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petdrz, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 7352
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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I've got a 2 yr old female cat with Manx syndrome who needs

Customer Question

Hi; I've got a 2 yr old female cat with Manx syndrome who needs 2x daily expressing. She has a pretty firm bladder and needs a good deal of pressure on it for her to urinate. (I've expressed one other cat, and he was EXTREMELY easy by comparison). She's also very spunky and prone to struggle. I've been successfully finding her bladder by going back from her rib cage. Then, to express her, I've been squeezing her bladder between my thumb and two fingers on my right hand and moving from rostral to caudal (she has to be standing - otherwise she struggles too much - and I don't have anyone who can help me with her). This has been pretty successful, but I need to squeeze pretty hard, to the point that it can be painful; her bladder sometimes slips from my grip; and it doesn't always work - she doesn't urinate every time I squeeze. I was just wondering if there might be any more efficient grips or techniques I could use for squeezing the bladder to express her once I've found her bladder.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response. I recently just logged onto the site and noted that your question hasn't yet been answered. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years’ experience and would be happy work with you if you are still needing assistance.

From you description, it sounds as if you are doing it exactly as I would. I can tell you that on some cats, you do have to exert a moderate amount of pressure in order to get things started, but if it seems like too much, I would give it a rest and try again after a short time. Expressing the bladder requires relaxation of the urethral sphincter and if she is nervous or tense, that may not happen readily. You can damage the bladder if you squeeze too hard and the sphincter is not relaxing. It is hard to describe what is too hard, but the best estimate is when Butter starts to object as if it is uncomfortable. If it seems she is and no urine is flowing yet. Relax your grip and message the abdomen a bit to help relax her and then try again.

Your positioning is as I would do, but I have come across alternative positions that I though I would pass along. It really depends on the cat itself and what you are comfortable with, but these may be things you could try.

This one is much like you do it: video 1

Here is an alternative position: video 2

And yet another position: video 3

Finally an odd one (that I don't think many cats would handle well): video 4

I hope you find this helpful. It sounds as if you already are doing a pretty good job.

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

Dr Z