Urinary Blockages in Cats


Urinary blockages occur in cats most often due to a mechanical obstruction of the urethra by a “plug” of urinary crystals and mucous.  Male cats are more prone to this condition due to their narrower urethra (compared to females). The reason that urinary blockages occur in cats can be due to both genetics and the lifestyle of the cats. Lifestyle factors include diet, body condition score and water intake.


  • Straining to urinate
  • Going in and out of the litter box more than normal
  • Producing small amounts of urine frequently
  • Vocalizing while trying to urinate
  • Seems “constipated” – be careful – maybe he can’t urinate instead!
  • Inappropriate urination
  • Licking excessively at genital areas
  • Restless and uncomfortable


THIS CONDITION IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Get to a clinic immediately! There are emergency clinics in the city available to help you 24/7 365 days a year.


Depends on how early the problem is caught. The longer it has been the more likely that there will be complications with treatment. Get your pet in ASAP. Unfortunately, cats who have been blocked once will often become blocked again. We can reduce the incidence of this happening with a few preventative measures.


A few different measures can be taken to prevent urinary blockages in cats.

  • Urinary specific diets. These diets are formulated to acidify the urine in order to reduce the formation of crystals. Some examples of these diets include Hill’s c/d, Royal Canin’s Urinary SO and Purina’s Urinary St/Ox.  These are products that are available at most vet clinics in both canned and dry formulas.
  • Feed a canned diet. This helps to increase their water intake to help prevent the formation of crystals.
  • Get a cat water fountain – this encourages lots of cats to drink more water.
  • Keep stress to a minimum. Stressed cats are also more prone to developing blockages. Try to keep the stress in the household to a minimum. This includes providing enough litter boxes, scratching surfaces and toys. You can also try Royal Canin’s newer diet, Multi function Urinary + Calm, to help your cat handle stress more readily.

Written by Jessica Sirovyak, Reception/ACA