Q. Male neutered cat [1 1/2 years old] has just started trying to spray everywhere around the house. Nothing is coming out. No recent changes.
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Changes in urinary habits can be caused by a number of things, especially in neutered male cats. Attempting to urinate or have accidents in places other than the litter box can often be a sign of a urinary tract infection, or crystals and debris in the bladder causing problems. Pets may need to go more frequently, may dribble or urinate in small amounts more often, may have accidents or may have blood-tinged or cloudy urine.Infections are usually treated with medications and changes to the diet, however in some cases of large stones or crystals surgery may be needed.
Male cats can also experience urinary blockage. This is due to a unique anatomical part or the urethra that forms a U-shape before exiting the body in male cats. If a cat has crystals or other debris in the urine, it can block at this point preventing urine from being able to exit. Cats may attempt to urinate without producing anything, may become very vocal (indicating pain) or may have a hunched back, full abdomen or pain in the abdomen (protecting the very full bladder). Urinary blockage IS a medical emergency so if suspected, your vet or local emergency clinic should be contacted immediately. Treatment usually involves a hospital stay and catheterization of the bladder to remove the blockage and allow urine to drain followed by medications and a change in diet to prevent further problems.
It is best to try and collect a sample of urine and make an appointment for your cat if he has had a change in urinary habits. If you do suspect a blockage, then contact your vet ASAP is best.