Urgent blocked male cat dilemma, please help

tnl

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I agree with Xena44 Xena44 - try a Feliway or Comfort Zone diffuser...they worked for my indoor cats when they were stressed. You might also consider seeing a different vet. The surgery seems a bit extreme. And, as stated before, please don't let him out on his own to suffer!! Maybe you could even offer him some catnip or cat grass to help him cope.
 

jefferd18

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I had the same dilemma with one of my cats back in 14. My cat, Tuptin, went through ten months of constant blocking. I would no sooner bring him back from the vet then he would get blocked again. Draining, manually expressing him,antibiotics, etc.... nothing worked or worked very long. Finally I took him to a feline specialist and he put him on a antibiotic and a muscle relaxer. It was the second medication that did the trick.

The surgery that you speak of can be very helpful but it is expensive and needs to be performed by someone who really knows what they are doing. Not all vets can do it. I was considering it for Tupper but he was 13 at the time and a little old for that surgery.
 

T.O.

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Stress can go straight to a cats bladder and cause them a lot of pain. Give them uti symptoms. Especially in male cats. Try the plug in pheromones. CBD. Gabapentin may be prescribed from the vet for pain symptoms. Save yourself money and bring urine samples in to be tested for crystals without a full vet visit each time.

is he smelling another cat in his territory??? Coming near a window maybe? This would cause the stress. Been there. Trapped about five un-neutered cats patrolling my yard. Spraying.
Don’t put him out. If his pain can’t be managed then there’s a humane option and that’s ok, you’d be doing right by him. But putting him out guarantees a long suffering.
Good luck. There’s a lot of good advice on here.
 

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Have you explored using Marshmallow Root yet? It works for the people and cats that I work with. It should be given 2-4 hours apart from modern medicines as it can block absorption. I have found that MR helps me with both UTI and during kidney stone flare-up as well as post-colonoscopy gut cramps and pain. Edit: A thick Marshmallow Root/Slippery Elm decocotion applied topically sometimes soothes the irritation from catheterization, and also rectal misery from colonoscopy.
Do you have any insight on the dog-cat interactions? Sometimes a dog wants the cat to play but the cat isn't motivated in the same way. Giving the dog a length of thick rope that is knotted on one end to drag around the apartment gives the cat something to chase & that is enriching excercise for both.
 
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Fizzle52

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10 months? Jesus... did he have to be catheterised each time? I switched vet because they were pressuring me to do the surgery but now even the second one is making me feel like I'm not doing the right thing by refusing surgery. I just feel like it's ethically not right, especially when there isn't a structural problem, and it's all caused by stress which has been brought on by me taking him in.
 
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Fizzle52

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Stress can go straight to a cats bladder and cause them a lot of pain. Give them uti symptoms. Especially in male cats. Try the plug in pheromones. CBD. Gabapentin may be prescribed from the vet for pain symptoms. Save yourself money and bring urine samples in to be tested for crystals without a full vet visit each time.

is he smelling another cat in his territory??? Coming near a window maybe? This would cause the stress. Been there. Trapped about five un-neutered cats patrolling my yard. Spraying.
Don’t put him out. If his pain can’t be managed then there’s a humane option and that’s ok, you’d be doing right by him. But putting him out guarantees a long suffering.
Good luck. There’s a lot of good advice on here.
Thanks so much for your reply! I don't live in the US so CBD isn't an option. Will try the plug in diffuser. You mean Feliway, right? Also, I have a question that I can't seem to find answers to – if there are no crystals, does that mean that he isn't actually blocked, and manual expression is possible? I've been reading so much to understand this condition and this is my understanding: stress for whatever reason causes urethral spasm > leads to urine not passing through > leads to bulging bladder and subsequently bladder lining erosion and inflammation > leads to bacteria in unpassed urine then causing build up of proteins and crystals in penis opening > leads to full blockage. Is this correct? Or is it possible that his urinary tract can be so tense that despite no physical thing causing an obstruction, he can still be totally blocked and require catheterisation? His most recent catheterisation, the vet initially couldn't pass the catheter through and thought he had a urethral stricture, but later was able to, so she said it meant that his muscle was so tense that it just didn't allow passage. But that means there was no physical obstruction, and that means they should have been able to express his bladder, right?

Since the first catheterisation a month ago, he has been making very frequent trips to the litter box and peeing only a little each time, but some days the total volume urinated, even if in small amounts each time, is enough that he's fine, and some days it just isn't passing as quickly as he needs it to and he gets a swollen hard bladder, and we need to get him to a vet to have it expressed.

I have been operating on the assumption that the faster I spot his bladder filling up, the better off I am getting him to a vet to express rather than waiting longer (which I'm assuming will lead to buildup causing a physical obstruction leading to blockage). This constant dilemma is just debilitating – but is this the right way to think about the condition?

I'm so sorry for the essay. There aren't many cats around the area that I see... and the apartment isn't very well ventilated, we keep the one sliding window closed most of the time to prevent him from going out to the balcony and jumping down. Maybe it's the dog, but my cat seems so chill and unbothered... but maybe he's just not showing his stress? No clue, and so tired of feeling helpless.
 
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Fizzle52

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Have you explored using Marshmallow Root yet? It works for the people and cats that I work with. It should be given 2-4 hours apart from modern medicines as it can block absorption. I have found that MR helps me with both UTI and during kidney stone flare-up as well as post-colonoscopy gut cramps and pain. Edit: A thick Marshmallow Root/Slippery Elm decocotion applied topically sometimes soothes the irritation from catheterization, and also rectal misery from colonoscopy.
Do you have any insight on the dog-cat interactions? Sometimes a dog wants the cat to play but the cat isn't motivated in the same way. Giving the dog a length of thick rope that is knotted on one end to drag around the apartment gives the cat something to chase & that is enriching excercise for both.
In what form should marshmallow root be administered? I think I have quick access to dried marshmallow root here in Asia, but any other form I'll probably have to get it delivered as a bottled supplement. His penis is so inflamed from catheterisation – something topical could really help! What would you recommend? Is there a specific brand of cream or gel, or do you mean just the MR/SE powder with water?

The dog is really big and strong and gets easily excited, sometimes nipping at the cat's ear. But our cat is so chill and doesn't seem to mind at all. We usually keep them separated with a fence in the living room, but the cat often takes any opportunity to get to the other side of the fence (where the dog will sniff his butt / nip his ear / step alarmingly near him). He doesn't seem bothered, but I don't know if it's just because he's an unusual cat who doesn't react much.

I just get the sense that he wants to roam, but the way the apartment is, with no easy access unless someone opens the door, takes the lift down, and guides him out of the lobby and into the outdoors... I don't know how it's feasible.
 
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Fizzle52

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Maybe consider a Feliway diffuser. Or Rescue Remedy for pets. (Or both!) The human version of RR is exactly the same but is brandy based. I do use it on my kitties if needed. I also use it on myself. Just drop a few drops on your fingers and rub it on their ears. Shake it gently a few times before dispensing. You can find them on Amazon. Or your local pet store or health food store for the RR. You can read up on both online. I personally love the RR.
Thanks! Just looked it up, looks promising. Have you used it for cats with urinary problems before too?
 

FeebysOwner

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if there are no crystals, does that mean that he isn't actually blocked, and manual expression is possible? I've been reading so much to understand this condition and this is my understanding: stress for whatever reason causes urethral spasm > leads to urine not passing through > leads to bulging bladder and subsequently bladder lining erosion and inflammation > leads to bacteria in unpassed urine then causing build up of proteins and crystals in penis opening > leads to full blockage. Is this correct? Or is it possible that his urinary tract can be so tense that despite no physical thing causing an obstruction, he can still be totally blocked and require catheterisation? His most recent catheterisation, the vet initially couldn't pass the catheter through and thought he had a urethral stricture, but later was able to, so she said it meant that his muscle was so tense that it just didn't allow passage. But that means there was no physical obstruction, and that means they should have been able to express his bladder, right?
I can't be of much help, but can offer this - If inflammation and/or spasms are causing so much swelling and/or tenseness, I would think it isn't a good idea to try to express the bladder. Ditto with catherization. It sounds like he might need muscle relaxants or something similar. I would call and ask the vet about this aspect. If the bladder is overly full and he needs relief I would also ask the vet about extracting some urine from the bladder with a needle.
 

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Things that can help a cat feel good: pheromone diffuser (feliway is a brand I believe), catnip, daily play sessions, being able to get up high (particularly in a window) (a cat tree or shelves), time outside (catio or harness walks), cat grass, window bird feeders for entertainment

Could think about his diet. A high quality cat food like Nulo. Or I’m sure others will make many suggestions on diet.
Water. Making sure he’s getting enough. Wether through wet food or being aware of his preferences.

Things you can get from the vet to try gabapentin for pain management, steroids for inflammation, antibiotics for infection, I THINK (not sure) cats can take Xanax but the dose is so extremely small you’d HAVE to talk to your vet.
 

T.O.

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I can't be of much help, but can offer this - If inflammation and/or spasms are causing so much swelling and/or tenseness, I would think it isn't a good idea to try to express the bladder. Ditto with catherization. It sounds like he might need muscle relaxants or something similar. I would call and ask the vet about this aspect. If the bladder is overly full and he needs relief I would also ask the vet about extracting some urine from the bladder with a needle.
I was wondering why they weren’t approaching it that way. It’s common to get urine samples this way.
 

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My boy had stress induced cystitis. The urinary tract/bladder became inflamed and spasmed and he eventually blocked. He unfortunately was not catheterized for long enough at the first vet we brought him to and ended up blocking within a day of being home.
We then brought him to a different vet who hospitalized him for 6 days, he was catheterized for 5 days with the last day being monitored to ensure he did not block again after it was removed.
When we brought him home, he was prescribed anti-inflammatories, anti-spasmodics and was on them for a few weeks and it still took over a month until he started peeing normally again.
Thankfully he did not block again, but I question why your kitty is not on any medications for the spasms and inflammation....
 

jefferd18

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10 months? Jesus... did he have to be catheterised each time? I switched vet because they were pressuring me to do the surgery but now even the second one is making me feel like I'm not doing the right thing by refusing surgery. I just feel like it's ethically not right, especially when there isn't a structural problem, and it's all caused by stress which has been brought on by me taking him in.
I think almost every time he had to be catheterized. As I said, the surgery can be very successful and sometimes it is the only remedy, but you need to do your homework on it because it can go horribly wrong if done by the wrong person.
I also had another vet who found a very small piece of a kidney stone lodged in the tip of his penis- nobody else had caught that. Specialist are a little bit more but they are so worth it if they can spot the problem right away. Also, another alternative are universities.

Please discuss the muscle-relaxer with your new vet- it sure made all the difference with my cat.
 

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Since there are a lot of variables at play and none of us is a vet, I for one would not "prescribe" anything except a vet visit and a second opinion if you feel the need.
I have had experience with urinary issues in male cats. One of my boys was on Methi-Gel (methionine supplement); Methio-Form chewable tablets are also indicated to help acidify the urine. OTC urinary support preparations can be very useful as well, and they are commonly sold as tablets, chews, or gels. Feliway spray (or plug-ins, which I've never used) may also be very helpful in keeping his stress levels down, as might Bach Rescue Remedy or one of Jackson Galaxy's anti-stress formulas.
Please NEVER turn a cat out onto the street or in to a "shelter."
Here is a list of possible resources to help with costs:
Vet Bill Help: 20+ Organizations That Help You Pay Veterinary Care Bills - MoneyPantry
CareCredit in particular is one I have heard can be very helpful.
 

Xena44

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Thanks! Just looked it up, looks promising. Have you used it for cats with urinary problems before too?
No. I haven’t used it for urinary cats before but I have used it for cats that are stressed. I have had very positive experiences with it. As I have for myself. (p.s. no placebo effect on animals! 😻)
 

Xena44

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I think almost every time he had to be catheterized. As I said, the surgery can be very successful and sometimes it is the only remedy, but you need to do your homework on it because it can go horribly wrong if done by the wrong person.
I also had another vet who found a very small piece of a kidney stone lodged in the tip of his penis- nobody else had caught that. Specialist are a little bit more but they are so worth it if they can spot the problem right away. Also, another alternative are universities.

Please discuss the muscle-relaxer with your new vet- it sure made all the difference with my cat.
Yes I’ve seen the surgery go horribly wrong with the wrong person doing it. On the other hand, my cat did great with it. As jeffford18 suggested, muscle relaxers And (my suggestion) antiflammatories (Prednisolone), a full course of them. Not just a non-steroidal. They can’t be on those long enough bc of the risk of kidney damage. I only did the surgery when my kitty was totally blocked and could not be unblocked. his urethra was so blocked with silt that he couldn’t be catheterized. I don’t want to talk you into or out of anything. I’m just offering my experiences with this procedure and and urinary cats. The alternatives to surgery are a possibility but only under very close scrutiny and observation. And if they don’t work, have a plan.
 

Xena44

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Since there are a lot of variables at play and none of us is a vet, I for one would not "prescribe" anything except a vet visit and a second opinion if you feel the need.
I have had experience with urinary issues in male cats. One of my boys was on Methi-Gel (methionine supplement); Methio-Form chewable tablets are also indicated to help acidify the urine. OTC urinary support preparations can be very useful as well, and they are commonly sold as tablets, chews, or gels. Feliway spray (or plug-ins, which I've never used) may also be very helpful in keeping his stress levels down, as might Bach Rescue Remedy or one of Jackson Galaxy's anti-stress formulas.
Please NEVER turn a cat out onto the street or in to a "shelter."
Here is a list of possible resources to help with costs:
Vet Bill Help: 20+ Organizations That Help You Pay Veterinary Care Bills - MoneyPantry
CareCredit in particular is one I have heard can be very helpful.
But only dl-methionine if the urine needs acidification! Use that only if the ph of the urine has been tested.
 

Xena44

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Have you explored using Marshmallow Root yet? It works for the people and cats that I work with. It should be given 2-4 hours apart from modern medicines as it can block absorption. I have found that MR helps me with both UTI and during kidney stone flare-up as well as post-colonoscopy gut cramps and pain. Edit: A thick Marshmallow Root/Slippery Elm decocotion applied topically sometimes soothes the irritation from catheterization, and also rectal misery from colonoscopy.
Do you have any insight on the dog-cat interactions? Sometimes a dog wants the cat to play but the cat isn't motivated in the same way. Giving the dog a length of thick rope that is knotted on one end to drag around the apartment gives the cat something to chase & that is enriching excercise for both.
Oh yes. I a huge fan of slippery elm!!! Great for IBD cats too!! And definitely yes on the Marshmallow root too.
 

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I have a cat who had urinary blockages and ended up with PU surgery. After 2 years he blocked again. I was sure that was going to be his end. Yet with medication and herbal supplements we have him under control again.

Water, water, water is your friend. My boy does not drink much water. I have tried adding diluted chicken broth, a fountain and other enticements, but he will not drink. So he wet food only diet is now very soupy. I add 2T. of water to his meals (3x a day). Then with the left over can I add 3T warm water and allow him to lick it up. So he is getting roughly 12 T of additional water (about 6 oz). This allows him to pee 3x each day. My boy is very prone to holding his urine. It is as though he cannot urinate unless his bladder is very full.

I use cornsilk (without alcohol) 3x daily. He cannot do without it. I also have used Marshmallow root as well. D Mannose is a constant companion if I think he is not urinating enough or he starts to lick. I also give CBD daily. This helps with inflammation and anxiety/stress. If you cannot find this in your country, try to find Composure liquid max for anxiety and stress.

I would also ask the vet for gabapentin. It can not only help with pain, but also with anxiety. It does make the cat quite sleepy, but it keeps them calm. Usually after a few days to a week, the dosage can be lowered and then the cat weaned. This was the only thing that helped my cat when he was having spasms and not able to pee much.

This is a very difficult situation. I do not regret getting the surgery at all. It's a hard surgery with a 3-4 week recovery. Yet it was the only way to save my cats life. After the cat blocks so many times, there is really nothing that can be done. it is unfortunate the surgery is so expensive. You are in my thoughts.
 
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Fizzle52

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I have a cat who had urinary blockages and ended up with PU surgery. After 2 years he blocked again. I was sure that was going to be his end. Yet with medication and herbal supplements we have him under control again.

Water, water, water is your friend. My boy does not drink much water. I have tried adding diluted chicken broth, a fountain and other enticements, but he will not drink. So he wet food only diet is now very soupy. I add 2T. of water to his meals (3x a day). Then with the left over can I add 3T warm water and allow him to lick it up. So he is getting roughly 12 T of additional water (about 6 oz). This allows him to pee 3x each day. My boy is very prone to holding his urine. It is as though he cannot urinate unless his bladder is very full.

I use cornsilk (without alcohol) 3x daily. He cannot do without it. I also have used Marshmallow root as well. D Mannose is a constant companion if I think he is not urinating enough or he starts to lick. I also give CBD daily. This helps with inflammation and anxiety/stress. If you cannot find this in your country, try to find Composure liquid max for anxiety and stress.

I would also ask the vet for gabapentin. It can not only help with pain, but also with anxiety. It does make the cat quite sleepy, but it keeps them calm. Usually after a few days to a week, the dosage can be lowered and then the cat weaned. This was the only thing that helped my cat when he was having spasms and not able to pee much.

This is a very difficult situation. I do not regret getting the surgery at all. It's a hard surgery with a 3-4 week recovery. Yet it was the only way to save my cats life. After the cat blocks so many times, there is really nothing that can be done. it is unfortunate the surgery is so expensive. You are in my thoughts.
Wait, a cat can get blocked again after they have the PU surgery?! So the blockage isn’t because of the build up of silt in the narrow opening, but the urethral spasms alone can cause an entire blockage even if the opening is now wider?! I just feel like he must have had a better life as a stray, maybe eating some grass and plants and roaming and feeling relaxed rather than confined. I really don’t want to remove his bits just because I was selfish and brought him home :(
 
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