Posterior Displacement of the Bladder in Cats


PetMD Editorial

Published Feb. 15, 2010

Pelvic Bladder in Cats


A cat's bladder may be displaced from its normal position due to anatomical irregularities, which can in the course of time affect the urethral size and/or position of the urethra, leading to concurrent infections of the urethra and/or bladder.


With posterior displacement of the bladder, the bladder is displaced caudally (i.e., near the tail). This condition is also referred to as caudal displacement, and as pelvic bladder, as the bladder is found in the pelvic area, rather than closer to the abdominal area.


When compared to dogs, this condition is rarely seen in cats. Many suspect this is because the cat has a longer urethra than a dog of similar size. In addition, it may occur in cats of both sexes, either intact or neutered.


Symptoms and Types


Some cats may not exhibit any symptoms, while in others the following may be seen:


  • Involuntary passing of urine (urinary incontinence)
  • Inability to urinate more than a few dribbles at a time
  • Urgency to urinate without ability to pass urine
  • Urine scalding of tail and adjacent area




Displacement of bladder from its normal position may be due to a congenital defect (birth defect). It is also thought to be caused by obesity in some cats, and is generally associated with urologic abnormalities, aside from the obvious incontinence.




You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health, including background history of symptoms. After taking a complete history, your pet’s veterinarian will conduct a complete physical examination. Laboratory tests including complete blood count (CBC), biochemistry profile, and urinalysis will be conducted. If infection is suspected, your veterinarian will take the urine sample and will send it to a laboratory to culture and hopefully identify the causative organism. Urinalysis, meanwhile, may reveal urinary tract infection like presence of pus, blood, bacteria in urine.


Other diagnostic procedures include adbominal X-rays and contrast cystourethrography. Radiographic examination of the urethra and urinary bladder after introduction of contrast medium may reveal a short, widened, or irregularly shaped urethra. Your veterinarian may also perform an ultrasound to examine kidneys and urinary bladder for stones, masses, distention of kidneys, and other abnormalities related to urinary system.



In case of underlying urinary infections, your cat’s veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to treat such infections. The cat will also require surgery to reposition the displaced bladder and urethra. On occasion, antidepressants are used to calm the animal.


Living and Management


You may need to visit your pet’s veterinarian for follow-up examinations to evaluate progress of treatment and identify possible complications. In case of urinary infections, regular antibiotic medication is often required until the infection subsides. Watch your cat for untoward symptoms and call your veterinarian immediately if anything unusual arises. Your veterinarian will also brief you about the side-effects of medications commonly used in these cases.

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