PU is perineal urethrostomy. This is a surgery done most commonly in male cats that block frequently [urinary obstruction]. Male cats with a urethral obstruction have abnormal urinations, strain when they urinate, and are painful in their belly. They often go to the litter pan frequently and try to urinate but nothing comes out. This is an emergency! Bring to your veterinarian or an emergency center as soon as possible. If left untreated, they can die.
A PU surgery is recommended to try to prevent recurrence of obstruction, treat an obstruction that cannot be relieved by catheterization or to treat strictures [scar tissue] secondary to urethral obstruction and catheterization.
PU surgery creates a permanent enlargement of the urethral opening. There is an increased risk of future bacterial cystitis [bladder infections] because the urethra is shorter. After surgery, it is very important to keep an Elizabethan collar on at all times until suture removal to keep your cat from licking and damaging the surgery site. You should also use paper litter until sutures are removed.
Every patient is unique. Please discuss this surgical option with your primary care veterinarian if you feel your male cat is a candidate.
Lesley Phillips, DVM