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5623238 tn?1371240837

Male cat struggling to pee no blockage

I'm very worried about my male cat, Buddy. A couple days ago when I got home from work I realized Buddy wasn't there to greet me as he normally is. I searched all over the house and found him in one of the litter boxes. He was hunched over in a strange position. I let him do his business but realized he had not come out for 3 minutes or so. I went back into to check on him and he looked like he was trying to come out of the litter box but was just stagnant with his tail end still in the box. I tried to persuade him out the rest of the way and when I got his back end out I noticed him contracting a little with tiny drops of urine coming out. At this point I was convinced he probably had a UTI. I called the vet to try and set up an appointment as soon as possible, and they informed me to go to the ER vet because he could have a blockage and need immediate assistance. I took him to the nearest ER right away and they checked his vitals and ran a urinalysis. From this they found him to be relatively healthy. There were only trace amounts of white cells, a small amount of proteins found, but no crystallization. They gave him a muscle relaxer and opiate for the pain and to help his urethra relax so he might be able to urinate easier. He urinated quite a large amount on the vets table after they administered these medications. I took him home and he was acting completely fine went straight to his food bowl, drank some water, but still proceeded to go to the litter box several times with only small amounts of urine coming out each time. I took him to his regular vet the following morning where they ran xrays to insure he didn't have any bladder stones. No bladder stones finding there. They sent the xrays to a radiologists to see if there might be smaller stones the xrays couldn't pick up. They found nothing as well. They ran some blood work to make sure his kidneys were functioning properly and all of his blood work returned normal. Upon picking him up the vet explained that he was very confused by Buddy's condition because he's obviously not blocked, doesn't seem to have an infection, he can produce urine and it's healthy (no blood and a clear yellow color) It just seems as if his urethra is not allowing the right amount of urine to come out when he has the need to go. He's said he would speak to the neurologist he knows to see if he might know the reason behind his strange condition. He also prescribed buddy some valium in attempts to to relax him once again so he might pee normally. As of today he is still exhibiting the same litter box behavior. His mood is the same as it always is for the most part he has a great appetite, drinks well, loving, playful, and alert. I gave him his second dose of valium this morning and noticed he's now almost laying down in the litter box with an even smaller amount of urine coming out. I'm scheduled to take him into the vet again today at 4:30 so hopefully he'll have some more answers for me. At this point I've spent an extortionate amount of money. I can't imagine how much more I'll have to spend for giving him some kind of surgery. So naturally I'm hoping this will just go away on its own. I'm sorry this is so lengthy. I know its a bizarre problem I was just hoping there might be someone out there who may know what's going on, or maybe had the same problem with their cat. Thanks for reading.

32 Responses
874521 tn?1424120397
hi and welcome. sounds like kitty has a very complex problem..but even without evidence of crystals I still think(I'm not a Vet) what your kitty suffers from is associated with FLUTD..(feline lower urinary tract disease)...and the cause can be idiopathic(unknown)..URETHRAL SPASMS..
Do you feed wet canned food?

I will send you a site with some limited reading on this, read down to the part TREATMENT OF THE NON-OBSTRUCTED CAT...that pertains more to your issues.


Once you get him on a good wet food diet and with the help of some meds to overcome his immediate urethra spasms, I can give you the names of some supplements to use rather than needing to continue on medications...I know of 2 that really help to soothe the mucousal lining of the urethra/bladder, but for now he needs more immediate measures.

wishing you both best of luck with this.....you are doing all the right things by getting everything checked out.
242912 tn?1402547092
Hello...I will look forward to your update on poor Buddy.  And please don't apologize for the length of your post.  That was all VERY helpful.  Saves us suggesting things that have already been done.

Wishing you the best of luck~
5623238 tn?1371240837
Hi Opus,
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posting and for offering some advice. He is currently eating dry food regretfully. I've been doing a lot of research and see now that he really needs to be on wet food. I'm definitely planning to change him to wet food, but I've read you need to wean them off dry food as to not shock their digestive systems. Since all this has started happening I've realized that recently I've been probably changing his cat food too rapidly. He was on Blue Wilderness Weight Control and then a couple months ago I switched him to Blue Buffalo Spa Select Weight Control. So I was thinking maybe this change in his diet might have stressed out his system. When I go into the vet today I will mention FLUTD, and see what he says about possibly getting him on the urethral spasm medications. I would love to hear about these supplements you've mentioned as well. Thank you again so much for your help it means a lot to Buddy and me.

874521 tn?1424120397
hi again Emily....I will give you another site to read...from a very trusted Vet on dry vs. wet diets..you can also look to the right hand side column that reads 'transitioning Dry food addicts to Wet Food'
Yes this has to be done gradually....for some. the only issue is diarrhea from a rapid change, some don't have issues some do. usually can be done easily within a week...start by adding 25% wet during one feeding and the other feedings dry, if that is tolerated try using 50% the next day...etc.
You will find with wet food his weight should stabilize, its all the carbs/grains in dry food that cause weight gain!!


the supplements that are excellent for bladder/urethra mucosa linings are as follows and I give the site where I do all my ordering from b/c we need to use certain brands of products that have NO soy, wheat, corn, salt, sugar additives and preferably no preservatives as well, this is a must for use with our Cats..:) if you can buy these products locally at a Health food supply great, if not than I suggest you also order from iherb.

-Glucosamine Sulfate and Chrondroitin Sulfate...Natural Factors is a very good product.
acute stage 500mg daily...than 250mg for intermediate than 125 mgs for longer term if needed...comes in capsules that need to be opened and measured out..give by mixing with a small amount of water and use a dropper..
Glucosamine has anti-inflamatory action and helpls rebuild/support the protective mucosal surface/GAG layer of the bladder so it helps with SPASMS. Chondrotin sulfate keeps the GAG layer from being broken down is its more of a defense player.


-SLIPPERY ELM BARK....(SEB) this is a wonderful product that coats and lines the mucosa. it comes in powder form, I can send you the instructions on how to mix it and administer after you've ordered...so as not to make this post overly long....I highly recommend you get this one too.


there is also an excellent product for relieving the stress involved with FLUTD..its an amino acid called L-Theanine. 25mg 2x daily for the acute phase. the best one for cats is in NOW FOODS brand..contains suntheanine made from decaff green tea.


your very welcome, its a pleasure to help anyone thats devoted to their kitties are you are to your Buddy.
when you talk to your Vet be sure to mention its the urethral spasms associated with FLUTD that we suspect are causing is symptoms this is possible even with no evidence of crystals..
and another thing DON'T allow them to talk you into their expensive prescription diets...
best of luck. let us know how it goes

Avatar universal
My female cat Autumn had the same exact issue as your boy Buddy.  After spending a fortune at the vets, they still stood there scratching their heads. lol  They finally diagnosed her with FLUTD and put her on anti-spasm meds along with Cosequin for cats.  They said it might have something to do with her stress level.......seems crazy, a cat with stress! lol  But being the over attentive Fur-Mom that I am, I bought those plug in things with the cat calming stuff in them.  One of the three things (or a combo of all of them) seemed to work.  Its been several years since she has had any issues.  I did change her food to a grain free one that all my cats seem to do very well on also.   Good luck, I know how frustrating this issue can be.

Hi I know I am replying to a very old comment, but my cat Jonesy is having the exact same issues. Like you, after spending a fortune at the vet they diagnosed him with FLUTD- gave me anti spasm meds and an antidepressant of sorts (which I haven't used yet). Also they recommended Cosequin which I have been using. This issue still comes & goes, unfortunately right now its here. I wondered if you had long term success with any of the solutions you tried.
5623238 tn?1371240837
Hello again,

   Well shortly after posting I checked Buddy's litter box and found that he had blood in his urine. I called the vet immediately and he was in the middle of surgery. The soonest he could see Buddy was 3pm. So at 3pm I took him over and the vet examined his abdomen to see how his bladder felt. He said his bladder felt good and that he was sure Buddy was just showing the classic signs of Cystitis. He prescribed him an anti-inflammatory and some prescription food for urinary health (I bought him a couple cans for the time being but don't intend on keeping him on this type of food) Since returning from the vet visit he has gone in the litter box several times with nothing to show for it really. There have only been a few drops of bloody urine. The vet said to give it a couple of days to let the anti inflammatory kick in and to make sure he's getting a lot of water. I went to Petco today and bought him 23 cans of Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Care. I also bought him Natural Pet Pharmaceuticals Urinary Tract Infections. The vet said that we should be "optimistically cautious" at this time, and to monitor him closely for the next couple days to make sure he doesn't show signs of blockage. Buddy will be seen again on Sunday. I gave him a little bit of the Purina Pro Plan with a dose of the homeopathic natural pet medicine. He's still in a general good mood with an appetite and is drinking some water although I wish he was drinking more. He definitely is becoming more irritated as time goes on and will meow after getting out of the litter box and lick himself. He's not the happiest at this point in time. Thank you Jade59 for the best wishes! That is greatly appreciated. And thank you once again Opus for the invaluable information you have been so kind to share with me. You have given me a lot of hope and knowledge during this very stressful time, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will thoroughly research all of the supplements you have listed. If you have any other recommendations like which type of long term-affordable food I should have him on... I would like to hear what you have to say about that. Thank you so much for your caring concern.

Emily and Buddy
5623238 tn?1371240837
Hey Furmom,
I just saw your post after writing out my last one. Buddy is currently on Valium which the doctor said should help with any spasms he is having. I should ask him about Cosequin when I go in on Sunday. Is your girl on these meds for her life or was it just temporary? It is very frustrating but I'm so glad I decided to post my concerns on this forum because all the help and support I've received from this has made a world of difference. Thank you for taking the time to write your message. I'm glad to hear you're kitties are happy and healthy in the end. :-)


874521 tn?1424120397
poor little Buddy he is in alot of discomfort right now, I hope the meds soon make a huge difference and he can pass his urine as he needs too, yes you will have to keep a close eye on this can a blockage can happen anytime....:(

thanks furmom for jumping in, she's given good advice. I will give you a link to the plugin stress reliever she mentioned, they are avail on amazon or thru many good pet stores...


here is also some info on cystitis or FLUTD.


the very best food for cats is canned....GRAIN FREE there are many on the market at good pet supply stores...Wellness, Natures Variety are 2 that come to mind. grain free's are the best, however many cats don't like them very much...its like taking us off candy and feeding us broccoli...thus the transition has to be slow...
all that being said, right now the most important thing is to have him on canned food, no matter the type...as Dr. Pierson says even the worst brand of can food is better than the best of dry...
so as long as Buddy will eat one of the canned brands for now, don't worry abt the stress of trying to feed him grain free variety...you can worry abt that transition later when all his plumbing is working!!!

best to you both♥
242912 tn?1402547092
Hi Emily, you might consider syringing some extra water into Buddy for the time being.  Not a lot; I'm not sure how much, but Opus or someone else would know.  You can also add a few drops of water to the bottom of the bowl at each feeding.  Buddy will lap it up.  I do this for my cat; works like a charm.  

Hugs to you, Emily.  It is so difficult and stressful watching our babies suffer in any way.  

Good luck~  
Avatar universal
Hi Emily,
  My girl was on all of her medications for about a year.  I would wean her off of them to see if she still needed it and she would start right back up with her issues.  She was always kind enough to pee in my bathroom sinks, I think it was her way of yelling at me. lol  She had blood in her urine as well as the frequent attempts to go and the pained look on her face.  I also went out and bought one of those water bowls that circulates the water and I moved it far away from her food bowl.  The moving water seemed to encourage her to drink more BUT she isn't afraid of water, if your baby is it may not help as much.  I'm not sure what made off of her symptoms disappear but putting her on the grain free diet (she eats Wellness pea and chicken) was when I saw the most improvements.  
My girl was never on valium so I'm not sure if its does the same thing as the anti spasm med she was on, I will dig around and see if I can find her old pills to tell you what the name of it was.  
5623238 tn?1371240837
Hi Everyone,

Today has me feeling even more optimistic. This morning Buddy wasn't showing much improvement from yesterday. I checked all the litter boxes and there was little tiny bloody drops throughout them all. He ate a good bit of his canned food (I added a dose of the Urinary Tract Infection Homeopathic medicine and a tbsp of water) Before I went to work he was in the bathroom and I came in to check on him, and he hissed and growled a little bit because of how irritated and uncomfortable he is :-( I went to work and was worried about him all day. I rushed home and he was at the the top of his kitty condo (his favorite spot) He hasn't been up there for the past few days so I was happy to see him there. And he jumped down quickly, gave a little meow, and stretched and rolled like he used to whenever I get home from work. He was being very loving and I could tell he just wanted comfort. I checked his litter boxes and I found even bigger puddles of urine with barely any signs of blood! I was so relieved to see this. Since I've been home he's only gone to the bathroom a couple times each time with a good amount of urine (compared to the past couple days anyway) and it look pretty clear of blood. He seems to be in such better spirits and more comfortable. He ate a little more of his food from this morning and has been taking little naps here and there. So it seems like to me he's on the road to recovery.
   Thanks to you all again for your continued support. I was very surprised actually that I even got a response to my problem let alone a plethora of helpful tips and kind words. :-)
To Jade59-I was actually considering syringing him water last night so that's funny that you mentioned it. He seems to be taking in water ok today and is eating his high moisture food so I think I'm safe from having to do that for right now. :-)
To Furmom- I've had the circulating water fountain for him now for a few months and he loves it. He also loves playing in the sink water so I've been trying to encourage him to do that more even though his spirits have been down so he's not in the mood for it much. Today he was showing more interest. That would be great if you could find what the anti-spasm medication is called so I can mention it to his vet on Sunday. Thanks!
To Opus-Thank you for the link to the stress relief plug-in I will add it to my growing wish list on Amazon haha. Thank you also for the link about Cystitis and the info on grain free food. I really appreciate it!
To Everyone-check out the new picture I added to my profile of little buddy taking a nap on me. This was today after I got home from work. He's such a sweetheart. Thank you all for everything!!!
Avatar universal
I am soooo glad to hear that your Buddy is doing better!  Hopefully he continues on this path......we all felt bad for the lil guy.  He is such a handsome little guy!
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