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Dr. Brian
Dr. Brian, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
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Experience:  34 years in private practice, 2008 WA State Vet of the Year
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My cat Vincent has been urinating outside his box. I took him

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My cat Vincent has been urinating outside his box. I took him to the vet, while at the vets office he urinated in his crate. The vet collected it and sent it for urinalysis. He had blood and crystals in his urine, but his bladder was not blocked. He gave Vincent antibiotics and prescription diet c/d cat food. Later that night, Vincent was straining to urinate, so I rushed him to the animal er. They said his bladder was not blocked and gave him some pain medication to take home with me. Vincent has been eating the new canned food and had some water. He seems to still be straining to urinate, but there is usually at least a small amount of urine produced and there seems to be less blood in the small amounts of urine I find. I am terrified that I will miss that he is blocked and will die. The directions I was given are very vague. "Straining to urinate or urinating more frequently is not uncommom with bladder problems, but if he is not producing urine than that is a medical emergency" Which is it? Vincent is straining, but there seems to be a small amount of urine each time. He also is cleaning his gentials more often than usual.He is eating normally, and seems to be in a good mood. When I rub his belly, he does not seem to react as if he is in any pain. I plan on taking him back to the vet on monday to check his bladder one more time. I guess my questions are: What exactly should I be seeing that would require another emergency trip to the Animal ER? What will I notice about his urine and/or behavior to indicate that he is improving? Is there a way I can feel his bladder to make sure he is not blocked?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Brian replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Brian :

Hi and welcome to Just Answer. I am a licensed veterinarian and will do my best to help you.


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX very concerned about my cat

Expert:  Dr. Brian replied 4 years ago.

This is a very important medical condition of cats and you are right to be concerned. I am pleased to see that he is passing urine when he tries to urinate. Were he not able to pass urine, even in small amounts, that is an emergency and he would need to be seen immediately. It is common for them to urinate a small amount frequently, and that is not a concern. Certainly, feeling his abdomen to determine if the bladder is full and painful is a great way to determine if he re blocks again

I do this with the cat standing. Placing your hand between the rear legs with the thumb on one side of the abdomen and the fingers on the other and push upward toward the spine. Keep you thumb and fingers about 2-3 inches apart as you gently slide you hand forward towards he head. A very very full bladder will be between the size of an lemon and a medium sized orange and be located about halfway to the ribcage. Nothing else is that large, firm and painful if he is blocked.

As he improves he should lick his genitals less, pass a larger quantity of urine and urinate less often. The pain medication should also help with him straining less. Ideally he should be on a high water content diet- either canned food, or add water to the c/d and let it soak until it is the consistency of canned food (1-3 cups of water per cup of dry food). The high water content will result in more dilute urine making crystals difficult to form, and will help flush out the bladder as he will urinate more often. Dietary management is forever with these cats, though you could more to a regular canned food and not c/d after the first month.

Here is a great article on this condition:

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