UO in Cats
Comes in two very distinctive types and has several potential causes

UO in cats can cause blood to develop in their urine, increased grooming of their genital area, as well as increased urination.

However, if this condition more than just a partial condition, it can also take your cats life with 48 hours.

If your cat suddenly has several unsuccessful attempts at urinating, starts to vomit and loss their appetite, they are well past the partial stage.

If they develop a complete reluctance to move at all, unless you seek emergency medical attention, this now extremely serious situation can take their life.

OU in cats is also known as urinary obstruction and it has several different potential causes and well as two very distinctive types.

This condition is technically described as an acute obstruction of their urinary tract, and although this disease can attack any breed at any age, it is much more common in male cats than in females.

It may be the result of stones that have developed in your cat, but this is not the most common cause.


UO in cats is usually the result of some type of plug of your cats inflammatory debris as well as crystals that are commonly associated with feline idiopathic cystitis, or FIC.

This condition has no real known cause, but it can severely impact your cat lower urinary tract.

There are various factors that may be the cause and these include some type of infection, dry cat food because of their high mineral content, as well as stress.

Long haired cats also seem to be a lot more at risk than short haired breeds.

However, there are also several other medical conditions that may be the very similar to UO in cats, and they first be ruled out.

Bacterial infections, also referred to as bacterial cystitis could be the cause in older cats, but is very uncommon in very young and middle aged cats.

Calculi, also known as bladder stones may also be the cause, as well as a defect birth.

Congenital anatomic abnormalities may not surface at early in your cats life, but they can easily develop in an obstruction later in life.


Even though there is no definitive known cause for UO in cats, it is very real and will have some very distinctive symptoms that you can watch for.

These symptoms will all depend on the type of obstruction that your cat has and the type types are partial and complete.

The symptoms of partial UO in almost all cases will start with your cat suddenly having to urinate a lot more than normal.

This is than followed very quickly by a difficulty in actually urinating that you can spot very easily as your cat will be straining to urinate, but nothing is happening.

Once this happens, your cat will by nature become stressed and as a result will become very vocal in these unsuccessful attempts.

As the condition becomes worse, you will next see three very definitive symptoms; blood in the urine, increased grooming of their genitals, and a very sudden inappropriate urination.

As all owners know, cats are extremely neat and organized, and when they urinate outside of their litter box, something is usually wrong.

The most telling sign of a partial obstruction associated with UO in cats is when they start to urinate in a cool environment like a bathtub or a sink.

The symptoms of a complete urinary obstruction are completely different. Your cat will first start to urinate frequently, but they will not be able to at all or it will be just a few dribbles.

This is than very quickly flowed by your cat completing losing their appetite and they will begin to vomit.

It will be very similar to anorexia that is self imposed in a human, but your cat is not self imposing this, they are now in grave danger.

But the final sign that you will see will chill you to the bone if you understand it; your cat will be in such pain that they will refuse to move at all.

If you see anything close to this condition, your cat has a complete urinary obstruction that can take their life within 48 hours if it is not medically addressed.


Cat eatingThe best chance at preventing UO in cats is to reduce their stress

The treatments for UO in cats will of coarse depend on the severity. If it is a life threatening situation, your veterinarian will immediately treat your cat for hyperkalemia.

This is a condition where your cats potassium levels have become extremely elevated as the result of a complete obstruction.

It can occur with renal failure, dehydration, or complete blockage such as this.

They will immediately remove the blockage and provide medications that will force the high levels of dangerous potassium levels to be excreted by the return of the urine flow.

This is critical as high potassium levels can very quickly affect the normal functions of your cats heart.

This is done with the insertions of a long flexible tube that will be flowed by flushing the bladder with a sterile fluid.

If needed, your cat will also be treated with intravenous fluids. If the blockage is only partial, the same basic treatment is used but the need to treat the potassium build up may not be needed.

Preventing UO in cats is relatively simple in most all cases. The first step is to provide your cat with a clean litter box at all times. If the box is dirty the natural instincts by your cat will be to hold their urine.

This is the absolute worst thing they could do, and it could very easily be the beginning of a blockage.

Next, provide your cat with fresh drinking water at all times. If you do not have a waterfall tower for your cat, it is something that you should consider.

There is always going to be controversy on what type of food that you feed your cat, but dry food can be extremely dangerous and can easily cause this condition. 

UO in cats may not be completely eliminated by a fresh box, plenty of water, and either a homemade diet or wet food, but it can be severely reduced.

Dry cat food is extremely high in mineral content, which can very easily cause several conditions, including urinary obstruction.

If your cat has had UO, provide them with as many tools as you can to help reduce their stress levels. These will include a substantial scratching post, the bigger the better, as well as several toys to play with.


Cats by nature are easily stressed, and the more relief you can give them, the better chances they have at beating this potentially very serious condition.

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