Help! My Cat Can't Pee -- Run, Don't Walk, to the Vet

Help! My Cat Can't Pee -- Run, Don't Walk, to the Vet

kizzy lap

For now, there is a happy ending to this story (other than the $450 vet bill), but it all happened so fast and was so dangerous, I wanted to share this information. If your cat can't pee, he or she could die ... fast. Please don't wait until tomorrow to have your cat checked out if any of these warning signs present:

  1. Straining to urinate

  2. Frequent and/or prolonged attempts to urinate

  3. Crying out while urinating

  4. Excessive licking of the genital area

  5. Urinating outside the litter box

  6. Blood in the urine

  7. ***Cats with a urethral obstruction will show the above signs but will pass little or no urine and will become increasingly distressed. A urethral obstruction is an absolute emergency, requiring immediate veterinary treatment.***

After my experiences with our last four cats that either died suddenly or developed a very serious diagnosis very quickly, my biggest piece of advice is this: Get peeing outside the box or crying out in distress checked out immediately. Cats aren't like dogs -- cats tend to hide illness very well, and they don't roar like a lion unless they're in a LOT of pain. I doubt I would've acted so quickly on Kizzy's behavior had I not been told several times when we were treating Buttonsworth's constipation over the weekend that if we'd waited until Monday, he would've died. Any sort of obstruction is serious business and can't be ignored.

Take care, cat lovers! Here's hoping you never need this advice.

Rita Arens is the author of the young adult novel The Obvious Game & the deputy editor of Find more at


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