostomy

Basil’s recurrent urinary blockages were not due to a crystal or bladder infection. He simply has an underlying anxiety. This feline has a human complex. He thinks he is a human being and there is no way of convincing him otherwise. He will join in your conversations and contribute to the discussions. He responds to attention and simply wants his human family to wait on him hand and foot. His father is his biggest love even though his mother is his main carer.

I laughed so hard when I found out that his mother had to sleep on the couch on his first day back from the surgery while he snuggled in with his father on the king bed.

It is easy to assume that his parents should learn how to treat him like a cat. If you met ‘Basil’, you would discover the truth. He would make the biggest and most memorable impression on you. When he looks at you with that blue intensity in his eyes, you feel like he is peering into your soul.

He is currently recovering very well and I am managing his post operative care with his very dedicated owners.

Check out the intensity of his gaze below in the video below and tell me what you think!

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About Rayya T-Malaeb

Hi I am Dr. Rayya. I created this site to take you on a journey of my life as a vet! I hope to inspire you, teach you, learn from you. Most importantly help pet owners and animals around the world by sharing pictures, videos and posts from my everyday experiences.

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104 Comments on “Is your male cat struggling to pee?”

  1. Cowboy Says:

    Howdy Doc –

    I don’t own a cat but I know many people don’t pay attention and would rarely notice their cat having trouble when peeing. Paying attention to our pets bodies and bodily functions and questioning what doesn’t look right may mean the difference in life or death, and certainly may avoid a variety of costly tests to diagnose a problem when one 1 or 2 tests would do.

    Another great post !

    Reply

    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      Hey cowboy…it is important to pay attention to your pets and their bodily functions…glad you liked the post…

      Reply

      • George Says:

        Hello my male cat is currently going throughout the same dilemma after many visits to the vet and receiving an x-ray showing he didn’t have stones or an infection the vets don’t know what to do with him. I reside in a suburb town and am willing to make the trip to a larger city with better veterinarians. My concern however is the cost and if the procedure will leave him better. I love my Bubba I do but i just need some reassurance this procedure will make him better. Thank you

      • Rayya Says:

        Dear George. Sorry to hear about your cat’s ordeal. It’s important to determine a diagnosis so he can get the best treatment option. It’s best you go to a specialist veterinarian for a second opinion and to discuss what is the best treatment for your cat. Best of luck.

  2. Erin Blackmore Says:

    Haha, aww, Basil!
    Good post, Rayya. I won’t forget that weekend in a hurry ;)
    If it were a person messing with your hard work continually, you’d have wanted to punch them in the face… but Basil was certainly too delightful to be angry with (I think he bloody well knew this too!!)

    Reply

  3. Bassas Blog Says:

    He is beautiful and has amazing eyes. Thank you for another incredible post! Your dedication is amazing.

    Reply

  4. Jodi Stone Says:

    Dr Rayya, that was an interesting post. The reason Bob the Cat came to live with us was for a similar reason.

    Originally Bob was our daughter’s cat, but when she joined the Army she asked her boyfriend to keep them (she had two.) They broke up shortly after but he still kept the cats as I have dogs and like it just fine. :-)

    But Bob was struggling (originally we thought he was having trouble defecating) in the litter box and licking his genitals quite frequently. I called my vet and thankfully they took him right in.

    He was catherized and came home about the third day. He is on wet food now (BF was feeding cheap, dry food) and is thriving.

    I had never heard of this illness until Bob was treated for it.

    Thank you for educating us. :-)

    Reply

  5. 2browndawgs Says:

    Poor Basil. he sure is cute though. My sister had a male cat that got that kind of blockage. He was treated and put on special food and is doing fine. He was eating all dry food, which I understand is not good for a male cat. Jodi’s experience sounds like my sis’s.

    Reply

  6. nicole Says:

    i would love to see a dog version of this post!
    gwendolyn developed a urinary tract infection in april after experiencing a stressful weekend of lesser bathroom breaks and lots of unusual family activity.
    poor gwendolyn!
    thank you for another incredible post!
    i’ve added you to my healthy girl blog roll. xx

    Reply

    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      Hey Nicole :-). I definitely have a case to share about cystitis & obstruction in a male dog and will do that soonish. Poor Gwendolyn, she obviously did over-stress and cause herself to develop a urinary tract infection.
      Thanks for adding me to your health girl blog roll :-)

      Reply

  7. IsobelandCat Says:

    “To my utter dismay, I saw him looking all smug and proud of his successful extraction of his urinary catheter whilst his massive Elizabethan collar was still on. ”
    I know it was inappropriate, but I burst out laughing when I read this, only to wince when I read you cut off the end of his penis .
    He sounds such a big character.
    I think you would have loved Cat!
    BTW have you heard of Serene-Um. I was wondering about it for Not Cat. It’s the run up to Bonfire Night and this year it seems more places are selling them so we are having some quite noisy evenings.

    Reply

    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      Hey Isobel,
      If you were there watching Mr. Basil giving me his smug look, you would have laughed really hard. So believe me it is not inappropriate at all, hehehe…He sure is a big character.

      I have actually never heard of Serene-Um. We have rescue remedy and other natural combos to helps calm pets down. The only product that has been scientifically proven to work is feliway so I usually recommend that. However, I am very open to new things so I definitely think you should give Serene-Um a good go. It’s mosty natural products and shouldn’t do any harm. Please let me know if it works.

      Reply

  8. mushtaq ahmed Says:

    Dear doctor Rayya, i have bought a persian cat one week before , after two days it very sedentery, I had taken her to a doctor i indranagar but it was still very sluggish, the i took it to another clinic in koramangala ,V care, there they found that the cat is having ear infection, the doctor took out the puss and gave two injections, three days passed the cat is not active , it is not eating anything. we tried to give cat foods, Wiskas, and chicken tinned food, but it is not eating anything, i am totally worried ,it is not eating milk also . how long will it take to get the cat recover.please help.
    my contact no is 9741777514
    email:amushtaq78@gmail.com

    Reply

    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      Dear Mushtaq…your persian cat may just be very stressed and trying to adjust to its new home…give it some privacy and put in a quiet room and supply it with fresh water and human grade tuna or cooked chicken and see what happens… Also supply it with a cat litter box…persians can be very fussy eaters so you must get a huge range of food and call the people you bought it from and ask what they used to feed it…If it hasn’t picked up and shows symptoms like sneezing, vomiting or diarrhoea then you need to take it back to a vet for further work up like blood testing and etc…I can’t tell you how long it will take your cat to recover…hope this information helps..

      Reply

  9. Rosie Scribblah Says:

    I had a naughty cat that used to pull his Elizabethan collar off by crouching and crawling backwards under a dining chair! They can be very bad patients, but how can you be annoyed with them lol?

    Reply

  10. Britt @ absolutealaia Says:

    My Burmese x, Kobe, has suffered from crystals from 3 years of age (he is now 12) we were back & forth at the vet every couple of months due to it. He was catheterized 3 times successfully but a few months later the crystals would return. We were given the “we must think about changing him to a female” :-P talk & to be honest by that stage I would have done anything to stop my boy from that pain. The vet decided on one last chance before that surgery to basically flush him from the inside out & correct me if I’m wrong, they opened up his bladder and “cleaned” him out. They said there were a few crystals stuck on the bladder wall??? But all in all it seemed to do the trick. He did have a few minor relapses but after checking his ph levels it was all good. I have completely overhauled his diet and he is on a raw diet consisting of minced chicken including the bones and Hills CD. Since the change we have had not had one trip to the vet and that was 2 years ago!

    Reply

    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      Thanks for sharing your first hand experience with a blocked kitty cat. It is much more common than people would think. Kobe’s very fortunate to have managed to get out of major reconstructive surgery. You have him on a terrific diet. I recommend addinf half a teaspoon of vitamin C unbuffered ascorbic acid form to his diet to ensure he has an acidic ph and prevent any recurrence. If he is on a balanced raw meat diet + vit c, you may be able to wean him off the hill’s c/d. :-)

      Reply

  11. stephanielane2012 Says:

    Hi there, and thanks for stopping by my blog. I am in love with Mr. Basil the wonderful. What a face… I have enjoyed reading through your blog. Thank you for sharing your experiences, wonderful and heartbreaking though some may be. Thanks again,
    Steff

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey steph…thanks for stopping by my blog. I loved reading yours. Basil is a pretty unique kitty cat :-). I welcome our continued blogging friendship.

      Reply

  12. nadbugs Says:

    Wow. WHAT a tale. Thank you so much for stopping by over at our place — I must subscribe to yours. Thank you thank you for all you do, for our beloved animal friends.

    Reply

  13. fremont110293 Says:

    I went throught t his with one of my male cats. Luckily I am a former animal health technician and so I immediately recognized the symptoms. Not so luckily, it was two days before Thanksgiving when no one would be available at my vet’s for the required three day hospitalization. I was referred to the Emergency Hospital which I knew would be costly since they are staffed with specialists, plus any facility open 24 hours on a major holiday had to spell big bucks.
    Well it did, I emerged Thanksgiving evening with a healthy cat but having paid nearly twice as much as I did when I purchased my first car in 1969 – a VW bug but it was worth it
    he and his brother (as a precautionary measure) are on a prescription diet for the rest of their lives

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Thanks for sharing your ordeal with us. Our pets always seem to get ill at the worst of times. I once came home exhausted from so many emergenct calls & my own dog suddenly fell ill. It was a very stressful time playing vet & distressed owner at the same time. Glad your kitty cat recovered well. I bet it,would cost you an arm & keg to treat him but it,was worth every penny :-)

      Reply

  14. kelly Says:

    i have a male cat a little over a yr old who is also having troubles urinating i sent him to the vet today and they have a catheter on him i am so scared right now praying that he pulls through

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Kelly. Your,vets are doing the best they can. Once you have put in the catheter, the cat will be feeling heaps better. Dietary management is essential to prevent recurrence.

      Reply

  15. Hollis Pacella Says:

    You should always seek early treatment for bladder infection coz it can become more severe. -

    My web portal
    http://www.healthmedicinelab.com/what-causes-pink-eye/

    Reply

  16. Jessie Says:

    Hi Dr Rayya!

    What a great article! I discovered your blog today from googling, as my 2 year old tabby Waffle was having trouble pee-ing. We took him to the vet quick-smart and it turns out he has cystitis. The vet says it is probably idiopathic (we think due to the stress of a scary beanbag in our house, haha) and just gave us some Temgesic for the pain. She said the problem should just go away by itself, but we should switch to just wet food for now (we normally give him a combo of V expensive grain-free stuff) & watch him to make sure at least a few drops are coming out. I was surprised that he wasn’t given anything for treatment…but I guess we’ll just have to watch him like a hawk!

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Jessie,

      How is your kitty cat going? Has he improved? If he hasn’t, he should definitely get worked up fully with a cystocenteisis & full analysis of his urine including culture and sensitivity. Before you can assume idiopathic cysitis, you must rule out all other possible causes: struvites, bladder infection & etc.
      Addressing the diet is quite important. Please do give me an update. Hope he is doing well.

      Reply

      • Jessie Says:

        Hello again Dr Rayya

        Thanks so much for your response! Waffle is doing a bit better. We actually realised that he wasn’t drinking much water (despite temperatures getting up to 41 here in Adelaide), so we’ve switched to just his wet food (Wellness), mixed with lots of water twice a day and this seems to have helped a bit (he used to also have Felidae dry food). I tried getting him to drink running water from the tap too, but apparently that’s a bit scary! He’s still going to his litter box too often and trying to pee for too long, with not much result, but he’s now doing at least one ‘proper’ pee each day. He’s also still a bit skittish in the kitchen (where the now removed beanbag was) & this is pretty strange, as he was pretty much a fearless little guy before. We can’t think of anything else that’s happened that could explain his behaviour. Apart from that he is the same as normal and still playful.

        Our vet is good in that they do not charge for consults, only if they actually need to do anything. The vet seems to just check his bladder by squishing his tummy and checking to see if it’s inflamed. She said she doesn’t mind if we wanted to bring him in twice a day for peace of mind…but do you think we should take him back?

      • Rayya Says:

        Hey Jessie,

        Glad to hear Waffle is doing much better. In all honesty, I would definitely be doing a complete urinalysis on him after collecting a a sterile sample directly from his bladder. Some cats develop urethral spasms and need muscle relaxants like valium to help them through it. Keep up the great work of closely monitoring him. There are many ways to encourage him to drink, there are cat fountains of all sorts (some that are less splashy and spooky to certain cats), check out ebay!
        If he is still taking his time to urinate and acting odd & frequently going to his litter box, than something is bothering him. It is best to determine what is going on before it escalates. Make sure your vet makes a full investigation to determine the cause of the problem. You can’t assume it is stress related (especially if there is no changes in the home environment or disruption of routine like adding a new cat or pet to the household or moving house) and so we can’t assume it is related to stress unless we have ruled out any underlying medical problem. Goodluck and do keep me posted!

      • Jessie Says:

        Thanks again! I don’t know how, but he seems to be all better now..! For the last 2 days he’s been drinking and having regular toilet trips! He’s not taking long to go and doesn’t seem bothered about anything. Of course we’ll keep watching him and if it shows any sign of return, we’ll take him to the vet and get that urine sample done. Thanks for all your help! I look forward to reading more of your blogs :)

      • Rayya Says:

        Hey Jessie
        That’s just terrific news. Glad to hear he is back on track.
        Take care and thanks for the update.

  17. Lola Says:

    Great post Dr. Rayya!
    My cat Jasper is the absolute IMAGE of the beautiful Basil and suffering exact same symptoms now for over 2 weeks. Trips to Pdsa have given Amoxyl, which he’s now finished, and still on Cystease. Took him back again as he’s always at the litter tra
    yonly peeing a couple of drops, and they have given him Meloxicam. He’s just started this last night, but he’s trying to pee in the bathroom sink and my bedroom floor!! I’m wondering if the Diazepam would help? I have these at home 2mg white tablets. His bladder is not hard, and he is managing a few drops of urine, but I hate to see my boy like this. Can I safely give him Diazepam and how much? If be grateful for your reply. Can’t understand why pdsa havent taken a culture sample after a fortnight of this problem

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Lola. Sorry to hear about your little man’s urination issues. Doing a culture after he has had antibiotics will not be very useful as the bacteria has been very likely eradicated with the antibiotics. A full analysis if a urine sample collected via a needle directly fron his bladder is important. With regards to the valium/diazepam, I can’t recommend a dose as I haven’t examined your cat & I don’t know his full medical history. Contact his current vets and they should organize some for you if they think it is indicated. Hope he gets well soon. Keep me posted on hus progress.

      Reply

  18. Ayda Says:

    Hi Dr. Rayya. I just stumbled across this blog while researching my cat’s potential UTI. He’s been peeing small amounts for about a week now, and sometimes he’ll even pee a lot. But after using color changing litter, I now know for sure that his PH is off. Anyhow, I can’t afford an actual vet visit and all the fees that come along with it, so I’ve made an appointment at a humane center. However, it’s not till Thursday. By that point, my cat will have been showing symptoms for about two weeks.
    My question is, since he’s sometimes peeing a lot, do you think he’ll be ok waiting that long? I’m just so worried he will get blocked up. And although he doesn’t seem to be in pain, he may be straining more than he’s letting on. Just looking for an opinion. Thanks a lot.

    Ayda

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Ayda,
      Sorry to hear about your cat and about my delayed reply (been on emergency call and quite busy with calls). I hope he has been treated by now.
      I can’t offer any home remedies except making sure his diet contains fresh meat or adding in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to help acidify his urine. The fact that he is urinating frequently indicate he isn’t feeling well and has an irritable bladder. It is always quite important to attend to a urination problem in a male cat immediately! Goodluck.

      Reply

  19. marie Says:

    my baby salem is going through this. he is a 3 yr old siamese mix. i have been giving him a urine acidifier the last couple weeks and it seemed to cure him, but last night things got way worse. he is squatting in random places around the house and straining out a few drops. i am unemployed and have about $5 to my name. i dont know what to do

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Marie,

      Sorry to hear about Salem’s urination issues. I highly recommend you get a friend or family member to loan you some money to get your cat checked out and treated as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the bigger the expense may turn out to be. If he just has a bladder infection then he may just need antibiotics. Goodluck.

      Reply

  20. Ting Says:

    Hi there, your article was very interesting. I’m looking for info to help my cat (Whiskey) as he has already been to the vet twice and really can’t afford to take him again. The first time, the vet took x-rays and said there were no kidney stones or any blockages, gave him an antibiotic shot which the vet said lasts 10 days and sent him home. 4 days passed and he was not better and still could not urinate so I took him back and vet said it was a UTI, so he stayed there and they put a catheter in and put him on a drip because he just couldn’t pass any urine. He stayed for 5 nights and the vet said he could leave as the urine was clear and seemed that he could pass on his own now. He has been home with me for 4 nights now and I have been watching his behaviour. He is occasionally still meowing and growling when trying to urinate, he is hiding most of the day, he still urinates in unusual places (he is completely trained and this behaviour only started before I took him to the vet thinking he had kidney stones), and he is only eating very little food. I am feeding him a special food to lower the pH and also giving him his usual wet food. He drinks his milk though which I dilute with water. It seems also that he cannot control his bladder, I found him twice today sleeping or laying in his mess. I don’t think he can help it and that it just ‘happens’ while he is resting, as the mess is only by his hind legs and tail, as if he had no control while he was resting. He is still displaying weird behaviour and over-grooming his genital area. I wanted to give him a bath but thought that he wouldn’t handle the stress well enough now so I just wiped him clean. Please can you give me some advice as my vet will just advise me to bring him in again which I’m struggling to afford and can’t bear to watch my cat suffer :( I would appreciate any advice, thanks!!

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Ting,

      I am so sorry to hear about your cat’s UTI and blockage.
      Well done on taking him to the vet and ensuring he get all the necessary treatment.
      How old is your cat? Older cats can take longer to recover.
      Did your vet prescribe pain relief for your cat? I would definitely be calling your vet and requesting he organizes a pain relief script for you to pick up for your cat. Some types of pain relief like meloxicam antiinflammatory must only be given if your cat is eating and drinking well. Otherwise your vet can prescribe tramadol pain relief which is safe to be given on an empty stomach.

      When your cat was unable to urinate, he would have felt so much pain and he has now associated that pain with his litter box. I highly recommend you purchase a new litter box (different color & style) & you may even have to use a new type of litter (mixed with his usual litter) to encourage him to use it. You must also clean all the areas where he urinated outside his litter box with urine off (enzymatic cleaner) to appropriately remove the urine smell. If he continues to smell his urine in those areas, he will go back there and urinate.

      Please make sure he is drinking well and emptying his bladder. You can add tuna flavor to his water. Continue to feed him his special food & even add water to his food to increase his water intake.

      If he continues to deteriorate (not eating or drinking) and appears to be struggling to urinate again, you must immediately take him back to your veterinarian or you may lose him.

      I hope all this information helps. Keep me posted.

      Reply

      • Ting Says:

        Hi Dr Rayya,

        Sorry for this delayed response, but I just wanted to let you know how Whiskey is doing.
        I did go back to my vet and get some pain meds for Whiskey, so it seems that it helps him temporarily, but as soon as I stop giving him the meds, a day or two later he is moaning with a lot of pain when trying to urinate. Is this normal?
        He is eating and drinking normally again but when he is in pain, refuses to eat. I only administer the petcam to him if he has eaten, as that is the vet’s instructions.
        I’m not sure if it is normal that he is still experiencing pain and don’t want to keep giving him the meds with no results or only temporary relief to Whiskey.
        You mentioned that it could be age but Whiskey is only 2 years old so it can’t possibly be age that is hindering his recovery?

        Another concern is that he is still urinating all over the place. I have cleaned the previous areas properly but he either still goes back or he is finding new places to urinate. I have seen him use his sandpit occasionally so I am not sure if he still has an aversion towards it as he seems to urinate wherever he is at that moment. In a new room, on new blankets and pillows etc?
        I am pleased that at least he is passing urine but like I mentioned sometimes he is in a lot of pain still and I’m not sure why?
        He finds new spots to urinate now, where there is no previous smells and sometimes just stops in the middle of walking and ‘goes’ on the tiles, carpet or outside.
        How do I go about correcting this behaviour and getting him to use his sandpit again?

        He is at least eating once a day and drinking water and I’m also giving him milk diluted with water to encourage his fluid intake. I’m feeding him Royal Canin Urinary SO, prescribed by my vet and making his food soft with water and making sure he isn’t eating any other food so I can control his diet to see if it helps.

        Just worried that without the meds that his pain keeps coming back and don’t want to keep giving him the pain meds.

        I’d appreciate any of your advice :)
        Thank you!!

      • Rayya Says:

        Hey Ting

        Sorry to hear about your cat’s urinary tract issues.
        Well done on addressing them immediately.
        Did your vet’s analyze your cat’s urine? It is important to determine if it is due to crystals or purely infection. If his urine flow is normal and he isn’t straining and producing very small amounts of urine, that’s a good sign.
        If he is straining and passing bloody drops of urine, you must take him to the afterhours emergency.
        I think you need to book him in fir a revisit check with your vet tomorrow to discuss all your questions and concerns and to make sure he is responding to his treatment.
        Hope this information helps.
        Best of luck.

      • Rayya Says:

        Hello again,

        Good to hear Whiskey is on the mend.
        Have you discussed his inappropriate urination issues with your vet? You really should.
        Dealing with this problem is a process and I’m afraid I can’t go through it all with you regularly as I’m not the vet treating him.

        Well done on cleaning all the affected areas with urine off.

        You need to change his litter box. Get a new one, relocate it to where he does his most accidents and then even try a new litter.

        I am concerned that he appears to stop and urinate suddenly. You need to get your vet to reevaluate him and make sure he doesn’t have damage to the tip of his penis or a festering bladder infection.

        Goodluck.

  21. klyons13 Says:

    Hi Rayya,
    Great blog! I was wondering if you have any advice for my current situation with my sweet 5 year old male cat Earl. I took him to the vet on Friday because he had a partial blockage, they flushed him and emptied his bladder. They gave him valium and pain meds and told me to watch him carefully. On Sat, I woke up and he had a little blood in his poop so I took him back to the vet immediately where they checked him out again and his bladder was good and his rectal exam was fine, the vet assumed the blood was due to the pain and pushing he had been doing. They sent us home with some soft food and told me to mix water in it. On Sat night he seemed to be feeling better and definitely urinating more. I didn’t give him as much meds on Sat night because he was very clumpsy, but still eating and drinking. After that, he started to seem to try and pee more and lick himself, the next day there was much more pee in his box, but it had a pink color because of blood and he seemed more in pain. My vet is closed because it is Sunday so I called the ER and they said I should watch him closely and call my vet on Monday since he is urinating, the blood may be from irritation. What are your thoughts?

    Reply

  22. Eric Mally Says:

    I have a cat that has this too. Unfortunately , he’s been at the vet for 2 weeks, and they may have to put him down. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to put him down if I can do something. I want to do the operation if it saves him. He’s only 4 years old. I ask one of the vets there and she didn’t even now what it was.

    Reply

  23. kristina rassel Says:

    Hi rayya,
    I dont know what do my cat she 4 years old take medicine for uti seem all time 4x she hsd it since april. Now she doesnt go bathroom really unless u put her in the box what do I do help…..

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Kristina,

      Sorry to hear about your cat’s recurrent uti.
      I highly recommend you discuss that with your local veterinarian that has been treating your cat. I can’t really offer you good advise without her full medical history and examining her.
      If you aren’t treating the underlying cause of her uti then it will very likely keep recurring. It may be due to stress, infection, crystals, inappropriate diet, etc.
      For starters, get her a new litter box as she probably associates her old one with pain from recurrent uti.
      I hope this helps.

      Reply

  24. Samantha Johnson Says:

    Hi! My name is Samantha. I have a Male cat named Buster, and female named Belle. They’re brother and sister and they’re four years old. Back in 2011, i notices Buster was spotting blood around the house. I took him to the vet the very next day, and they couldn’t find anything wrong. They gave me an antibiotic to give him and it seemed to work, until about a week after we finished the antibiotic. He started spotting blood again, and as you can imagine, I was terrified. I took him to a DIFFERENT vet stating how frustrating this was that I had spent over $500 in vet bills, and they couldn’t find anything wrong. The 2nd vet I went to also found nothing, but doubled the dose of the same antibiotic. That finally seemed to work. Now, two years later, i notice my male cat in the Litter box more frequently. Last night i heard him pee and there were no problems. HOwever, this morning i watched him sit there for about three minutes and almost nothing came out. If you can imagine, I’m horrified for what might be wrong. Do you think i should take him to the vet?

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Samantha. Sorry to hear about Busters recurrent cystitis. Yes you must immediately take him to the vet as he may be blocked. I this crucial for your vets to do a complete urinalysis (urine test) on a cytocentesis (collected via a needle placed directly into the bladder) sample to determine the underlying cause. If they can’t find crystals, bacteria, urethral plugs then possible underlying anxiety needs to be investigated. Please update me on how buster goes.

      Reply

      • Samantha Says:

        Finally was able to take him to the vet today. As to my suspicion, his bladder was empty so they’re keeping him over night hopefully to get a sample. Seeing as how this has happened in the past, I’m sure they’ll give more antibiotics. They mentioned possible steroids due to inflammation. I did recently move into a new home, but I’ve moved several times in the past and this never happened before. Is there something that can help his stress level for future moves?

      • Jessie Says:

        Hi Samantha!

        My cat Waffle had consistent ‘idiopathic’ UTI’s. I sought some advice from Dr Rayya here (who was wonderful, as always) and ended up taking him to get blood tests and scans done ($800 later..but obviously worth it!), just to give myself the peace of mind that it wasn’t a physical problem. The UTI’s had come and gone a little, but when we moved house, it was constant, as he was so anxious. The tests came back all clear (thank goodness!), so our vet ended up prescribing anti-depressants for him. Literally within 24 hours of going on them, the UTI symptoms stopped completely. So now the plan is to leave him on the pills (one each night) for 6 months, then try to ween him off them. (He even looks forward to taking his pill now & meows aggressively at me, as he gets some water with a few drops of milk in it!)

        You can also get diffusers called ‘Feliway’ (google it). They emit pheromones which are supposed to cause a calming effect for cats. We bought a couple of these online and plugged them in around the house. We found the pills much more effective, but perhaps it’s worth a shot..!

      • Samantha Says:

        I definitely will try that Feliway. As soon as I brought my male cat Buster home, my female cat Belle, who happens to be his sister, has been wiggin out. She hissed at him and she hardly comes around. Not sure why!

      • Rayya Says:

        Hello Samantha.
        Belle would have not recognized Buster’s smell.
        They smell all the other animals that were in close proximity. It will take her a few days or weeks to recognise Buster. Feliway pheromone can definitely help speed up the process.

      • Rayya Says:

        Hey Jessie,

        Thanks for sharing your own experience as that is very helpful.
        Not all cat require anti-anxiety medication. Those that repeatedly suffer from recurrent idiopathic UTI, meaning not related to infection or crystals or etc (based on workup: bloods & complete urine tests) and confirmed to be stress-related are the ones that definitely should be put on appropriate anti-anxiety medication.

      • Rayya Says:

        Hello Samantha,

        Yes feliway pheromone is one product that can be very helpful to reduce anxiety.
        However, some feline patients require anti-anxiety medication but that must be coupled with behavior modification training. It is best you try and get a hold of a veterinary behaviorist specialist.

        Hope this helps.

  25. Deborah Cicconi Says:

    Hi, Rayya~~
    Hope you can help my cat. My 10 year-old male cat, Ryan, has been straining to pee and goes to his litter box often. He can only dribble out a little pee. Because of the dribbling he licks the fur around his legs (not his penis) often. He had a bit of diarrhea as well. Otherwise his behavior is active and affectionate. I took him immediately to the Vet. His x-ray showed completely empty intestines and bladder (so they were unable to pull a urine sample or fecal sample), and there was no signs of crystals or stones. The x-ray also showed NO problems with the kidneys, and no inflammation of the urethra. For these reasons he was not put on a catheter. His blood work was perfect and his vitals were perfect. The examination showed that he wasn’t experiencing pain when he was pressed around his bladder and abdomen, and his penis was a healthy, light pink color and he was very calm when it was examined. They put him on a wait-and-see along with a “Convenia” injection (antibiotic) and sent him home. So over 48 hours later he is still struggling to pee. Please note that it is extremely hot where I live and I have no AC. My two cats have a big bowl of water and individual bowls of dry food and plenty of cool tile to lie on. I have read dry food can be bad because of lack of hydration. I thought it was best for their teeth. The doctor did not offer a change in diet (for example, acidic) as they were unable to make much of a diagnosis which was frustrating and expensive. I notice that his respirations have quickened but that could be the heat in my house (95 degrees). My cats also have two large litter boxes to use and they are both completely INDOOR cats. What can I do to treat him or what the Vet can do to treat him? I am worried sick.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Deborah,
      You and your vet have done all the right things.
      I highly recommend you openly discuss all your questions and concerns directly with your vet. You are entitled to ask as many questions as you need to.
      I can’t really give you appropriate medical advise without your cat’s full medical history and without physically examining him myself.
      It is important to determine the underlying cause of your cat’s bladder issues: stress, diet, infection, idiopathic (unknown cause).
      Your vet can admit your cat to hospital and give him subcutaneous fluids then collect a cystocentesis(needle inserted into his bladder) sample directly from his bladder for full urine analysis including possible culture and sensitivity. This is only indicated if he is still straining to urinate or taking his time in the litter box or going to the litter box way too frequently.
      We often recommend having # litters in household=# of cats+ 1 extra. You should add one more litter box to your household and make sure it is a nice decent size (size of a storage box).
      Your cat is definitely going to be panting more if your house is too hot. It is important to ensure your cats don’t suffer from heat stroke. Consider lots of fans, putting cold wet towels on them or next to them.
      I hope this information helps and your cat is fully recovered soon.

      Reply

  26. Paul Prosnick Says:

    Hi dr rayya my cat Louie was struggling to pee a week ago I rushed him to my vet he’s on a catheter since .today the dr sent him home said he was fine within an hour I noticed he was still blocked since it was Sunday I had to take him to the emergency clinic he clogged his catheter they had to put a new one in there using a 3.5 to keep irritation down he has crystals still despite them rinsing his bladder for 5 days I’m really nervous now he’s on Valium and antibiotic the vet said he’s very inflamed his kidney levels are a bit elevated so there reluctant to give him something to help the swelling when he was home today before me taking him to emergency he ate a whole can of wet food and drank water but only dripped a bit of urine looking at his behavior he acts like a very healthy cat I’m losing my mind he won’t get better

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Paul,
      Sorry to hear about your cat’s ordeal.
      You have done all the right things. Seeking immediate veterinary attention for a block cat is crucial.
      It is important for your to discuss all of your concerns directly with your vet. You are entitled to get as much information as you need and it’s much more helpful getting it from the vet that is actually treating your cat. It is hard for me to give you accurate information without your cat’s full medical history and without me examining him myself.
      If they found crystals in his urine then they should have suggested changing his diet. The most common crystals cats get are struvites and that is because their urine is too basic (ph>7). A cat’s urine ph should be acidic (ph<7). He should be put on urine acidifiers like acidurin or vitamin C powder supplement in ascorbic acid form. Special prescription diets like hill's science s/d have been created to help dissolve crystals. I hope this information helps and it sounds like your cat is recovering well. However, it is crucial to adjust his diet appropriately to prevent recurrence of his blockage.
      I hope this information helps.

      Reply

  27. Mr Perkins Says:

    I know this kind of ordeal all too well. I’ve had my cat for about 2 years. 8 days after I adopted him I noticed he was in pain and couldn’t urinate so took him to the vet and they put the catheter in and 3 days later I brought him home with the prescribed vet food aka his new diet. Almost a year to the day the same thing happened so once again off to the vet. Having been a Sunday I paid dearly and the procedure cost double as the previous vet was unavailable. I kept him on the diet once he was home again for 4 months and finally decided to just put him on tinned food ( Petleys – I am from South Africa) as the year he was on his ‘special’ food simply did not help. This evening I have noticed the same thing is happening all over again! So tomorrow I will be back at the vet. What is going on? Is this going to be a yearly thing as I cant bare the thought of him going through this again.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Mr. Perkins,

      Firstly, I am so sorry to hear about your cat’s recurrent blockage. You really need to discuss all your questions and concerns directly with your veterinarian. Unfortunately, I can’t really comment as I didn’t examine your cat and don’t have access to his full medical history.

      Male cats in particular, can suffer from recurrent blockages if the underlying medical issue has not been treated. It is important for you to find out from your vet whether your cat had urinary crystals, a fat urethral plug, bacterial infection or simply idiopathic stress related cystitis. I highly recommend you encourage your cat to drink more, discuss environmental management including installing a water fountain (cats love to drink from a stream of water), whether to keep him exclusively indoors (if he is allowed outdoors), treat any underlying anxiety etc.
      I hope this information helps and please do make sure to ask your veterinarian as many questions as possible to determine the best long term management plan for your cat.
      Cheers,
      Rayya

      Reply

  28. Doris Says:

    I found this site very interesting.
    I have in sheer panic for the last week. I have a male Persian Munchkin cat. He is four years old. He is neutered and is a inside cat only. On labor day. I noticed he was having huge problems urinating in his litter box. I clean his box every morning and night. He was just not himself and seemed to be under stress. He kept drinking water non stop. Then walk to his box and nothing. Then he started to drink and lay his head on the bowl. Totally out of character for him. I called our vets office. Closed of course as it was Monday and Labor Day. I managed to get the emergency vets number. It is about 45 min from me. In a panic I drive to the vets. Talking to him and trying to stay calm myself. When I got him there. I had to wait another 40 minutes. They finally took him in. Yes, he had a blockage. The had a iv put in and they also out in a cath. Pain med were started. He was not dehydrated as of yet. He went down fast in 24 hours. His heart rate was shallow. His bladder was full. They kept him for three days. They took him of of everything on the fourth day. I was told he had crystals. I asked what kind. they couldnt answer me as I was told his urine was very sandy and it did have some blood in it. I was sent home with a medication that was supposed to stop his bladder from have spams. He was on this med for another three days. I asked them at the office before leaving if these meds were going to make him drip urine? I was told no. Well, he dripped for two full days. He licked for two full days. He barely when in his box urinated as a cat should. Small little spots the size of a quarter. Each time and about 10 times a day. I was very worried after the the two days to still see him straining to urinate with not enough output to me. I told him back in. They expressed his bladder and showed me how to do it. I asked if he was blocked again or if it was starting to reblock again. I was told no. As she managed to express his bladder and everything seemed fine. She showed me how to do it. I did it the next few days. Yet, he still was always in the litter box urinating the small quarter size spots. He is eating good and drinking good. He was put on Royal feline food called S/O dry with also the wet can. I leave the dry out all the time and I give him one table spoon of the wet a day. He isnt to interested in the wet. Yet he is eating good. He has never been a big eater. So, now today nothing has changed in his litter box habits at all. Im worried. I wonder if he should of also been sent home with some antibodices??? Today is 9-11. I am still watching him close. His recheck is on this Sunday. It does not feel like his bladder is full at all. He isnt in any discomfort at all that I can see. I just do not see a improvement in his box at all. Poor thing is in there like I said at least ten times a day. My vet bill was 900 plus the 60 for dry and the 32 for wet food. I am still worried sick about him. If I see a change for the worst. I will rush him asap back to the emergency. However, I want to know if this is the behavior or normal recover actions of a cat after going through all of this. I was told by phone yes by the vet tech.. I am not to positive on her answer. I am a animal groomer that runs her own shop. I also help do alot of cat rescue. I have never in 28 years had to deal with this issue. If u have any info on this subject. Id love to hear it. I personally am thinking he is getting blocked again already. I am from Warren, Michigan. Any support would be gladly accepted.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Doris,

      I am so sorry to hear about you and your cat’s ordeal with being blocked.
      Well done on following up and taking him back to the vets when you were uncertain.
      You should get a fresh urine sample from your cat via using catrine litter (a nonabsorbant litter that you place in his litter box) and take it for your vets to immediately do a complete urinalysis on. It should show exactly what crystals he has and if he has blood and requires any antibiotics. I totally agree with you, the frequency of him going to the litter box and only passing small amounts reveals he isn’t 100% and is at risk of re-blocking. Given he is eating and drinking well, he may require other medications. Unfortunately I can’t tell you what without assessing him myself. My suggestion is to book him for a revisit with your vet for a full examination including checking the tip of his penis (to see if it looks inflamed), do a complete urine test on a freshly collected urine sample (from his litter box) or one directly collected from his bladder via a needle (cystocentesis-much better sample) for full analysis +/- a blood test to check his kidney function. Based on the results, your vet may decide to start him on pain killers (like meloxicam) to help reduce the inflammation +/- antibiotics (if indicated) + medication to treat against urethral spasm (like valium).
      I hope this information helps and please do up date me on how he goes.
      Best of luck.
      Cheers,
      Rayya

      Reply

      • Doris Says:

        Hello, I did what u said to do on collecting his urine. It seemed I could not get enough of it. I finally found a way. I went and got a piece of screen. I cleaned out the litter box. I put a small block of brick in the bottom and put a screen on top of that and taped the edges to the inside of the litter box. I put a small amount of yesterdays news in it. Just very little of it. When he finally went. I was able to get plenty of it and have no litter in it either. i took the sample into my vets. He was free of crystals. However they found that he had a infection in his bladder and on in the track. He is on clavamox. Might of spelled that wrong. Two days on the meds and 100% back to normal. Thanks for the extra info.

      • Rayya Says:

        Hello Doris,

        You are most welcome and well done on your dedication to your wonderful pet. Glad to hear your he is back on track.

        Cheers
        Rayya

  29. Tracy Says:

    Hello,

    On Saturday, we had to put our beloved cat down. He had just turned 11 years old and from the age of 7 this was his third blockage. After the second blockage our cat never was able to fully urinate in a good stream. I imagine that since he had several catherizations perhaps some damage was created. I just could not understand why he got blocked again. We only fed him wet food and his last blocakge was in April in July we lost our other beloved pet to a type of blood cancer. Our cat was anxious at times. could that have caused the blockages or the loss our our other pet. I did give our cat methigel once a day. When I arrived at the Emergency Vet Ipleaded with them to do a sonogram. They refused as it was late and I assume no one was able to do that type of test. My cat had just turned 11 and I wanted to save him but the cost to do this was 6300. I did not have that kind of money. I knew I could only afford half which was a lot of money. I feel quilty for putting him down but before he bcame blocked he was leaking somewhat. Perhaps all the catherizations? But his urine 3 days before his death had blood in it. I tried everything. My husband and I are devastated that we lost both of our long time pets in 2 months. I will perhaps adopt a kitten and maybe get a puppy. I was wondering what adoption should be easier? First get a cat and then a dog or or vice versa? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Paul Prosnick Says:

      Tracy so sorry to hear about your losses I worry daily my boy will block again and I understand all to well the incredible cost of some medical procedures your pets were lucky to have such a good mom and dad. It’s truly heartbreaking to say goodbye.

      Reply

      • Tracy Says:

        Paul,

        Thank you for your kind words. If was so difficult seeing my cat block for the third and last time. If you can afford the surgery for your pet I highly recommend it. I probably should have had it done after the first time. But with the expense so high and the large outstanding debt I had I was unable to do so. When I am ready for my next pet I will make sure that I purchase some kind of pet insurance.

      • Rayya Says:

        Dear Paul.
        Thanks for your very supportive comment to help Tracy and her husband during a very difficult time indeed.

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Tracy
      I am so sorry about the loss of your cat. It surely has been a rough couple of months for you and your husband.
      Unfortunately repeated catheter placements can definitely cause strictures (scar tissues) in the urethra thereby increasing the risk of recurrent blockages. However, there may have been an underlying cause like anxiety predisposing him to this problem. Without looking through his full medical history and workup, I really can’t tell you what the primary issue was. Now he is no longer in pain and resting in peace.

      With regards to adopting new pets, if you are definitely wanting a cat and a dog and you want them to get along, the secret recipe is to get them together at a very young age. Puppy between 8-16 weeks of age and kitten between 8-12 weeks of age. It is important to take advantage of their socialization period as this will allow you to introduce them properly and get them to be best mates. Hope this information helps. Take care.

      Reply

      • Tracy Says:

        Hi Rayya,

        Thanks for your help. My husband and I are thinking about rescuing a part burmese and american medium hair mix. I was wondering what you know about these breeds? Any specific questions I should ask?

        Thank you.

      • Rayya Says:

        Hey Tracy,
        Glad to hear you are planning to adopt/rescue a cat.
        I have never met an American Medium hair mix.
        As for a Burmese, they are beautiful natured cats, quite chilled out. I really can’t give you specific questions about the breed as that will rely on your own research.
        However, it is always worth knowing estimated age, vaccination history & making sure the cat is desexed. Pure bred cats are more prone to genetic disease. Depending on the age of the cat, you may opt to do blood work to ensure there are no underlying medical conditions especially kidney disease.
        Hope this information helps.

  30. Stephanie Says:

    My cat has little wee but in no pain what can it be

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Stephanie you aren’t giving me much information so I can’t really answer you. If your catfish struggling to urinate, then he vision pain and needs to be seen and treated by your local vet.

      Reply

  31. Laura Says:

    Hi, I have a 2 1/2 year old male cat and I noticed today that he was having lots of trouble peeing. Nothing in his diet or litter has changed in a couple months and the only thing that lines up time wise is that I brought home a fake baby on Monday (now Wednesday) for a school project. Looking back I can now see symptoms of this since early Tuesday morning (ie licking a lot and multiple trips to the litter box).
    I took him to the vet earlier today and they managed to empty his bladder by squeezing it and it came out in a very powerful narrow stream, as if it came out of a pin-sized hole. And they took a sample and give us pain killers and sent us home.
    Since then he has been able to get a small amount out, about a teaspoon, every 10-15 minutes. But no more than that.
    Do you have any suggestions? Is he going to be okay for a day or two? Or should I bring him back? Can it be stress related?

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Laura. Sorry to hear about your cat’s illness. Did your vets do a urine test? It is crucial to determine if he may have a lower urinary tract infection or crystals. You should definitely take him back to your vet for reassessment. He could go downhill rapidly if he gets blocked. Best of luck. Rayya

      Reply

  32. Owen Says:

    Thank you for this information. He’s beautiful. I can tell from the huge number of comments that it has affected many people. This reminds me of my cat who died about a day ago. He too was often described as being human. He had a pee problem, the skin over his penis was blocking it, had an catheter put in 3 weeks ago, took medicine, diet changed, looked fine after 2 weeks. His hair became luxurious from the new diet. He looked better than ever. Catheter out, playing nicely, didn’t seem to mind the collar. Then he started having some trouble peeing again. On Friday we took him to the vet, everything checked out. Vet said to bring him back a week later for a regular check. The next day we noticed he was under the weather and took him in on Monday. We would have gone sooner but the Friday visit left us thinking that maybe he had just caught a cold or something. The doctors said they would perform an operation, it didn’t sound like a big deal, but my wife heard him scream and an hour later they told us that his heart had stopped on the operation table and could not be revived.

    Besides being distraught about his death, we are kicking ourselves for maybe choosing the wrong hospital. We didn’t like the place but our usual place was closed at the start of the 3 week ordeal. There are some hospitals in our area that people rave about, our usual one was such a place, and the one we ended up going to has some bad word of mouth. We are just shocked that he could be fine, go in for something fairly routine and be dead from cardiac arrest an our later. The doctors didn’t really explain, just said that his kidneys were weak. We looked at his penis and it looks like the operation had just begin, just a small cut around there. I’m in Japan and not 100% fluent so it’s hard to understand what happened, plus doctors here are not known for being forthcoming.

    I’ve had many pets, several cats, I’ve seen them die but this one was different. Really, really like a human and like our child. Only 3 years old too, and otherwise really healthy and active. Sorry, I’m just at wit’s end am needed to reach out to someone.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Owen,

      I am so terribly sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your very much loved and special cat. You did all the right things. Took him to the vet repetitively to ensure he is being treated appropriately. Unfortunately, blocked cats are a high risk anaesthetic and I must always warn my clients that their cat may not pull through.
      When you get a blocked cat, it is a true emergency. Some vets dive into the anaesthetic to help place a catheter, others hold off for a couple of hours until they have run blood tests and offered their patient supportive care (intravenous fluid therapy) at careful rates.
      I can’t say for sure based on your history if your cat didn’t pull through due to inappropriate treatment or simply because he was far too ill. Bottom line is you lost your beautiful cat and that’s is trully sad and a huge loss. To help you through this difficult time, you must focus on the fact that you did do everything you could for him and that he is no longer suffering or in pain. He will live in your heart forever.
      Again I am trully sorry for your loss.

      Reply

      • Owen Says:

        Thank you. We can’t shake the feeling that this wouldn’t have happened had we gone to our regular vet who has a much better reputation but maybe that’s just the guilty part of grief. But we know that our cat won’t be coming back and we have to move on.

        This site has been so helpful for us. You have an important day job Dr. Rayya, but this blog provides a valuable service too. I found it by chance while looking for answers about my pet’s death. I live in a foreign country and there are no support groups in my area, well, I have friends of course, but getting such heartfelt advice from complete strangers is a wonderful thing.

        We miss our unique and funny cat very much still, but we feel better, and tell ourselves that even though his life was short, it was a good one filled with food, play and love. And who knows, maybe we’ll see him again someday.

      • Rayya Says:

        You are most welcome Owen.
        I leave you with this poem to help you during this very difficult loss.

        Indian Prayer

        When I am dead
        Cry for me a little
        Think of me sometimes
        But not too much
        Think of me now and again
        As I was in life
        At some moments, it’s pleasant to recall
        But not for long
        Leave me in peace
        And I shall leave you in peace
        And while you live
        Let your thoughts be with the living

        Take care.
        Rayya

  33. Tracy Says:

    Owen,

    I am sorry for your loss. May male cat was blocked 3 times. The last time I could not save him. The hospital wanted 6300. I tried to call my vet but it was so late. I had no choice to put him to sleep. It was so hard at the animal hospital. The vet told me if they did the surgery, she couldn’t guarantee that he would not get blocked again. He was 11 years old and was a nervous cat. Maybe that contributed to him getting blocked again. Two months prior I had to put my dog down as I found out she had cancer. They were close perhpas he missed her. I am now petless. I hope you find comfort that your cat had 3 wonderful years with you and your family. When I first lost my dog, I said, I was devastated as she was my first fur child, but 2 months later when I lost my other fur child. I felt I had nothing to look forward to. I can only say that only time can heal the loss of a pet. I told myself and my husband that I do not want any more pets. I was adamant, but I can tell you that time does heal the loss of a pet. My husband wants to get another dog and cat already but I am giving myself 6-12 months to grieve. I put a deposit on a cockapoo for September and I thinking about getting a Burmese in a couple of months. I have realized that I gave both my pets the best years of their lives and they did the same for me. I look forward to having life in my home again but I will never forget my Lilly and LUcky.

    Reply

    • Owen Says:

      Thank you Tracy. You words helped my wife and I. I scrolled thru and saw earlier posts about your sad situation. We are mad at ourselves for maybe making mistakes with his care, but I can’t imagine if I had had to make the choice you had to, to put my cat to sleep at that time, especially because of money, it would have been so terrible. I couldn’t afford $6300 either. The house is cold and empty, I am grieving but I hope someday I can find and love a new child. You said it very well: I look forward to having life in my home again but I will never forget my Putin.

      Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Tracy thank you so much for offering so much support to Owen during this very difficult time for him.
      I really appreciate your comment.

      Reply

  34. Emma Says:

    Hi Dr. Rayya,
    Ever since I left for college my cat has been peeing random places. Right before he pees, he meows really loudly then, afterwards, is perfectly fine. He’s about 12 years old, so I was worried he about a UTI or blockage of some sort. He doesn’t have the typical symptoms of blood in his urine or only urinating small amounts though. My mother picked him up after he began meowing loudly and he urinated all the way down the hallway as she carried him! He simply meows very loudly over and over, and, if he isn’t put outside, urinates a healthy amount wherever he is. Any ideas as to what’s going on?
    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Emma

      Sorry to hear about your cat’s inappropriate urination.
      You can’t be sure he doesn’t have blood in his urine without a urine test.
      You are right about the symptoms not being typical of a UTI.
      However, given his age, it’s important to make sure he has no underlying medical problems especially a UTI. I highly recommend you get him checked out by your local vet including full blood work and a complete urine test.
      He may have an underlying UTI, feline dementia or even feline hyperthyroidism (abnormal over active thyroid gland).
      I hope this information helps. Please tell me how he goes and what your vet suggests.
      Cheers,
      Rayya

      Reply

  35. satornpan Says:

    Hiya, my tom cat’s had blood in his wee 2 days ago, I rushed to the vet and got him 2 injections of antibiotic and anti-inflamed. The vet examed him and there are no blocked also he still be happy play with my puppy. I’ve follow up his treatment with antibiotic tablet and anti-inflamed once a day. I’m worry as he still go for his litter box more often and only a little pee with pink came through. I’m not sure how long the treatment will work apart of struggle of pee, he seem to be ok But the blood did not gone and he struggle to wee everywhere, please advise.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello. I highly recommend you call your vet clinic and discuss what is happening with your cat. The blood should be clearing up and he shouldn’t still be going to his litter box so frequently given he is on both antibiotics and antininflammatories. He may need a different antibiotic or change in diet. You should take him back to your vet, get his urine tested to ensure he doesn’t have an underlying crystal problem. Hope this information helps. Hope he fully recovers soon.

      Reply

      • Jasmine Says:

        Hello. I have a 7 year old cat that is about ten pounds. He lives in my house and can not pee. Is there a way I can treat him myself without having to take him to the vet unless I have to? He has been laying and trying to go to the bathroom but hasn’t succeeded very much. He won’t eat much or drink either. How can I help him?

      • Rayya Says:

        Dear Jasmine. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do for him at home. You must immediately take him to the vet for emergency treatment as he is suffering from a painful and life threatening condition. Best of luck.

  36. Basil'scompanion Says:

    Its over 2 years since Basil’s operation and he has not had a problem with his health in any way. The operation was not cheap but the joy he gives us every day makes it
    well worth it .Thank you Rayya. Btw we got him from the RSPCA aged 6 in 2009

    Reply

  37. Jaqui Hernandez Says:

    My cat is 1 1/2 years old. He’s been peeing in the house for the last week and just today he can’t move outside the litter box and when I check I saw that there is blood in the litter. I”m in UT right now and vets are closed on Sunday. What can I do to help him until tomorrow?

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Jaqui… If he’s struggling to urinate, then he needs urgent vet care. There’s nothing you can do to help him if he’s blocked or if he has a bladder infection. Call the after hours vet emergency number to discuss his case immediately and to decide together if he needs to be seen immediately or can wait until tomorrow. Good luck.

      Reply

  38. maria Says:

    Hi Dr. Rayya

    this past Thursday my cat Rusty was acting strange, he was straining to pee in other places than his litter box but I have 3 other cats so I figured he was claiming his territory, as I look back now I wish I would have called the vet, on Friday he grew lethargic and Saturday morning I immediately rushed him to the vetinary office. My dr said he had a blockage and usually need sedation to unblock it, he was able to unblock himself with a cathader and gave him antibiotic and pain meds. The dr advised me that rusty would do best with 24 hour care over the weekend but it would cost thousands of which I don’t have. I opted to take him home with me and wish I had left him in an animal hospital. I took rusty home Saturday and monitored him all night he drank a little water but didn’t urinate. He fell asleep and I fell asleep. When I woke up Sunday morning he was gone to my dismay. He really was the best, sweetest cat anyone could meet and he was only 4 years old. I can’t help to feel guilty that if I would have known and brought him sooner I would still have him with me. I feel like more cat pet parents need to be educated on this as soon as they own a male cat. Now my life will never be the same without my Rusty..

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Maria
      I am terribly sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your precious Rusty.
      I agree it is important to educate pet owners about owning a male cat. This is the very reason I chose to blog about this.

      Again I’m truly sorry for your loss. :-(

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Where are they now? (2011) | Dr Rayya's Online Veterinary Journal - January 4, 2012

    [...] Basil is going really well now & also wanted to send you his warmest belated Xmas wishes too. He obviously enjoyed being dressed up for the occasion [...]

  2. Don’t ignore your male dog when he cocks his leg | Dr Rayya's Online Veterinary Journal - March 26, 2012

    [...] Is your male cat struggling to pee? (rayyathevet.com) Spread the word! Pin ItLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

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