Perineal urethrostomy

Blockage of the urethra in male cats is a common problem, and is a life-threatening condition.

Without emergency treatment these patients will develop acute renal failure and die in a matter of days.

Treatment of the blockage normally involves stabilisation with intravenous fluids, pain killers, and possibly drugs to protect the heart from the high potassium level which develops in the blood from the obstruction.

The patient then has a urinary catheter passed, which may remain in place for several hours.
Recurrence of the obstruction is common, resulting in further episodes of life-threatening illness.
Perineal urethrostomy is a surgical treatment for this problem.


The tomcat penis is located just below the anus, and points backwards. It is connected to the urethra, the narrow tube leading to the bladder.

Perineal urethrostomy involves removing the penis and the narrow section of the urethra. Very careful and delicate dissection around the urethra into the pelvis enables the urethra to be mobilised backwards a short distance. The wider diameter urethra from the mid-pelvic region is then sutured to the skin, resulting in a wider opening externally and less chance of blockage.

Suitable candidates

Tomcats who have had at least two episodes of urethral obstruction, and are otherwise in reasonable health are good candidates for this operation.

There are risks involved in the surgery, one of which is urethral obstruction. It is essential you have a clear understanding of what is involved before the surgery is performed.

Time involved in clinic

These patients can stay in the clinic for several days after surgery, especially if they have been blocked just prior to admission. Fluid loss through the urine is increased for a period after unblocking the urethra, and intravenous fluid therapy may be required for a few days.

After care

Restriction to the house for a couple of weeks for close monitoring of urination will be required after surgery.

How to book

Give reception a ring on 09 238 7486 to discuss transfer of your patient to our clinic for assessment and treatment. You may be asked to bring any clinical notes, xrays images, and medications with you when you come.