Urinary Blockage in Cats – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


The condition known as urinary blockage in cats occurs when inflammatory substances like debris, bladder stones, or proteins obstruct the cat’s urinary tract. When the urethra blocks, the cat cannot pass urine. This can cause inflammation and damage to the bladder and kidneys, if left too long.

Neutered male cats are more commonly prone to experiencing urinary blockage. This is a very serious condition which can be life-threatening, if not addressed immediately.

Causes of Urinary Blockage

The urinary tract of male cats being very narrow, is often the reason for blockages due to mucus, cells and urine crystals. Sometimes, muscle spasms of the urinary tract can also obstruct the flow of urine. Here are some of the other known causes of urinary blockage in cats.

urinary blockage in cats
  • Defective bladder
  • Foods rich in magnesium
  • Dry commercial food
  • Cats with restless behavioral issues
  • Indoor bred cat
  • Being higher weight
  • Stressful environment
  • Cat living amongst other household cats


  • Difficulty in urination. Cat may yowl out in pain when urinating.
  • You may notice that the cat goes to the litter box trying to pee, but too little to no urine may come out.
  • Urinating elsewhere around
  • Swollen belly
  • Blood in urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

When you take your cat to the vet, he may diagnose the issue by conducting some blood tests and X-ray.


If the tests confirm urinary blockage, your cat needs to be treated immediately. The vet may place a catheter in the urinary tract under anaesthesia to drain the bladder. The catheter will be kept in place for some days, so that the bladder is emptied of the remaining debris. Your cat will need to remain in hospital as long as it takes for the urethra to heal.

In case if the obstruction is pushed into the bladder with the insertion of catheter, the vet may perform a surgery to remove the debris by opening up the bladder. If the condition is a recurring one, a procedure called urethrostomy may be performed by the vet. Once your cat’s condition is stable, you may take it home. You may need to give antibiotics and pain medication as prescribed by the vet.


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