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Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

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Your vet can help your cat with this problem, but the cat's diet may contribute to why this has happened. This is a page about urinary blockage in cats (feline urinary syndrome).


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January 27, 20051 found this helpful

Just thought I would share this with all the cat owners out there who don't know this or maybe I'm the only one who didn't. Cats are prone to urinary tract blockage or disease. It is caused by a blockage as small as a grain if sand size crystal or stone which forms in the urinary tract and causes a blockage. Having an outside cat I was unaware of this and almost lost a beloved member of our family today. Not to mention spending more than my mortgage on vet bills to save him.

By Tami

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August 2, 20120 found this helpful

I took my cat, Newbie, a 2 1/2 year old male long hair, to the vet the 1st week of July because he was unable to pee. The vet said he was completely blocked. They catherized him, put him on IVs and antibiotics, and kept him for 4 1/2 days. He was put on Hills Science Diet c/d,I took him home, but took him back a week later because it was still taking a couple of minutes to pee and only in small amounts. The vet examined him, said his bladder was small, he was hydrated, and his coat and eyes looked good.


He was sent home with antibiotics and steroids. Yesterday we went back to the vet for a urinalysis. The vet said he is hydrated and his bladder is small which is good, but he still has an infection so we were sent home with the antibiotic Baytril and another Hills Science Diet food, s/d, to go along with the c/d. I'm just wondering how long does it take until my baby feels better? Should I be doing anything else? This is getting expensive! Any input/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

By Vickii


August 4, 20120 found this helpful

I don't know if this would help with a bladder problem, but I was told to add about a tablespoon of pure pumpkin (NOT pie filling) to some canned cat food and feed it to him once a day. It seems to have kept our cat's "plumbing" working well for the past few years. Good luck.

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August 6, 20120 found this helpful

I we spent 500+ on a cat with bladder blockage, its back. I had a cat about 15 years ago and he had a blockage and the vet squeezed it out, is that still OK to do being as we are so broke and we just want to try anything to help our Joey?


By Bob

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April 18, 20100 found this helpful


RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

Yes our cat has had this. Our vet suggested to make sure your cat gets alot of liquids, giving them broth, and stay away from cat foods which contain fish and seafood. There is special cat food made for this condition Purina makes one. (01/28/2005)

By Jo

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

My male cat was continuously getting urinary tract infections and I spent several thousand dollars on his vet bills. I tried the special food and it did not help at all. I read a magazine article that said stress could cause the infection in nervous cats. Rufus was definitely a nervous cat so I thought that might be the problem, but the article offered no solution.

After a little brainstorming, I decided to try sprinkling Chamomile tea leaves on his food. He quit having tract infections, so it must have worked. Sadly, his kidneys had been so damaged from all the previous infections that he died 3 years later from kidney damage.

Ask your vet if he or she thinks this could be an option for your cat. My aunt had a cat who was prone to urinary tract infections and he had some kind of surgery. It cost a fortune, but it worked. I probably paid more in total vet bills than she did for the one operation, but my vet never offered an operation. You might want to ask about this as well. (06/18/2005)

By Jessi

Urinary Tract Infection in cats

My cat used to have this problem, and she kept getting the infections. I took her to specialists, and paid a lot of money, only to discover on my own that it was a Christmas Cactus that was causing it. I found the teeth marks in the leaves, too the plant away and she has not had another one since. Hope this helps someone. (07/20/2005)

By Jill

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

I work at an animal hospital and my male cat got blocked. Also he had never had a UTI infection before he got blocked. I had the surgery two days later for him. As most of you know, getting blocked can be fatal for a cat. The surgery was two months ago. He is on his special diet with no treats. But he is still showing signs of a UTI. He has been on all the meds and so forth and nothing is helping. Luckily though with the surgery I do not have to worry about him getting blocked again. But I do have to worry about Kidney problems in the future. So I hope this helps people that think surgery will fix it. (03/11/2007)

By Tricia

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

Please, please be careful of Purina Indoor Cat Chow. It is the one that comes in the green bag. After 3 weeks of giving this food to my cat, his urinary tract blocked. I never knew anything about this, but apparently that particular food has a very high amount of magnesium in it, and that's what blocked poor Wiley's tract.

He is fine now, I have switched his food and paid the 1300 dollar vet bill. I have spoken with several veterinarians who have told me that Purina Indoor Cat Chow has been the cause of many urinary blockages,sometimes resulting in deaths of cats. Please be careful. (05/03/2007)

By Tara

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

If you feed your cat Science Diet from the time you bring it home, FUS should be a non-issue. I know it's too late for those pets mentioned in the posts, but remember this for future pets. (09/21/2007)

By Shirley Darby

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

I've had 3 male cats that blocked with the crystals in the urine. I lost the first two with the problem. The vets would just unplug them and send me home with them. The 3rd time, I went to a different vet that had an assistant that had about 13 cats of her own. This time the cat was hospitalized for 3 days and not returned to me until he was stabilized. They then explained the importance of the cat's diet in controlling this problem.

I have fed only Hill's Feline CD or Purina UR, both prescription diets, since to all my cats (current population is 4 males and 11 females) and have not had the plugged up male problem. My last problem was about 12 years ago and that male is still a healthy 15 year old today. The prescription diets are expensive, but my personal experience has been that they are worth every penny in prevention as they are high quality foods and I have very few health issues given the number of animals I care for.

I do have a female with reoccurring bacterial infections of the urinary tract, a different problem, and this feed does not prevent her problems from coming back. She is a crippled Manx with birth defects in the hindquarters which may contribute to her problems. (04/12/2008)

By lmm

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

My 3 year old male cat Bubba had a UTI last year that was cured by meds. This past week he showed signs of another and instead of bringing him in we tried feeding him food that would help with the UTI. The next morning he was throwing up. I figured it was from the new food because we had never changed his food before. After a few hours of him getting sick I took him into the Vet who felt his bladder and told me it was as hard as a rock.

He had a blockage and that was causing him to get sick. At that point he was too damaged and it was too expensive to try to cure him, we had to put him down. They wanted $700-$1000 to try to do surgery when the Vet let us know it was a bad case of blockage and that he felt would be difficult to do. I guess in some cases they even have to remove part of the penis to clear the blockage. I didn't want to put him through all that. We are lost and lonely without him, but after reading some posts about how blockage can reoccur in most cats I know it was better to not have him go through all the pain.

My advice is to read the labels on your cat food and make sure that there is not a lot of magnesium. We used Purina Complete Care (blue bag) high in magnesium, which we had no idea made it worse. I would also advise you to take your cat in ASAP when he is showing signs of a UTI. Good luck to all you owners who may have to make the same decision I did. It is hard, but it is better for the cat. (06/17/2008)

By Missing Bubba

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

I have had two bouts with this disease in my many many years of owning cats; one made it ($1200) and the other, sadly was being cared for while I was away and they thought he was just missing me. By the time I got home and realized what was happening, it was too late. This was over 8 years ago. I finally found out then that fish meal in dry food is what causes the blockages.

Since then, I read the ingredients on all dry food meticulously and never buy any with fish meal, no matter how small the concentration. I have not had an issue since then. I believe that manufacturers know of this possibility, but are just not saying anything. If you look at the Purina One Urinary Tract dry food, it has no fish meal. I stick with Chicken based foods.

I am a Rescue Agency volunteer and have had, over the years, many many male cats. I have 8 in my household right now. Hope this info helps some of you avoid a very painful episode for your cat and heartache for you. (08/12/2008)

By Elizabeth

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

Blockages are caused by urine that is PH imbalanced. I would recommend that anyone with a male cat feed a urinary tract formula food. They are made to have balance the PH and help keep crystals from forming. Crystals form, roll around in the bladder, become like grains of sand, roll around some more and turn into stones (kind of like a snowball accumulating the more it rolls). Also, your vet may sell a tablet called DLM. Basically, you smash up one tablet a day and put it into a teaspoon of canned food. Easy solutions for such a huge problem in male cats. Best of luck to everyone with male cats. (08/14/2008)

By Carie

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

My cat is back from a four day, 1200 dollar, stay in the hospital because of FUS. It's been quite an ordeal, and although he is home, he isn't better. We asked the vet about the food because all that I read on this page, and he told us that it isn't the food. It is the cat. He said that about 5% of the cats in the world have a sensitivity to magnesium, an element used to preserve the food.

Purina products happen to have a very high content of magnesium which causes the blockages. He likened it to a lactose intolerant person. It isn't the milk that is bad, but the way the person processes the milk. It can be present forever or it can suddenly develop. So, we need to be vigilant about the magnesium content in the foods that we serve our pets. This adventure has surely taught me a lot. I hope that the information helped. (09/29/2008)

By Bobbie Jo

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

My Hunter kitty, male is 8. He has been fighting struvite crystals for 6 years. Even some prescription foods did not work. So far it has been a year since his last crystal formation. We use Purina Prescription UR st/ox. Store brand urinary formulas were not successful either. I hate the Pur RX Ur st/ox because it is so expensive and makes him overweight, but it has worked the best so far. Lots of late night and one Christmas day vet adventures over the years, but he is so worth it. (11/10/2008)

By welkergirl2007

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

My cat Spice had a bladder blockage twice. The first time we were about to go to bed and my brother was petting Spice and he just collapsed into his water. We rushed him to the emergency room and they said it was OK he just had a bladder blockage. The second time me my brother, sister, and dad were in our room until my sister came out and she saw spice peeing on our dog bed just a little spot and we knew he had a bladder blockage. He still is in the emergency room he will be out tomorrow.

Here are signs to tell your cat has a bladder blockage. They will vomit. Pee a little bit in a weird place. Have odd behavior. Not eating. (01/12/2009)

By Brooke

RE: Urinary Blockage in Cats (Feline Urinary Syndrome)

I am hoping to pick up my boy, Mikko, from the ER vet by tomorrow. He is a 9 year old black point Siamese and an integral part of our family. The bill is up to $1500 now. I'm not sure how I will pay, but I figure they can't "repo" him once he is better, so what else could I do for a member of the family? This is the 2nd time he's had a complete blockage, and twice had partial blockages. I won't go into the details of each time. However please learn from my mistakes and from the things that I have done right.

Most of all, be vigilant if your cat exhibits signs of distress.You may see these as simply annoying and not realize there is a serious problem looming. The formation of crystals is most common in neutered males, as you can all glean from the other comments here. If you have a male, be ever more suspicious of the following symptoms if they develop in your cat.

  1. Peeing around the house, especially when the urine has strong odor, dark color, or even the pink/red of blood
  2. Straining or " tail shivering" while urinating
  3. Lots of licking under the tail
  4. Either more listless or more restless than usual
  5. Frequent in/out of the litter box
  6. Attempting to urinate without producing much urine
  7. Unusual irritability/aggressiveness
  8. Crying and/or pacing around restlessly
  9. Gradual or abrupt loss of appetite
  10. A smell of urine on the cat himself

Especially watch for these signs within 1 to 3 weeks after any change of diet, or even changing to a different water dish. Some cats will refuse to drink from metal or plastic because of the slight taint those materials can flavor the water with.

I have tried most of the over-the-counter type foods that can be bought outside a vets office. They claim to be for "urinary tract health", but beware this can mean different things. There are all sorts of less serious issues that these foods may help prevent. However, if you have a cat who develops crystals, and the older the cat becomes the more persistent this problem can become, these "over the counter" foods are often "not" going to prevent a panicked run to the vet due to another blockage.

The best preventative I found are the prescription diets you can only obtain through a veterinarian. Royal Canin SO and Hills Science Diet C/D. That is, unless you have the time and ability to formulate the raw/natural diets that you can create yourself. I know some who've had good luck with this, but I don't have the time to prepare these meals myself on daily basis.

Do encourage plenty of fresh clean water in whatever way works for yOUR cat. You might have to do some trial and error here.

Do feed wet food with extra water (room temp or slightly warm seems to work best). You can supply dry food as a supplement (see above), but not as the primary diet.

Do not mix other foods in with your cat's urinary health diet because you think that he might like something "different" once in a while.

Do give "Uriease" treats, (if your cat will eat them). There are liquid supplements as well, just do a little research to find ones available to you that are effective and can be easily mixed with food. Try just a tiny amount at first and gradually increase to correct dosage as your cat gets used to the taste/smell.

Caution: If you vary from the above due to financial strain or other reasons you will regret it. Don't try to cut corners because you and your favorite little friend will pay much more dearly in the long run. You, financially, and he with stress and pain and possibly his life.

If you should see the signs of blockage, this is "not" one of those things that can wait a day or two. Your cat "will" likely die if he is not treated within 12 hours or so. The sooner he can be treated, the better his chances are. I nearly lost my Mikko the first time and my heart goes out to those of you who have lost your own. (02/15/2009)

By Kyra

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