Is your male cat making frequent trips to the box with no results? Maybe he is agitated, lethargic and vocalizing more than usual, these are some of the signs you may see if your cat has a urethral obstruction. Some other signs are a large and hard bladder, blood in the urine, increased odor of the urine, vomiting, and sometimes not wanting to eat or drink. Some of the time a blockage is solely because of an anatomic predisposition but most of the obstructions are caused by crystals or other debris that plugs up the urethra making it difficult or impossible to urinate. It is possible for your cat to only be partially blocked but this is still considered an emergency.
If your cat is truly blocked they will need to be surgically unblocked and have a urinary catheter placed for 2-3 days to keep the urine flowing. IV fluid therapy and IV medications such as an antibiotic, pain medication, and oral urinary specific medications can be very helpful to get them back on track. Kidney values usually will be elevated with a urinary blockage and we check values while in the hospital to make sure the levels go back to normal. After a blockage it is a good idea to change your pets diet to a urinary specific diet to help prevent crystals or urinary stones from forming. It is recommended to stay on the diet lifelong.
If your cat is showing any of the above symptoms, you should have them be seen immediately by your veterinarian.