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Question
I took my 1 year old male cat to the vet emergency yesterday because he had not peed in 2 days. He did have a blockage. They wanted to keep him for 2-3 days for supportive care and charge me 1500 dollars. I could not afford that. As it is I was spending my rent money to take him in too be seen. The vet unblocked him and gave him meds to take home but told me that I should think about putting him to sleep if he blocks again because I cant afford treatment. She charged me 300 dollars and sent me and my cat on our way. My question is he still seems to be having trouble peeing. Still straining. It comes out in drips. He did pee ok on his pet carrier about an hour ago. Does he need to go back? Im affraid vet will put him too sleep. Will it get easier for him too pee with the meds?

Answer
Hi Loretta,

I'm sorry you're facing such a dilemma. What a heartbreaking decision to make.

It's very common for cats to continue to dribble, strain or even be incontinent for days after a urinary tract blockage. This is due to inflammation of the nerves of the urethra and bladder. This should be fully resolved within two to 3 weeks assuming the underlying problem has been resolved.

What you really need to monitor him for is his urinary output. He needs to be passing a normal amount of urine each day. This is easiest to monitor with clumping litter. It can be hard to assess if he's only passing urine in small amounts, but a ten-pound cat typically produces around 1/2-3/4 cup of urine daily. Because the litter takes up some space, it usually appears to be about double that amount.

I recommend that you feed your kitty a special diet to prevent blockages. Prescription ones are great. I have three cats that experienced blockages and cannot afford to feed all my cats a prescription food, so once they were healed from their episodes I switched them to a high protein diet. The carbs in their previous food caused the blockages, all within months of each other. Taste of the Wild is a good food. I feed my cats Diamond Naturals Active Cat, but I have to get a local pet store to order it for me. None of my cats have had any problems with crystals or infections anymore.

It's hard to say whether medications will work for your cat. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease is a frustrating condition because there is no magic bullet for treatment. Diet is the mainstay of treatment for crystals. Most cats benefit from a flush for a few days if crystals are the problem, because the urethra is already swollen from the blockage. Any remaining crystals that try to pass through are more likely to be trapped. But if he had a single stone or the remaining crystals are small, you may be okay. Try to give him lots of water, even if you have to force it, to flush his bladder, as long as he's urinating.

If your kitty is not passing a normal amount if urine, it is definitely kindest to put him to sleep. His body will be poisoned because his kidneys will stop functioning. Worse, his bladder could rupture. These are both awful fates.

I hope all works out well!

Jessica

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Jessica

Expertise

The areas in which I have gained the most experience are cat health and feral cat management/rescue. I provide supportive care to chronically ill cats, hospice care to terminally ill cats and also am involved in trap-neuter-return efforts. My specialities lie in taming feral cats and in the allopathic treatment of cats with illnesses or special needs. I also have owned Siamese, Himalayans, Abyssinians, Russian Blues, Savannahs, Bengals, Peterbalds, Don Sphynx and Oriental Shorthairs and am well-versed in cat breeds as well as cat behavior and nutrition.

Experience

I have 15 years of extensive experience with cats ranging from breeding to medical care. My daily routine consists of caring for cats with diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney failure, feline leukemia, feline AIDS as well as feral cats. I have experience with liver patients, heart patients, feline infectious peritonitis, cancer, recovery from amputation and trauma, congenital deformities and most every disease in between. I have assisted cats giving birth and hand-nursed kittens who were neglected by their mother from 2 days old through weaning.

Education/Credentials
15 years' hands-on experience. Current nursing student. I've studied the parallels of human and cat anatomy as well as zoonotic disease, so my studies are broadening the depth of my understanding of feline anatomy, physiology and pathology.

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