Prostate Inflammation and Abscessation in Cats

Victoria Heuer
Aug 31, 2009
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Prostatitis and Prostatic Abscess in Cats

Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate that is commonly the result of a long-standing infection that has gone undetected. An abscess of the prostate, demonstrated by a pus filled sac, may lead to prostatitis. Prostatitis is divided into two phases: acute (early), and chronic (later, farther into the disease).

Acute prostatitis occurs with the sudden onset of a bacterial infection in the prostate. Occasionally, the abscess may rupture and its contents will spill into the abdominal cavity.

Chronic prostatitis occurs when a long-standing infection has gone undetected. Acute prostatitis may also lead to chronic prostatitis, with the initial symptoms being missed.

Symptoms and Types

Sudden (Acute) Prostatitis

Long-Term (Chronic) Prostatitis

  • May have no detectable signs
  • Straining to defecate
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Bloody discharge from the urethra


  • Bacteria moving up from the urinary passage to the prostate
  • Bacteria spreading to the prostate from other parts of the body
  • Bacteria spreading from a wound site to the prostate
  • Presence of functional testicles (hormonal)
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Medical history of administration of male hormone or female hormone
  • Faulty immune system

All breeds and mixed breed (male) cats are at risk for prostatitis; no genetic link for this disease is known.


You will need to give your veterinarian a thorough history of your cat's health and medical history, details of the onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have led to this condition. The history you provide may give your veterinarian clues as to the leading cause of the condition. Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your cat, including standard laboratory tests like a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, an electrolyte panel, and a urinalysis. This is the only way to determine whether the organs are functioning properly, and to find factors such as bacterial infections, microscopic evidence of blood in the urine, or increased white blood cell counts, indicative of the body fighting an infection.

There may be blood in the urine. In cats with prostatitis, they may bleed even when not urinating. Sometimes an affected cat will not urinate at all, or will show pain while urinating. Feces may also appear flat and/or the cat may be constipated.

During the physical exam, your veterinarian will insert a gloved finger into your cat's rectum to palpate the prostate gland. If your cat reacts painfully, and/or the prostate feels enlarged, biopsies will need to be taken for a histopathology, cytology and culture, and sensitivity testing.

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