This condition represents the male cat's inability to empty his bladder. This can happen for a variety of reasons: crystalin or mucous material material blocking the urethra, urethral stones, uretheral scarring or spasms, and more rarely uretheral tumors.
The urethra is the tube through which urine is carried from the bladder to the outside world. Because of the anatomy of the male cat's urethra, this species and gender are particularly predisposed to this life threatening situation.
When urine is unable to leave the body, the toxins which it contains are reabsorbed into the blood stream causing a variety of serious complications, most notable being kidney failure and an elevated potassium level which eventually leads to severe heart rhythm abnormalities.
The typical signs exhibited by a blocked kitty are repeated visits to the letterbox, accompanied by increased vocalising without any, or very small amounts of urine being produced. Your kitty will spend a lot of time in the litterbox, straining. Many cat owners will interpret this as a sign of constipation, when in fact this is a much serious condition which requires immediate attention.
After arriving to your veterinary clinic, your veterinarian will palpate the bladder, which is most likely distended, painful and firm. A blood sample will be checked and expedient preparations will be made with the immediate goal to relieve the urethral obstruction and to empty your cat's bladder. He will be anethetized, rehydrated, and a catheter will be introduced through the penis and the urethra and into the bladder. The bladder is emptied and flushed out several times, after which the catheter is left in place for 24 to 48 hours. Strict dietary recommendations will be made for your cat post obstruction, which if followed fully, will most likely prevent this catastrophic event from happening in the future.