I was sad last week. My lovely son Nairo, 5th son of my dear Lotto, had urinary problems. He was entering in the litter very often, and he was meowing while urinating. I took him to the vet and it turned out he had urinary crystals.
The vet put a catheter in his bladder through his penis and cleared it, then washed it with medical chemicals. Now he’s on antibiotics and a special diet (a special food for cats which has urinary problems).
Luckily, I acted early and his situation wasn’t so bad – for example, there was no blood in his urine. Now his condition is getting better every day and he is not meowing while urinating.
Cystitis, or a bladder infection, is usually due to a bacterial infection, a mineral imbalance, and/or an abnormality in the cat’s pH levels. This contributes to the formation of microscopic mineral crystals in the urine, which may grow in size to form stones or the grit that causes the urethral plug.
How to understand if your cat has urinary problems
The cat will exhibit frequent attempts at urination, producing little or no urine, which is usually blood tinged. More severe signs can develop in the blocked cat. Due to anatomical differences, a blocked cat is almost always male. As I said above, the cat will often cry out in pain and become progressively more lethargic – and make trips to the litter very often. He This is because the urine cannot be emptied from the bladder, which not only makes the cat very sick but can become fatal.
What is the danger, and what one should do
There are no safe and effective first aid steps which you can, or should, perform at home for a blocked cat. You should take him to the wet IMMEDIATELY! Because, unless appropriate medical care is obtained immediately, a cat that cannot pee is a cat that’s going to die.
Are all cats at risk of urethral blockage?
The answer is yes. But some cats are in higher risk.
- Male cats are at higher risk than female cats.
- Compared to the cats of good body condition, overweight cats are at greater risk. Nairo was overweight, and he still is, but after the incident he started to lose some weight slowly and gradually, with the help of the special diet. In fact, he didn’t like the special food, so he don’t eat so much as before.
- Cats that eat only (or even predominantly) dry food are at greater risk than those that eat exclusively (or predominantly) wet food. Nairo never eats wet food. I tried many times to give him wet food, but he always turned his head away. This is weird, since most cats adore wet food. He is also a very picky cat, he don’t eat most of dry foods too.
- Cats that have previously had a urethral obstruction are at increased risk of obstructing again (especially if their management hasn’t changed). That means, from now on, I must always keep one eye on him.
- Cats with recurrent bouts of bladder inflammation (cystitis) are at increased risk of developing a urethral obstruction.
- Stressful situations (eg. home renovations, family trip, new baby, new cat, etc.) also increase the risk of urethral obstruction in many cats.
- Neutered cats (Nairo is also neutered) and those that are indoor-only (Nairo is indoor-only) also appear to be at greater risk than sexually intact cats and those that spend time outdoors. However, both of these factors also tend to predispose cats to obesity—mostly because people overfeed them relative to the amount of calories they actually need – and therefore are more likely indirect risk factors for the development of urethral obstruction. But don’t get confused – having your cats neutered and keeping them indoors confers far more health and safety benefits than the relatively small increase in risk they may confer in relation to the development of a urethral obstruction.
Nairo is better now
After being on antibiotics for ten days, Nairo is much better now. He is no more meowing while urinating, and playful and active as always he used to be. He is still on a special diet.
The day after the treatment, he was already started playing with his favorite toy: sponge balls.