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Q: My cat, Ken Shin, recently did his Perineal Urethrostomy (PU) operation. How long would it be before we stop finding traces of blood in his urine? Would it be good to continue with his usual diet of a mixture of dry and wet food?

A: I am sorry that your poor cat has to undergo PU. This procedure is painful and involves the cat undergoing a ‘sex change’.  This means removing the penis and enlarging the urethra opening to enable the feline to urinate more easily. This procedure is often performed when a male cat has repeated urinary blockage. This usually causes the feline to be in a great amount of pain and discomfort. Prolonged blockage can lead to detrimental effects to the kidneys. Male cats are prone to urinary blockage as their urinary and reproductive tracts are very narrow. PU is considered a major surgery and the cat usually takes 10-14 days to recover. It may be common to observe blood in the urine 3-5 days post-surgery. Remember that surgery only creates a bigger opening so urination is easier but it is still important to manage the quality of the urine in order to keep your cat healthy and pain-free.

 Felines with urinary problems usually need a special prescribed diet to make sure their urine sediments, protein and pH levels are kept in acceptable and safe ranges. This is to avoid the possibility of developing bladder stones and severe painful urinary infections.

 It is okay for your cat to be fed dry food provided that it is prescribed and recommended by your vet. It is also important to provide plenty of fresh water. Cats are not active drinkers of water unlike thus you may need to mix water into his food, syringe feed water directly, buy a water fountain (some cats are enticed to drink with the constant movement of water) or, like some owners whom I have spoken to, prepare special meat-based soup just to “improve” the flavor of water for their cats. Distilled water can be given as it contains less minerals and sediments.

 Make sure you bring Ken Shin for check-ups regularly. Ensure you bring a urine sample each time you go. With proper and frequent vet reviews, together with an appropriate diet and adequate water intake, you can rest assured that Ken Shin is recovering well.