Caring for a cat can be tricky – it’s hard sometimes to spot the signs that they might have a health problem.

But there are things you can look out for and do, as our vet Lara Oswald from explains.

My cat is straining to urinate – is it an emergency? What does this mean and what should I expect?

urinating cat in litter trayOne of the most commonly overlooked problems by cat owners is a straining male cat.

Owners will often notice their pet crouched down in their litter tray, trying to urinate but failing to produce any urine, behaviour they may repeat frequently throughout the day.

These signs often mean your cat may have a blocked bladder, one of the biggest emergencies in feline medicine and veterinary practice in general.

What does a blocked bladder mean and how does it affect my cat?

A blocked bladder or urethral obstruction, as your vet will call it, is when there is a plug preventing the outflow of urine from the bladder. The accumulation of urine can lead to the build-up of toxins, which can cause your cat to have a heart attack.

A urethral obstruction in tomcats can be fatal within three days.

How will my vet deal with the situation?

Your vet will perform a clinical examination to assess your cat’s vital signs and request blood and urine tests to assess your pet’s heart and kidneys.

Treatment will most likely involve pain relief, fluid therapy to maintain balance in the body and placement of a urinary catheter to relieve and flush the obstruction.

What will I have to look out for once my cat returns home?

This condition may be caused by the stress caused by new environment, new pets, other cats in the neighbourhood and even new additions to the family such as newborn babies.

Keeping a close eye on how your cat reacts to the different changes in his life may help you find the triggering factor.

Once the cat has been treated for urinary obstruction, they will most likely be prescribed ongoing pain relief and muscle relaxants to help ease the urinary flow and relieve your pet of the pain suffered from the past days.

Article courtesy of News Shopper 6th October 2017

My Callan and Tilly just met Lara and both fell in love with her. Fabulous vet just like all the others and staff at AllPets x

Hannah