Call us today: (954) 567-2500
Call us today: (954) 567-2500

What Does It Mean When Your Cat Can’t Pee?

cat can't pee

What do Do if Your Cat Can’t Pee

Knowing what to do when you notice that your cat can’t pee normally can help you prevent serious issues with your beloved pet’s health. If your cat can’t pee, a urinary obstruction could be responsible for this issue. If left untreated, urinary obstructions can cause severe pain, physical damage and even death. Contacting your local Fort Lauderdale animal hospital immediately can ensure that your cat receives the lifesaving care needed when urinary blockages occur.

What Causes Urinary Obstructions?

Urinary blockages occur when inflammation of the urethra or small crystals in your cat’s urine block the free flow of urine. This condition more often affects male cats than female cats and is most often caused by minerals building up in the urinary tract and creating a blockage in the urethra, which is responsible for allowing urine to pass out of the body. When your cat can’t pee because of a urinary obstruction, the liquid builds up inside the body and cannot be released. This can cause pressure and pain in the urinary tract that can affect your cat’s temperament and overall state of health. In less common cases, urinary obstructions may be caused by lesions, scar tissue or tumors growing in the urethra or further up the urinary tract.

What Are the Symptoms of Urinary Obstructions?

During the early stages of a urinary blockage, you may not notice any differences in your cat’s behavior. Some of the most common warning signs that your pet may have a urinary blockage are listed below:

  • Straining to pee or spending significant time around the litter box
  • Crying or howling when trying to pee
  • Hiding from people or other pets
  • Blood or blood-tinged urine in the litter box
  • Vomiting
  • Accidents outside the litter box area
  • Lethargy
  • An unwillingness to eat
  • Pacing or other uncharacteristic behaviors
  • Increased water consumption

If your cat shows any of these signs of urinary blockages, you should contact your Fort Lauderdale animal hospital right away to have your pet examined. Early treatment is an important key to protecting your cat from the serious health effects of urinary blockages.

Effects of Urinary Blockages on Feline Health

The kidneys and urinary tract work together in cats to eliminate toxins and to keep your pet healthy. If your cat can’t pee, the toxins in urine stay in the body and can cause serious health problems. As the levels of toxins increase, your cat will become progressively sicker and weaker. In some cases, the bladder can rupture and cause internal bleeding. Some cats will die within 24 hours of exhibiting the first symptoms of a blocked urinary tract. For this reason, it is absolutely vital to seek help right away from your Fort Lauderdale animal hospital. Even if you first notice symptoms in the evening, at night or on weekends, you should make arrangements to take your cat to an emergency veterinary hospital to seek treatment as soon as possible. This can prevent your pet from sustaining serious injury or dying as a result of a urinary blockage that occurs for any reason.

Treatment for Urinary Obstructions in Felines

Your Fort Lauderdale animal hospital will typically need to keep your cat under observation for at least a few days. After diagnosing a urinary tract obstruction, your veterinary team will check for imbalances in the cat’s blood. Your cat will typically be sedated and a catheter put in place to allow the urine to pass out of the bladder and to lower the risk that the bladder will rupture from excess fluid. Depending on the location of the blockage, several attempts may be required to seat the catheter properly.

Once a urine sample has been collected through the catheter, your veterinarian will check for signs of infection or other issues that could have contributed to the blockage. All urine will be drained from the bladder before it is flushed with sterile saline solution. Your cat will usually be put on an IV catheter to deliver fluids and to keep your pet hydrated properly. Pain medications may also be administered to keep your cat calm and comfortable throughout the treatment process. Your veterinarian may also recommend a change in diet or surgical correction to the urethra for cats that have repeated issues with urinary obstructions. These surgeries are most often performed on male cats to correct problems with a narrow urethra and can significantly improve the quality of life for your cat in some cases.

At Family Pet Medical Center, we are a trusted Fort Lauderdale animal hospital with hours on Saturday and Sunday. We can also meet you and your pet after hours for emergencies, which can provide you with added peace of mind when serious health issues arise for your dog or cat. Give us a call today at 954-567-2500 to touch base with us. We are here to help when you need us most.

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