My cat is straining to pee or defecate

  • Our 14 year old kitty is straining to pee or defecate. We are mixing pumpkin and soft food. He seems to be better! He is precious to our family!

  • Hi there, this is Dr Linda, a small animal vet with 10 years of clinical experience.


    This is a worry, especially when pee is involved.


    If he is not passing full and normal urine streams, we'd expect that the urine is the main issue. Sometimes whil straining, this causes poo to come out, which can make owners think constipation is a problem too.


    Unless the cat has had a previous injury, is dehydrated or has arthritis, constipation is very rare.

    Urinary issues would be more common.


    There are quite a few considerations here including:


    • FLUTD (cystitis)
    • A urinary tract infection
    • Urinary stones
    • A bladder mass
    • Kidney disease
    • Etc.


    The first port of call is a vet check. This may well include a urine analysis and/or a bladder scan.

    The vet should also feel the intestines to check for any constipation and assess joint mobility (as issues here can lead to trouble posturing and passing stool).


    The treatment will depend on what is going on and could include e.g. anti inflammatories, antibiotics, bladder supplements etc.


    At home, try to 'flush' him through with plenty of wet food and fluids. Pumpkin won't do any harm and ensure his diet has sufficient fibre.


    Keep a close eye on the urine and stool being passe, to ensure there is no cloudiness, blood or mucus.

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