Caring Quality Service
160 Main North Road, Papanui, Christchurch
Northlands Animal Hospital
Science DietNorthlands Animal Care Hospital
Braveheart Award Braveheart of the Month - George


George came from a very loving home but unfortunately had the FIV virus which was causing him no problems.  Mr and Mrs Nevett presented George to the emergency clinic after hours for vomiting. On physical exam, George was found to have a blocked urethra.  

George was diagnosed with Feline Lower Urinary Tract disease (FLUTD).  This is a surgical and medical emergency as the cat is unable to urinate due to a blockage in his penis.

Treatment involves intravenous fluids, pain-relief and an indwelling catheter for several days and a special diet.

George then represented several times for the same complaint.  Each event was preceded by what George thought was a stressful event.

At each visit, he received intravenous fluids, a blood panel to check his kidney function, sedation to unblock his urethra and an urinary catheter which was left in place for several days so he did not re-block.


  1. Food – certain food have higher levels of certain salts which aid in the development of crystals or make the urine pH favourable for the crystals to develop.
  2. Environement – lack of exercise, reduced water intake, dirty litter trays which causes the cat to hold on and urinate less frequently and STRESS such as a visitor, new cats in the neighbourhood, babies etc.
  3. Weight – obesity can predispose cats to urinary tract problems.

Signs that your cat may have a problem with its urinary tract include:

  1. Straining to urinate
  2. Urinating more frequently
  3. Crying / growling when urinating
  4. Blood in urine
  5. Urinating in strange places
  6. Licking at his penis excessively

Female cats can get this disease but they don’t usually block as the urethra narrows at the penis in male cats and this is where the blockage usually occurs.


There are several stages to the disease.  If caught early enough when the cat can still urinate, a urine sample analysed by a vet or a laboratory will show lots of small crystals.  In this instance, a diet to DISSOLVE the crystals is used.

When the cat is UNABLE to urinate, sedation, fluids and unblocking the plug of crystals/mucous is required.

As George had several episodes of re-blocking within a one year time frame, a special surgery called a perineal urethostotomy (PU) was performed.  This is where a male cat is made into a female cat.


Since the surgery, George has remained on his special diet and is doing very well.  He definitely is a brave boy.