Bladder & Urinary Tract

Much has changed in our understanding of bladder problems among cats. It used to be thought that it was often bacterial bladder infections that could be controlled with antibiotics. Then it was thought that cats produced proteins in their urine, which prevented bacteria from surviving in cat urine. According to this new insight, bladder problems would mainly be caused by the presence of grit, small crystals in the urine. Solving the grit would be the solution to all problems.

It is now known that bacteria also play a role in particular cats. Sometimes grit is the culprit. Bladder stones can be the cause of bladder problems. Sometimes it is an error in the shape of the bladder, which quickly leads to inflammation. Very often, it can be a kidney pelvis infection as a cause, or even a bladder tumor.

Initial indications

  • Frequent and unsuccessful urination attempts.
  • Urination in undesirable places.
  • Urination is painful, complaining meowing, abdominal pain.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Excessive licking of the pubic area.

If the cat shows any of the above symptoms, urgent (emergency), help is needed.

If the cat can’t urinate anymore, eventually, the bladder becomes overfilled. Because of this, the kidneys can no longer remove the waste products from the body, and acute kidney poisoning starts: vomiting, eyes lie down deep, the complaining meowing stops, hypothermia, and eventually, the cat goes into a deep coma. Within 24 hours after the blockage, a hangover can already die!


If clogging occurs, it is first removed with special catheters and fluids. By flushing the bladder, as much grit and stones as possible are discarded, any remaining crystal can initiate new crystal growth.

Struvite and calcium oxalate are the urinary stones that are most sensitive to influence by nutrition. It has been shown that food components are essential for the development and treatment of struvite and calcium oxalate stones in cats. The intake of food and fluid strongly influences the composition of the urine. Each type of crystal or stone develops under different or even opposite conditions. Therefore, the treatment of these two conditions by nutrition should be approached in two different ways. The nutritional therapy to be applied always depends on the analysis of the crystals and/or urinary stones. The aim is to stop the further formation of stones by removing or controlling the underlying causes.

A last “cure” for the hangover is the male amputation of the penis. By removing the penis, the constriction, which is not present in females, is also removed. In this way, a wider opening of the urine is created, just like with the cat. This makes it easier to urinate small shaped stones. The penis amputation also has considerable disadvantages. It always has to be considered on a case by case basis, whether this is the only correct treatment.

Both in case of clogging, as well as in case of suspicion of bladder debris, urine tests are always carried out. The urine test is used to determine what kind of grit is involved.

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