Strange behavior in a 5 yr old neutered male indoor cat

by Gretchen
(Clinton, NJ)

My 5 yr old male, neutered cat is acting strange. He would sit somewhere and stare at the wall, meow strangely and won't move from the spot unless I actually go to him to pick him up and move him. Once he has been moved, he continues to meow like he's in discomfort and licking his hind left leg. He also tried to urinate in the litter box with no urine once he left the box. Does this mean he has a health issue and if so, what is it? Should I take him to the vet? I am on a fixed income and don't have much money to spend on vet bills. If this question is answered on the site, can I get a link to it?


Dear Gretchen,

Please take your cat to a veterinarian right away. Any time a cat is struggling to urinate or not urinating at all, a urinary obstruction or urinary tract infection is the most likely cause. Your description of your cat's symptoms, including the meowing as if he is in pain and the licking at his hind quarters, in addition to not producing urine in his litter box, seems to indicate a urinary obstruction, which can be extremely dangerous and even deadly if not treated immediately. Even if your cat does not have a full obstruction, partial urinary obstructions, feline urinary tract infections, inflammation, and many other cat illnesses can cause similar symptoms, and all would require veterinary care.

You can read about cats experiencing similar feline illness symptoms here, but your cat needs veterinary attention as soon as possible.

Best wishes,
Dr. Neely

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