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How to Express a Cat’s Bladder

One of the biggest problems that some cats have to deal with is urinary retention. And if you are reading this, then your cat probably has this problem or an issue that makes it difficult for your cat to empty the bladder by itself. But you don’t have to worry anymore! This post will tell you everything you want to know about how to express a cat’s bladder.

how-to-express-a-cats-bladderUnlike dogs, emptying a cat’s bladder is a bit more of a complex task. This is due to the fact that a cat’s bladder does not stay stable during the procedure. It rolls around a lot, which can be problematic while trying to empty it.

Another thing that comes in the way of expressing your cat’s bladder is the cat’s nature. Cats don’t cooperate that easily!

But still, it is not that hard. A lot of cat owners express cat bladders every day with ease, so it should not be a problem as long as you follow the procedures below.

Using the Ragdoll technique 

The Ragdoll technique is a widely popular method that helps cat owners in easily expressing their cat’s bladder. The technique itself is very simple. All you have to do is hold your cat by his armpits in such a way that his legs hang over the litter box.

This can also be done outside, but doing it over a litter box is a saner and more acceptable option! If your cat is not cooperating, try to calm him down by rubbing his back.

How to Express a Cat's BladderOnce your cat is calm, find the bladder. In order to do that, you have to reach to the bottom of your cat’s rib cage. Once you do that, you’ll feel a small, squishy, ball-shaped thing.

If you are unable to find the bladder, don’t worry. A cat’s bladder is known to move around from the bottom of the rib cage to the side of his or her body. Try again.

If you still can’t find it, maybe you’ll have to wait until your cat really has to pee, because then the bladder changes its shape.

Once you get hold of your cat’s bladder, use two of your fingers to squeeze it gently, and press it downwards. This will help the cat in relieving herself. This Ragdoll technique is easy to perform, but it takes some time and practice to perfect it. Try to be as patient as possible!

Expressing while the cat is lying down

This technique is basically used for cats who have a weak posture or are paraplegic, which can lead to having a lack of control over the bladder. In order to successfully perform this technique, your cat needs to be lying down on a flat surface.

Make sure that the cat is lying on the side — it doesn’t matter which side. This procedure will be new for the cat, so give him as much time as possible. It is a bit more complex than the Ragdoll technique, but the chance of success is very high.

Once your cat is lying down on a flat surface, make sure that you calm him so he doesn’t feel like he is being forced to do anything. This way you can build trust, and your cat will let you express him the next time.

Once the cat is relaxed, put one of your hands on the back of the cat. Use your other hand to find the bladder from underneath the cat’s body. Once you find the bladder, make a cup with your hand and wrap it around the bladder.

Now gently squeeze and push towards the bottom. Do this until the cat starts to pee.

What to do when a cat doesn’t cooperate?

Cats aren’t that cooperative when it comes to manipulating their bladder or doing just about anything on command! No matter how much trust you’ve built with your cat over time, there will always be scenarios when your cat won’t comply with you. Your focus should be to make the cat realize that you are helping him and also to continue building trust with your cat.

how-to-express-cat-bladderIn order to make sure that your cat cooperates, always try to be a calm as possible. Rub your cat’s neck and back so that your cat does not get anxious.

Also, try to be as gentle as possible while holding your cat. If you hold the cat tightly or move it around vigorously, it could hurt your cat and the cat might scratch you for that.

Take as much rest as you need between attempts at the procedure. Above all, make sure that your cat is comfortable.

Using stimulation

If your cat still won’t urinate, then you have to try stimulation. Stimulation is generally done with female cats.

The procedures outlined here work perfectly fine with male cats, but in rare cases they fail when it comes to expressing female cats, as it can be more challenging to locate their bladder. So if your cat won’t urinate, then you can gently rub your cat’s inner thigh as well as the lower belly. This can help the cat to relax.

Once you notice your cat getting more comfortable, add a little pressure while rubbing. This is another way of expressing your cat.

Final Thoughts

The techniques mentioned above are fairly popular among cat owners. These are also recommended by vets for general cases. But if you are unsure about your cat’s incontinence, be sure to consult with your vet.

cat wheelchairA cat’s bladder should be expressed at least four times a day. Once you find a working routine, stick to it. This way the cat will also learn and be prepared for the procedure.

These techniques are relatively easy and can be done at home. If you are facing trouble doing it yourself, then ask a family member or a friend to help you out. Be patient, and with time it will become second nature for you and your cat!

Does your feline need a cat wheelchair? Walkin’ Pets has lots of resources to make life easier! 


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