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Male Cat Urinary Blockage: Everything You Need to Know and How to Prevent the Condition

Ginger cat lying on couchAny cat parent with a male cat can tell you that a urinary blockage is a serious thing that should be dealt with immediately. But how can you tell when a blockage occurs? There are certain symptoms and signs that might indicate your male cat is experiencing this condition.  Whether you need treatment or want to prevent it altogether, a trip to West Park Animal Hospital may be a good idea either way. If you are uncertain how this condition manifests, there are certain symptoms to be aware of. Here is what you need to know about urinary issues in your male cat.

What Causes Urinary Blockage in Male Cats?

Neutered male felines are more likely to experience urinary blockage since their urethras are narrower. Their urethras may be extremely thin to the point where muscle spasms in the urethra can prevent proper urine flow.

The urethra of a male cat can also become blocked by urethral plugs, sludge, or by tiny urethral stones. Additionally, urinary blockage in cats can be caused by consuming foods with a high magnesium content or an underlying disease known as feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC).

What Are Some Symptoms of Urinary Blockage in Male Cats?

A common sign of a urinary blockage in male cats is constant trips to the litter box where no urination occurs. You may also notice that your cat is more irritable than usual or is making noises that are out of the ordinary when trying to urinate. If the urinary blockage persists, an electrolyte discrepancy in your cat’s body will lead to a depressed state, decreased appetite, and vomiting. You may also notice that your cat is hiding or trying to avoid human interaction as much as possible.

Treating Urinary Blockage in Male Cats

Male veterinarian doctor with stethoscope holding a gray catTreatment can be successful if this is caught early enough.  Your male cat will need to be hospitalized if it has a complete urinary blockage. The cat will receive intravenous fluids to remedy the electrolyte disparity, and a urinary catheter will be placed under general anesthesia to remove the blockage and allow effective bladder emptying. The catheter will be left for a couple of days, allowing the urethra to heal and your cat to recover.

Once your feline is urinating well on his own, you can take him home. Most cats are usually in the hospital for multiple days. Depending on what was causing the blockage, the doctor may prescribe several medications for your cat. These medications may include painkillers, antibiotics, and medicine to help the urethra relax.

Preventing Urinary Blockage in Male Cats

Regrettably, if your male cat has experienced a urethral blockage, there is a high chance that this will happen again. The good news is that there are certain steps that a cat parent can take to minimize this risk.

First and foremost, water intake is essential to preventing urinary blockage and flushing debris out of your cat’s system. You can try installing a drinking fountain for your cats to encourage water intake. You can also add a little tuna juice to a bowl of water to give it some flavor that your cats are sure to enjoy. Consider switching to canned food if your cat’s diet primarily consists of dry food.

Proper nutrition can help to prevent urinary blockage in male cats. If your feline has already experienced urethra health issues, a therapeutic diet may be vital in helping dissolve the crystals or reduce the chances of forming new crystals, leading to better urinary health. You can buy therapeutic food from a veterinarian. Ensure you strictly adhere to the doctor’s instructions regarding this therapeutic diet.

Does Stress Play a Role in Male Cat Urinary Blockage?

Stress plays a significant role in male cat urinary blockage. Thus, you must ensure you keep your cat as stress-free as possible. Cats are prone to stress-induced urinary health issues, including urethral spasms and cystitis, which can lead to urinary blockage. Creating a stress-free environment for your cat can reduce its chances of developing urinary health issues, including blockage.

Stress may be caused by:

  • Boredom
  • The presence of many cats in your household leads to competition for resources (for instance, competition for water and food or time at a litter box).
  • Bullying from other cats
  • A dirty litter box
  • A shift in the environment (for instance, the shift that occurred during the covid-19 lockdown when cat owners were now constantly indoors)
  • Other things such as visitors or renovations may cause your cat to become stressed out.

What can you do to prevent stress? Here are some tips that should help reduce stress levels in your cat.

  • Buy your cat some toys to keep them happy
  • Ensure you have more than enough litter boxes around the house so your cats are not competing for one litter box and keep these litter boxes as clean as possible.
  • Ensure you have at least one more water or food bowl than your cats. After all, no one likes sharing a plate with other people.
  • Give your feline a cat condo or perch. Place these condos up high so your cat has privacy and can see everything happening in your home
  • Speak to your veterinarian about therapeutic food that can help to reduce your cat’s stress levels

Bring Your Cat to West Park Animal Hospital

For cat parents in West Park, North Olmsted, Berea, Rocky River, Lakewood, Fairview Park, and Cleveland, seeing your kitty in anguish caused by a urinary blockage can be heartbreaking. Fortunately, a urinary blockage can be treatable, and the staff here at West Park Animal Hospital will take good care of your beloved cat. Contact us today and let us determine the best treatment plan for your feline friend.